SMALL CAP IDEA: Cornish Tin has reassuring start to flagship project

‘We are very encouraged,’ says Cornish Tin’s Sally Norcross-Webb, as an intense drilling campaign on the Wheal Vor project in Cornwall pauses for the effects of recent heavy rains to wear off.

Soil conditions are currently not ideal for drilling rigs and Norcross-Webb are also aware of Cornish Tin’s social license and do not wish to unnecessarily turn up the soil.

After all, the company has already completed a lot of drilling since it first turned back the drilling platforms in April of this year and, with the granting of an additional permit in September, it has everything it takes to restart as soon as the data are known. collected so far has been assimilated.

Revival: Many Cornish people have been enthused by the apparent ongoing renaissance of tin, one of their most traditional industries

At the moment nineteen holes have been drilled on the first allowed area and three on the second. Another 23 holes are already allowed in the two areas and additional drilling permits are expected to be applied for and granted next year.

Exactly where those applications go remains an open question.

So far Cornish Tin has got back the results of three of the holes it has drilled. The results of the rest will largely shape the 2023 exploration program, but there are already indications.

First, the numbers from the three holes back are very good.

Among the highlights were 1.4 meters at 0.82 percent gaze, four meters at 1.08 percent gaze, and 5.72 meters at 0.52 percent gaze. Within those intercepts themselves run higher quality zones, peaking at more than 5.5 percent can at any given time.

And while these interceptions are quite narrow, they do show that the company is on the right track.

“We see the kinds of things we want to see,” says Norcross-Webb.

‘We looked for new targets and extensions to existing targets, and we found them. We discovered a new tin lode (the Hichens Lode) whose mineralization was visible in hole number two, where cassiterite was visible. Once we XRF-ed it, we went back to hole one and saw continuity.”

It’s a smart team of young geologists that Norcross-Webb has on site – many of them locally – and they clearly have the bit between their teeth.

As more assays come in from Ireland’s ALS labs, Cornish Tin is expected to develop a list of priority targets for a second phase of drilling.

The data generated by the drilling will be supported by a new round of gravity surveys and soil geochemistry that should allow drilling to restart in early 2023.

“Phase two will take us to the first step of measuring the source,” says Norcross-Webb.

But in the long run new money will inevitably be needed to keep the work going.

Cornish Tin has “enough to put you at ease” for now, says Norcross-Webb, emphasizing that the business is run on a rather meager basis, with almost all the money spent underground.

A year ago, the first fundraising for Cornish Tin raised £2.8 million from advanced types of mining, sourced from Norcross-Webb and the company’s chairman, Clive Newall.

Between them, they have a deep web of connections that helped put together a share register that any larger, publicly traded company could envy.

Perhaps even more notable was the company’s use of crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, which raised £900,000 of the total proceeds.

Much of that money came from local Cornish people excited about the seemingly ongoing renaissance in one of their most traditional industries.

And Norcross-Webb isn’t hesitant to say she’ll be going back to the crowdfunding platform at the next fundraiser.

Moreover, investors who come in through crowdfunding will get in on the same terms as anyone else.

“We haven’t plumbed the depths of Crowdcube yet,” she says. “And the support of smaller investors is just as important to us as the bigger ones.”

The company is still at a stage where it feels able to deal personally with all the shareholders and some of them live on the same road as they do in St. Ives.

How much attention any of them pays to the international tin price or short-term trade in China is questionable.

But there is a growing awareness across the board that tin is and will remain an important metal of the future, as predicted in a famous 2018 MIT study.

If all goes as planned, Cornish Tin and its keystone and Crowdcube investors could all benefit significantly.

But there is still much work to be done.

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