Critical Minerals Equipment Hub

Critical Minerals Equipment Hub

Lead Organisation: Camborne School of Mines (University of Exeter) and Grinding Solutions Ltd

Investment Priority: Supporting Local Business

Fund: Strategic Business, Enterprise and R&D Infrastructure

SPF awarded: £3,547,872

Location: University of Exeter, Penryn Campus

This SPF project will invest in a suite of laboratory equipment and infrastructure to create a “Critical Minerals Equipment Hub” to support the sustainable growth of Cornish critical mineral projects into the future. It addresses the unique opportunity resulting from the region’s endowment in green technology metals (including: copper, lithium, tin and tungsten) that are vital for continued UK economic growth and to decarbonise our society.

The equipment will focus on a specific aspect of metal mining called: “mineral processing” which concerns the concentration and separation of the valuable component of the ore and will include: hydrometallurgical reaction vessels, automated mineral sorting, magnetic separation, flotation separation, alongside analytical techniques including: Raman and infrared spectroscopy, and a facility for the safe handling of a wide range of critical minerals, including the rare earth elements.

The project will be co-delivered by the Camborne School of Mines (University of Exeter) and Grinding Solutions Ltd, who are an international consultancy company based in Cornwall. Besides accelerating development of Cornish technology metal mining projects, the investment will help build the Cornwall Mining Alliance consultancy sector that works with companies worldwide to produce essential technology metals in more efficient, environmentally-friendly and socially acceptable ways. It thus will help deliver the Technology Metals Opportunity for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly and the UK Critical Minerals Strategy.

 

Photo Credit: Chalcopyrite sample (a copper-bearing ore mineral) from Cornwall. Photo courtesy of the CSM Museum.

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