Beth Simons

PhD student Beth Simons.

Critical metals for the low carbon economy

University of Exeter

Critical metals are crucial for low-carbon technological innovations, including fuel cells, solar panels and energy storage, and their supplies are coming under increasing stress. This project explores the critical metals in Cornwall through targeted geological, mineralogical and geochemical investigations in order to establish potential resources that could be targeted for future exploitation.

In Cornwall, historic mining has focused on the traditional commodities but there is significant potential for the excavation of some critical metals. Mining in Cornwall declined before the market for these metals developed and there has been little research on their resource potential.

Camborne School of Mines PhD student Beth Simons is working with Dr Nicholas Le Boutillier, a Chartered Consultant Mining Geologist, to carry out this research.

The increased knowledge of these critical metals will encourage future exploration activities. In the medium and long term this will benefit local geological consultancies as well as the Cornish economy as a whole.

It is hoped that if economic deposits are found, a future production of critical metals will lead to significant export, which will aid the trade balance and facilitate further economic growth. And the development of a local resource base could encourage the development of a productive sector in low-carbon technologies.