For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Canadian firm launches plans to open zinc mine on North Pennines border
ABOUT 500 North-East jobs could be created after a firm revealed plans to extract millions of tonnes of zinc from former Roman lead mines in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Minco is carrying out test drilling in moorland on the County Durham and Northumberland border between Allenheads, near Stanhope, and Nenthead, in Cumbria, and says the area could hold some of the largest zinc deposits across Europe.
Bosses have revealed initial results from five 500m test boreholes show one million tonnes of ore could be extracted every year, and say a mine could be built in the next five years, restoring Teesdale's mining heritage.
The Canadian-based company, which has already spend about £500,000 on the North Pennine Orefield development, say its tests will last for a year, adding any mine will still need to be sanctioned by planning officials.
Rowan Maule, Minco's executive director, said: “There is still a lot of work to do, which would involve a lot more drilling over several years, but the potential here is massive and this could be a world-class deposit.
“A project of that size would mean a mine producing a million tonnes a year and employing between 200 and 500 people.
“There could easily be a major mine developed here in the next five or six years as long as we can get through the planning processes.”
The area was first mined by Romans, with zinc and lead production starting in the mid-17th century and continuing through to the end of the 19th century, before working at reduced levels until 1938.
According to the company, lead was the main metal harvesting profit, with zinc work mainly focused between Coalcleugh, near Hexham, and Nenthead, in Cumbria, which produced more than 19,000 tonnes of zinc from 1942 to 1943.
Comments are closed on this article.