Mineral explorer and developer Cornish Metals Inc (AIM/TSX-V: CUSN) has provided an update on the advancements at the South Crofty project and a look ahead to the company’s objectives in 2024.

In September 2023, the company announced the completion of an updated Mineral Resource Estimate, marking a 31.6% increase in the Indicated category for contained tin in the Lower Mine. The South Crofty Resource currently stands at 2.90 Mt Indicated at 1.50% Sn and 2.63 Mt Inferred at 1.42% Sn. Other significant developments included the commissioning of the water treatment plant, encouraging results from ore sorting testwork, and numerous underground refurbishments.

Looking at the year ahead, Cornish Metals anticipates further progress in the ongoing dewatering of the historic mine to 360 m below the surface. The company plans to initiate underground infill drilling, and aims to complete a comprehensive 14-hole, 9,000 m Wide Formation exploration drill programme. This programme has the potential to increase the Mineral Resource and extend the mine’s operational lifespan.

The South Crofty Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) is slated for completion in the first half of 2024, preceding the publication of the Feasibility Study. CEO Richard Williams reflected on the company’s performance in 2023, emphasising the significant milestones achieved, particularly the construction of the water treatment plant and the commencement of dewatering. Williams stated “activity levels are expected to remain high through 2024 with more important milestones to be met as [Cornish Metals] works to further progress the South Crofty project towards a construction decision”.

Giving more detail on Feasibility Study progress, the company reported the completion of geotechnical testwork, numerical modelling of the proposed underground mining methods and stope designs, the initial phase of a metallurgical testwork programme, and the design of the mineral processing plant. Work is currently underway on the underground mine design.

Our view: Strong progress has been made in 2023, and 2024 will be a pivotal year for Cornish Metals. A construction decision is expected in the winter of 2024-2025, contingent upon the successful completion of both the PEA and Feasibility Study.