Mining – possible boost for Cornish economy

On Friday local MP Sheryll Murray put forward a Bill to the House of Commons to enable the UK to have better opportunities of harvesting minerals from the bottom of the sea. 
Speaking in the House for her Bill she explained that, “Mining is not a new industry, certainly not for us in Cornwall. There is a saying, ‘Wherever there is a hole in the ground, there will be a Cornish miner at the bottom of it.’ With over 4,000 years of history, the Cornwall and West Devon mining landscape became a world heritage site in 2006, and I was very proud to be a councillor on Caradon district council when that was decided.”
Sheryll explains, “I want Cornwall and the UK to be leading this frontier industry.  As the world’s demand for minerals continues to grow, and land-based sources become overstretched, the search for minerals in the deep sea is the inevitable consequence.  I want to place UK companies at the heart of this frontier industry, under the control of the UK Government so we can ensure that these companies comply with the highest environmental standards, and that there is due recognition given to the environmental impact in the development of international regulations for the possible exploitation of seabed minerals in the future.
“This Bill is about the deep ocean bed in areas beyond the limits of any national jurisdiction, in other words at least 200 nautical miles from the coast of any state.  Commercial exploitation of minerals from this area is still a concept rather than a reality, but as technology has developed to the extent where mining in such extreme environments is a possibility, exploration activity is increasing.”
Fellow MP David Nuttall welcomed Sheryll’s Bill saying, “it is one that could open up the high seas­or, more accurately, our deepest oceans­to what could turn out to be the 21st century equivalent of the 19th-century gold rush. It is like the Klondike.”
The Bill passed its second reading and will be debated in detail in a Public Bill Committee.
Contact:  Sheryll Murray MP 01579 344428
Pictured:  Sheryll is pictured at the Houses of Parliament
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