Small Capital Idea: Will the British Tin Industry Return to Glory Again?

Tin is the metal on which the British mining industry was founded.

Decades and centuries before the British began mining coal for the Industrial Revolution, Cornish men were pulling tin from the earth to feed the towns and markets of an ever-expanding commercial world.

Wherever British tin went around the world, the miners who mined it followed, promoting their expertise and knowledge in new locations and establishing an array of new mining operations in jurisdictions on a grand scale.

These days, though, tin doesn’t often appear on the radars of those interested in investing in mining.

The biggest producers of pure tin aren’t names you’ve heard of, unless you’re very in-depth – they include Chinese companies like Yunnan Tin, Yunnan Chengfeng, Minsur, and PT Timah.

Revival: Many Cornish people have become enthusiastic about the ongoing revival apparent in tin, one of their most traditional industries

Revival: Many Cornish people have become enthusiastic about the ongoing revival apparent in tin, one of their most traditional industries

European and Australian mining companies have some tin operations, but there are very few tin companies involved in the tin industry.

Or at least there wasn’t.

The situation began to change, as tin began to establish itself as a major component of future technological development.

MIT made its first demonstration call for the resurgence of tin in 2018 when, in a presentation cited by Rio Tinto, the argument was that of all the metals — including lithium, zinc and cobalt — the one most likely to benefit from technological advances was tin.

In the years that followed, the price of tin rose to $50,000 a ton or so, and MIT seemed justified.

This tin subsequently fell significantly to current levels of around $25,000. Perhaps a good example of the need to be careful not to overinvest in commodities, but nonetheless the bullish case that MIT has made remains.

Recent corrections have been related more to immediate black swan events – such as Ukraine and Covid – and less to the long-term outlook. Tin is still much higher than it was when MIT made its predictions.

During these times of varying prices, miners with fixed cost bases watched margins expand and contract. But in general, for the producer companies that have been able to keep inflation pressures to a minimum, companies like Andrada Mining, times have been very good.

And take part in it Andrada (4.2p), which until recently was known as AfriTin, has nearly doubled in value since 2021, as tin production from Namibia’s Uis mine is in full swing. The fact that it is also developing a lithium production line also helped.

But other companies with less advanced tin projects and operations also found favor with investors.

The broker has recommended SP Angel Cornice for metal (13.3p) to investors in recent market updates, as the company continues its efforts to revitalize the tin mining industry here.

Cornish Metals recently raised a large sum to remove water from their famous South Crofty mine and are also offering attractive tin grades from newly explored areas on the southern part of the landholding there.

“The discovery of a new high-quality area of ​​tin mineralization in the middle of a historic mining area is a tremendous result, and once again shows the exploration potential in the area,” said Richard Williams, President of Cornish Metals, following the latest set of drilling results. .

Certainly, the British government would only be very happy if significant new production of what appears to be an increasingly strategic mineral were established domestically.

The privately owned Cornish Tin Company is also making good progress working on both old and new ground, while the search for lithium around the world creates a sense of an impending local renaissance in mining.

Will it happen?

It remains to be seen of course.

But if MIT’s analysis proves correct in the long run, and the price of tin starts moving upwards again, the odds are very much in their favor.

The difference, however, is the rarity of small miners who are exposed to tin. It is not like gold or copper, where the young are tenpence.

On the contrary, when the next big uptrend comes, there will be only a few options for you to encounter with the speculative money.

This in and of itself can cause the kinds of risks inherent in any speculative bubble. Which is why a few already established names like Andrada, Cornish Metals and Cornish Tin will be the preferred destinations for seasoned investors.

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