Strategic Minerals PLC on Wednesday highlighted the UK government’s critical minerals strategy as it noted that its subsidiary Cornwall Resources Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding with nuclear fusion technology company Oxford Sigma Ltd.
Strategic Minerals, a London-based mining company with projects in New Mexico, South Australia and the UK, said the MoU underlines how the two parties will collaborate, focused on exploring, developing, promoting and securing critical mineral supply pathways for tungsten to supply the fusion industry.
The MoU was signed for an initial five-year period. Currently, over 90% of global tungsten supply is controlled by China, which controls 84%, Vietnam with 5.7% and Russia with 2.7%, Strategic Minerals said. ‘Fusion energy is potentially a near-limitless source of carbon-free energy for the future, and tungsten will be a key component in the process, required for dense, highly efficient radiation shielding and plasma-facing components within fusion energy devices,’ it said.
It added that Redmoor, one of the few high-grade tungsten resources in the UK, has the potential to be one of these supplies which could complement the UK government’s critical minerals’ strategy.
Oxford Sigma Chief Technology Officer Thomas Davis said: ‘To make fusion sustainable, we must address the need of securing the supply of critical minerals, such as tungsten, and the projects that will produce them. Most of the technology that Oxford Sigma develops for fusion energy depends on large quantities of raw tungsten for various applications (radiation shielding and plasma-facing components). By collaborating with Cornwall Resources, Oxford Sigma continues to grow a network of world-class projects, in safe jurisdictions, aiming to establish the supply of tungsten, ensuring a secure sustainable tungsten supply for the world’s fusion reactors of the future.’
Peter Wale, executive director of Strategic Minerals and director of Cornwall Resources, said: ‘By working with Oxford Sigma, we intend to further highlight to national government the importance of establishing domestic tungsten mining to provide long-term security of supply for the fusion community, and Redmoor’s ability to help meet these needs.’
Strategic Minerals shares were 3.0% higher at 0.13 pence each on Wednesday morning in London.
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