An international delegation of ministries and businesses have met with members of the South West’s critical minerals cluster and the Camborne School of Mines (CSM) to discuss opportunities in the emerging geo-resources sector. The event was organised by the UK Government's Department for Business and Trade and was held by the Geo-Resources Strategic Sector Strengthening project at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus.

Representatives from countries including Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Uzbekistan and Turkey were introduced to organisations based in the region as part of a fact-finding and familiarisation tour.

Kenan Poleo, His Majesty’s Consul General Istanbul and Trade Commissioner Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, said:

“Through collaborative efforts with Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, we are laying the foundation for a 21st – century mining sector in Central Asia. Our aim is to put UK’s expertise in the full mining lifecycle into practice. Low carbon solutions and the suitable development of resources will support the global transition to a cleaner, greener future. Events like this bringing together government and business figures from the region to meet with the University and members of the South West’s critical minerals cluster, are a great example of how UK expertise can help support the industry.”

Presenting on the day was Cornish Lithium, Imerys, Geothermal Engineering Ltd, Wardell Armstrong International, CSM, and the Geo-Resources Strategic Sector Strengthening project. The event offered companies the opportunity to network with key industry players and to learn about market access processes in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Professor Pat Foster, Head of Camborne School of Mines, said: “This visit, along with several others that we have hosted recently from countries including Brazil, South Africa and Canada, demonstrates the international standing of CSM and its reputation with regards to critical metals. It also speaks volumes for the once-in-a-generation opportunity that we have to promote the sector and the role it will play in the transition to greener, cleaner energy.”

This event was funded by the Geo-Resources Strategic Sector Strengthening project, which is a partnership between the University of Exeter, the Cornish Chamber of Mines and Minerals and Cornwall Mining Alliance. This project has received £960 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK by investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit here.