The Geo-Resources Strategic Sector Strengthening UK Shared Prosperity Funded Project supported representatives from Carbon Zero Consulting, GeoScience Limited, and Cornish Metals at the Mine Water Energy Symposium 2024. In its fourth year, the 2024 symposium was held in person for the first time at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

Attendee Peter Ledingham from GeoScience Ltd commented: “The excellent presentations and ample networking opportunities gave valuable insight into the current state of the art in mine water energy systems, not only in the UK, but also elsewhere in Europe. Most existing systems are associated with coal mining but we hope to apply to knowledge and technology to harness the significant geothermal resources in the abandoned metal mines of Cornwall.”

As part of the IEA geothermal technology collaboration programme (TCP), the symposium bought together international participants to share case studies of mine water heating projects as well as developments in mine thermal energy storage. The symposium’s focus was on areas of research including heat-flow modelling, biogeochemistry and social sciences.

George Chantler of Carbon Zero Consulting said: “I am extremely grateful to the Geo-Resources Strategic Cluster project for the travel and subsistence grant and Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd for providing me with the opportunity to attend the Mine Water Energy Symposium. Being able to attend in person presented me with a great opportunity to meet academics and others working within the domestic and international industries. The talks, activities and field trip were fascinating, allowing me to learn a great deal about what research and work is taking place around extracting heat from disused mines; potentially including the historic metalliferous mines concentrated in the South West.” See Carbon Zero Consulting’s LinkedIn post about the event here.

Cornish Metals representative at the symposium, George Wilson, added: “Geothermal energy recovery shows fantastic potential in Cornwall and the UK. Given the high geothermal gradient and the rich mining history we have extraordinary potential to extract and store heat in the ground. The technology is now in place whereby we can extract the heat for use in buildings locally and at a district level. By using the existing infrastructure left through a legacy of mining there is an opportunity for significant reduction in preliminary cost to achieve this with reduced environmental installation cost. It is great that Cornwall is a part of this emerging marker and at the forefront of this movement towards achieving net zero objectives.”

The participation of these businesses at 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 £960k 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.

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