North Pennines zinc mine 'could create 500 jobs'

Rowan Maule and Peter Tyler Minco's executive director Rowan Maule and chief geologist Peter Tyler at the test drill site

Related Stories

Up to 500 jobs could be created after zinc deposits worth millions of pounds were discovered in the North Pennines, a mining firm has predicted.

Canadian-based Minco has been allowed to test drill on the border of County Durham, Northumberland and Cumbria.

The company says initial results are "very promising" and forecasts show up to one million tonnes of ore a year could eventually be extracted.

The area has been mined since Roman times, primarily for lead.

The company, which has already invested more than £500,000 in the operation, is concentrating efforts near Allenheads in Northumberland and Nenthead in Cumbria.

'World-class deposit'

So far, five 500m deep boreholes have been sunk.

Minco's executive director Rowan Maule said the area could hold some of the largest zinc deposits in Europe.

He said: "We believe that this could be a world-class deposit.

"There is still a lot of work to do, which would involve a lot more drilling over several years, but the potential here is massive."

"There could easily be, in five or six years from now, a major mine developed, should we be able to go through all the planning processes.

"A project of that size would mean a mine producing a million tonnes a year and employing between 200 and 500 people."

The company said its initial exploration programme in the North Pennines, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), would last 12 months.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tyne & Wear

Weather

Newcastle upon Tyne

25 °C 16 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of


  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news


  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support


  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • CastleRoyal real estate

    No longer reserved for kings and queens, some find living in a castle simply divine

Programmes

  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.