Despite its relatively low-key status, TIN is poised to benefit from a range of technological developments, including the transition to 5G and even the electric vehicle revolution.
The Tin Market
With just 300,000 tons of tin being produced per year, tin is one of the smallest metal commodities in terms of market size, “copper trades in 5 days what tin does in a year.
China and Indonesia account for roughly 25% of the tin market each, with Myanmar in third, producing 54,000 tons in 2019. There is also significant production in South America with Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil collectively providing 17% of the global supply.
Despite the comparatively small size of its market, tin is incredibly versatile and holds an important position in the technology industry. Historically, tin has been a key component of solder, which accounts for just under 50% of its present use, alongside its use as a stabilizer for PVC, and it's iconic use in plating metal cans.
The Future of Tin
Circuit Board Tin Solder, Future of Tin
TIN has a strong future with a variety of applications that have the potential to transform the industry.
Despite being one of the least glamorous uses of tin, the demand for solder is expected to benefit from the rollout of 5G networks, as communications infrastructure will need to be updated or replaced. Considering that 5G is expected to be available to 65% of the global population by 2025 the outlook for tin-based solder is strong.
The transition to electric vehicles is also set to play a major role in guaranteeing and increasing the demand for solder, with a growing number of countries, particularly in Europe, adopting policies to promote the uptake of electric vehicles.
The pace of development in the US also is expected to increase under the Biden Administration, you can read our breakdown here: The Future of Electric Vehicles: Biden's Green Revolution and Battery Metals.
TIN will play a key role in the development of new battery technologies. Tin has already been used as a battery casing and as an anode material, yet this usage may expand, with studies indicating that tin anodes in sodium-ion batteries may be able to compete with the more popular lithium-ion technologies.
Considering that sodium-ion batteries are significantly cheaper than their lithium-ion alternatives, equating to a two thirds decrease in costs, this technology may be inherently more scalable. However, Fergus does note that the impact of this development may fall outside of the timeframe for his investment in the industry.
Cornish Metals Inc - CUSN - TSXV
Based in Cornwall, a region with a long history of tin mining, Cornish Metals’ copper-tin project at United Downs has indicated a grade of 1.2% tin, alongside 8.45% copper. Their South Crofty project also has strong grading, with an indicated 1.8% tin, making it one of the highest-grade sites in the world. The company is also offering exposure to the lithium market through an agreement with Cornish Lithium Ltd.
Vancouver, October 25, 2023
Cornish Metals Inc. (AIM/TSX-V: CUSN) (“Cornish Metals” or the “Company”), a mineral exploration and development company focused on its South Crofty Tin Project (“South Crofty” or the “Project”) in Cornwall, United Kingdom, is pleased to report that it has commissioned and officially opened the Water Treatment Plant (“WTP”) and is about to commence dewatering of the South Crofty mine.
• Following successful wet commissioning of the WTP and the building of a high-density sludge bed within the plant, discharge of treated water from South Crofty Mine to the Red River will commence from the week of October 30 at a rate of up to 25,000m3 /day.
• Raw mine water is being pumped from a depth of 360 metres in New Cook’s Kitchen shaft to the WTP via two KSB specialist high-head 950 kW vertical submersible pumps.
• Mine dewatering is expected to take 18 months.
• The treated water meets the Company’s permitted standards set by the Environment Agency for discharge into the Red River.
• Dewatering the mine and treating the water will have a positive effect on water quality in the Red River, which currently receives untreated mine water as a legacy of past mining activities.
• The water discharged from South Crofty powers a hydro-turbine that generates up to 15% of the power consumed by the WTP.
• Other renewable heat opportunities are being actively explored to make use of the treated water temperature, which is a steady 25o C all year round and has the potential to heat at least 800 homes in the local area.