Carrak Consulting will be part of a team, led by GeoScience Ltd, to complete a high-level feasibility study on using geothermal heat from abandoned mines in Cornwall to heat homes and buildings.

Cornwall Council, the National Trust, LiveWest and Pendeen Community Heritage partnered to commission the study on the viability of a mine water heat network from Geevor, Levant and Botallack mines in West Cornwall, with funding from the Department of Energy Security & Net Zero.

The geothermal potential of flooded coal mines in the UK and Scotland has been well studied and working schemes exist, but there have been few assessments of using abandoned metal mines in this way. There are thousands of former tin and copper mines in Cornwall, many of which were amalgamated and so represent vast underground reservoirs of warm water. Cornwall Council is keen to assess the feasibility of developing heating networks around these potential resources.

To deliver the study, GeoScience Ltd is coordinating a team of specialists including TownRock Energy, Tomson Consulting, Carrak Consulting, the University of Exeter and a local Mining and Deep Geothermal Engineer, Tony Bennett.

The study will collect data from the mines and assess the resource potential in terms of production rate, temperature and geochemistry. It will also look at any consenting challenges, surface infrastructure scenarios and engineering options required to connect the resource to end-users.

Lucy Cotton, Geothermal Group Manager at GeoScience Ltd said “Carrak Consulting has a lot of experience in the assessment of abandoned Cornish mines and also in environmental permitting, so we are delighted they are involved in the project”.