• HM Gov
  • BIG
  • CDC
  • EURF
Funding for business development projects in Cornwall
  • HM Gov
  • BIG
  • CDC
  • EURF
Funding for busines development projects in Cornwall

BIG grant for Cornish mineral processing company

BIG Productivity investment has helped a mineral processing company to grow its services

A £23,717 investment from BIG Productivity has allowed Truro-based Grinding Solutions to purchase equipment that will help the company grow and expand its services.

Grinding Solutions, owned by husband and wife team Nick and Felicity Wilshaw, is a mineral processing company that offers consultancy, laboratory testing, site audits and plant design to clients around the world.

The business was founded by Nick in 2002, with Felicity joining in 2010, and it has enjoyed year-on-year growth as it has expanded its facilities and services, especially on the laboratory side.

Director Felicity said: “We cover all minerals from coal to gold and everything in between. We assist a wide range of clients to optimise the liberation of minerals from their samples and help them to understand the best and most cost-effective liberation and extraction methods, while being mindful of environmental requirements and energy efficiencies that can be made.

“We initially completed lab-scale test work for our clients to understand if it is feasible to extract the product from the ground. If this is successful, we can then proceed to pilot scale testing to determine the feasibility of industrial scale minerals production.”

Thanks to the grant from BIG Productivity, and their own investment, Grinding Solutions has been able to purchase a full range of pilot scale equipment, growing the services it can offer to new and existing clients.

Felicity had been on the look-out for grant funding to complement their growth aspirations and was introduced to BIG Productivity through Access to Finance and her own networking.

Felicity said: “This investment is really going to change what we can do and help us expand massively. We are the only company in the region that can offer this level of services, and we couldn’t have done it without the BIG Productivity fund.”

As well as working with clients all over the world, Grinding Solutions has strong Cornish links. Nick is an alumni of the Camborne School of Mines, as well as Vice Chairman of the CSM Trust, which invests in future mining education. The company is also currently working closely with Cornish Lithium, a mineral exploration and development company that focuses on the sustainable extraction of lithium in the battery metals industry.

Grinding Solutions has also worked with other business support projects in the region including Oxford Innovation, Unlocking Potential and Acceleration Through Innovation (ATI) Cornwall.

“As a company, we aim to be as innovative as possible in our approach, particularly in light of the increased global challenges within the industry. As the easier-to-extract minerals have been mined, there is a greater requirement for technology to allow more complex and finer minerals to be extracted at economic rates. We work hard to enable our clients to manage and embrace new technologies while being considerate of the environment and their social licence to operate,” said Felicity.

“During the past few challenging months, we resolved to come through the Covid-19 pandemic bigger and stronger than ever before. We have put in place a new plan to expand further into markets, such as battery metals and recycling, as well as pushing and expanding our current offering.”

Anna Staevska, BIG Productivity’s programme manager, said: “Grinding Solutions is a company with deep roots in the region which provides a vital service for companies worldwide. BIG Productivity grant funding has supported the expansion of their offering, enabling the company to provide a fuller range of services to their customers, which, in turn, will allow them to improve their own productivity and grow their business.”

BIG Productivity is a £3.1m fund that offers grants from £2,500 up to £150,000 to qualifying small and medium-sized businesses in Cornwall to boost their productivity.

BIG Productivity is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme, and is delivered by Cornwall Development Company. It aims to help 175 local businesses become more productive and create 175 new jobs in the Cornish economy.

The fund has also launched a new advisory service to offer strategic, non-financial support to Cornish SMEs. The Advanced Advisory Service (AAS) is looking to engage with 30 ERDF-eligible Cornish SMEs, with a turnover of more than £250,000, on projects that will be a catalyst for growth.

For more information on BIG productivity or to see if your business might be eligible visit www.businessinvestmentforgrowth.co.uk

Find out more and apply for BIG2 funding by clicking here: APPLY HERE