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  • Writer's pictureCarrak Consulting

Carrak Consulting

Carrak Consulting was founded in 2013 by Kathy Hicks, the Managing Director, to provide a range of geo-environmental consultancy services to land and mineral developers in the UK and overseas. The company specialises in responsible and sustainable solutions for the management of natural resources and wastes.

What does Carrak Consulting do in geothermal today?

Carrak Consulting has led recent research projects into the geothermal potential of flooded metal mines across the South West. These projects looked at the location, depth and predicted temperature of the water resources in hundreds of former mines, and correlated these with areas of existing and potential heat demand.

The company is currently collaborating on proposals to use innovative technology to assess the condition and viability of strategic mine shafts, and related warm water reservoirs, for a future mine water geothermal demonstration project. The project will draw on the Company’s experience in the assessment of sub-surface voids and mine entries from a historic records, surveys and intrusive investigation, as well as environmental aspects of planning and permitting.

Figure 1: : Laser scan of mine shaft interior. Image: Mark Hudson Geoterra

Carrak Consulting provided feedback to Cornwall Council on the draft the Department of Business Energy Industrial Strategy (BEIS) ‘Future Support for Low Carbon Heat’ document and the Local Industry Strategy, as well as the Cornwall Mining World Heritage Site Management Plan, with respect to mine water geothermal potential.

Mine water geothermal

Mine water geothermal is a concept being explored all over the UK, with the Coal Authority looking to repurpose old coal mines as sustainable, low carbon heat sources. One such example is in County Durham - the first large-scale mine energy district heating scheme in the UK. Away from the coalfields, abandoned tin and copper mines in the South West are potentially a huge underused resource. Carrak Consulting has worked with EGS Energy to co-develop a screening tool to identify flooded mines in Cornwall that are potential geothermal reservoirs and could be used to heat buildings.

Who is Carrak Consulting?

Kathy Hicks

Owner and Managing Director

Kathy is a mining geologist and chartered environmentalist with eighteen years’ experience in the global mining industry and UK ground engineering sectors. She is experienced in Environmental Impact Assessments, feasibility studies and advising on regulatory compliance at all stages of a project.

Kathy specialises in the assessment of mining legacy issues in the South West, especially ground instability and contamination. She is motivated by opportunities to regenerate and repurpose former mine sites and is well acquainted with the unique conditions at many of sites across Cornwall.

Carrak Consulting has an established and trusted network of freelance Associates, to deliver bespoke services.

Why Carrak Consulting supports the SGA

Former mining areas often experience high unemployment and fuel poverty, so there’s a social imperative and spatial synergy between old mine workings and low-cost heat demand. The water in abandoned metal mines has potential to generate cost-effective, low carbon heat, and could also provide simultaneous opportunities to reuse derelict brownfield land and address pollution. These issues are at the heart of what Carrak Consulting does.

Find out more about Carrak Consulting here:

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