Jamie Hinch

Geography (2021 cohort)

I am interested in the speculative lithium mining occurring in Cornwall. There is much excitement about the re-exploration of former mines which are hoped to hold significant levels of this ‘white gold’- the protagonist of post-Brexit Britain’s electromobility aspirations and energy transition. Dominating the re-exploration conversation are physical scientists and economic investors. Whilst they allude to the mining history of Cornwall, a critical examination of the entanglement of the pasts, presents, and futures of Cornish mining is absent. Whilst presented as an elixir for the region, the questions of what a lithium mining boom would mean for Cornish communities and environments need to be asked. My DPhil project proposes an exploration of these questions through ethnography, sitting at the intersection of literatures concerning place-making, marginality, and critical geopolitics. I also intend to use creatively written, visual, and digital storytelling outputs to engage non-academic audiences and contribute to the ‘re-enchantment’ of geography.