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British Gold Miner’s Nevada Punt Marks Entry Into Cannabis Market

Written by Peter McCusker

The British owners of a Nevada mine which contains a much-sought after cannabis soil additive has secured a £350,000 boost as it joins the green rush.

Sunrise Natural Resources has a track-record in the gold, silver and diamond extraction industries but has now switched its focus to the cannabis industry. It is looking to begin mining perlite and has recently struck a deal with a nearby Nevadan processing plant for the grinding of its mined raw material.

The latest United States Geological Survey commodity summary shows a growing market for perlite, says Sunrise which is listed on the London Stock Market.

Growing Mediums

In a market statement Sunrise’s executive chairman Patrick Cheetham explained there had been a 12% annual rise in U.S. consumption in 2018 and a 22% rise since 2015, ‘driven in part by increased use of perlite in the expanding cannabis market in North America’.

Perlite is often added to growing mediums when cultivating cannabis, The Royal Queen Seeds website explains, going on to add that it is an ‘excellent addition to coco coir’.

Coco Coir, itself are fibrous coconut husks which are a favoured growing medium for cannabis, as well as improving the structure of organic soils. Perlite occurs naturally as a volcanic glass which expands substantially when heated to around 900°C, to transform into commercial perlite. 

Perlite Project

Commercial perlite is extremely white, due to the reflectivity of the bubbles in its structure and also very light. Sunrise’s executive chairman Patrick Cheetham says the £350,000 boost from investors will allow the company to complete its mine permitting program for the perlite project.”.

Meanwhile established U.S. garden business Scotts Miracle-Gro, says the growing cultivation cannabis market is boosting its earnings. Since 2016, annual sales growth at subsidiary Hawthorne Gardening – which owns dozens of brands selling lights, filtration systems, premium soil, containers, air filters, and hydroponics – has outpaced the group’s general lawn and garden business. 

For the fourth quarter, the parent company reported overall sales of $298 million, up 35% from the same quarter a year before. The Hawthorne unit was up by 84% over the same period.

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About the author

Peter McCusker

Peter McCusker is an experienced news and business editor, who believes it’s time to fully embrace the multiple, proven, medical benefits of the cannabis plant.