Coper and Tin mining in Cornwall

Metal mining has been a great part of the Cornwall economy as history indicates. It can be traced way back to the ages of Bronze. However it comes to an end towards the last century [1998] when the tin mine of South Crofty closed. This was majorly due to the high competition from other countries that caused prices of copper and tin to really depreciate. Surely, no one would want to conduct a profitless business.

For many it is still a mystery as Cornwall was ranked among the richest mining areas globally. The tin mining industry in Cornwall alone had 600 steam engines set to pump the mines. Isn’t this so much proper that the mining industry is fit to be operating even up to date? In fact, the mining industry had attracted so many adventurers who would pump in capital in the business and earn profits.

All the same, even though mining is not active anymore in Cornwall, we would just like to revisit this history of mining in Cornwall. I hope you already know that tin and copper are among the metals that make the smallest percentage of the earth’s crust. At the mention of mining in Cornwall most people however just think of tin mines. It is important to note though that copper mining had also once been a great thing in Cornwall.

Copper had very memorable effects in Cornwall. While at its peak, it gave employment opportunities to many people of Cornwall. It also contributed to the infrastructure of Cornwall. The west Cornwall line was constructed because of copper. It necessitated upgrading of ports and building of railway lines. Of course, nothing lasts. In time the discovery of huge copper deposits in other parts of the world started. This made copper prices go down but fortunately the deposits at Cornwall had been mined out. This is how tin mining came to the picture. However, the demand did not get to where copper mining did and also other discoveries of tin deposits in other parts of the globe were made. So it also collapsed.

Considering what mining entails, it requires adequately knowledgeable individuals to work in this industry. Because of this, the University of Exeter opened its Camborne School of Mines to disseminate this education. In its research and teaching, it aims at helping individuals understand and manage the earth’s natural processes, resources and environment.

This school is internationally recognised meaning its graduates can work anywhere in the world where there is mining activities going on. Its focus is on mining, mineralogy, geology, geochemistry, renewable energy among others. The school has a museum that focuses on geology but with specific emphasis on mining and mineralisation. It has fluorescent, gem and ore minerals and host rocks from reputed mining areas of the world. However, a good part of its collection is from the South Western part of England. This is usually used as resource centre for geology in the entire Cornwall.

So, this discovery could also be a good learning point for you. When you come to Cornwall, don’t just go to the beaches, make it a point to also visit the school and specifically its museum and see for yourself.

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