Thursday, 17 September 2020

Into 'Poldark Country' with Physical Separation '21 and IntegratedMinPro '21

The wonderful stretch of coastline between Levant and Botallack on the Land's End Peninsula is not only an area of outstanding natural beauty, but it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as this is the St. Just Mining Area, the region of Cornwall's submarine mines (MEI Blog 20 October 2014) where 19th century miners worked the copper and tin lodes under the floor of the Atlantic Ocean and over a mile out to sea. 

The area is also popular with fans of the BBC TV series 'Poldark' (MEI Blog 29th March 2015) as this was one of the main locations for filming the fictional story of the eponymous 18th century miner.

This is my favourite stretch of the Cornish coast and I am looking forward to showing it to delegates from Physical Separation '21 and Integration, Optimisation & Design of Mineral Processing Circuits (IntegratedMinPro '21) next June.

On the afternoon of Wednesday June 9th delegates and their accompanying guests will be served a Cornish Cream Tea, and I will give a short presentation on Cornish mining and its legacy, before we are coached the 35 miles to Levant, passing by the UK's most westerly major town, Penzance, the birthplace of Sir Humphry Davy. From here we enter the most remote area of England, the Penwith, or Land's End, Peninsula, only 6 miles wide at its narrowest section between Penzance on the south coast and St. Ives on the north.

Levant, one of Cornwall's richest and most famous copper and tin mines, 'The Mine Under the Sea', operated continuously for 110 years until its closure in 1930. It is particularly well known for the collapse of its man engine in 1919, which killed 31 miners, and we will begin our tour at the miners' changing room or 'dry' where the miners entered a tunnel leading to the man engine shaft. After a quick briefing on what happened on that fateful day we will walk the couple of hundred metres down to the cliffs and to the main shafts, now owned by the National Trust

From here, those not wishing to walk over the cliffs will be coached to Botallack, where they will meet up with the rest of the group who took the 15 minute walk to the iconic Crowns Engine houses, perched precariously on the cliff face.


Passing by the extensive remains of Botallack's tin dressing floors and the arsenic calciners and labyrinths, our tour ends at the ruins of the West Wheal Owles pumping engine house.

Buddles in the Botallack dressing floor
Arsenic labyrinths
Wheal Owles

Suitably dressed up, and with a little CGI, this might be recognisable to Poldark fans as the fictional Wheal Leisure.

Filming 'Poldark' at Wheal Owles

For those who have never visited this part of Cornwall, I am sure that this will be a memorable tour and one of the highlights of the conference programmes. If you would like to present papers at the events, there is a call for abstracts, which should be submitted by the end of December.

Updates are at:

#PhysicalSeparation21
#IntegratedMinPro21

1 comment:

  1. It looks and reads so tempting and encouraging apart from the technical aspects mentioned.
    ALL THE BEST TO YOU BARRY and HOPE YOU WILL HAVE LARGE PARTICIPATION WITH A NEW VISION AND ENTHUSIASM COUPLED WITH INNOVATIVE IDEAS TO PUSH OUR PROFESSION TO NEW HEIGHTS.

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