Thursday, 21 July 2016

Momentous events between the June and July Mining Sundowners

It's hard to believe that it is only 4 weeks since the June Cornish Mining Sundowner, when we were joined at Falmouth's Chain Locker by delegates from the Sustainable Minerals '16 conference. Many of those were visiting the UK for the first time, while the Sundowner regulars had cast their votes during the day in the EU Referendum, hardly expecting that on the next day we would effectively no longer be a part of Europe.
And what has happened since has been unprecedented in British political history; the resignation of the Prime Minister, David Cameron, the political assassination of his expected successor, Boris Johnson (who did at least, controversially, make it to Foreign Secretary) by his fellow Brexit colleague Michael Gove, who by this act committed political suicide, and the challenge for the leadership of the UK leading to the appointment of Theresa May, only the 2nd female Prime Minister in our history. All this heralding the dawn of a new era and a very different UK, and maybe a free world run by three women, Hilary, Angela and Theresa.
For two of the past 4 weeks I have been following these incredible events in South America, where Barbara and I added three new countries, Peru, Brazil and Argentina to our long list of countries visited. Our last port of call before heading back to UK was Rio de Janeiro, superficially one of the world's most beautiful cities - providing you point your camera in the right direction:
Beautiful Ipanema Beach
Favela above Ipanema
Great views from Sugarloaf Mountain
A different Rio one block back from Copacabana
On our final night in Rio de Janeiro, it was good to catch up with Prof. Mauricio Torem and his wife Ana. Mauricio, Head of the Mineral Processing Research Group at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, and a former editor of International Journal of Mineral Processing, is a regular visitor to Falmouth for MEI Conferences, and was at the Chain Locker with us last month.
Relaxing in the home of Mauricio and Ana
So now we are back in beautiful Cornwall, and great to be drinking real Cornish Ale again at the Chain Locker, with around 20 of the regulars at tonight's Sundowner.
Sadly the usual CSM academics were not in attendance, so little talk about Brexit. Academics around the country are deeply concerned that Britain's position as the major scientific power in Europe may have been compromised by Brexit, as most institutions rely on EU funding and talent from abroad. Let's hope that their fears are ill-founded as we approach the uncertain months ahead.

Twitter @barrywills

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