Friday, 21 December 2018

The last Cornish sundowner of the year, in historic Camborne

A great turnout last night for the Christmas Cornish Mining Sundowner, held at Tyacks Hotel in the old mining town of Camborne. I say 'old' but Camborne will soon be revitalised with the imminent reopening of the South Crofty tin mine, a very old mine, which finally closed in 1998, but is scheduled to reopen and go into full production again in 2021. The South Crofty Tin Project is owned by Strongbow Exploration and last night the +25 regulars were kindly hosted by Strongbow and its COO Owen Mihalop
Owen Mihalop (2nd right), our host for the evening
Malcolm, Alan and Bentley at UDDGP
Early last month I had a fascinating visit to the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power (UDDGP) project in the old copper mining district. UDDGP aims to build on the experience and expertise developed during the Hot Dry Rock (HDR) project in the 1980s, which was led by my old friend and Camborne School of Mines colleague, Dr. Tony Batchelor. Drilling commenced on 6th November, and is now at a depth of 900 metres. Initially drilling was through the very hard metamorphic killas, a rock which has been a comminution nightmare on many of the now abandoned copper and tin mines. Cornwall is underlaid with the huge Cornubian granite batholith, which intruded into the Devonian sediments around 280 million years ago, baking the sediments into the hard killas. The drill reached the granite at around 650 metres, and earlier in the week, regular sundowners Alan Matthews, Bentley Orchard and Malcolm Hooper visited the site for discussions with Tony on the complexity of the geology in the top 900m.
Tony Batchelor is also the Chairman of the Camborne School of Mines Trust, and we discussed the need for CSM staff to be more proactive if they wish to increase the intake to their new MSc in Mineral Processing (posting of 17th December), which will be helped by the CSM Trust offering scholarships worth £6,000 each to exceptional students who enrol on the course in September 2019.
Tony Batchelor (2nd left), with Barbara, and Joan and Phil Oliver
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