Sunday, 31 March 2019

A great buzz about Cornwall at the CSM Annual Dinner

Around 350 Camborne School of Mines old boys and girls, current students, and a few past and present members of staff attended last night's Camborne School of Mines (CSM) Annual Dinner at the Falmouth Hotel.
I'm always amazed at how many of the alumni travel from as far away as Australia to be at this event, a testament to the pride and loyalty that they have for CSM. I wonder if alumni from other great mining schools have the same sense of allegiance? I certainly feel nothing like this for my alma mater, Leeds University. 
Last night there was a general buzz about the resurgence of the mining industry, particularly regarding the renaissance which is taking place in this great old mining province of Cornwall. The guest speaker was Vancouver-based Richard Williams, CEO of Strongbow's South Crofty Project. He spoke not only of the reopening of the old South Crofty tin mine, but also the great potential of the Redmoor Sn-W-Cu project, and Cornish Lithium's search for lithium in the hot geothermal brines lying deep within and around the Cornish granite (more in the posting of 27th February). Richard highlighted that tin has now become "the glue which holds the hi-tech world together".  He is photographed below with Nick Clarke (CSM graduate 1974), and Nick Wilshaw (1980).
Nick Clarke, Nick Wilshaw, Richard Williams and me
There are now some dynamic mineral processing companies in Cornwall, and none more so than Nick Wilshaw's rapidly expanding Grinding Solutions Ltd (GSL). Now familiar faces at all MEI Conferences - they are regular sponsors of the comminution series-  Managing Director Nick and his wife Flee, a fellow Director of GSL, are actively involved in all areas of mineral processing. In the last few months they have added to an already extensive leaching capability and commissioned a new versatile comminution rig which can be used for a range of tests including the DRA Grindmill Test. Flash flotation and further gravity separation kit are also arriving soon. Nick was recently appointed as a Director of Australian-based Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution, an industry advocate for MEI's Comminution '20 conference in Cape Town and the Cornwall-based Physical Separation '19 and Sustainable Minerals '20 conferences.
It was also great to see Peter Hackett last night. He was Principal of CSM for most of my 22 years at the School, and he is photographed below with GSL's Flee Wilshaw and past graduate Pete Taylor.
As always, a wonderful evening, and many thanks to Chris Kitchen of the CSM Association for outstanding organisation.
Twitter @barrywills


  1. Very nice reading about the bonding between the alumni--shows how we old timers feel about our formative years; hope many would follow.
    It is also good that the glory of mineral activity is coming back to Coenwall.
    Your Blog represents that "passion to profession" is future for mineral industry.

    1. Thanks TC. Are there similar regular reunions in India for the alumni of the Indian SOM?

    2. Yes,Barry. Indian School of Mines celebrates Allumni day every year and is called "Basant" They felicitate some of them for their contributions.
      But I may add that the old passion towards parent Instites need stenthening.

  2. And more good news from Cornwall. On Tuesday the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project produced the deepest hole in the UK!
    Reaching a depth of 4,201 meters they are continuing drilling to the target of 5,500 m.

  3. Hi Barry,
    Regarding the lack of any motivation for reunions of graduates from the Department of Mining & Minerals Engineering at Leeds University, it doesn't help that the Department is long closed and forgotten about! I do read the Leeds Alumni newsletters online, but there is never anything of interest in it for me. I doubt that any current students or staff would know that the first department of the University was (coal) mining or that there ever was a mining/minerals department. Very sad. I doubt if I would recognise the place if I went back there (last visit 1999). Good for CSM!
    Steve Barber, BSc Applied Mineral Sciences, Leeds, 1971

    1. Hi Steve, I am aware of the demise of the Minerals Engineering Dept at Leeds, but I was not part of this. I graduated in metallurgy in the Houldsworth School of Applied Science, and also did PhD there. My introduction to mineral processing was in 1969 with my first job in Zambia


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