South Crofty Tin Mine
Cornwall is always associated with sun, beautiful beaches and Cornish pasties but also Poldark and Tin Mining.
Mining for tin in the region dates back to around 2300 BC. With around 200 mines dotted around Cornwall, the region became world leaders in tin mining with almost half a million tonnes of tin being mined up to 1998. Unfortunately, as with pretty much of all British industry, cheap labour and goods from the Far East and South America created a huge competition and by the time South Crofty Mine closed 20 years ago, tin mining in the UK was dead, the price of tin plummeting and no longer viable to mine.
As a mine that had been working over three hundred years, South Crofty was the oldest surviving tin mine in Europe at the time. As the site closed, 200 men were left unemployed, the surrounding economy suffered as a result, the suppliers, engineering companies feeling the crunch too.
20 years on, a Canadian company, Strongbow Exploration acquired a 100% stake from Western United Mines and Cornish Minerals, permissions and licences to mine were still available until 2071.
Strongbow believe that the South Crofty Mine represents one of the best tin opportunities available globally. The CEO of the company says his team are confident that tin will be mined again at the site by 2021.
If successful there will be many jobs created in the area and the once flourishing mine and area will bloom again.
At the moment preparations are underway to start full scale water pumping out of the mine, and seeing that the mine has a depth of well over 2000 feet, this will take a while. The water will discharge into the Red River and a specially built water treatment plant will ensure that the quality of water discharged is high to meet the permit conditions.
Once up and running the treatment plant is able to pump up to 25000 cubic metres of water per day into the river through two separate discharge points. The whole process to remove the water will take between one and a half to two years. A feasibility study will also take place to determine if mining at South Crofty is financially viable. Meanwhile we are all going to have to keep everything crossed.
Batteries Unlimited are pleased to do a very small but important part, maintaining and servicing the batteries at the mines critical power back up system twice yearly.
We wish the whole team the greatest success. We hope that very soon the mine will be producing the top quality tin it did back in the early 19th Century.