Friday 11th October saw the Cornish Institute of Engineers celebrate 100 years of promoting engineering excellence in Cornwall with a day-conference themed around highlighting the mining knowledge cluster to be found in the region. There was a very impressive attendance of around 150 delegates, some of whom had travelled down from a neighbouring country called England and crossed the border to attend!
It was exciting to look around the room and see such a range of delegates: both in terms of age and experience. There were broadly fairly even numbers from three demographics: the senior industry experts with vast collective knowledge of mining in Cornwall and around the world; the ‘new-blood’ with 10+ years in industry driving some exciting new innovations, and; the students from Camborne School of Mines representing the future in mining. As one presenter indicated, the cumulative years industry experience in the room was not far short of the age of the granite in the region (~300-250 million years)…
The event was held in a most appropriate location: in the shadow of the head gear and engine house at Robinson’s shaft, the principal shaft for South Crofty mine. The area has recently been regenerated as the Heartlands cultural and visitor centre and is well worth exploring by those with an interest in the mining heritage of the area.
The presentation agenda highlighted the impressive depth and range of mining-related skills to be found in Cornwall. Amongst the excellent presentations, we heard from:
– North Coast Consulting about importance of building socio-environmental capacity when establishing mining operations overseas
– 3D Mine Surveying International on the development and use of 3D mine surveying and modeling, and the subsequent integration with other datasets – for example to model air flow, or to compare the ‘as built’ surface with the original design surface.
– SGS Mineral Services highlighted a number of factors for risk mitigation in process plant optimization, including of course the importance of using process mineralogy early in flowsheet design to not only reduce risk in the operation but to simply save time and money by focusing metallurgical testwork
– Paterson & Cooke presented some of the work they are undertaking in waste management and in particular thickened tailings design and management
Many thanks must go to the CIE and in particular John Bennett for organizing such a fantastic event, and for highlighting just how much mining knowledge there is in Cornwall.
The full program can be found at: http://www.iom3.org/centenary-conference-cornish-institute-engineers
More information on the CIE can be found at: http://emps.exeter.ac.uk/csm/about/institute-engineers/lectures/