South Crofty mine in the Camborne/Redruth district was formerly the essential core to a combination of 12 mines working since the 16th century for tin and copper. However the fall in the value of tin in 1985, forced South Crofty to close, still it remained Europe’s last working tin mine, as it didn’t shut until March 1998. In April 2004, the mine became operational again with BHL taking ownership of South Crofty. It’s aim to re-establish mining operations in Camborne. However this aim cannot happen as planning for the demolition of the original mill is taking place; issues relating to it’s sighting, the demolition will happen within this year. This shows the inside of the original mill, its isolated, abandoned and soon to be forgotten. Once the core to such a successful mine, it’s now a nuisance for the future of South Crofty.
South Crofty is the only working mine in Cornwall at present, yet still has 55 people directly employed by Western United Mines Limited, as of November 2009. Due to the issue of the sighting of the original mill, and planning and waiting for the demolition to commence. Underground drilling for mineral sampling is not worked to its full capacity yet. Therefore this causes a lot of experienced employees, to abandon their job title and make and find work up top and in the workshops. Andy Uren’s (Image below) job title is underground miner, yet here he has volunteered himself, from lack of tasks underground to work alongside his underground shift boss Paul Solomon, on repairing a roof on top of a workshop. It seems underground miners and work open to them is still such a small community, even at a reopened mine such as South Crofty. The 2012 extended mining area creates South Crofty as an amalgamation of some 34 earlier mines, including Dolcoath, Stray Park and Camborne Vean, extending south westwards to amongst others, Pendarves Mine