Cornwall tin: Rivival of the fittest – by Laura Fusher and Jamie Keech ( – May 3, 2016)

There are few English dishes more satisfying than a Cornish pasty. A crescent shaped pastry filled with steaming beef and swede, the pasty somehow manages to be simultaneously sweet and savoury, dainty yet robust. Perfected by Cornish wives in the 17th century, they were designed to be the perfect companion for the legendary Cornish miner.

Held by the thick crimped crust in a grimy hand, pasties were (and still are) a hearty meal that could be devoured quickly whilst one was covered in dust in the depths of a tin mine. To this day there are few main streets throughout Cornwall’s seaside towns that don’t proudly boast a pasty shop, and they remain one of the lasting legacies of a once booming tin industry.

However pasty’s may once again grace the hands of Cornish miners because tin mining in the UK appears to be seeing something of a revival. Australia’s Wolf Minerals proved it was possible to bring British metal mining out of the grave with commissioning of their Drakelands Tungsten and Tin Mine in 2015 – the first producing metal mine in the UK in forty years.

Now Canada’s Strongbow Exploration (Strongbow) has taken on the challenge of putting the historic UK mining district of Cornwall back on the map, having recently attained the rights to acquire the South Crofty Tin Project (South Crofty) in Cornwall.

The County of Cornwall forms the westernmost part of the UK’s south-west peninsula, and is part of the Cornubian Orefield which covers Cornwall and some of the neighbouring county of Devon. During the 18th century, Cornwall would become the mining centre of the world, famous for its base metal and tin production.

South Crofty was one of Cornwall’s best known mines, which in its time produced approximately 400,000t of tin from underground workings, and was in near continuous production for over four hundred years.

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