Summary of the Transactions – The 1960s
The Editor’s introductory notes to the Transactions, (Volume 16) forecast a much more modest programme than had been held the previous year. The programme, showed that there was to be six General Meetings plus the AGM and a Summer Visit. There were no joint meetings arranged. It was also noted that the William Thomas Memorial Prize was awarded to Mr. W.J. Tilson for his talk given on 21st February 1961, on “Open Cast Mining at Rio Tinto”.
The first General Meeting on 30th September was the occasion for Mr. Walker’s Presidential Address on “Diamond Mining In the Gold Coast and Sierra Leone, 1927 – 1955”. The Transactions contain a lengthy account (nearly a third of the Transactions Volume) of the problems arising because of the long and tortuous route from the coast to the mines following the discovery of diamonds in 1919. Many of these problems remained during the whole of his time there which ended when the both countries gained their independence and the industry was nationalised. He gave a detailed description of the mining and extraction techniques as well as the security problems needed to reduce pilfering by the workers. He concluded by mentioning some of the large diamonds found in the area.
The second General Meeting on 29th October, heard a talk by Mr. E.R. Price, on “ Some Aspects of Design and Construction of Lower Drift Dam, Penzance”. This dam had been visited during the Institute Summer Meeting on 2nd July and this must have added to the appreciation of the talk. The dam was intended to improve the supply of water to the Lands End Peninsula by the West Cornwall Water Board. Two thirds of the water supply to Penzance was extracted from the Drift River and it was often barely adequate during the summer months. Permission for the dam was not granted by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government until 1958, after which work began fairly quickly. The dam is curved with a radius of about 700 feet, is 450 feet and the minimum height above the broad foundation is 88 feet. The gross storage is 290 million gallons with a water depth of 44 feet.
The third General Meeting on 16th November heard a talk by Mr. G.H. Jones on “Magnetic Mineral Separation” but it was not published in the Transactions.
The fourth General Meeting on 9th December was a film evening on “Corrosion in Action” shown by courtesy of the Mond Nickel Co. Ltd.
On 21st February 1961, at the fifth General Meeting Mr. W.J. Tilson presented a paper on “Open Pit Mining at Rio Tinto”. The copper mines in the Province of Huelva about 40 miles North West of Seville in the South of Spain have been intermittently mined for over 3,000 years. The Romans were primarily interested in the gold and silver associated with copper and left approximately 16 million tons of slag.
In the early 19th century, the Spanish Government was short of gold and this led to the formation of of Rio Tinto Mining Company in Great Britain which purchased a concession for £1M in gold. After two World Wars and the Spanish Civil War there were difficulties in transferring currency out of the country it was decided to dispose of the mine. In 1955, the Rio Tinto of Spain was formed and paid the British Company £7M. The Spanish Government policy at he time made it difficult to get spare parts from overseas and the only local parts available were of poor quality. No fewer than 14 different drilling machines were in use at the Atalaya mine.
The main products of the mines were Porphyry and Sulphur. The amount of ore produced could not be given by order of he Spanish Government.
The open cast mine at Atalaya occupied a volume of 40M cubic metres with a surface area of 350,000 square metres and depth of up to 188 metres. There were tunnels at various levels; for example there were tunnels up to 1800 metres long leading off the 16th floor. There was a lengthy discussion after the talk.
Mr Tilson had made a model of the mine which was on display at the meeting and after his talk he presented it to the CSM.
The sixth General Meeting on 24th March, heard a paper delivered by Mr. J.H. O’Keeffe on “The Introduction of Flotation at South Crofty”. He said that for ease of presentation he had described the plant as being divided into three sections: table flotation, batch flotation (for coarser sizes) and continuous flotation(slimes and minor products). He said that since the plant had been installed in 1960, there had been steady decrease in losses of cassiterite in the float. Overall losses were in the range of 1/2 % and often lower. The running costs were less than they had been with the calciners that the flotation system had replaced.
Annual General Meeting, 28th April 1961
The President asked Mr. Hutchin to present the financial report for 1960.
Mr. Hutchin reported that there was a bank balance of £497/10/5 on 1st January. Income was £116/1/- including subscriptions of £78/15/-, sale of Transactions brought in 10/14/3 and interest of £17/15/1. The subscriptions had been £14/0/6 less that in the previous year. Expenditure of £141/12/7 included £60 Secretaries salaries and £48/9/6 for printing of Transactions. The resulting balance on 31st December was £471/18/10 a reduction of £25/11/7 on the year.
The William Thomas Memorial Prize Fund decreased by £2/4/0 following the prize of £5/-/- to Mr. Williams.
The President then asked Mr.G.J. Shrimpton to read the Council Report for 1969/61.
Another successful session had been recorded and mention was made of the Summer Meeting which had been attended by 46 Members and friends. I was fully reported in the previous year’s Transactions. The paper on the Rio Tinto Mine by Mr. Tilson had been awarded the William Thomas Memorial Prize.
There were 76 Members, 25 Associates and 4 Subscribers. Two Members and two Associates had been elected during the session and resignations, including those members whose subscriptions were three years out of date amounted to ten Members and Associates. The deaths of Colonel G. A. Whitworth and Mr. R.C. Reynolds were noted.
Mr. S. Furze was elected to be an Honorary Member and following a ballot, Mr. P. S. Spargo was elected to be President for the 1961/62 session.
The election of Mr. Spargo as President was approved and Mr. J.H. Trounson was re-elected as Treasurer and Messrs. G.E.P. Roberts and W.G. Eustice were re-appointed as Auditors.
The President then presented Mr Tilson with the William Thomas Memorial Prize before closing the meeting. He then invited Dr. T.K. Elliott to present his paper entitled “Pneumonicosis: A Review of its Etiology, Pathology, Clinical Aspects, Treatment and Prevention.” This comprehensive paper was based on his experience in the coal industry and its effects on the working life of miners. The diagnosis and treatment was covered in detail and the measures that could be taken to reduce its likelihood. Control of dust, including the extensive use of water, was the key measure. There was a lengthy discussion in which eight members took part and which was reported in the Transactions.
The Summer Meeting was held on 1st July 1961 with a visit to the RNAS Culdrose, Machine and Repair Workshop. This was followed by lunch at the Coach and Horses at Roseudgeon before a visit to the British Railways (Western Region) Locomotive Sheds at Ponsandane, Penzance.
Tea was taken at the Tudor Cafe, Marazion and an informal meting at which Mr. Walker handed the chair over to the President-Elect, Mr. P.S. Spargo.
Mr. Spargo commented on the current state of the tin industry and said that although the price of tin was high and likely to go higher, the tax on oil of 2d per gallon which had hit the industry hard particularly because of the recent and continuing change from coal to oil in many aspects of the industry. He said that the recent Carnello Enquiry into the mining industry with the public interest, the support from Local District Councils, the Cornish Mine Development Association and local M.Ps. had led to a disappointing result. He expressed regret at the forthcoming closure of the Tuckingmill factory of I.C.I. Ltd which had originally been the Bickford Smith factory.
There was no editorial introduction to the Transactions for this session (Vol. 17). It was noted that there were six General Meetings as well as a Summer Meeting held on 30th June 1962 and a talk following the AGM.
The first General Meeting on 29th September was the occasion for Mr Spargo’s Presidential Address on “The Working and Use of Cornish Granite”. He started by listing the areas in which granite of the desired composition was found. He said that granite had been used since prehistoric times for building purposes. He quoted Mabe Church as an example of a building made entirely of granite. He said that granite crosses, some dating from early Christian times were a very visible sign of its continuous use. Demand increased dramatically at the start of the industrial revolution to meet the requirement for larger buildings and other structures such a bridges and river embankments. The Plymouth Breakwater is entirely made of Cornish Granite.
Extraction took advantage of natural cleavage planes between large “rocks” of granite. He said that granite had replaced slate for many purposes and more recently was used in London for the South Bank Wall and the Hyde Park Corner road improvement scheme.
After his talk a film entitled “Cornish Granite” was shown by courtesy of Messrs. Freeman and Macleod Ltd. and E. Spargo Ltd.
The subject of the Second General Meeting on 24th October was “Modern Developments in Coal Mining Blasting Techniques” presented by Mr. C.V. Jolliffe, Divisional Ventilation and Explosives Engineer, West Midlands Division, National Coal Board. He said that in coal mines there was a need for controlling both the temperature and extent of explosive flames because of dangers from firedamp. Blasting gelignite could be moderated by adding suppressants such as Sodium Chloride but this generally resulted in larger charges being needed. There were alternatives such as Cardox which is essentially a shell filled with liquid CO2 which is vaporised by an electrical heating element which is initiated by by conventional cable and firing switch. On firing, the CO2 is vaporised instantly and creates an intense pressure. He said there are other similar techniques such as compressed air at up to 10,000 psi but this requires very high maintenance standards for all the equipment involved. There was a lengthy discussion which is described in the Transactions.
The third General Meeting on 15th November was a film evening at which three films were shown. “An Introduction to Communition” by International Combustion Ltd., “The Apple Creek Project” by Boyle Bros. Drilling Co. Ltd. and finally, “Road of Iron” produced by the National film Board of Canada.
At the fourth General Meeting on 23rd February 1962 Dr. K. F. G. Hosking gave a lengthy dissertation on “The Search for Tin”. He spoke about where and how tin is found in all regions of the world. The paper in the Transactions included many diagrams and many of these are dated after the time of the talk; some as late as 1965. It also takes up no fewer than 46 out of the total of 88 pages in that volume of the Transactions. There is no report of any questions or discussions or indeed, of any idea of the time it took Dr. Hosking to deliver his paper.
The fifth General Meeting on 21st March had a talk by Mr. A.C. Davies, Chief Civil Engineer, Production and Re-construction Department, NCB on “The Use Reinforced Concrete in Mining”. There is no record of any discussion in the Transactions.
Annual General Meeting, 27th April 1962
In the absence of the President the meeting was chaired by Mr. C.W. Walker, who invited Mr. F. Hutchin to present the financial report for 1961.
He said the bank balance on 1st January was £471/18/10, the income from subscriptions was £151/1/6, the sale of Transactions produced £23/8/10, the William Thomas Memorial Fund provided £5/5/0, the Summer Visit showed a profit of £2/11/6 and interest from the Trustee Savings Bank was £16/8/11.
The increase in the subscriptions resulted from the payment of arrears following an appeal made by the Council at the end of the previous year and the income from the sale of Transactions was the highest ever.
Expenditure was £141/13/2 which included £60 for the Secretaries Salaries and £49/16/8 for printing Volume XV of the Transactions. The balance on 31st December was £529/1/5, an increase of £57/2/7 over the year.
The William Thomas Memorial Prize Fund had decreased by £2/5/10 following payment of a prize leaving a balance of £96/3/7.
Mr. Walker then asked Mr. G.J. Shrimpton the read the Council Report. The Council commented on the success of the 1961 Summer Meeting and noted that the General Meetings had been well attended. The William Thomas Memorial Prize had been awarded to Mr. P.A. Gillett who would read his paper at the conclusion of the AGM.
The membership then stood at 83 Members, 28 Associates and 4 Subscribers. 8 new Members and 6 Associates had been elected during the year.
Elections Following a ballot Mr. P. S. Spargo was elected President for a second year while Mr J.H. Trounson was re-elected as Treasurer and Messrs. W.G. Eustice and G.E.P. Roberts were re-appointed as Auditors.
The Council also drew attention to the fact that the next year would the Institute’s 50th anniversary and it was hoped that some special activities would be arranged.
Mr. Walker then closed the meeting and invited Mr. P.A. Gillett to present his paper on “ Stoping Methods at the Beaverlodge Mine, Eldorado Mining and Refining Ltd., Canada.
This is a Uranium mine on the shore of Lake Beaverlodge which is North of Lake Athabasca in the N.W. of the Province of Saskatchewan. Uranium City with a population of 2000 is the only town n the area and the nearest large town is Edmonton about 460 miles to the Southwest. The Company is owned by the Canadian Government and employes 650 men. It is able to deal with about 2000 tons of ore per day and the grade is about 0.23% of U3O8.
The mine workings are between 750 and 1500 feet deep although the main shaft had been deepened to 4000 feet. There are two ventilation shafts about 10,000 feet apart and there are about 15,000 of workings.
Mr Gillett gave a description of the area’s geology and of the ore deposits before describing the cut and fill stoping method used. He said that Holman’s ‘Silver Three’ drills were used with jacklegs and Atlas Coper topers. He said that the severe environmental conditions were not uncommon in Canada but the way in which they were dealt with as regards actual production, living accommodation and transport is a major triumph of man over nature. He made no mention of how or where the ore is treated. The discussion which followed was reported in the Transactions.
This volume of the Transactions concludes with a report on the Summer Visit on 30th June. The visit, attended by 32 members and friends, started the Queen Elizabeth Docks at Falmouth followed by lunch at at the Halfway House, Rame Cross. The party then visited the Hawes Quarry at Longdown where they saw the building products works.
Tea was taken at the Crag Hotel, Meanporth and the visit concluded with an informal meeting at which Mr. Spargo gave a short address. He said that the year before they had ben awaiting the result of the enquiry into the re-opening of the Carnelloe Mime. The result was disappointing and had been widely criticised by organisations and individuals ever since.
He said that other industries had been doing well including the engineering companies in Camborne and the china clay industry. Falmouth docks, visited that morning was doing well as was the granite industry. He commented on the amount of time and effort devoted to bringing new industries to the County but said he thought that perhaps some help should be given to those already here.
He mentioned that a subcommittee had been formed to arrange special events for the 50th anniversary and said that in that connection he was pleased to welcome to the meeting Mr. T. Berryman who was a founder member of the Institute.
Before closing the meting he presented the William Thomas Memorial Award to Mr. Gillett.
There was no editorial introduction to Volume XVIII of the Transactions which covered this session.
There were six General Meetings, the AGM and a Summer Visit as well as a Fiftieth Anniversary Dinner. Mr. P.S. Spargo was serving his second term as President. Four of the Meetings were lectures to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Institute
At the first General Meeting on 28th September 1962, Mr. L.G. Brown, a Past-President, took the chair and invited Mr. Spargo to deliver his Presidential Address which was on the subject of “The Portland Stone Industry” illustrated by a a set of slides lent by the The stone Firms Ltd. The contents of the talk are not given in the Transactions, presumably because of problems in reproducing the slides.
The second General Meeting on 26th October, was started by the President asking the audience to stand in memory of Mr. J.K. Walker who had died recently. He then invited Mr. B.L.J. Hart of International Computers and Tabulators to deliver his talk on “The Computer and Production Control”. The talk was not published in the Transactions.
The next four General Meetings heard lectures written to commemorate the Institute’s Fiftieth Anniversary and all of them were concerned with changes in the industrial scene in Cornwall in the previous half century. All of the subjects had been covered at various talks during that time and these four lectures were effectively summaries of talks that had been given and reported in previous Transactions.
The first of the special talks was at the third General Meeting on 27th November 1962 was given by Mr. A.C. Owen on the subject of “The Development of the Supply of Electricity in Cornwall in the Past Fifty Years”. Surprisingly this paper was not printed in the Transactions.
The second was given at the fourth General Meeting on 1st February 1963. Before the talk the President once again had the task of asking the audience to stand in silence in memory of two members who had died recently; Mr. R.T. Whitford and Mr. W.G. Eustice who was one of the Institute’s Auditors at the time of his death.
The lecture was given by Mr. F. B. Michell, Honorary Member and was entitled “A Half Century of Progress in Tin Dressing and Metallurgy”.
The third of the special lectures was given at the fifth General Meeting on 22nd February,1963. As he had at the previous two meetings the President had to announce the death of a member, on this occasion Mr W Jelbert who had been a founder Member.
The lecture given by Mr. L.G. Brown was on “50 Years of Cornish Mining”. He pointed out that during the last fifty years there were almost constant inquiries into what had been wrong with Cornish mining and the number of operating mines had decreased from 17 in 1913 to 2 in 1963. However he did note the Holman Brothers had expanded their business overseas in that time by selling mining equipment in the growing industries in the new producing countries.
The final special lecture was given at the sixth General Meeting on 22nd March by Mr. S. Sweet, Chief Compressor Designer, Holman Bros., who spoke on “Fifty years of Mechanical Engineering”. His main theme was the development of mass production techniques and the attendant need for setting standards and limits starting at the design stage. There was also the rise in the development of new materials which affected design as well as production.
The final event in the fiftieth anniversary celebration was the special dinner held at the Crag Hotel, Meanporth, Falmouth on 10th April. Mr. F.B. Michell, Honorary Member and Past President presided over a gathering of 68 members and guests including three founder members, Messrs. T. Berryman, R.O. Stokes and W. Brown.
The toast to founder Members and guests was proposed by Mr. G.E.P. Roberts, Past President and in reply Mr. Berryman spoke of how the Institute was founded mainly by the efforts of Messrs. Keats, Cock and Blight, members of the Cornish Association of Engineers.
In proposing a toast to the Institute Mr. J.B. Simpson congratulated it on its activities during the fluctuating and difficult times in the mining industry during the last 50 years. The President, Mr. P.S. Spargo in accepting Mr. Simpson’s congratulations said that the Institute was in a fairly good position and paid thanks to Past Presidents, members of the Council and particularly the Joint Secretaries. Finally he expressed thanks to the Court of Governors of the Camborne School of Mines for providing accommodation for the Institute Meeting over the last fifty years.
Annual General Meeting, 26th April 1963
In opening the AGM the President, Mr. Spargo, asked those present to stand briefly in memory of Mr. J.W. Jelbert, a founder member who had died a short time ago. He then called on Mr. F. Hutchin to present the Financial statement.
Mr. Hutchin said that the bank balance on 1st January was £529/1/5. Income was £112/4/11 including subscriptions of £75/16/-, £9/7/8 from sale of Transactions and £18/18/9 from bank interest. Expenditure was £158/18/4 including the Secretaries’ fees of £60, and £65/18/7 for the publication of Volume XIV of the Transactions. The bank balance on 31st December was £482/8/-. The William Thomas Memorial Fund decreased by £2/6/- to £93/17/7 after the award of a £5/5/- prize to Mr. P.A. Gillett.
The President then asked Mr. G.J. Shrimpton to read the Council Report which stated that it had been another successful year including the dinner held earlier that month to celebrate the Institute’s 50th anniversary.
The Summer Meeting on 30th June 1962 was attended by 32 members and friends and it was reported in Volume XVII of the Transactions. The 1963 Summer Meeting would be held on Saturday 29th June.
No papers had been submitted for the William Thomas Memorial Prize.
Membership stood at 87 Members, 29 Associates and 4 subscribers. 8 Members and 1 Associate had been elected and 1 Associate was transferred to Membership. Council also reported with regret the deaths of the following: Messrs. S. Furze, W. Jelbert, W.G. Eustice and Mr. J.K. Walker. Four Members had resigned and three had their membership cancelled for because their subscriptions were over 3 years in arrears.
Following a ballot Council had elected Mr. J. G. Nicholas as President for the next two years and Mr. R. A. Gorges was elected as Vice President. At the meeting Messrs. F. Hutchin and G.J. Shrimpton were re-elected as Joint Secretaries and Mr. J.H. Trounson was re-elected Treasurer.
Following the death of Mr. Eustice the meeting elected Mr. B.O.Rees to join Mr G.E.P Roberts as Auditor.
This concluded the formal business and three films were then shown, two by courtesy of the National Coal Board and one by courtesy of the Anglo-American Corporation of South Africa Ltd.
Summer Meeting, 29th June 1963.
32 members and friends visited the GPO Radio Station at Goonhilly followed by lunch at the Wheel Inn, Cury Cross roads followed by a visit to the new Lizard Lifeboat Station at Kilcobben Cove. The party then took tea at the Housel Bay Hotel and as had become customary a short informal meeting was held at which Mr. Spargo handed over the Presidency to his successor Mr. J.G. Nicholas.
Mr Nicholas said he was fortunate in taking over at a time when prospects for Cornish Mining were improving. Geevor and South Crofty had survived the battering of recent years and now there were others interest in Cornish tin. After initial refusals, permission had been granted to prospect at Carneloe and work was continuing at Cligga and operations had commenced at Wheal Granville Mine at Troon by Camborne Tin Ltd. Hydraulic Tin Ltd. had been in operation at Bissoe for some time and there was extensive bore hole surveys being carried out in the St. Ives Bay area, both on the beach and underwater. The Holman Group of companies was known and respected throughout the mining world.
There had been growth in the number of light industries in the County. Cornwall’s geographical situation is not such a disadvantage as it is for heavy industry where transport is both difficult and costly.
After this meeting the party visited the re-opening Fortescue Shaft at Wheal Granville before dispersing.
There was no editorial introduction to the Transactions for this session. A single sentence noted that there had been no papers submitted for William Thomas Memorial Prize.
There were six General Meetings during the session.
At the first General Meeting on 27th September, Mr. Nicholas delivered his Presidential Address on “Cornwall’s Young Industries”. He said he had considered doing a review of the growth in industry since the last war but this would take too long to deliver, so he had selected four companies; two with conventional products and two were unconventional for the county.
The Atkinson Electrical Engineering Company Ltd of Penryn had started up in 1946 as a small branch of a London company but by then had over 40 employees. The main business is electrical repairs and the very first job was at a bakery in Helston where an essential five horse power motor failed during Christmas week. It was repaired using fuse wire and surgical bandages.
The intermittent nature of repair work and the need to make spare parts led to the expansion into design and installation work which it now carries out.
The second company he spoke about was the Tourell Precision Engineering Co. at Penzance. It was a branch of a St. Blazey company and was opened to provide tool room services for some of the larger West Country firms interested in large scale production but unwilling to undertake their own design and manufacture of the necessary jigs and fixtures. Mr. Nicholas showed several examples of their work.
Messrs. Sapphrite Ltd of Penzance was a small firm which made rings for fishing rods. Nylon fishing lines rapidly wear grooves in steel rings. Alternatives such as porcelain were brittle and the preferred substitute, agate, was expensive. “Sapphrite” was a synthetic material that was clear but a German rival looked more like agate. The Sapphrite company had then developed a version that looked more like agate and was an immediate success. Production rose from 50,000 in 1958 to 600,000 in 1962. He said that Reditch, the centre of the fishing rod industry in this country was now buying rings from Penzance.
The Western Electronic Company, Germore, specialised in reconditioning television cathode ray tubes. New tubes were expensive and the manufacturers guaranteed them for only 90 days. Western Electric had develop techniques for replacing the electron gun which was the biggest cause of failure and the U.K. tube manufacturers would not supply replacement tubes which had to be obtained from the U.S. The reconditioning was best done close to the customer because transport costs made it uneconomical for the manufacturer and this had led to the rise in small companies like WEC. WEC offered a six month guarantee which drove the U.K. manufacturers to lengthen their guarantee to six months and agree to supply replacement guns. WEC then offered a twelve month guarantee and regularly reconditioned about 75 tubes per week for its coverage area of Cornwall, Devon and parts of Somerset.
The second General Meeting on 25th October was the occasion for the showing of three films; “Deep Level Gold” by courtesy of the Anglo American Corporation of South Africa, “The Basic Idea”, courtesy of Frankispile Ltd. and “The Birth of a Mine”, courtesy of British Iron and Steel Federation.
The third General Meeting on 20th November, was given a talk by Mr. P. G. Mugford on “Critical Path Planning” which was then a new method of work planning. He gave an outline of the methodology and he said that the main tool was the construction of a work flow network and said it could be used for one-off as well as continuous production projects.
After Mr. Mugford completed his paper the President said that the speaker had referred to the use of a computer in the work and asked if everyone would need access to a computer. The speaker said that a good computer could now be bought for only £120,000 but time could be hired on someone else’s machine. There was one in Plymouth with spare time. The discussion continued with several other points being raised.
On 31st January 1964 at the fourth General Meeting Mr. T.R. Harris gave an account of the life of “Arthur Woolf (1766 – 1837), Cornish Engineer and Inventor”. He said his reputation had been overshadowed by that of Trevithick his near contemporary. He spoke on great detail about the whole of Woolf’s life and his inventions which included a compound engine which was unsuccessful because there was not a high pressure boiler available at the time he needed it.
The talk was followed by a short discussion which was reported in the Transactions.
The fifth General Meeting on 25th February heard a talk on “Hemerdon Mine,1953 – 54” by Mr. L.G. Brown. The mine had first been planned during World War 1, during the search for Wolfram. Construction was started in July 1917 and completed in February 1919. The original proposal had been to treat about 100 tons increasing to 400 tons of ore per day and the Ministry of Munitions had undertaken to maintain the price of Wolfram for at least two years after the end of the war. However, only a month after the mine was completed the Ministry said it would not accept any Wolfram after April 1919 when 16,000 tons of ore had gone through the plant but it was closed down and remained closed until 1935.
Plans were then made for re-opening the mine and new plant was erected in 1939 – 41. In 1941 the Ministry undertook a comprehensive review of the programme following which plans were made for a larger plant to be built. Construction started in April 1942 and production started in October 1943 but only lasted until January 1944 when the need for Wolfram decreased and the plant was put on care and maintenance.
In 1952 plans were made to re-open the mine once again with new plant and some of the 1940s plant. The design was poor and complicated and in the meantime the price of Wolfram had halved so it was no longer viable in any case. In 1960, the plant was sold by the Ministry of Supply and the machinery was removed.
There was a short discussion which was reported in the Transactions.
The sixth General Meeting on 20th March heard a very detailed paper on “Crushing Installations – Selection Criteria, Instrumentation and Automatic Control”. This was a complex explanation of what, at first sight, would seem to be a fairly straightforward process. He dealt with three types of crushing plant:- pressure, impact and a combination of the two. He described the method of calculating flow rates and the ways in which output can be measured. He described the methods of trapping “tramp” iron which is capable of causing major damage to crushers. During the discussion which followed, and which was reported in the Transactions, this topic drew a considerable amount of comment.
Annual General Meeting, 17th April 1964
The President asked Mr. F. Hutchin to present the financial report.
Mr. Hutchin said that at the suggestion of the auditors the financial report would be presented in a new format under three headings: The CIE Account, The Union Trustee Savings Bank Account and the William Thomas Memorial Fund.
The CIE Account had a balance on 1st January 1963 of £6/9/4. The income over the year was £210/15/4 which included £94/16/6. £56/2/0 from the sale of 5th Anniversary dinner tickets and £50 transferred from the TSB savings account.
Expenditure was £214/12/0 which included £60 for Secretaries’ salaries, £66/16/8 for publication of Volume XVI of the Transactions and £56/2/0 for guest expenses at the Anniversary Dinner. The balance on 31st December was £2/12/8.
The Trustee Savings bank account had a balance of £475/18/8 on 1st January 1963. Interest received was £18/8/10 and £50 was transferred to the CIE account to leave a balance of £444/7/6.
The William Thomas Memorial had a balance of £93/16/9 on 1st January, interest was £2/16/7 and the balance on 31st December was £96/13/4.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. G.J. Shrimpton presented the Council’s Annual Report. He referred to the successful 50th Anniversary Dinner, which is reported above. He said an additional excursion to the Stithians Dam had been arranged on 17th March with the permission of the Stithians Joint Water Committee and Mr.R.H. Ross, Resident Engineer of Habort Lapworth Partners, London to view the construction of the dam.
Mr. Shrimpton reported that membership was 91 Members, 27 Associates and 3 Contributors. Three Members and two Associates had been elected during the year, He regretted having to report the death of Mr. P. Blight, a long standing member.
There had been no papers submitted for the William Thomas Memorial Prize.
A Summer Meeting would be held on 4th July at a venue to be determined and the Council had decided that a biennial dinner should should be held commencing in the spring of 1965.
Elections Messrs. F. Hutchin and G.J. Shrimpton were re-elected as Joint Secretaries, Mr. J.H. Trounson was re-elected as Treasurer and Messrs. G.E.P. Roberts and B.O. Rees were re-appointed as Auditors.
As this was the close of formal business the President invited Mr. D.Rees to present his paper on “The History, Design and Construction of the National Grid”.
Mr. Rees gave an account of the development of the grid with reference in the West Country from its original inception in the earlier 1930s. The backbone of the grid in Cornwall was a 132KV line running from Plymouth through Fraddon to Hayle. In 1924 there were 368 Alternating Current supply systems mostly operating at 50 cycles per second but there were few using other frequencies as well as 191 Direct Current systems. In 1925 a committee reviewing the national situation considered that a 132 KV could be set up in the period 1926 to 1936. There would be approximately 3000 route miles at 132 KV and 1000 miles at lower voltages. When installed the spare generating capacity fell from 70% to 26% and the cost of generation fell 0.42p to 0.19p per KW hour. After WW 2 it was decided to upgrade to a 275 KV grid and consider a possible future upgrade to 400 KV. The main portion of the 132 KV system was completed in 1960/61 at an estimated cost of £52M. By December 1961 the network comprised 1700 route miles of 275 KV lines, nearly all double circuit, 46 switching and transforming stations with a transforming capacity of 14,000 MVA. Problems were due to the rapid rise in demand of 17% over the years 1957 to 1963.
Construction of the 400 KV system in Cornwall and Devon at just started at the time of the talk. and one of the main factors causing delay was getting planning agreement to pass though National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The cost of putting the system underground would be prohibitive. It was estimated that the 400 KV system would be adequate until the 1970s when an upgrade to a 700 KV system might have to be considered.
At the conclusion of his talk Mr Rees showed a film entitled “Constructing the Supergrid” and this was followed by a discussion which was reported in the Transactions.
A Summer Visit in July could not be arranged and the AGM was therefore the last event in the 1963/64 session.
This session was covered by Volume XX of the Transactions. The arranged programme was for five General Meetings, the Annual General Meeting, a Biennial Dinner and visit to the Stithian Dam.
The first General Meeting held on 9th October,1964 heard a paper on “Hydropneumatic Dredging” by Mr. R.H. Stapleton, Chief Engineer, South Crofty.
He said this technique had been developed in Hungary and made use of a mixture of pressurised water and air for dredging minerals and other applications. The water pressure varies from 58 to 88 psi for non-cemented sand and gravel and from 88 to 140 psi for compacted materials. The air pressure is used to force the washed out material up the length of the output pipe. 100 psi is adequate for depths down to 180 feet.
As well as dredging the technique was used for such things as cleaning of ships’ hulls, submerged engineering structures including pier supports, walls and the sides of wells and for digging trenches. The equipment is easy to move between sites since the largest piece of equipment is the air compressor.
After the talk a film was shown entitled “Hydropneumatic Dredging” produced by the Nikex-Hungarian Trading Co. for Heavy Industries. During the discussion which followed its possible use in the construction of the projected Channel Tunnel raised.
The second General Meeting on 23rd October heard a paper on “The Stithians Impounding Scheme” delivered by Mr. J.H. Greenlees, Assistant Engineer, Stithians Joint Water Committee.
He said that the scheme had been authorised by Kerrier RDC, Truro RDC, Camborne-Redruth UDC through the Kerrier Rural Water Order 1961.
The Stithians reservoir is designed to deliver 3.5 million gallons per day from a catchment area of 2000 acres.The storage at top water level is 1,190 million gallons with a surface area of about 270 acres. During construction 12 farmsteads and 8 cottages were demolished, trees and scrub removed and a 5 ft. galvanised chain link fence erected supported by reinforced concrete posts.
Soil tests had suggested the use of a mass concrete gravity dam with a flat arch centre section would be the most suitable construction. The arch has a span of 160 ft with a radius of 180 ft at the upstream face. The total length of the dam is 792 ft and is approximately 70 ft above the original ground level. Mr. Greenlees described the actual construction methods and gave details of the quantity of materials used.
The Transactions reported a lengthy discussion in which Mr. Greenlees was joined by eight members.
At the third General Meeting on 27th November, Mr. L.G. Brown took the chair in the absence of the President who was indisposed and he introduced Mr. J.E.F. Marshall, a Member and a processing engineer who gave a talk on “Mineral Dressing of Mount Pleasant Ore”. The paper was not printed in the Transactions.
The fourth General Meeting on 29th January 1965, was held jointly with the Cornish Mining Development Association to hear a talk on “Land Use Problems in Mineral Working” by Mr. H. Calder, Assistant County Planning Officer. The talk was not printed in the Transactions.
The fifth General Meeting on 26th February, was devoted to four films: “Analysis by Mass X-Ray Spectroscopy” by courtesy of Associated Electrical industry Ltd., The “West Wits Line” by Consolidated Gold Fields of South Africa Ltd., “Terra Incognito – The Use of the Electron Microscope”, Phillips Electrical Ltd. and “Titanium Oxide by Laporte” from Laporte Titanium Ltd.
Annual General Meeting, 20th April 1965
The President was in the chair and asked Mr. Hitchin to present the Financial statement for 1964.
He reported that the Barclay’s Bank account balance on 1st January 1964 was £2/12/8.
Income amounted to £156/15/6 which included £101/18/6 from Subscriptions, £5/17/- from sale of Transactions, and £50 transferred from the Union Trustee Savings Bank account.
Expenditure was £137/0/5 which included the Secretaries’ salaries of £60. Publication of Volume XVIII of the Transactions cost £37/7/-. The sum of £15/-/11 was paid to Messrs. Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., Accountants to settle a dispute with H.M. Inspector of Taxes regarding investment income. This resulted expenditure exceeding income by £10/0/6 but it was offset by interest of £19/4/5 from the Union Trustee Savings Bank account. The balance on 31st December1964 was £23/7/9.
On 1st January 1964 the union Trustee Savings Bank account held a balance of £444/7/6 and, allowing for £50 transferred to the Barclay’s Bank account and interest income of £19/4/5, the balance on 31st December was £413/11/11.
The William Thomas Memorial Prize fund increased by £2/18/1 to £99/11/8 due to bank interest and the fact the no prize had been had been awarded.
The President then asked Mr. G.J. Shrimpton to present the Council report for the 1964/65 session. The report commented on the meetings held and reported that regrettably it had not been possible to arrange a summer visit but a visit to to the completed Stithians dam had been arranged in lieu. A biennial dinner was to be held on 7th May at the Carbis Bay Hotel.
The membership consisted of 86 Members, 24 Associates and 2 Subscribers. Four Associates were elected to full Membership during the year. The Council also reported with regret the deaths of Messrs. F.G. Sharp and J.J. Timmins.
After due ballot Mr. R.A. Gorges had been elected President for the next two sessions.
Messrs. F. Hutchin and G.J.Shrimpton were re-elected as Joint Secretaries and Mr. J.H. Trounson was once again re-elected as Treasurer while Messrs. G.E.P. Roberts and B.O. Rees were re-appointed as Auditors.
At the conclusion of the formal business the President invited Mr. D Barton to give his talk on “The Redruth and Chasewater Railway, 1824 – 1915”. The talk was not printed in the Transactions.
The President was ill at the time of the Biennial Dinner at the Carbis Bay Hotel on 7th May which was attended 34 members and friends with Mr. G.E.P Roberts in the Chair.
The Stithians Dam was re-visited on 26th May on its completion and Mr. R.M. Ross conducted the 44 members through the tunnel in the dam wall.
The Transactions for this session, Volume XXXI, contained no introductory remarks by the Editor but there was a note to the effect that no papers had been submitted for the William Thomas prize and that there would be six General Meetings plus the AGM and a Field Meeting. It was also noted that there had been no papers submitted for for the William Thomas Memorial Prize.
The first General Meeting on 29th September 1965 was chaired by the outgoing President who asked the members to stand in memory of Mr. N.K. Kitto, a Past President who had recently died.
He then invited the new President, Mr. R A Gorges, to deliver his Presidential Address on “Some Problems that will Face Tomorrows Mining Engineers”. This was a very wide ranging lecture covering, as he said in his introduction:
The general mining environment in the next 25 years which would include a great many older mines as well as some new areas. The mining engineer would inherit many of the problems from work already done and his interests and training would be in the past as well as the future. Changes occur relatively slowly.
There would be a need to control the price of metals and substitution due to research and invention would grow.
The field for mechanisation would continue to expand, partly to balance rising costs and partly to reduce labour. Some mechanisation was usually easier to apply in opencast operations and the number of these and the depth of to which they work would increase.
Automation would become more important and was already making itself known in mineral processing. It was already becoming applied in the actual coal mining of coal and it was only a matter of time before it was applied to metaliferrous mining.
Mines would go deeper and as a result become hotter and more subject to rock pressure. Temperature could be dealt with and rock pressure would probably be the controlling factor. although mines to 14,000 feet below surface would be likely.
Antarctica and other cold inaccessible regions would be opened up and undersea mining would become more promising.
Finally present knowledge is capable of dealing with many of the problems.
The second General Meeting on 30th October, heard a talk by R.H. Stapleton on “Pneumonicosis – an Occupational Hazard”. He said the history of papers on the subject stretches back to one by Agricola, in 1556. An 1871 report on conditions in Cornish Mines compared mortality rates of 5596 in Cornwall with 2655 in Stafford, 1958 in Durham, and 307 in South Wales. He discussed the postmortem techniques for establishing the degree of contamination in miners‘ lungs. He then went on to describe the effect of introducing power drilling and the use of water followed by various scrubbers and and filters.
Following the talk there was a lengthy discussion much of it concerned with the differences in the disease in coal and rock miners. The discussion was fully reported in the Transactions.
The third General Meeting on 24th November was devoted to five films three of which were produced by the National Coal Board – “The Colliery Ventilation Officer”, “Ventilating the Mine” and “Keep Your Diesels Running”. The other two films were: “Precious Metals in Industry” (Engelhard Industries Ltd) and “Pre-stressed Concrete (Concrete Ltd).
The fourth General Meeting on 25th January, 1966 was given a talk on on “Communication by Satellites” by Mr N.White Deputy Controller of Experiments at the P.O. Radio Station, Goonhilly. The talk was not printed in the Transactions.
The fifth General Meeting on 23rd February heard a talk on “Man Under Water” by Mr. F.G. Hole, CSM. He discussed the reasons for wanting to work underwater and reasons that much research and development had resulted from military requirements which led to the development of free diving equipment and the realisation of compression problems and decompression techniques and equipment which had greatly increased the range of leisure, scientific and industrial applications.
The sixth General Meeting on 23rd March was given a talk on “Hydrocyclones – A General Survey” but it was not printed in the Transactions.
Annual General Meeting, 20th April 1966
The President took the chair and invited Mr. F. Hutchin to present the financial statement and balance sheet for 1965. He gave the statement under three headings: The CIE General Fund, the Trustee Savings Bank Account and the William Thomas Memorial Fund.
The balance in the CIE Account on 1st January was £23/7/9.
Income totaling £275/7/9 included £169/2/6 from Subscriptions, £26/10/3 from sale of Transactions, £29/15/- from sale of dinner tickets and £50 from the Trustee Savings Bank account.
Expenditure of £282/13/1 included the Secretaries’ Salaries of £60, £72/0/7 for printing Volume XVI of the Transactions £8313/3, for printing of Volume XVII of the Transactions, £29/11/6 for the Bi-annual Dinner and a £1 donation to the Cornish Mining Development Association.
The bank balance on 31st December was £16/2/5.
The Union Trustee Savings Bank held a balance of £413/4/11 on 1st January Interest earned was £18/14/8 and £50 was transferred to the General Account at Barclays Bank leaving a balance of £382/6/7 on 31st December.
The William Thomas Memorial Fund showed an increase of £2/19/7 and because no prize was awarded the balance on 31st December was £102/11/-.
It was noted that the gradual depletion of reserves had been brought about by increasing costs and could only be countered by increasing the membership or increasing subscriptions.
The President then invited Mr. G.J Shrimpton to present the Council’s Report.
The Report said that the first Bi-annual Dinner which had been held at the Carbis Bay Hotel on 7th May and had been attended by 35 members and friends.
Nine new Members had been elected during, three members had resigned while two had died; Mr. N.K. Kitto, a Past President and Mr. J.J. Tregonning, an Associate.
During the Session the Council had sent a memorandum to the Minister of State for education and Science in support of the retention of the CSM in Camborne.
Messrs. F. Hutchin and G.J. Shrimpton were reappointed to be Joint Secretaries and Messrs. B.O. Rees and G.E. P. Roberts were reappointed to be Honorary auditors. Mr. J. H. Trounson was once again re-elected Honorary Treasurer.
Following the formal business the President invited Commander J. Wardle, Head of Diving & Marine Services Division of Messrs. Reed & Mallick Ltd., to read a paper on “ Diving Operations at the Levant Mine.” Neither the paper nor the lengthy discussion were printed in the Transactions.
The Summer Meeting was an evening visit to the St. Just area and it was attended by about 60 members and friends. The first place visited was Cape Cornwall to see the diamond drilling operation which was explained by Mr. B. Walsham of St. Just Mining Services. This was followed by a visit to Levant Cliffs to see the land base for the underwater plugging operation at the old Levant Mine where Mr. D.H. Batchelor of Messrs. Reed and Mallick Ltd. explained the operation.
The party then went to see the preserved beam whim at Boscaswell Down Mine after which Mr. D.H. Batchelor of the Geevor Tin Mines Ltd. showed them the newly erected head gear and winding plant at Treweek’s Shaft.
Volume XXII of the Transactions which covered this Session contained no introduction except for reporting that there had been two entries for the William Thomas Memorial Fund Prize: “Treatment of Gold Ore at the Homestake Gold Mine, Lead, S. Dakota USA” by Mr. G.F. Jenkins and “Staged Mechanisation Planning for Vyasakere Iron Ore Mine, India”, by Mr. S.G. Sahasrubhe to whom the prize was awarded.
The first General Meeting on 21st September1966, was chaired by the President, Mr. R.A. Gorges who asked the members to stand in memory of Mr. P.S. Spargo, President in 1961/62 who had recently died. He then invited Mr. T.J. Skelton, Works Director, of English Clays, Lovering. Poching & Co. Ltd. to present his paper on “Modern Clay Mining Techniques”.
Mr. Skelton started by listing the eight principle companies followed by details of production and exports during the period 1900 to 1962. During that time production had increased from 552,348 tons to 1,605,519 tons and in the period 1910 to 1962 exports had risen from 584,153 tons to 1,134,035 tons. The main user of china clay was then the paper industry and only 25% was used for pottery. He then described the modern mining techniques and the equipment used.
A very lively question and discussion period followed in which eleven members in addition to the speaker took part. Both the paper and the discussion were fully covered in the Transactions.
The second General Meeting on 4th October had a talk on “The PIF Analyser in Industry” delivered by Mr. P.G. Crawley, Technical Sales Engineer, Hilger and Watts Ltd. The paper was not printed in the Transactions.
The third General Meeting on 30th November heard a paper by Mr. J. Symons on “A Low Cost Mining Method for Narrow Lodes”.
The speaker said that reason for the talk was his belief that if mining in Cornwall was to prosper it had to stand on its own feet without Government aid or interference. For many years little thought seems to have been given to mining the type of deposit normally found in Cornwall. He then presented a method of extraction making use of concrete arching to support workings in narrow loads. There was a lengthy discussion with many of the contributors congratulating Mr. Symons on his proposals. Both the paper and the discussion were printed in the Transactions.
The 4th General Meeting on 25th January 1967, heard a talk on “The Mineralogical and Geological Aspects of Cornish Tin Ores of particular Interest to the Mineral Dresser”. The paper was not printed in the Transactions.
The 5th General Meeting on 27th February was chaired by Mr. J. G. Nicholson in the absence of the President. The meeting heard a presentation by Mr. S.J. Both on “Water and Water Supplies” The talk first discussed the sources of water supplies starting with lakes, percolated run off, springs, wells, rivers and bore holes. In the absence of large natural lakes in Cornwall there has to be a dependence on dams of which several had been constructed in recent years. Abstraction from rivers is unfortunately not entirely reliable in periods of low rainfall. The speaker then covered the distribution systems used and the sources of future supplies including distillation and reverse osmosis desalination of sea water particularly in areas where power from sunlight could be used.
Thee was a short discussion which was printed with the paper in the Transactions.
The sixth General meeting on 15th March had talk on “PVC Pipes”, given by Messrs.. J.D.Thomson and J. Rees, respectively Technical Manager and Area Manager of Stuart and Lloyds Plastics Ltd. The talk was not printed in the Transactions.
Annual General Meeting, 19th April 1967
The President invited Mr. F. Hutchin to present the Financial Statement and Accounts for 1966.
Mr. Hutchin said he would make the statement under the usual three headings: The CIE general account with Barclays Bank, the Union Trustee Savings Bank Account and the William Thomas Memorial Fund.
The Barclays Bank balance on 1st January was £16/2/5. Income of £110/2/5 came from subscriptions (£95/9/6) and the sale of Transactions (£14/12/11).
Expenditure of £120/8/6 included the Secretaries’ salaries of £60 and the and £28/77/3 for publication of Volume XX of the Transactions. The balance on 31st December was £5/16/4.
The Union Trust Savings Bank Account held £382/6/7 on 1st January and this, with interest of £3/1/1, resulted in a balance of £399/11/5.
The William Thomas Memorial Fund increased from £102/11/- on 1st January to £105/12/1 as a result of receiving interest of £ 3/1/1. No prize was awarded.
Mr. G.J. Shrimpton was asked to present the Council’s report for the 1966/67 session. He said that there had been six General Meetings and there would be two lectures following the AGM.
There had been a notable increase in Membership. There were 21 new Members making a total of 108 and 24 new Associates to bring their numbers to 27. There were still two subscribing Companies.
The deaths of two Past Presidents, Mr. L.G.Brown and Mr. P.S. Spargo who had been President in the 50th Anniversary Year. There had also been one un-named resignation.
The second Bi-annual dinner would be held on the Carbis Bay Hotel on Friday 5th May at 7.30 p.m. and it was hoped that a Summer Meeting could be arranged on a Saturday towards the end of September
At the Council General Meeting it was announced that Mr. J. Symons had been elected President for the sessions 1967/68/69. Messrs. F. Hutchin and G.J.Shrimpton were re-elected to be joint Secretaries, Mr. J.H. Trounson was re-elected Treasurer and Messrs. B.O. Rees and G.E.P. Roberts were reappointed as Auditors.
At the close of formal business the President invited Mr. C.F. Jenkins, the first of two speakers, to read his paper on “The Treatment of Gold Ores at the Homestake Gold Mine, Lead, S.Dakota, U.S.A.” Neither the paper nor the ensuing discussion were reported in the Transactions.
The President then asked the second speaker, Mr. S.G. Sahasrabudhe to deliver his paper on “Staged Mechanisation – Planning for Vyasankere Iron Mine, India.” This was the paper which earned him the William Thomas Memorial Prize.
The paper dealt with the problems faced in a a new mining venture near near Hospet in the Province of Mysore and specifically with planning mechanisation intended to raise production from 150,000 tons per annum of float ore to 500,000 tons of of float and reef ore. The ore body formed the ridge of a mountain range along the whole of the 5000ft property. Disintegrated ore had rolled down the slopes and it is this, about 5 to 10 feet thick, and referred to as “float ore” that is currently being mined. Once this is removed the ore body underneath called the “reef ore” can be mined. It is approximately 5000 feet long, 50 feet wide and 500 feet deep. The mechanisation plan was to deal with both these ore bodies.
The paper and the following discussion were both reported in the Transactions.
At the bi-annual dinner held at the Carbis Bay Hotel on Friday 8th May 1967. The retiring President, Mr. Gorges presented the William Thomas Memorial Prize to Mr. S.G. Sahasrabudhe for his paper on the mechanisation of an iron ore mine in India.
At the conclusion of the meeting Mr. Gorges introduced Mr. M.J. Symons, the President-elect for the 1967/68/68 sessions.
The 1967/68 session is covered in Volume XXIII of the Transactions. It included a short introduction which said two papers had been submitted for the William Thomas Memorial Prize and since they were considered of equal merit they were both awarded a prize.
The first General Meeting on 23rd September 1967 took the form of a Field Trip which was attended by 93 members and their friends and members of the Cornish Mining Development Association.
During a busy day visits were made to the Cornish Tin Smelting Co. Ltd., Roscroggan; The Barcas Tin Mining Co.Ltd., de-watering operations at Radnor; the shaft sinking operations at Pendarves, Camborne; A diamond drilling operation near Leedstown and the recovery plant of Coastal Prospecting Ltd. at Lelant Quay. During the day lunch was taken at the Red Lion Hotel, Blackwater and tea was taken at the Bluff Hotel, Hayle.
At tea the President, Mr. Symons paid tribute to three members who had died recently: Mr. C.W.Walker, President in 1960/61, Mr. C.H.Tippett and W. Brown. He thanked those who had acted as guides on the visits and Mr. J.H. Trounson expressed the thanks of the Cornish Mining Development Association for the days’s excursion.
At the second general Meeting on 1st November, Mr. R.A. Gorges the retiring President took the chair and invited his successor, Mr. J. Symons to deliver his Presidential address on “The Investigation of Old Workings by the use of Adits”. In his talk he discussed the investigation of the area around Nangiles. The investigation dealt with the Janes Adit, the Nangiles Adit, the Beeches Shaft reconditioning and the Nangiles Shaft reconditioning and its subsequent development. The entry of some of the adits had first to be traced, since some of them had been covered over. In one case the tunnel had been filled with hard ochre to within nine inches of the roof. A new settlement pond had to be made before clearing the ochre to avoid any pollution of the new work at the Falmouth Harbour. He spoke in detail of the work carried out and particularly the difficulties which had to be overcome.
The third General Meeting on 29th November, heard a lecture by Mr. B.H. Ryder on “The history of the Kenya and Uganda Railway”. This talk was not printed in the Transactions.
The fourth General Meeting on 31st January 1968 was given a talk on “Recent Developments at the Geevor Mines Treatment Plant” by Mr. H. Hocking, Mill Superintendent, Geevor Tin Mines Ltd. He said that the last paper delivered to the Association on the subject of Geevor had been over 20 years before in 1945 and reported in the first volume of the new series of Transactions. He said he did not propose to describe all the changes that had taken place since then but wanted to concentrate on the technique of dense medium separation which is currently in use at Geevor. He described the plant in some detail with a flow diagram to illustrate the the passage of ore through the system. He also described the recovery of slime cassiterite and the dressing of ore for the market by the use of high intensity magnetic separation.
The talk was followed by a discussion in which penetrating questions were asked and both the lecture and the discussion were printed in the Transactions.
The fifth General Meeting on 8th March heard a talk by Mr. W.H. Nichills on “The History of St. John D’ll Rey Mining Company Co.” There is no mention of any discussion and neither the paper nor discussion was printed in the Transactions.
The sixth General Meeting on 27th March heard two lectures. The first which the President said had been entered for the William Thomas Memorial Prize was given by Mr. J.W.B. Acland on “Electro Magnetic Rope Testing”. He said the main causes of rope breakage and other troubles in wire ropes were wear, corrosion and fatigue or most commonly, a combination of the last two. Surface embrittlement is caused by ropes rubbing on some hard surface and suddenly becoming cooled so forming a skin of hard steel which develops fine cracks allowing moisture to enter and cause so called “chain pitting”, this is most common on rope haulages. He spoke about the need for a daily visual examination with a more detailed examination every thirty days of the particularly vulnerable areas such as the capel end and the portion of the rope over the head sheave when the cage is at the top or bottom of the shaft. Special examinations every six months when a six foot length is cut off the capel end were required
He then described the use of electro magnetic testing which was non-destructive. The equipment could be set up in the back of a station wagon and the magnetic coils are set up round the winding rope at the shaft collar. The rope could be run through at 200 ft/minute. For a 5,000 ft shaft the whole operation could be done in about half an hour.
As an example he said that a mine in South Africa which had a rope which had been in use for 57 months and the normal visual examination showed no problems but the E M Tests showed internal corrosion at 3,700 feet. After being changed a destructive test on it showed a loss in strength of up to 30%. The talk was followed by a short discussion.
The second paper by Mr. G. Blackwell was entitled “The Long Hole Drilling Technique Applied to Shaft Deepening at Dannemora Mine, Sweden.” He described this technique as applied to the the extension of the main shaft of this iron mine, from 1460 feet to 2500 feet without disrupting normal operation. A pilot shaft was sunk and an existing Simba 5 drilling rig was used. The work was still ongoing when the paper was written and there was a lengthy discussion following which was fully reported along with the paper in the Transactions.
Annual General Meeting, 26th April 1968
The President, Mr. J. Symons was in the chair and invited Mr. F. Hutchin to present the Financial Statement and Accounts for 1967. The presentation covered the usual three accounts; The CIE general account with Barclays Bank, The Union Savings Bank account and the William Thomas Memorial Fund.
On 1st January1967 the balance in Barclays Bank account was £5/16/4.
Income amounted to £273/12/2 which included £105/10/6 from subscriptions, £50/1/10 from the bi-annual dinner, £63/-/- from the Summer visit, £5/0/8 from the sale of Transactions and £50 transferred from the Union Savings Bank account. The balance on 31st December was £20/9/7.
He noted that the loss of £35/6/9 in the current account required the transfer of £50 from the Union Trustee Savings Bank account.
That account had a balance of of £399/11/5 on 1st January and with interest of £19/5/6 and transfer of £50 to the current account the balance on 31st December was £368/16/11.
The William Thomas Memorial Fund paid a prize of £5/5/- to Mr. Saharasrabudhe and allowing for interest received there was a decrease of £23/10 to £103/8/3.
Mr. G.J. Shrimpton was then invited to present the Council Report. The Council said that the six General Meetings included the very successful all day field trip on 23rd September. On 27th February 1968, members of the Institute were invited by the President and Institution of Mining & Metallurgy to attend the first meeting it have ever held outside London when three papers which were of current interest to mining in Cornwall were presented.
The current membership stood at 116 Members, 26 Associates and 2 Subscribers.16 Members and 1 Associate had been elected during the year. The Council recorded with regret the deaths of four members including Mr. C.W. Walker who had been President in 1960/61.The Council also accepted with regret the resignation of one member. The Council had decided that Dr. K.F.G. Hosking who had recently left to take up an appointment in Malaya should be made an Honorary Member. The Council hoped to arrange a summer excursion on 21st September.
The meeting then re-appointed Messrs. F. Hutchin and G.J. Shrimpton as joint Secretaries.
Mr. J.H. Trounson was re-elected as Honorary Treasurer and Messrs. B.O. Rees and G.E.P. Roberts were reappointed as Auditors.
The President then awarded the William Thomas Memorial Prize certificate and £5/5/- to Mr. G. Blackwell. The joint winner Mr. J.W.B. Acland, was unable to attend and his prize would be sent to him.
The President then closed the formal meeting and invited Dr. T. K. Elliott, who had previously presented papers to the Institute to deliver his lecture on “The Role of the Doctor in the Mining Industry”. His talk covered the historical aspects of the need for doctors following the passing of the first Coal Mines Act in 1850. He said the first attempt at providing an advisory health service for mines was made by the Ministry of Fuel and Power during WW 2 when they appointed nine medical officers. The nationalisation of coal mines in 1947 led to the appointment of Medical Officers in most regions and since the introduction of the NHS there had been a rise in the importance of medical services. He then described the duties of mine medical officers, the place of first aid workers, mine surgeries and mine rescue services.
His wide ranging lecture led to an equally wide ranging discussion in which a number of members took part. Both the lecture and the discussion were fully reported in the Transactions.
Volume XXIV of the Transactions which covers this session does not contain an editorial introduction. Mr. J. Symons was President for the second year of his two year term. The programme for the year included six General Meetings plus the Annual General Meeting and the Bi-annual dinner.
As advised at the AGM, the first General Meeting on 21st September 1968 was a Field Meeting which was attended by 83 members and friends and three sites were visited. The first was the drilling site of International Mine Services Ltd., United Downs, St. Day where the operation was described by Mr. B. W. Hester. The second visit was to Hydraulic Tin Ltd., Bissoe, conducted by Mr. C.O. Chopin. Lunch was then taken at the Norway Inn followed by a visit to the Janes Mine by permission of Consolidated Gold Fields Ltd., and it was conducted by the Institute President. The day concluded with tea being taken at the Droskyn Hotel, Perranporth.
The second General Meeting on 30th October saw four films: “The World of Clay” was shown by courtesy of English Clays, Lavery & Pochin Ltd., “Tin Mining in Bolivia” and “ Tin Nickel Plating were both shown by courtesy of the Tin Research Institute and “The Mole” was by courtesy of the BBC.
At the start of the third General Meeting on 20th November the President asked the audience to stand in memory of Mr. E. Richards who had recently died after being a member for many years.
Mr. B.W. Hester then delivered a talk on “Silver Mining at Cobalt and Timmins, Ontario, Canada”. There was no mention of a discussion and the paper was not published in the Transactions.
The fourth General Meeting on 19th January 1969, was given a talk on “Shaft Sinking at Little Pendarves” by Mr. J.R. Brett, Mine Manager, Camborne Mines Ltd. He said shaft sinking at Little Pendarves had started in April 1967. Surface construction and initial sinking to about 120 feet was completed in about 4 months and sinking proper begun in September 1967.
He described the geology of the area and the lode structure which it was hoped to intersect. The shaft is rectangular measuring 16ft 4in by 8ft and divided into three for the cage and skip winding and pipework/ladder respectively.
The winder, purchased from the NCB was driven by a 3.3 KV, slip ring induction motor. The drum was 10ft in diameter and the maximum rope speed 720 ft/min. Some minor problems with the winder were described. The main pumping station was to be 17ft below the No5 level, 773 ft below the shaft collar and a small settling pond and a clear water dam were to be provided. The drilling and blasting techniques used in sinking the shaft were described as was the method of disposing of some 600 gallons of water which was leaking into the shaft in the early stages of the sinking.
The plans for future development were discussed and both the paper and the subsequent discussion were printed in the transactions.
The fifth General Meeting on 15th February heard a talk on “Long Line Maintenance and its Development”, by Mr. J.E.B. Cree, who then showed a film entitled “Without Interruption”. The lecture was not printed in the Transactions.
The sixth General Meeting on 26th March had a talk on “A Gravity Concentrator for Fine Minerals” by Mr. R. Mozley. The author said his intention had been to invent a machine that would solve the problem of the loss of fine minerals which occurred in most gravity concentration plants. Geevor Tin Mines Ltd., suffered from loss of fine material and had offered him the opportunity to trial such a machine. After analysing the reasons for this loss he had built a machine with a smaller slope and a sideways shake. A successful prototype was built and trialled at Geevor followed by a 400 sq. ft. machine which occupied a space measuring only 12ft by 9ft. Further 400 sq. ft. machines were built at Roscroggan Mill, South Crofty and at E.C.L.P. All these machines had been built by the author or Geevor. The original plans had been handed over to the National Research and Development Corporation who had arranged for patent protection and Battles (Carn Brae) Ltd had started to produce an 800 sq. ft.machine. He acknowledged the work that had been done by the various companies and individuals who had been involved.
A discussion followed in which a number of members and visitors took part. The talk and the discussion were both printed in the Transactions.
Annual General Meeting, 23rd April 1969
The president invited Mr. F. Hutchin to present the Financial Statement and Accounts for 1968.
The statements were made on the usual three accounts.
The CIE General Account with Barclays bank had a balance of £20/9/7 on 1st January. Income was £228/ including £193/10/- from subscriptions, £50 from the Summer Meeting, £14/16/4 from the sale of Transactions as well as a small refund of £5/2/7 from petty cash. The balance in the account on 31st December was £146/10/6.
The Union Trustee Savings Bank account had increased from £368/16/11 on 1st January to £387/9/- on 31st December. The William Thomas Memorial Fund had decreased by £7/8/5 to £95/19/10 as a result of awarding two prizes and a small amount of interest.
The financial position was pronounced to be satisfactory.
The President then asked Mr. G.J. Shrimpton to present the Council Report. Mr. Shrimpton said that including the lecture to be given after the AGM there would have been five papers delivered at seven General Meetings. The first meeting had been the Summer Visit and the second was a film evening.
No papers had been put forward for the William Thomas Memorial Prize.
Membership stood at 116 Members, 26 Associates and 4 Subscribers. Ten Members, one Associate and two subscribers had been elected during the year and the Council had noted with regret the deaths of three Members of long standing. There had also been one resignation.
The Council had announced that the third Bi-annual Dinner would be held at the Basset Count House, Carnkie, Redruth on 30th May 1969.
Messrs. Hutchin and Shrimpton were re-appointed as Joint Secretaries, Mr. J.H. Trounson was re-elected as Honorary Treasurer and Messrs. G.E.I. Roberts and B.O. Rees were re-elected as Auditors.
The President closed formal meeting and invited Mr. D.G. Broughton to present his paper on “The Birch Tor and Vitifer Mining Complex in Devon”. This very detailed paper covered the geography of the area, situated in the north-eastern corner of Dartmoor, and the petrography of the granite and the lodes which were of interest. The author then recounted the history of mining in the area including six mines of which Birch Tor and Vitifer was one. He described in considerable detail the successes and failures of the mines which were beset by financial and labour problems for most of their existence. The last year of mining was 1938, when the mine at Birch Tor finally closed.
There was a lengthy discussion during which the author answered many questions and he was congratulated on the depth and detail of his research. The paper and the report of the discussion occupied 25 of the 53 pages in this volume of the Transactions.
The third Bi-annual Dinner, held at the Basset Count House, Carnkie on 30th May was attended by 89 members and friends. At the dinner the retiring President, Mr. J. Symons introduced his successor Mr. J.P.R. Polkinghorne. It is interesting that there was no mention of the new President in the report of the AGM earlier in the month.
The Transactions, Volume XXV, for this session have no editorial introduction but start with a report on the first General Meeting on 8th October 1969, chaired by the retiring President, Mr. J. Symons who invited the new President Mr. J.P.R. Polkinghorne to deliver his Address on the subject of “Recovery of Offshore Minerals.” Mr. Polkinghorne said that there was a worldwide interest in the recovery of minerals from the ocean floor. Metal mining areas of the world include several in the Far East and the Pacific Ocean floor. He mentioned the long history of recovery of beach deposits in Cornwall and that a South African company had recently been prospecting in the St. Ives area.
He spoke about the laws for offshore prospecting and specifically the complexity of international regarding national offshore limits.
Finally he described the prospecting methods for beach and offshore deposits and the investigations carried out round the West Cornwall coast from Lands End to Perranporth on the North coast and between Mounts Bay and Par Beach in the South Coast.
The second General Meeting on 29th October heard a talk on “The Uses of China Clay” by Mr. A.R. Trewarthen, Chief Chemist, New Consolidated Mine of Cornwall Ltd. He said that 53% of clay is used in paper filling and another 25% in paper coating. Only 14% is now used for ceramics and the small remainder in a number of ways. He illustrated the process for paper filling and coating by describing the use in wallpaper. After a brief description of its current use in ceramics he gave a list of other minor uses including glass fibre, medicines, rubber, plastics, paints, adhesives, white cement, carbon paper, fertiliser coatings and insecticide carriers.
There was a discussion in which a number of members took part and both the lecture and the discussion were printed in the Transactions.
The third General Meeting on 26th November, the last in 1969, heard a lecture by two speakers, Messrs. D.M.Sharp and S.M. Macaster on “Wire Ropes for Bucket Dredges”. The talk was not printed in the Transactions.
The fourth General Meeting was a film evening held on 28th January 1970. Before the films were shown the President asked the audience to stand for a short time in memory of Messrs. W.E. Tippet and S. Mounce who had died recently.
The first film was “Mine Shaft Sinking” courtesy of Messrs. Thyssen (GB) Ltd. The next two, courtesy of the NCB, were “Killingly Shaft Sinking” and “Tunnel Making”. The final film was on “Eimco Equipment” produced by Eimco Co. Ltd.
At the fifth General Meeting on 27th February the President invited Mr. H.A. Simonsen, Lecturer in Mine Mine Dressing at CSM to give his talk on “Cassiterite Flotation”.
Mr Simonsen provided a very useful synopsis of his talk which is worth repeating here.
“The flotation of Cassiterite is complicated by the similarity of its response to that of major gangue minerals in the presence of commonly used collectors such as oelic acid and the amines. Methods of altering the surfaces of cassiterite particles were investigated and included electrolytic reduction, sulphitication and electrodeposition of metallic surfaces. Bubble contact tests indicated that surface alteration by reduction to the SnO state rendered the cassiterite amenable to flotation by xanthate collectors. Furthermore the deposit of Fe on the surface of cassiterite particles rendered such particles amenable to separation in a magnetic field.
A considerable amount of research has been undertaken to find a selective reagent for the flotation of cassiterite from its ores. Somewhat less attention has been paid to the possibility of altering the surface of the cassiterite by chemical or electrochemical means to enhance the selectivity of the collector re-agent used.
The paper describes some work on the electro reduction and electro deposition of metal elements on the surface of of cassiterite and the response of such surfaces to benefication as indicated by bubble contrast and magnetic separation techniques.
The sixth General Meeting on 20th March heard a talk by Mr. R.O. Bunt on “Mineral Recovery from the Red River Valley”.
The speaker said the majority of the paper would be a discussion of the operations and effects of the Cornish Tin Smelting Company which recovers cassiterite from the Red River valley but tin streaming there could be traced back to the 15th century. The 19th century saw the greatest activity along the valley with Dolcoath, Cooks Kitchen, Tin Croft, Crofty, Frances, Grenville among those operating. The tailings discharged from the mines into the river provided the input for the tin streaming works and in 1884 alone they amounted to some 284000 tons. In its heyday there were 41 stream workings along the Red River mostly small family concerns but others were fairly large. The streaming operation at Reskadinnick employed 120 workers, mainly children and covered 3/4 acres. This enterprise continued working until well into the 20th century.
There was a revival of interest in the 1960s because the of the rising price of tin and the Consolidated Tin Smelting Co. Ltd. was the most important and long lasting covering the setts at Roscroggan and Kieve Mill. The author then described the method of screening and testing to extract the cassiterite and he then touched on the prospects for the future of the industry.
The paper was printed in the Transactions along with discussion which followed.
Annual General Meeting, 22nd April 1970
The President being indisposed, the chair was taken by the Vice President, Mr. R.H. Stapleton who invited Mr. F. Hutchin to present the the Financial Statement and Balance Sheet for 1969.
The accounts were presented under the customary three headings: The CIE General at Barclays Bank, the Union Trustee Savings Bank account and the William Thomas Memorial Fund.
The General account had a balance of £146/10/6. Total income amounted to £218/19/6 which included £105/7/6 from subscriptions, £2/7/- from the sale of Transactions and £111/5/- came from payments for the Bi-Annual Dinner. Expenditure amounted to £203/15/2 which included the Secretaries’ salaries of £60, postage and sundry expenses came to £22/9/10 and the Dinner cost £06/11/2.
This left a balance of £161/14/10 on the 31st December. It was noted that no Transactions had been published during the year.
The Trustee Savings Bank account had a balance of £387/9/- on 1st January and with interest of £21/3/- the balance on 31st December was £408/12/-.
Since there had been no prizes awarded from the William Thomas Memorial it showed an increase of £2/18/1and closed with a balance of £92/17/11.
Mr. Stapleton then asked Mr. Shrimpton to present the Council report for the session. It said that including the AGM there had been seven meetings at which six lectures had been given the other meeting having been a film evening when four films were shown.
Attendance had varied between 25 and 50, except one which was attended by 115. The Bi-annual Dinner attracted 89 members and friends.
Membership then stood at 121 Members, 25 Associates and 3 Subscribers. Nine Members and 2 Associates had been elected during the session.
The Council reported with regrets the death of Mr. T Berryman, a founder member, Past President and Honorary Life Member. Also the death of Mr. R.A. Gorges also a Past President a and Messrs. W.F. Tippet, Member and S. Mounce, Associates. There had also been two resignations.
Messrs. Hutchin and Shrimpton were re-appointed as Joint Secretaries, Mr. J.H. Trounson was re-elected as Honorary Treasurer and Messrs. G.E.I. Roberts and B.O. Rees were re-elected as Auditors.
With the completion of formal business Mr. Stapleton invited Mr. J.H. Longstaff, Principal Inspector of Mechanical Engineering, H.M. Mines and Quarries Inspectorate to give a talk on “Some Modern Developments and Their Effects on Safety in Mines.” Mr. Longstaff said his paper would draw attention to the hazards associated with the use of mining apparatus, underground haulage systems and compressed air in mines and of crane, trackless vehicles and other apparatus in quarries. The cause of some accidents arising from the failure of equipment would be described and the adoption of approved design features and more suitable material of construction, more modern and effective inspection techniques and testing procedures as well as planned maintenance schedules were urged in the higher interest of safety. He described several accidents in each of the categories outlined inis introductory synopsis and the part that design defects and poor maintenance had played in them.
Thee was a wide ranging discussion after his presentation and it was reported in the Transactions along with the talk.
This volume of the Transactions closed with a tribute to Mr.T. Berryman who had been the oldest living Member. He was a founding Member, President in 1930/31, and an Honorary Member. He had along association with CSM dating back to 1895 and had been Head of Engineering Department for over 25 years before his retirement in 1950.