REMIX project

The REMIX project encourages resource efficient and environmentally and socially acceptable production of raw materials.

It brings together partners and stakeholders across 9 regions of Europe, at different stages of the mining cycle, to share knowledge and develop best practice guidelines.

In Cornwall we are bringing together stakeholders to help create a ‘Georesources Cornwall’ document for Cornwall Council, advising on what mining related opportunities Cornwall has and how best to encourage them.

Summaries of past meetings:

Upcoming events

Stakeholder meetings:

Good practice examples

The Cornwall Mining Alliance (CMA)

The CMA clusters 90 mining-related businesses/organisations in Cornwall and facilitates contact for export, innovation, business expansion and networking.

There was no obvious point of contact or hub for the many small businesses related to mining in Cornwall so it was difficult to reach the businesses with information on for example, innovation or export opportunities, and time consuming to facilitate networking opportunities. Cornwall is famous as a UNESCO World Heritage mining site but the contemporary mining sector was not as well recognised.

The Cornwall Mining Alliance provides a single contact for information that can be distributed to all members quickly and effectively, and a single ‘shop window’ for anyone worldwide to see businesses and sectors in Cornwall.

The networking activities encourage mining alliance members to work together, including making consortia to be able to tackle larger contracts.

The Alliance also enables the execution of projects such as Interreg Europe’s REMIX and H2020 MIREU by facilitating easy communication with the project stakeholders.

The main stakeholders and beneficiaries are all the mining-related businesses and organisations, including the University partners in the region, plus the UK Government Department for International Trade, local government (e.g. Cornwall Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership), other businesses and countries who wish to reach the mining, mining consultancy and mining equipment sectors in Cornwall.

Resources needed

  • £4000 from Cornish Chamber of Mines and Minerals and University of Exeter to set up website.
  • Substantial in-kind contribution of time from steering group members, small amount administrative time from Wheal Jane Group and research support manager time from University of Exeter.

Evidence of success

  • Mining is now (January 2018) recognised by the Local Enterprise Partnership as one of the ten important areas for future business development in Cornwall.
  • The Alliance launched in October 2016 with about 70 members and this has grown to 90 in February 2018.
  • Some of the smaller consultancies have won a collaborative contract as a result of the Alliance.
  • There has been more interaction between the local university and the business sector – e.g. attending research seminars.

Difficulties encountered

The main challenge, that is not yet solved, is how to find money to pay staff to take the Alliance to the next level from networking to actively promoting and seeking business opportunities for Alliance members.

Potential for learning or transfer

The practice should be easy to transfer to other regions. It requires that some structure exists such as a chamber of mines or business and a university but then with in-kind staff time, the amount of money to set up the website and communications and thus the group is small, of the order of 5000 Euros.

The Man Engine

The Man Engine is the UK’s largest mechanical puppet, designed to raise public awareness and engagement with Cornwall’s mining history.

Problem addressed

A flagship project was needed to celebrate tenth anniversary of the Cornwall and West Devon UNESCO Mining World Heritage site.

Aims

  • increase awareness, appreciation and understanding of Cornish mining culture and history,
  • facilitate public engagement, providing an interpretative legacy for the future,
  • show a new generation that Cornwall can be a world class driver for technical innovation.

Objectives and implementation

  • The UK's largest ever mechanical puppet, 11m tall, was built by Golden Tree Productions and was the centre of a show for open spaces (e.g. town centres, Geevor Mine Museum) throughout the Cornish mining district. The Man Engine made a 21-date pilgrimage, with a 50 minute ceremony based around storytelling, theatre and song.
  • In addition there were associated education activities in which Golden Tree Productions worked with Camborne School of Mines (University of Exeter), Geevor Tin Mine and others to hold workshops for school children that used song, Cornish language, art and practical STEM activities to teach about Cornwall’s mining history, showing that Cornwall can be a world class driver of tech innovation, and mentioning the importance of contemporary mining.
  • Golden Tree also worked with local choirs and community groups teaching traditional songs and mining history.

Main beneficiaries

General public and tourists in Cornwall, Regional authorities, World Heritage site, all the mining-related organisations

Resources needed

  • The project secured funding of £474,000 and received in-kind support of £416,650.
  • 41 artists were engaged, 50 volunteer ambassadors, 390 volunteer stewards.

Evidence of success

The project reached a direct audience of 149,400 in the region, 112 million by print and broadcast media, and 24.85 million by social media. The education programme reached 1421 pupils and 80 teachers. It is estimated that the project had an economic impact of £2,973,060. The project won the UK National Heritage Lottery award for the best arts project in 2016.

The Man Engine’s success prompted a ’Resurrection tour’ in 2018, travelling to current and historical mining communities across the UK.

Potential for learning or transfer

  • Areas which have a proud mining heritage are likely to welcome re-starting of mining activities and funding for mining–related business development. Creating an environment in which Europe can produce more of its own raw materials, especially for high technology applications (including critical raw materials) is a high priority in Europe.
  • This a great example of celebrating and educating people about their local mining heritage from which ideas can be used in other regions.
  • An important learning point is that concentrating time and resources into one large project, rather than many small projects, can result in a larger impact.
  • The Man Engine toured the UK in 2018. The feasibility of a European Man Engine tour in 2020 is being examined. Regions may be able to take direct advantage of the Man Engine by inviting it to their region.

 

Wheal Jane Earth Science Park: post-mining business regeneration

An Earth Science Park has been developed at Wheal Jane Mine, creating new mining and renewable energy-related businesses, with 150 jobs whilst remediating the site.

The Wheal Jane mine was completely closed by 1998. The site plan involves transforming the disused mine site into an environmentally pioneering earth science cluster, attracting international mining and minerals businesses. With existing renewable energy resources, it creates a blueprint for a more sustainable Cornwall, boost the local economy, create local jobs, and remediate the post mining environment.

The owners, Wheal Jane Group, consist of five related businesses; Wheal Jane Ltd, Carnon Contracting, Wheal Jane Laboratory, Wheal Jane Consultancy and the South Crofty Collection. Businesses work independently or in combination to provide a one-stop-shop consultancy and contracting service covering land, property, construction and all post mining legacy issues. The South Crofty Collection is a unique craft business producing jewellery and gifts made from Cornish tin.

Also on site:

  • Wardell Armstrong International,
  • Solar energy park
  • Active post mining, water treatment plant remediates water released from the mine.
  • The tailings depository, now a registered landfill site permitted to receive material from local development projects and remediation schemes.

The businesses have operated for 20 years with UK and global clients.

The experience, expertise and knowledge of the companies on site covers a wide range of civil engineering, environmental and mining related disciplines.

Resources needed

  • Circa £3m of EU convergence funding on two construction projects providing office, workshop and laboratory accommodation utilising as match funding to private finance by the site owners.

Evidence of success

  • All accommodation on site is fully occupied and interest from more tenants is arising. Since the start of the project employment on site has risen from 2 to circa 150.
  • Business activity has enabled on site remediation to continue.
  • The site is providing a live opportunity to explore smart energy applications.

Difficulties encountered

  • Planning constraints and funding processes along with associated timescales

Potential for learning or transfer

  • A live example of an innovative sustainable approach to post mining remediation, given local constraints and regimes which could be adapted and applied to other similar sites worldwide.