British Universities Film & Video Council

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Series Name
Mining Review 11th Year


Issue No.
Date Released
Nov 1957
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1TIN MINE
  2. 2CRUNCH: Northumbria


Story No. within this Issue
1 / 4
NoS synopsis: a modern tin mine in Cornwall. Underground workings and ore-dressing plant
NCB Commentary - This is Land’s End. Near here the Phoenicians are supposed to have landed. Over two thousand years ago they started mining for Cornish tin.
Today, the landscape is still dotted with derelict mine shafts and winding houses from the last Century.
But not all the tin has gone from under the Cornish granite.
At Geevor is an up-to-date tin mine which still employs three hundred men.
Cecil Hippard, now on winding engine maintenance, has been there 27 years. Today, his son is the winding engine man in charge of the new electric winder, one of the most modern in the mining industry.
Underground, the workings are rather different from a coal mine; in the stout granit no supports are needed, for instance.
The first step is to drill holes into the rock so that explosives can be fired. Compressed air drives the drills and blasting follows standard practice.
Mechanical shovels load the ore direct into tubs which are taken by small electric loco to the bottom of the shaft. Here, the ore is tipped into a hopper from where it’s brought to the surface in skips. Up top, the crushing process starts.
About 50 thousand tons of ore are taken out of Geevor every year, but even this large amount will only produce 600 tons of black tin.
But, with the price of tin nearly £700 a ton, Geevor’s output is of no mean value.
A whole range of processes takes place in the mill to separate and concentrate the finished product.
This is black tin ready for sending to the smelters.
Cornishmen have travelled all over the world to establish the great mining fields overseas and today in Cornwall the tradition is still alive.
Researcher Comments
Commentary recorded 10th October 1957.
Mining; Engineering
Cornwall; England
Written sources
British Film Institute Databases
Film User   Vol.12 No.138 April 1958, p168.
The National Archives COAL 32   /12 Scripts for Mining Review, 1956-1960
Production Co.
Documentary Technicians Alliance
National Coal Board

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