Events held in 2019


Wed 20th February.  Tony Bamford: “The Angry Earth” (AnTyr Serrys) – Well Control and Blowout Prevention.”  

Wed 20th  March. Stephen Lay: “Made in Cornwall”: A modern Day Cousin Jack.

Wed 17th April. Derek Stonley MA MIMMM. Consulting Geologist “In the footsteps of Fleming - The Diamond Smugglers”.   This Geological Topic will be even more meaningful if members have read the book 'The Diamond Smugglers' by Ian Fleming. 

Wed 15th  May. Professor Dianne Edwards of Cardiff University – “The Green Revolution - Plants Invade the Land”.  The initial phases in the colonisation of land, which began some 470 million years ago, transformed the planet. Not only did the pioneers contribute to soil formation and the food and habitats of animals, but, by chemical weathering, they changed the composition of the atmosphere, most notably by CO2 drawdown. The lecture will chronicle and describe the plants and animals involved, show they can be studied from diverse fossils and discuss the impacts of the plants on planet Earth.

Wed 19th June.  Frank Howie BSc, Chair of Cornwall Geoconservation Group. "Landscape and Beyond - exploring the interface between geology and art." Geological and climatic events have been depicted for millennia - from cave illustrations to contemporary art and can be valuable as proxies for climate change, past geologic events and celestial visitations. This talk illustrates a brief history of how art and geology are intertwined and includes examples from Cornwall. 

Wed 17th July.  Mr Chris Burton BSc.  "A Gold Bonanza and a Copper Mine Under a Glacier".  The subject matter of the talk will be a resume of the gold rushes in British Columbia and Alaska followed by a description of the discovery and development of Granduc copper mine.  This is a large mine in a challenging location amidst high mountains and glacier fields and partly under a glacier. The ultimate access was through an 11-mile tunnel bored under several glaciers and there were some devastating avalanches at the site which has some of the highest snowfall in the world. Chris Burton is a geologist. He has worked for many years in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia in gold, copper and asbestos mines.  Chris married in Zambia and moved to Canada, where he worked at Granduc mine and later at Britania mine near Vancouver. This was followed by 5 years in Tasmania at a zinc, lead and copper mine followed by 4 years in Cornwall developing Mt Wellington mine near Wheal Jane. After the closure of that mine he spent 6 years in Bolivia working on an ambitious project of technical aid making a geological map and searching for economic mineral deposits in Eastern Bolivia. 

Wed 21st August.  Members' Evening.  Please do bring along your geological finds for identification and discussion.  Our fellow member, Chris Bean, will introduce us to 'his' Lizard.  This will be a preparation for the September talk detailed below, by mining historian Dr Mike Johnston where Cornish miners recruited from the Wrey Mine at Pensilva went to mine copper in the Dun Mountains, near Nelson New Zealand.

Wed 18th September. Dr Mike Johnston "The Ophialite of Lizard of Dun Mountains in New Zealand". Dr Mike Johnston is now an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services in geological science and history.  He is a leading authority on the geology of the Nelson region in New Zealand and has authored numerous publications and completed field work covering most of the top of the South Island. He has been a member of the Geological Society of New Zealand and its successor, Geosciences Society of New Zealand, since 1962. He was President of the National Committee and convened the Historic Studies Group. He was elected to the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences, representing Australasia and the Pacific. He was President of the Nelson Historical Society and was involved with the Nelson Provincial Museum and the Royal Society Nelson Branch. Dr Johnston has been a Trustee and Chairman of the Nelson Heritage Protection Trust and a Trustee of the McKee Charitable Trust. 

Growing up in the rich landscapes of Nelson has led Dr Michael Robert Johnston to become an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services in geological science and history. Mike Johnston has been interested in geology, seeing his role as someone getting to understand "why New Zealand, and particularly Nelson, is how it is" while sharing that information to the general public through groups, talks and books. Johnston said when he was young, family outings around the region sparked his enthusiasm for earth science – being fascinated by fossils, rocks and the terrain.

More information on Dun Mountain, Nelson Region, New Zealand

Wed 16th October. The speaker will be Mr Peter Ledingham, Project Manager of United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project (UDDGPP).  Peter Ledingham graduated in mining engineering from Camborne School of Mines in 1980 and worked until 1986 on the Hot Dry Rock geothermal research programme managed by CSM. He was a founder member of GeoScience Ltd and has worked for them ever since on a variety of geothermal and deep site investigation projects around the world. He has been the Managing Director since 2014. He is also a Director of Geothermal Engineering Ltd and Project Manager of the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project.  

The talk will provide a detailed explanation of, and progress update for, the United Downs project which is to explore the feasibility and viability of using deep wells drilled into a major fault zone some 800m to the southwest of the United Downs site, and estimated to be around 300m wide, to produce geothermal energy. Extracted heat will be used to supply a demonstration power plant. This will be an extremely interesting talk for everyone, members and non-members, and irrespective of prior knowledge or experience of the subject.

Wed 20th November. The speaker will be Dr James Blight : "Redmoor, Cornwall; A Cornish Resource of Global Significance".  

Dr Blight is a Senior Geologist at Cornwall Resources Ltd, responsible for resource modelling and interpretation, working closely with CRL’s independent resource consultant. His background is exploration geologist, with a PhD and 12 years industrial and field experience, including orogenic gold and VMS projects, project management generally, diamond and RC drilling, geochemical sampling (planning and execution), scientific interpretation of results, in-field logistics, health & safety leadership, and recruitment/mentoring of geological staff. Also exploration IT, including as project lead for introducing geological GIS to a large exploration department.  

According to Dines (1956), Redmoor Mine was worked periodically from before 1858 to WW2. It first produced lead and silver then tin, copper, wolfram and arsenic. The old sett, adjacent to Kelly Bray (Callington) and just west of Kit Hill, contained several lodes and extended some ½km east-west and 300-400m north-south. It was prospected again in the early 1980's but work stopped in 1985 due to financial pressures. The CRL project is a new and exciting exploration which has produced consistently good results during their drilling program, confirming a high-grade Sn-W-Cu ore pattern with a latest estimated resource of 11.7 Mt @ 1.17 % Sn equivalent, making Redmoor the world's largest undeveloped underground tin-tungsten deposit by contained metal. 

This will be a fascinating talk both for members and non-members, and of additional interest Dr Blight will be bringing along some drill-cores for examination and discussion.

         Events held in 2018

    Wed 21st February. Marine Life on the Manacles Reef 10 years of sea search surveys and marine photography, showing the richness of fauna and flora of the Cornish Continental Shelf. Matt Slater is the Marine Awareness Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust and showed underwater film of the Reef, explaining its importance to sustainable fishing in Cornwall.

Wed 21st March. “A Touch of Froth” Flotation, Metal Recovery and the Importance of Stable Bubbles by Dr Katherine Hadler PhD. MEng. Lecturer at Imperial College, London and part time Senior Metallurgist at Grinding Solutions Ltd. Cornwall.

Wed 18th April. Cornish Lithium – A New Metal from an Old Mining Area & the Metal of the Future. Jeremy Wrathall, (Founder and Director of the Cornish Lithium Company, a graduate in Mining Engineering at CSM with 30 years’ experience in the Mining Finance Industry globally) was unable to present the lecture, due to a Conference commitment. It was given in his absence by Lucy Crane, Senior Geologist at the Cornish Lithium Company, speaking on the potential opportunities of the Cornish resources of this metal for European and World Markets.

Wed 20th June. Mineral Analysis at CSM – The What, The How and the Why! Dr Gavin Rollinson, Experimental Officer and Facility Manager (Chemical Imaging and Mineralogy Facility, CSM).

Wed 18th July. An invitation by Dr Gavin Rollinson for members to visit CSM Penryn Campus to view the Museum, learn about current research and to see the mineral analysis facilities.

Wed 15th August. A talk by Mark M Becket B. Eng. Assoc. CSM, showing a short preview of his lifetime study and love of Cornish Fossils and Fossil Localities

Wed 19th September. Icelandic Volcanism, a talk by Dr Kate-Taylor Smith B.Sc (Hons)., Ph.D. Project Manager CSM

Wed 17th October. A Member’s Evening which was both social and informative, where members were invited to bring specimens, photographs and papers for discussion, sharing information about their items and learning from the broad range of knowledge within the Society.

Wed 21st November. Near Surface Geophysics in West Cornwall. A talk given by Neill Wood. B.Sc., (Eng) Hons. V.R., A.R.S.M., F.H.E.A., Programme director for M.Sc. Surveying and Land/Environmental Management CSM and Executive Director of GeoDefinition Ltd (a geophysical site investigation company.)

Field Trips and Outside Meetings during 2018

Mon 19th March. Meeting at CSM (Tremough) at the invitation of Francis Wall, with RGSC, CSM, RIC. to discuss combining scientific bodies in Cornwall with a view to finding a joint venue for the storage of archives.

Sun 10th June. Visit to Jangy Ryn, Gunwalloe, to view the rocks and structural geology including folding.

Wed 22nd August. Another visit to see the progress at Rosevale Mine. Always a popular visit, Tony Bennett has a never-ending supply of anecdotes and information about the mine’s past and about mining in general.

Sat 22nd September. Visit to Penlee Quarry guided by Cornishman Barry Ninnis, using his great knowledge of the quarry and also previous experience and “way of life” as a Smallholder and Geevor miner.