South Crofty Mine
South Crofty Mine in the 20th Century was an amalgamation of 12 earlier mines worked in the past for tin and copper. Tin became increasingly important from the 1860s onwards as the price of metal improved and the mine deepened – although copper was still an important product up to the end of the nineteenth century when it was replaced by arsenic and, later, tungsten as the chief by-product of tin mining.
The acquisition by South Crofty of New Cook’s Kitchen Mine in 1893 was followed by a number of others in the first half of the nineteenth century, including Dolcoath Mine (along with the Roskear Mines) in 1936 and East Pool Mine in 1947.
The sinking of two new vertical shafts in the 1900s (New Cook’s Kitchen shaft and Robinson’s shaft) and a period of extensive crosscutting (tunnels driven across the long axis of the ore) led to the discovery and development of 12 new lodes within the granite not previously seen above the 225fm level – essentially a new mine on hitherto unknown mineralisation beneath the old workings. Mining was confined to areas east of the Great Crosscourse (a fault more than 100m wide that cuts across the main direction of the lode, beneath the Red River) since connecting South Crofty to Dolcoath Mine would have resulted in significant additional pumping requirements. Also, given the adequacy of existing mineral resources, it was unnecessary anyway.
The extension of South Crofty west through the Great Crosscourse into an unexplored, unmined area in the 1970s led to the discovery of the South Crofty "Dolcoath" series of lodes. Subsequent exploration into the area around Roskear shaft (also unconnected to Dolcoath) in the early 1980s saw the discovery of the Roskear lodes and later exploration to the northeast disclosed the No6 Pegmatite and later the North Pool Zones within South Crofty itself. In 1982 St Piran Mining Company sold the mine to Charter Consolidated, who in turn sold it to RTZ (Carnon) in 1984.
In 1985 there was a disastrous fall in the price of tin, seriously curtailing Cornwall’s tin mining industry. The Government responded by offering a finance package to RTZ and a massive reorganisation of South Crofty followed. Principal underground operations were transferred to the Roskear section and, as in the 1900s, a new underground mine was effectively developed at depth in that area. Mining was based principally on sub-level longhole stoping of wider ore bodies. Shortly afterwards, the Robinson's Shaft was abandoned, together with much of the mine’s older section.
The Roskear section, west of the Great Crosscourse, was developed as essentially a new mine on newly discovered mineralisation beneath the old workings of North and South Roskear Mines. This section became the major production section for the mine, until mining ceased for viability and regulatory reasons on 7th March 1998.
Baseresult Holdings Limited bought South Crofty in 2001 with the aim of resuming mining operations in the Camborne Redruth mining district.
The 2012 extended mining area creates South Crofty as an amalgamation of some 34 earlier mines, including Dolcoath, Stray Park and Camborne Vean, extending south westwards to amongst others, Pendarves Mine.