Members of the CSM teams. The Games have attracted national press coverage, featuring in the Guardian and on the BBC website.

Students host International Mining Games 2012

From ‘Jackleg Drilling’ and ‘Hand Steeling’, through to the Swede Saw, male and female competitors will be going back to the days of our industrial heritage, to pit their skills against the best of the rest.

On the 31 March and 1 April, a group of young Cornish miners, from Camborne School of Mines (CSM), will battle it out against teams from across the globe to be named world champions.

36 teams from Kentucky to Jakarta - Queensland to Montana, will compete over two days at King Edward Mine, Camborne. The ladies and mixed teams are first on Saturday 31st to pan for gold, drill into vertical concrete with a Holmans 303 airleg drill; cut through timber with a 36’’ bow saw and run a one ton ore wagon down a 75’ section of track, filling it with muck using traditional shovels. The men don the hard-hats and steel toe-caps on the Sunday for the finale. With seven gruelling events in all, it will be a unique opportunity to witness traditional mining skills first-hand, up close and personal.

Hosted by CSM, which is part of the University of Exeter, based on the Cornwall campuses, the Games will be coming to Cornwall for the very first time in their 34 year history - to the mining landscape where many of the techniques on show were developed. The Games are dedicated to all miners who have lost their lives in the course of duty and aim to keep traditional methods alive; many of which date back to the 17th century.

CSM student Oakley Turner, competitor and event organiser, said: “We have been training hard and are confident that we can keep the medals here in Cornwall. It will be a great couple of days and we hope to see strong vocal support from our fellow Cornishmen, and ladies. So come on down to King Edward Mine and get behind the team.”

Schedule open to the public:

Saturday, 31st March 10am - 4pm at King Edward Mine, Camborne
Women’s, Mixed and Alumni competition

Sunday, 1st April 10am - 4pm at King Edward Mine, Camborne
Men’s competition

The seven events are:

  • Hand Steeling – Drill into concrete using a 3 -4lb hammer and a 7/8’’ chisel
  • Track Stand – Set up and tear down a section of track, including sleepers, rail, connecting plates and bolts
  • Hand Mucking – Run a one ton ore wagon down a 75’ track and fill it
  • Swede Saw – Saw through a 6’’x 6’’ piece of timber with a 36’’ bow saw
  • Gold Panning – Find five flattened ball bearings in a pan full of dirt and rock
  • Jackleg Drilling – Drill into vertical concrete with a Holmans 303 airleg drill
  • Surveying – Teams are given a starting point and expected to report the coordinates of a finishing point using an old fashioned vernier transit

Mining Engineer Tony Brooks, former CSM student and director of King Edward Mine Museum (KEM), said: "We are delighted to be able to help host the Mining Games at KEM. There could be nowhere more appropriate for this event.  This will be good for CSM, Camborne and Cornwall."

Julian German, Chairman of the World Heritage Site Partnership Board, said “This is a particularly poignant International Mining Games because it is the first time it has been hosted in Cornwall. The international aspect of the Mining Games is of special interest to us because of the impact that Cornish mining has had on the world. There are over six million people of Cornish descent worldwide, in no small part due to the migration of Cornish miners across the world to find their fortune back in the 1800s. We welcome all the teams and hope they have a fantastic time in this historical landscape.”

List of teams competing:
Delft (2), Bochum (2), WASM (4), WASM Wallabies (2), University of Queensland (2), Arizona (2), South Dakota School of Mines (2), Missouri School of Science and Technology (4), CSM (5), Mackay School of Mines (1), Montana Tech (2), Colorado School of Mines (2), Virginia Tech (1), University of Western Australia (1), Penn State (2), Trisakti University – the first team from Asia to compete in the Games (1), University of Kentucky (1)

Gold: Goldfields
Silver: SRK Consulting, Sandvik, CSM Trust
Copper: Rio Tinto, UK Coal, Tetra Tech, Wardell Armstrong International
Tin: Imerys, British Gypsum, Komatsu, Central Asia Metals

Date: 28 March 2012