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June 2024 Newsletter - Sunshine at Last in the Parish of Breage!

View Looking West from Tregonning Hill. Mounts Bay in the Distance
View Looking West from Tregonning Hill. Mounts Bay in the Distance

Isn't it nice to see some sunshine for change! It is an exciting time of year in the Flow valley - all the wildlife is active. At dusk if you are lucky you will see a barn owl swooping over the fields below Tregonning Hill hunting its prey. You will begin to see the bats and an occasional hedgehog.

In the morning you can hear the woodpeckers. Damsel flies and dragon flies can be seen amongst the wildflowers.

Make the most of our beautiful area - go for a walk down the valley to Porthleven or walk up Tregonning Hill to take in the 360 degree views. It is all this that will be under threat from the mining...

Did you see the Aurora Borealis last month? That was a magical evening! Rare to see it this far South. Don't worry if you missed it - the current solar maximum will last into next year so you may yet have a chance to see this phenomenon.


Cornish Tin Activity

As we noted in last month's newsletter both of Cornish Tin's drilling rigs have disappeared from the area and the straw bales are now off the sites.

In April and May 2024 video updates on their website they claim to have discovered a high grade tin lode beneath the historic workings, they also claim to have confirmed a lithium field they discovered during their first exploratory campaign. It is interesting that they are mentioning lithium more and more frequently lately despite denying at the initial public meeting that they were looking for it. They also claim to be willing to listen to the local community and their concerns about the project - this certainly hasn't been our experience!

Lithium is, of course, a hot topic with the move to battery technologies in both electric vehicles and energy storage although there are a number of emerging new battery technologies and developments in lithium recycling that may lessen the demand for lithium. Cornish Tin's recent focus on lithium is likely to reflect on their wish to be seen as a "Green" mining company. Our view is that mining is pretty much one of the least green industries and always involves massive energy use in extracting, refining and transportation and also comes with a heavy burden of pollution. This is very rarely, if ever, cleaned up by the original company. - The burden usually falls on the taxpayer...

Cornish Tin gave no details of the actual ore grades achieved or what would be involved in extracting tin or lithium. Silence on the topic does not bode well...

Do we really want the beautiful landscape of Breage Parish to be despoiled? and what would be the likely impacts on future tourism industry in the area which many in our local community rely on?


In case you hadn't heard...

There's a general election coming up! Our prospective parliamentary candidates will be actively chasing your vote. Maybe this is the time to challenge their green credentials?

This election will be one of the most important moments for the biodiversity and climate emergencies in our lifetime. Perhaps it is the moment to show how much you care about the environment. All parties need to take action to reverse the decline.

Tell them to step up for nature. Our group will be contacting the candidates for our area to get their views on the potential resumption of full scale mining and its impacts on our community and the environment - Watch this space for an article soon! You can see who they are in the South West here. We have found that some of the candidates are hard to find postal contact details for so if you have a postal address for them please let us know!


Did You Know? We have conducted water testing on the Flow valley stream that runs down to Porthleven - We found levels of copper, zinc and cadmium exceeding the standards set out by government groups for our rivers and streams, as well as very high levels of nickel. For Arsenic the levels are worryingly close to unacceptable standards, Lead is also worryingly high. This over a century after mining stopped in this area! Do we really want to introduce new sources of pollution or risk disturbing old buried sources by resuming mining?


Nimby's Corner

Quite a common accusation we are faced with is that we are just a bunch of Nimbys opposed to developments that will benefit the local economy and jobs. We deny this. We are opposed to the potential environmental and economic damage that the resumption of mining will cause and will challenge the assumptions put forward by the mining companies. It's not just our backyard but potentially everyone's in the whole of Cornwall! We will feature a counter to each of these in each newsletter.

Why do we suddenly need so many tin mines in Cornwall? Well, according to an academic from within the mining community the reason is because as a nation we don’t recycle tin. That’s true. GWVCEG will continue to do our bit about that as we demonstrated with our recycling event in 2023.

Everyone agrees that mining in any form is a highly polluting activity. Most of us agree that Climate Change due to human activity is a reality in need of urgent action from us all. The authorities and the miners urge us as a country to be self sufficient in tin. The good news for us is that the South Crofty project using the existing legacy infrastructure will do just that. The mine plans to produce 4500-5000 tons of tin every year for the next 15 years with more explorations to come within the existing estate.

We may have suspicious minds but is it possible that the miner’s real motive is to wring Cornwall dry of tin as soon as possible and sell tin worldwide on the open market with all its volatility and disruption?

Those of us who study Cornish history will know that always ends in tears for us all.


Tom Gatehouse Talk May 17th 2024

The group enjoyed a very interesting talk by the researcher and author Tom Gatehouse about the struggles of South American communities when faced with mining corporations and how they overcame them. The event was well attended and was preceded by some members of the group taking a tour of the local area with Tom and viewing the legacy of mining from over a hundred years ago that still negatively affects the environment today. The group took inspiration from Tom's talk and hope we can overcome similar obstacles when faced with the resumption of mining here.

We look forward to hosting similar events in the future.

Members of the group joined Tom for a walk around the local area before the talk began


Local Events This Month

June 3rd to 9th at Trevenna Cross garden centre Carleen Art Club will be displaying some of their artworks.

Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival - Friday 14th – Sunday 16th June 2024

This ever-popular event brings singers and audiences from far and wide to Falmouth and is a great weekend of sea shanties, food and drink. There's always a great atmosphere and plenty of live acts at the Falmouth international sea shanty festival including Cornwall's own Fisherman's Friends.

Golowan Penzance Friday 21st - Sunday 30th June 24 (MAZEY DAY CELEBRATIONS Saturday 29 June)

The Golowan festival is a ten day midsummer celebration of arts, performances and culture in and around Penzance with the highlight being the Mazey Day parade.

Carleen Tea Treat - Saturday 3rd August 2024

Watch this website and follow our Facebook page for more news of this year's Tea Treat - we're hoping to make it even bigger and better this year!

Breage Silver band at the 2022 Tea Treat
Breage Silver band at the 2022 Tea Treat


If you want to tell us about your upcoming event, or if you are considering becoming a member and actively supporting our campaign to stop mining and the destruction of our local environment, or have any queries please head over to our contact page.

If you'd like to hear more local news and events from the Breage Parish area then feel free to sign up for our free mailing list.


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