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Cornish mining event to reduce industry's carbon footprint

Yesterday (12 June 2008), mining and quarrying professionals met with researchers on the Tremough Campus, Penryn, to focus on reducing the industry's carbon footprint. The event, which was organised by the University of Exeter's Camborne School of Mines (CSM), brought together representatives from local and national mining and quarrying companies, including Imerys Minerals, British Aggregates Association and Delobole Slate Company. Other attendees included the Duchy of Cornwall, British Geological Survey and University of Nottingham, as well as several academics from the University of Exeter.

Professor Frances Wall, newly-appointed Head of Camborne School of Mines said: "Reducing their carbon footprint is one of the most important issues facing the mining and quarrying industries over the next ten years. Most of the CO2 output is related to energy use and fuel for transport and it is estimated that a colossal 11% of the World's fuel is used by the mining industry. With its unique research strengths in mining and renewable energy, and international links with the mining and quarrying industry, CSM is well placed to work to help reduce these energy requirements."

The event included a talk from the British Geological Survey on assessing the carbon footprint of quarrying, presentations by CSM on how to reduce energy bills and CO2 emissions, and a session on the microwave processing of minerals by the University of Nottingham. The aim was to bring together industry professionals and researchers to discuss how academic institutions, like CSM, can work together to research ways of making the mining and quarrying industries more environmentally sustainable.

Professor Frances Wall continued: "With fuel costs rising so rapidly at the moment, mining companies have a strong financial as well as environmental need to improve their energy efficiency. This event was a great opportunity to bring members of the industry and some of our UK academic colleagues together to discuss the challenges that lie ahead. We learned that leading local companies such as Imerys are already employing some of the ideas we suggested and are keen to use renewable energy technologies. The main obstacle is the planning permission required."

Camborne School of Mines (CSM) was founded in 1888 and became part of the University of Exeter in 1993. CSM has an international reputation for research and teaching related to the understanding and management of the Earth's natural processes, resources and the environment. Its portfolio of undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree programmes provide an excellent basis for careers, in the UK or overseas, within the Earth resources, civil engineering, environmental and energy sectors. The vast majority of CSM graduates are employed in areas related to their degree. CSM is based at the £100 million Tremough Campus, which the University of Exeter shares with University College Falmouth as part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative. The Campus is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council.

For further information please contact Sarah Hoyle, Press Officer, University of Exeter, on 01392 262062/07989 446920 or email

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). University of Exeter is a partner of the CUC.


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Clare Morgan
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