The Zimapanners

 

 

 

 

                                                

 


Decline of Cornish Mining 


Cornish mining slumps in 1870s
By the mid-1870s, mining Cornish minerals, particularly tin and copper, had become relatively uneconomic following the discovery of comparable mineral deposits in South Africa, South America and Central America (Mexico). As a result, some of the other local industries that prospered during the heyday of Cornish mining, such as rope-making, brick-making, mine-to-harbour haulage, and—to a lesser extent—the manufacture of explosives and safety fuses, were severely affected by the downturn in Cornish mining. 

Hard-rock miners sought after
Unable to compete on price, Cornish mines closed down and there was a mass migration of miners to the newly discovered mineral deposits in South America, South Africa and Mexico, where there was a high demand for, among other workers, skilled hard-rock miners from Cornwall and Germany. The pay cheques of Cornish miners working abroad helped sustain impoverished Cornish communities, and "kept poverty at bay for many families".


Footnote
Adapted from 'History' section of the 'St Day Parish Plan'.