Why mining sparked Royal visit to Cornwall

princess anne at CSM
The Princess Royal meets staff and dignitaries at CSM Credit: ITV News

Princess Anne has visited the Camborne School of Mines (CSM) to officially launch a new degree apprenticeship, and see how it is training the mining experts of the future.

The Princess Royal toured CSM's facilities at the University of Exeter's Penryn campus, before meeting staff and students.

In September, Camborne School of Mines launched its Mining Engineering Degree Apprenticeship Programme, which offers study alongside industry placements.

It's part of a drive by CSM to encourage more students and those already in employment to get into modern mining.

During her visit, Princess Anne unveiled a plaque commemorating the launch of the course.

The Princess Royal unveils a plaque at CSM Credit: ITV News

Head of Camborne School of Mines, Patrick Foster, says the new course reflects the ethos of the school which was set up in 1888.

Patrick Foster, CSM: ‘’We started originally 135 years ago, training local Cornish miners who worked in the mines during the day, and we would provide teaching education skills in the evening. Now we’re launching this new degree apprenticeship course which is based around people who are actually working in mines around the UK at the moment, so in some way, we’ve come full circle.’’

This year the school is celebrating the 30th anniversary of it becoming part of the University of Exeter in Cornwall.

Professor Frances Wall shows Princess Anne around the CSM building Credit: ITV News

Professor of Applied Mineralogy Frances Wall says in that time it's become a world-renowned leader in research and skills for the mining industry and is leading the way in sustainable mining practices.

Prof Frances Wall, CSM: ‘’We’re the real hotspot for what we call critical minerals in the UK, things like lithium, tin and tungsten that we need to make batteries and electric vehicles. However, you won’t get one watt of renewable energy without having the things that really harness the energy.''

''Here in Cornwall, we can make a real contribution to the lithium that we need to make electric cars and the tin and tungsten that is used in all the manufacturing of the green technologies too.’’