What are the International Mining Games?

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the International Mining Games: How to get involved.

By Alexandria Bell

We’ve all enjoyed the exhilarating and hugely successful weekend that was the 116th Bottle Match, and up next is the 40th International Mining Games! With some of the rugby team competing in the action filled weekend it is a great way for students to yet again come together and show their support for another historic event that will celebrate the heritage of mining, not just in Cornwall but globally. As a member of CSM’s Team Sandvik said, “It’s fun to show off what CSM is all about to the rest of campus”.

The games are only hosted in Cornwall every six years, alternating between mining schools across the world, including Australia and America, and this year CSM are proud to be hosting the games as it celebrates its ruby anniversary.


CSM competing in the games last year. Credit: CSM IMG

Founded in memory of the tragic Sunshine Mine Disaster 1972, the aim of the International Mining Games is to keep traditional mining techniques alive, many of which were developed here in Cornwall. The competition has now evolved and also provides students competing with a talent scouting opportunity for mining companies, as well as enhancing the camaraderie of the mining students internationally.

There are seven different events in total that make the mining games:
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

This year the competition will see forty teams from six different countries battling it out for the trophies in the seven events, and an exciting way for students and residents to support the nine CSM teams competing, known as ‘Team Great Britain’ made up of undergrads, postgrads and alumni; you can expect a weekend filled with intense rivalry and great atmosphere.

It is the first time in history that CSM will have two full women’s team competing in the games. Millie, whose father was a coal miner in Yorkshire, said “I’m really proud to be representing Team Great Britain in their first female mining team”. She is in her first year studying Geology and thinks that the mining games are a great way to experience the rich heritage of Cornwall and other counties in the UK. Her team has been training since the start of January and looking forward to their first competition.

The women’s team training for hand mucking.       Credit: CSM IMG

Training for the games is picking up now as Pete O’Hanlon, studying Mining Engineering and Captain of the P&V team, said “There is absolutely fantastic progress with the team coming together, most of us play on the rugby team too so there’s a great unity”. Similarly to Bottle, this year will provide a home ground advantage for the teams who are hoping to claim victory and take home the trophies.

A unique opportunity to witness traditional mining skills first-hand, up close and personal; no other university in the country offers this experience. Hosted from the 28th March – 1st April at the King Edward Mine, Troon, Camborne. The competition is free and open to the public to come and support all nine of the CSM teams competing against their thirty rivals to win the trophy in each event.

You can check more on the Facebook page (CSM IMG) or Twitter (csmimg1888) and follow the team’s training on Instagram (csmimg).