The geology of Cornwall and West Devon is the secret of its mineral wealth. The landscape has been shaped over 600 million years by shifting seas, volcanic eruptions, molten rock, mineral-rich fluids and a constantly changing climate. The evidence of millennia of this activity can still be found all over the Site today, along with the remains of our efforts to extract the earth’s riches over the centuries.
Although Cornwall is mainly known for its abundance of copper and tin, a great variety of minerals have been found within the Site – putting Cornwall amongst the world’s most mineralogically diverse areas in the world. Deep mining here from the mid-18th century onwards led to internationally important discoveries, inspiring some of the earliest British geological literature and contributing to crucial advances in science.