Began life as a small sett called Penhellick Vean in the 1590s, but absorbed smaller mines around it, becoming South Wheal Crofty in 1854.
Initially a shallow tin mine and then a copper mine, the mine workings went back into the deep tin zone from the 1860s onwards, when copper production began to decline.
In 1906 South Crofty Mine Ltd became the foundation of the modern mine. From the 1890s the mine acquired other setts as the surrounding mines closed. These included New Cook's Kitchen, Tincroft & Carn Brea, North Roskear, South Roskear, and Dolcoath Mine in 1930, to become a huge enterprise nearly 4.5 km in length.
Workings are 731 metres deep and feature 2 shafts: Robinson's man riding shaft at 682 metres & Cook's shaft at 731 metres.
Extensive history of the mine is given in A HISTORY OF SOUTH CROFTY MINE by J.A. Buckley.
(Source - Mindat)
Data courtesy of Roy Morton and Roy Fellows
The formation of the Limited Company in 1906 marked the beginning of the expansion that led to the modern mine. The sinking of Robinson's Shaft and then in 1907 the sinking of the vertical shaft at New Cook's Kitchen being just the start. It's best summed up by quoting from part of the introduction of Allen Buckley's excellent book on the mine.
"South Crofty Mine lies at the centre of a metalliferous district which has seen mining for a variety of metals over many centuries. The present mine sett contains the workings of some thirty 18th century and well over a dozen 19th century mines, including some of the largest and most important tin and copper mines of the last 250 years. Dolcoath, North and South Roskear, Cam Brea, Tincroft, Cooks Kitchen and East Pool were among the largest copper producers of the 18th and early 19th centuries and the greatest tin mines of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The current mine workings lie along the northern side of a line of granite hills including Cam Brea, Carnarthen and Cam Entral, and stretch over a distance of some 2.2 miles, from near the centre of Camborne to the Tolskithy valley. The present, relatively small underground workforce breaks a greater tonnage of tin ore than any other Cornish mine has ever produced."