The Camborne School of Mines (CSM) was established in 1887.
In the late 19th century, students spent some of their time doing practical mining and tin dressing work in the local tin mines with some of the academic classes held in the evenings. Unfortunately the local mining industry was almost in terminal decline and the surviving mines were falling behind technically. This was hardly ideal from the instruction point of view. The only real solution was for the School to have its own underground mine.
This was achieved in 1897 when CSM took over, and subsequently developed, the abandoned eastern part of the South Condurrow Mine a mile or so from Camborne. This was renamed King Edward in 1901 and all of the buildings from that period have survived to this day.
King Edward was completely re-equipped, both on surface and underground, with modern machinery reflecting what was then considered the best Cornish practice.
Students were soon drawn not just from Cornwall and the UK but from the world over. Camborne became, and still is, one of the best known mining colleges in the world.
Until 1974, mining education was on two sites; lectures & some laboratory work were carried out in the buildings in the centre of Camborne and most practical work at King Edward Mine.
In 1974 the School moved to specially built premises at Trevenson that lies mid-way between Camborne and Redruth. Much of the mining and mineral processing teaching formerly carried out at King Edward was transferred to Trevenson. However, KEM was still used for some practical underground & surface surveying and also mining training.
This continued until 2005 when CSM moved to the new university campus at Tremough, which is just outside Penryn.
The links with CSM continue. In 2012, the 36th International Mining Games were held on site and are planned to return in 2018.