Mining has supplied the metals for the development of human culture since metallic tools were manufactured in the Bronze Age. We mine greater quantities than ever before and we are using more diverse Earth materials to build low carbon technological futures. Ultimately, the transition to a low carbon future requires replacement of polluting fossil fuel industries by more mines, of different types and in more places. But mining has negative associations for many people, due to environmental damage, accidents and the actions of unscrupulous operators. Many mines are today operating without controversy, acting to minimize environmental perturbations (or even to improve biodiversity) and supporting local communities. This call, funded by IMP@CT*, was designed to create dialogues around how our modern behaviours demand that the extractive industries provide resources without damaging the planet.


*The European Union invests in research to secure supplies of responsibly sourced raw materials and funds the IMP@CT Project (Grant no 730411). The project investigates methods of small-scale and short duration mining using the latest innovations in extraction and processing, placed within environmental and societal framings. For more information about the project please see www.impactmine.eu or contact Dana Finch at d.finch3@exeter.ac.uk


We asked artists to respond to the following concepts:

  • Mining for raw materials,

  • Telluric voids,

  • The meaning of a mine

  • Narratives of extraction

  • The conversation between self, material consumption and Earth


The successfully chosen works were exhibited in Cornwall, at Heartlands, Redruth, which is a World Heritage Mining Site, and was also the location for the conference.

This project has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme, grant no 730411