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|British Mining Fields, by J. E. Metcalf. Published by the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, London, 1969. Price 50s. (Students, 30s.). A 100 years or so ago Britain's mining industry led the world in the production of coal and base metals. Although she still maintains a sizeable-and, under the circumstances, remarkably progressive-coal mining industry, her production of most other base minerals has long since been dwarfed by mining fields in the Americas Africa, Australia and the U.S.S.R. Nevertheless the story of mining in Britain is of wider interest than the present scale of operations there might suggest, if only because the domestic British mining industry has in terms of finance, technology and manpower been the fons et origo of many highly productive mining fields outside Britain, including the Witwatersrand goldfields. British Mining Fields was published by the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy to give delegates attending the Ninth Commonwealth Mining and Metallurgical Conference a succinct account of mining in Britain. The main emphasis is on underground mining of base minerals-treated regionally-with separate chapters on coal and gypsum. The author strikes an admirable balance between historical aspects, geological origin and environment of ore deposits, mining methods and economic factors, and provides a few key references for those who wish to make deeper studies. This is exactly the sort of booklet one often wishes were available on South African mining.|