History Of Mount Wellington Mine up until 2006

Introduction

 

This is very much a “living” document, which has been compiled by Richard Freeborn. By the term “living”, we don’t mean just that the history includes all the new and exciting developments to the site since it was reopened for business in 2007. Sadly, much of the history of the site has not yet been recorded, so if you have anything to comment or contribute – or even to correct, or to ask to be credited – then please do ask by emailing info@mountwellington.co.uk

 

During the 1920's, three brothers called Wellington worked the old Wheal Andrew lodes close to surface.

 

May 1920      Argus Concessions Ltd are looking at the Mount Wellington site. Messrs. R.C.N.Robinson and Co are the managers.

 

1923   The Wellington Bros started working on tribute in the Wheal Andrew section of United Mines, a mine previously known as Wheal Magpie.

 

1926   Capn Josiah Paull reported on the prospects of large scale mining there for the Mines and Metallurgical Club in London. Paull reported that the Wellington's worked a lode that was 30ft wide in places and assayed between 38 and 58 lbs per ton of tin and that despite their primitive plant and operations they had sold 6.75 tons of tin concentrate in the last year.
Despite a recent cave-in, the brothers were driving a cut from surface on the strike of their lode to continue their operations. (This is probably near the 'adit' that accesses the remaining workings on site). The tin lode the Wellington's worked could be seen outcropping in the side
of the trench to the County Adit portal and Paull reckoned that the mine could be worked on a very profitable scale if an adit was driven from the County Adit entrance into the hillside for 300ft. For an outlay of between £4000 and £5000, Wheal Andrew was said to look promising.
Nothing further was done about Paull's recommendations until 1937, when for about 12 months Wheal Andrew was worked as Mount Wellington mine. The Wellington brothers maintained more than a passing interest in the mine as they also owned a third of the mineral rights.

 

(the above information is from in the 'Great County Adit' by J.A Buckley)

 

1929   Argus Concessions Ltd started prospecting but evidently did not make much progress.

 

June 1929      The old adit has been cleared to a point where the water which was stored in the old workings has been tapped and drawn off. Sampling is proceeding. 

 

August 1929   Rapid progress and good results from sampling. 

 

October 1929 Work reduced due to low tin price.

 

1930’s

March 1930    A limited number of men continue at work with good results

July 1930       Good results. Several leases completed and a favourable opportunity has been taken to acquire a modern 120tpd mill.  The mill will not be put to use because of the tin price. Development will continue. During the war 2 brothers re‑opened the old working and, within 3 years, recovered 14t of bt. The ore was transported by horse‑and‑cart to little primitive Cornish stamps further down the Carnon valley, and a recovery of 30lb was obtained. This ore came from the outcrop of one of the lodes, the deeper portion recently opened up by Argus Concessions not then being available. This adit rendered access easy to deeper portions of the lode. Extensive sampling has resulted in establishing the existence of a large lode averaging 30lb .

 

Labour

       u/g  s  total

1923   1   3   4

1924   2   2    4

1925   2   2    4

1926   2   2    4

1927   2   2    4

1928   2   2    4

1929   3   -     3

1930   -   2     2

1931   -   2     2

1932   ;-   -     -

 

October 1930           Primitive mining still proceeding 4 miners working a wide lode.

 

December 1934        Adit been cleared and lodes sampled.

 

1935

 

Mount Wellington Ltd, backed by the British Non-ferrous Mining Corp Ltd, acquired the rights on United and Consolidated Mines, Wheal Clifford and Wheal Andrew.

 

February 2nd   Article on new company. Report by Josiah Paull said 'This lode.... is purely tin bearing and my attention was first called to it  some 12 years ago when 3 brothers named Wellington, from whom the lode evidently derives its name, were mining it in a small way and taking their ore to a little 5-stamp Cornish stamps down the valley and there treating it for its tin content. The adit at that time was choked and the brothers were using a small shaft up the hillside and stoping away the lode at a depth of, perhaps, 40 to 50 ft. below surface hoisting it with a horse and carting it to their little stream works. I understood from the Wellingtons at the time of my visit that the ore that they were breaking was yielding an average of 30 lb. of black tin per ton and from smelters' statements of tin purchases from them, which they showed me, I have no reason to doubt their statement regarding the yield. The workings around the shaft they were working in crushed at a later date, putting the shaft out of action, and as the adit was choked they had no means of access to their work, and being only ordinary Cornish miners, had not the money to either open up the adit or put down another shaft.'

Since acquiring the option on the sett they had cleared the adit for several hundred feet from its outlet and have done some development work on the lode at adit level with a view to proving its value.

Mr.Paull took samples of the ore and he reports that the samples taken from the drive gave ore assaying 30 lbs and from the rise 16 lb. per ton. He says 'When I again went underground on Sept 12 the rise had been extended through the lode and was holed into the crushed workings where the Wellington brothers originally worked. As the ore from the continuation of the rise was mixed up with the ore sampled on my earlier inspection, I supervised the breaking of two samples of ore from the sides of the rise itself, each representing approx. 5 ft. in width, and beyond the point where my samples of July 16 cam from. These two samples, each of quite 30 lb, assayed by vanning 46 and 76 lb. black tin to the ton over a total width of lode of at least 25 ft. The contour of the country on strike admits of a very large tonnage of ore being quickly developed with no pumping and next to no pumping charges, and there is ample water available from the County adit for all crushing and concentrating processes, and there are excellent facilities on the slope of the hill for laying out a site for a mill and concentration plant, a portion at least of such a site could be on waste land of small value.

Chairman Mr Cyril F. Entwistle, in addition to Mr.Paull, there are 2 other directors - Mr.Frederick E.de Paula, who is a director of Temoh Tin Dredging Ltd., and Mr. R.C.N.Robinson who is chairman of Agnes Concessions Ltd. The directors estimate that, with tin at £200 the profit will be £41,300... The purchase consideration has been fixed at £45,000 payable as £5,000 in cash and £40,000 by the allotment of 400,000 shares fully paid. The working capital will be £46,000.

 

February 5th  Shares in Mount Wellinton Mine Ltd advertised for sale

 

March 23rd    Since start last Feb. the power plant consisting of a 1.500 cfm compressor has been delivered. Cornwall Electric Power Co., Ltd., is in the process of putting in a short power line from their adjacent grid system. The mine buildings are nearing completion; various working points are being prepared ready for intensive development when the power plant is completed.

 

May 4th          Two working shafts, Robinson and Wellington have been completed to adit and driving is proceeding east and west. The 2 shafts are 400 ft apart; driving from the east (Robinson) has advanced 20 ft. in values averaging 32 lb. over 6 ft. and driving west from Wellington shaft 24 ft. in values averaging 40 lb also over 6 ft. When the 1,500 cfm Bellis and Morcom air compressor is running progress will be more rapid.

 

May 11th       Follow up remarks from 4th May above. The erection of the necessary mine buildings have been completed, including a steel-framed corrugated-iron engine and general machinery house 100 ft. by 40 ft. , assay office, mine office, carpenter's shop, transformer and switch house.

 

June 29th      Second progress report. Surface equipment complete including the compressor. This is driven by a 300 HP motor controlled from a five-panel switchboard, capable of distributing power for all future mining and milling requirements up to 1,000 h.p. While this work was in progress, mine development proceeded under subsidiary power, and approx 1000 ft of dev. work was done. A portion of this footage consisted of enlarging existing shafts, particularly one that for some years to come will serve as the main shaft. This has been equipped with suitable headframe and electric hoist. In addition, some 2,000 ft. of adit has been cleared and retimbered where necessary. The development so far as it has proceeded indicates that at least 150,000 tons of payable ore are now available for milling. The directors have decided to install a treatment plant and a mill capable of treating from 120 to 150 tpd has been purchased and preparations are advanced for erecting it on a site now being laid out. It is expected that the installation will be complete in about 9 months and that during such time sufficient ore will be developed to justify working to a much larger milling capacity in the future.

 

October 26th  Ore has been found beyond the fault.

 

December 14th Report from Feb 6 to 30 Sept. Total proceeds of shares was £63,787. after payment of prelim. expenses there remains about £20,000 for further expenditure. Almost all of the mill equip has been delivered.

 

December 21st                First ordinary general meeting. Details of expenditure.

1936

 

March 21st      Progress report No.4. Up to date the main lode has been driven on at adit level for a total distance of 1,300ft measured from the adit mouth to the extreme west end. Of this about 70% is payable. A x/c has been put through from friendship shaft 70ft. below adit and the values on the short distance driven are slightly superior to those on the corresponding adit level. This has opened up a further 80,000 tons. Under these circumstances the board has decided to complete the necessary arrangements for the erection of the first section of the 200 tpd mill which will have a crushing capacity of 40-50 tons daily. The work of erecting the plant started on Mar 2 and should be in operation on or before July next.

 

April    First section of the mill to be erected and expected to be in operation by July. A cross‑cut from the Friendship shaft has, it is stated, opened up 80,000 tons of probable ore, in addition to the 100,000 tons available above adit.

 

May 9th          Good progress with mill. The bulk of the heavy concrete work has been completed, and the steel framed building is well advanced. The board has decided to extend the time for exercising the options to subscribe for 150,000 shares at 2s. 6d. each, which expire 30 June 1936 till 30 June 1937.

 

November 11th         4 stamps running, 12 tables, pulveriser and 2 flotation cells.  Workings about 200ft deep.  Wide orebody 20-25lbs.  Friendship shaft very old with a ladder shaft alongside.

 

December 17th         Nov production - 968 tons 23.1lb/ton, 60% recovery.

 

1937

 

Mount Wellington mine acquire the rights on Nangiles and West Wheal Jane.  Their object was to work for tin, initially above adit, in the Consolidated and Wheal Jane lode system which extends some 3 miles.

 

January         For the year to Sept 30 the report states that a further 100,00 tons of ore has been developed bringing the total up to 200,000t. The first section of the mill is in operation with a daily capacity of 40 to 50 tons/d. A large amount of work has been done towards the erection of the two further units, which will bring the capacity up to 150 tpd. 

 

March 20th     120 employed

 

July              Robinson’s shaft has been enlarged to 3 compartments to the required depth and that production from three units of the mill will commence about the end of the month. 

 

September     The new headframe and winding engine have been installed at Robinson’s shaft. 

 

December      In the report to Sept 30 it is stated that arrangements have been made with the British (Non‑Ferrous) Mining Corp. to furnish the capital necessary for future development, and to increase milling capacity to 1000 to 2000tpd should such a course be justified. The Corp are to take up 250.000 2/‑ shares at par with the right to acquire a further 1,250,000 up to June 1940. 

 

1938

 

January 15th   Production 20 tons, 4 days lost due to Christmas. Preparations for implementing the intensive development program well in hand. Arrangements being made to carry out various experiments in connection with endeavour to improve normal tin dressing. In future, usual milling programme will be subordinated to these experiments.

 

January         Report of third ord. gen meeting. In summary ‑capital to be increased to `300,000 and rights as noted in Dec.  Board are ‑ Sir Cyril Entwistle(C), F.E.de Paula, Josiah Paull, R.N.N.Robinson and J.C.Allen

 

March 12th         Prod Jan & Feb, 24.5 tons bt., mill only ran part time owing to breakdown of the crusher station and experiments on milling improvements. New development programme proceeding normally both laterally at adit level and in connection with shaft sinking to next level.

 

June             Milling suspended. Prod since Jan 10 last was 40.5t of tin conc. Due to low prices. Coactively clearing the Wheal Jane adit as is part of the same area held by the Co.

 

June 28th       Report for period Dec 21 1938‑May 1939. During the period under review work has consisted almost solely in dealing with the metallurgical problems of the ore above adit, but owing to difficulties inherent in the ore it has not been found possible to increase the yield to a point that would show a satisfactory profit at conservative metal prices on the greater part of the ore available above adit. Diamond drilling to test the Wheal Sperries‑Wheal Jane lodes below the deepest workings is now proposed.

 

July 2nd        The board has decided to extend until 30 June 1939 the time for exercising options to subscribe 150,000 shares at 2/6.

 

October 8th     Report for 30 May to 31 August. Operations continued both with improvements in ore treatment and investigating ore reserves. Licence acquired over Nangiles-Wheal Jane extension of the lode east. Work started on July 4. A total length of 5,140 ft. remaining available to be sampled gave 20.88 lb over 11 ft. - the total width not being accessible. Some 60% of the lode above adit has not been stoped.

 

November 26th         Mr A.T.C.Hawkins - manager. Mine has sold 182 tons of concentrate and in addition will be a big producer of pyrite. Aim to reach 1000 to 2000 tpd.

 

November 5th           Clearing Wheal Jane adit - 30 employed.

 

December 10th        Consulting engineers are Messrs. R.C.N.Robinson & Co. A plan of the property with photos enriches the annual report. For the period 1 Sept 1937 to 3 April 1938 milled 15,038 tons value 0.705% tin for 114.59 tons of 41.4% conc. The consulting engineers lament the closing of the mill. In Mount Wellington 15,000 tons at 26 lbs is blocked out for stoping. Large potential reserves in Wheal Jane.

 

1939

 

June 3rd         Report for period 21 Dec - 19 May. During the period under review work has consisted almost solely in dealing with the metallurgical problems of the ore above adit. Much investigation has been done on the laboratory scale on the samples from the various setts. Owing to the difficulties inherent in the ore it has not been found possible, in the present state of metallurgical knowledge, to increase the yield to a point which would show a profit at conservative metal prices on the greater part of the ore above adit. Therefore the directors are compelled to utilise the remaining restricted resources now available to the company to obtain indications of ore below adit that may be of a grade that will be profitable under existing conditions. With this object in view they propose diamond drilling to test the Wheal Sperries-Wheal Jane lodes below the deepest workings.

 

August 26th    Major Raymond Claude Neile Robinson died Truro on 13 August. Was consulting engineer to Mount Wellington.

 

December 16th         Work stopped due to lack of finance. Mr. John C.Allen has written a report on the ores on behalf of the British (Non-Ferrous) Mining Corp. Ltd.

 

1940’s

 

November 1940        Recommenced prospecting at Wheal Jane. see Fal Con.

 

1960’s

 

1963   International Mine Services Ltd of Toronto became interested in the mineral potential of Cornwall.

1964   Wheal Jane came under control of Consolidated Gold Fields.

1964   21st December          Residential development at Mount Wellington Mine by ATC Hawkins was refused planning permission.

!965    April. Exploration office opened on site

1966   Exploratory drilling began at Wheal Jane

1968   Shaft rehabilitation and underground exploration started at Wheal Jane

1966   International Mine Services has taken up the area around Mt Wellington.

1967   Exploratory drilling began at Mount Wellington

1969   A decision was taken to bring Wheal Jane into production. The mine produced tin, copper and silver. Annual production of tin peaked in 1973 at 1600 tonnes, declining to 951 tonnes in 1977 before closure in 1978 due to the increase in pumping costs when the adjoining Mount Wellington mine was closed. It has also been suggested that hasty exploitation of rich ore resulted in a lack of development of ore reserves (Leveridge et al., 1990).

1969   July     Contract to sink No.1 Wellington Shaft awarded to Thyssen (Great Britain Ltd)  by Cornwall Tin & Mining Ltd

1969   August 25th. Planning permission granted to Cornwall Tin & Mining Company Ltd to sink shaft and erect buildings.

1969   2nd September. Work starts on sinking No. Shaft to 6m depth together with headear footings etc

 

1970’s

1970   5th February. No.1 Shaft sinking commenced in earnest to 195m. First shaft station is at 47.3 m, and a drive made to connect with an existing adit, reducing pumping costs.

1970   7th May          Cornwall Tin & Mining Co Ltd buy additional land for the Concentrator building from Norman Penrose for £10,500

1972   13th March. Planning permission granted to Cornwall Tin & Mining Company Ltd for mining on site by J F Delaney. Includes continuing to divert water and use of resettlement ponds at Point Mills, and outline permission for concentrator building

1973   January. Temporary halt and suspension of work whilst company looks for more financial backing. Shaft allowed to flood

1973   November. Shaft dewatering commenced, which took just 48 hours!

1974   March. Shaft sinking commenced in earnest.

1974   June. Cornwall Tin & Mining registered in London. By this time, there was 700 m of crosscut, 700m of drift work and 140 m of miscellaneous work. £1.3m so far invested.

1974   Mount Wellington mine, controlled by the Cornwall Tin and Mining Corpora­tion, and situated a few miles to the west of Truro on the opposite side of the Bissoe Valley to the neighbouring Wheal Jane mine, is to go 'ahead with the pro­posed tin mining operation, the third new tin mine in Cornwall in three years. The erection of the concentrating plant com­menced in preparation for receiving its first ore from underground in January 1976. The operation will cost initially some £4~25 million to finance and will qualify for a 20% grant from the U.K. Government. Excomm, a Bermudan based company with substantial Swiss backing has acquired a 51% interest and the re­maining 49% is held by the U.S. company, Cornwall Tin and Mining Corp. The re­serves are proven at one million tonnes; estimated reserves are put at S million tonnes at a grade of l~37% Sn. Half of the ore mined will be from open stopes and half from shrinkage stoping. The initial throughput will be 0'2 million tonnes/annum in an all-gravity plant to provide about 1,600 tonnes of tin metal and some copper, zinc and silver. The shaft is about to be deepened from 21Om to 310m. The mine will have a life of some 25 years, and the workforce will be built up to 300.

1974   September 12th        Planning permission granted to Cornwall Tin & Mining Company Ltd for concentrator building, ore bins, tanks, conveyors, compressor house, hoist house and headgear.

1975   March 12th     Planning permission granted to Cornwall Tin & Mining Company Ltd for sewage disposal plant on site.

1975   November 13th         Planning permission granted to Cornwall Tin & Mining Company Ltd to extend tailings area in Wheal Maid valley

1975   December 23rd         Planning permission granted to Cornwall Tin & Mining Company Ltd for change of use of part of one building to offices.

1976   October 13     Planning permission granted to Cornwall Tin & Mining Company Ltd for erection of two explosive stores

1978   April 20th        Mount Wellington Mine closes. No more ore ever comes up Wellington’s No.1 shaft after this date. No1. shaft is retained for man and machinery access. The Wellington site is sold by the Administrators of Cornwall Tin & Mining Ltd to a Falmouth-based scrap dealer.

1978   April 30th        Wheal Jane closes.

1978   Billiton aquire Hydrualic Tin Ltd.

1978   August 21st     Application by Cornwall Main Services Ltd to Carrick District Council to permit change of use of offices to Mining Museum. Application is withdrawn before it can be decided.

1979   Robert L Sprinkel undertook a feasibility study to open the two mines as one.

1979   August. Carnon Consolidated, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Zinc Ltd, acquired Wheal Jane from Consolidated Gold Fields Ltd. RTZ used Thyssens to redevelop Wheal Jane and used William Press to renovate Wheal Jane’s mill. Carnon also buy the freehold of Wellington’s No.1 shaft area, together with Wellington’s Engineering Building from the scrap dealer. £10m was allocated to renovate both mines.

 

1979   Billiton Minerals (UK) Ltd, a Shell subsidiary, buys Hydraulic Tin of Bissoe, who worked alluvial tin and mine waste tailings. The mill at Bissoe was modernised. Billiton bought the rest of the land and buildings, including the Mill at Mount Wellington Mine. They also bought the Wheal Maid valley and the tailings dam and lagoon. Wellington’s offices, and some land for storage of plant, were leased from Billiton by Thyssens. Thyssens used Wellington as a base for their work at Wheal Jane, South Crofty and Geevor mine.

 

1980’s

 

1980   Billiton prepared to work the Carnon Valley deposits between Bissoe and the Truro-Falmouth road at Devoran using Wellington’s Mill. The deposits of Restronguet Creek were prospected.

1980   June    Production at Jane recommenced, some ore coming from Wellington.

1980   14th October   Billiton obtains planning for 2nd pipeline from Wellington to Wheal Maid

1981   Billiton has abandoned its plans to work the alluvium in Restronguet Creek, Cornwall for tin. The 10-year plan, which was offered for sale, and envisaged dredging to a depth of 3 m and pumping material 3 km via a pipeline, to Billiton's treatment plant at Mount Wellington Mine.


1981   A new 7” MDPE pipeline is laid between Wellington and the Tailings Dam at Wheal Maid. Old mine waste is sluffified and pumped into Wellington’s Mill, where it is re-processed to obtain minerals.

1981   November. Neighbouring Farmer John Evans wins high court victory over RTZ concerning the ownership of land near the Country Adit Portal.

1982   40% of South Crofty is bought by Rio Tinto Zinc

 

1982   August. Carnon Consolidated (RTZ) purchased Billiton’s freehold interest in the Wellington, Wheal Maid and Hydraulic Tin sites.

 

1984   100% of South Crofty purchased by Carnon Consolidated, which is a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Zinc, and the three mines of Crofty, Wellington and Jane operated as one unit. Production at Wheal Jane had already restarted in 1980 reaching 1499 tonnes of tin in 1981 and 1863 tonnes in 1984. The Wheal Maid Decline was started, on land originally owned by Wellington. 1984 operations produced an estimated 35,000 tons of ore (230 tons Sn). The length of the Decline is 655 meters, and reached over towards Cornwall County Council’s waste dump at United Downs. The Decline suffered from ingress of Methane gas from the dump, which gave rise to safety concerns over possible underground fires or explosion.

 

June 1988      RTZ sold Carnon Consolidated to a management consortium. A trust was established for the benefit of the employees who received twenty percent of the equity. Carnon Holdings Limited, was incorporated at this time and remained owed by RTZ.

 

1988   South Crofty’s mill is closed, partly because Pendarves Mine (which had used Crofty’s mill) had already closed. All ore from South Crofty is trucked to Wheal Jane for processing up until Crofty’s closure in 1998.

1990’s

 

March 1991    Wheal Jane (incorporating Mount Wellington Mine, the Wheal Maid Decline and the Wheal Maid Tailings Lagoons) are finally closed.

 

January 16th 1992     The UK's most infamous mine water outburst disaster occurred when 320 million litres of untreated acidic mine water and sludge burst from the Nangiles adit at the Wheal Jane Mine site in Cornwall. The following case study describes the history of the mine and also the reason for the environmental disaster that occurred after its closure.

 

Few of the mines in the Camborne - Redruth area worked significantly below sea level.

This was due to the expense that was incurred in pumping the water from the mines in

order to work mineral deposits below the natural water table. Natural drainage from the

Wheal Jane mine was via Jane's adit, only 20 metres above sea level, which drained into

the Carnon River. As deeper mine adits were sunk, notably the Nangiles Mine adit at the

Wheal Jane site, pumping was essential in order to drain these adits during the operation of

the mine. After mine closure and the cessation of mine pumping, Wheal Jane was allowed to flood. By November 1991 the water level had almost reached the surface and there were

indications of leakage into the Carnon River revealed during monitoring by the National

Rivers Authority (NRA), which is now the Environment Agency. This leakage was not

very significant when considered against the background of acid mine drainage in the

Carnon River since 1950, but it was enough to raise concern. The Carnon River discharges 3km down stream into an estuarine area popular for sailing and fishing activities. The main potential problems included the acidity of the mine drainage (pH 2-3) and the high concentration of the metals, Cadmium, Zinc, Copper, Lead, Arsenic, and Iron. These metals are released from the oxidation of in situ sulphides due to acid waters created by the weathering of pyrite. As a result of these concerns pumping recommenced and mine water was treated via liming in order to reduce pH and precipitate metals such as Cadmium and Zinc. This operation was funded by the NRA and Carnon Consolidated (Evans, 1995). Pumping had to stop on the 4th January 1992 due to stormy conditions. The build up of water that resulted caused a breach in the concrete plug at Nangiles adit, an old outlet of the Wheal Jane mine. There was a subsequent major outflow of 320 million litres of untreated acid water into the Carnon River. This resulted in a major pollution plume that discoloured the estuary and deposited high concentrations of Cd and Zn (Figure 10). Cadmium levels reached 600 mg 1-1, relative to UK water quality standards of 1 mg 1-1

 

 

Figure 10: Pollution plume at Carrick Roads, an inlet to the sea, down stream from the

outburst at Wheal Jane, 16th January 1992.

The immediate public outcry lead to more stringent pumping and water treatment measures

at the Wheal Jane main shaft. A sustainable solution is being sought; this may involve the

channelling of mine waters through limestone tanks and the extraction of metals using

vegetation. The crisis at Wheal Jane highlighted the areas potential for similar problems

occurring at different mine sites in the area. The UK government has subsequently spent a

total of £8 million on mine remediation in the Camborne-Redruth area (Evans, 1995).

 

1994 South Crofty was purchased by Crew Natural Resources Of Canada

 

Carnon Consolidated changes its name to South Crofty PLC?

 

1996 Shares sold in South Crofty?

 

1998   March 6th       South Crofty closes.

 

1998   Mount Wellington Mine bought by David Shrigley of DRS Demolition from South Crofty PLC.

1998   May 21st        DRS proposed Change Of Use of Wellington site for us for recycling building materials is refused.

1999   November 12th.        DRS revised proposals also refused.

2001

 

March  South Crofty site sold to Baseresult Ltd by David Giddings. The Crofty Collection of tin jewellery is retained by Wheal Jane

 

DRS apply for planning permission for a concrete crushing plant on the Wellington site. Permission is refused after a vigorous campaign by local residents opposed to potential noise, dust and pollution.

2003

9th January 2003       Plans have been put forward to develop the derelict Mount Wellington Mine site at the head of the Bissoe Valley. Developer Paul Isherwood has taken a one-year option on the site and, subject to discussions with residents, environmental groups and local authorities, hopes to complete the purchase and go ahead in 2003. He envisages turning much of the area into a science and technology park but wants to retain some of the buildings as a tribute to Cornish mining and to create a nature reserve. There will be no plans to develop underground workings which are flooded. The mine fell into disrepair some years ago when the price of tin plummeted. Winding gear was dismantled and the remaining buildings have become derelict and a target for vandals. Local councillor Mrs Judith Whiteley said she was "optimistic that the proposals could be acceptable." She had opposed many schemes which would have been un-neighbourly but the new ones appeared sensitive with the inclusion of a wildlife habitat and the retention of some mine buildings. "I await with great hope our first sight of the plans in the new year," she said. Mr Isherwood, said: "We are at the very early stages of this project and I am not in a position to go into detail. However, I can confirm that I have taken an option to purchase the site subject to planning permission being granted for redevelopment. To that end, development team members have met with, and have had discussions with, officers of Carrick district council and Cornwall county council and we are pleased with the outcome on those occasions." He said the aim was to make the redevelopment of the site a flagship regeneration scheme for further such projects in Cornwall. "People can rest assured that we are very mindful of the historic beauty of the area and our aim will be to repair the unsightly scars on the landscape and to enhance rather than change the natural look of the area," said Mr Isherwood. Part of plan was to include the sustainable preservation of the mine headgear as a lasting monument to Cornwall's historic mining past. Renewable energy technologies and the application of low-grade energy recovery techniques would form a key part of the project. "It is our firm aim to provide fulfilling, well-paid and permanent employment to the locality and we pledge to give preference to employing suitable local personnel wherever possible. Our target is 90 per cent local jobs. Priority will also be given to local companies in any tendering process for the construction phase of the project," added Mr Isherwood. Mr Isherwood, aged 49, is currently based in Worcestershire and is married with five daughters. He has been involved in the development of contaminated and brownfield sites for more than 15 years and was involved in the regeneration of Salford Quays, at Manchester Docks. Details of the Mount Wellington plans became public before Christmas and, although the county and Carrick and Kerrier district councils were fully aware of them, they were understood to be refraining from publicly discussing them until the new year.

5th August 2003        Carrick grants planning permission to Paul Isherwood, personally, for “Existing buildings to be retained, altered and refurbished”

2004

15th April 2004 The future of Mount Wellington Mine, at Twelveheads, Bissoe,was reviewed by Carrick district council. Councillors discussed what could be done with the former mine so future possible developers could have a clear idea of its future potential.

The first option approved by the development control committee was to find funding to demolish the existing buildings - a cost estimated at up to £250,000. South West Regional development Agency said it had no funds available for such a project and Carrick council was not prepared to fund this scheme, meaning that other funding will have to be found.

The second scheme discussed was the idea of a part demolition, reducing the buildings' heights to improve the unsightly nature of the site. But this idea is subject to the part demolition not affecting the future use of the remaining buildings. Whether this is the case or not is something which Carrick council plans to investigate further.

The final option is to find a use for the buildings as they stand, if the first two ideas were found to be unworkable.

In his report to the committee, Carrick's head of development, Karl Roberts, said the site was clearly not suitable for a residential development. The committee's comments and the report's findings will now be looked at by Carrick's full cabinet. Mount Wellington Mine has not operated for more than 10 years and at one point looked set to be turned into a nature reserve.

2005

Wheal Maid is sold by David Giddings of Carnon Enterprises Ltd to Gwennap Parish Council for £1.

2006

27th March     Mill equipment is moved from Wheal Jane to Crofty. This includes some of Wellington’s mill equipment, especially Wellington’s ball mills. Baseresult, who owned South Crofty, also owned all the equipment at Wheal Jane. South Crofty’s Director Of Engineering, David Stone, explained that it has been a real asset to discover so much of it could be salvaged and re-used to make South Crofty operational again. He said: “If we didn’t have this equipment it would have cost millions of pounds to buy. It’s all mineral processing equipment, which will be used on the surface of the mine. “We have found flotation cells, hydrosizers, pumps, mill sections, platforms, a cyclone bank and at least 55 gravity separation tables. We are bringing several lorry loads of it a day over to the South Crofty site.” Mr Stone went on to explain that although there is enough milling equipment at Wheal Jane for the processing side of South Crofty, some additional pieces will have to be bought in before mining can begin again in earnest.

2007