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Report - Blairlogie Copper Mine SRT visit May 2012

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Scottiedog, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Scottiedog

    Scottiedog 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Mar 5, 2012
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    This is my second visit and this time I was determined to get to the lower sections. There are 2 rusty metal spikes to abseil off which were placed 20 years ago!! If you are not completely nuts and don’t exactly trust the spikes, it’s easy to run an extra rope in from outside as safety belay.

    History Bit
    Blairlogie mine is a short copper mine worked in the C18th to early C19th at latest. There was no mechanisation for extraction, everything was worked by hand. The mine is on a number of levels, but only 3 are now accessible as the lower section is flooded, having been dammed for water extraction.
    Although not of any great depth SRT or ladders are needed to fully explore it. It has been explored before but as far as I know these are the first photos of this section publicly available.

    The location of Blairlogie mine is on the classic Ochil Fault escarpment, as seen from Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument.
    The Ochils are predominantly volcanic rocks of andesite and basalt lavas. Whilst molten, the lavas contained much gas and fluid, some of which left cavities on solidification. Later, minerals were deposited in them.
    Earthquakes created the main "glens" and gullies across the face of Dumyat. It was along such faults that copper, iron and lead minerals were deposited in veins of barites.

    Historical records of this mine are lacking. The first place to be mined in the Ochils was at Alva Silver Glen in 1711.

    In 1841 the following was written in “The new statistical account of Scotland (Volume 8)†Thomas Boston about the neighbouring Airthey Hill Copper Mine – so it’s safe to assume similar dates for Blairlogie Copper Mine.
    “About forty years ago, this copper mine, after having been for a long time abandoned as an unprofitable adventure, was opened by the Caledonian Mining Company, and wrought with considerable enterprise and spirit. After they had accumulated a quantity of dressed ore, and the vein appearing favourable for being productive, they erected at Alloa smelting-furnaces, where excellent copper was produced ready for the manufacturer; but the promising appearances failed, and, after much loss, the adventure was given up and the furnaces taken downâ€

    And of Blairlogie itself

    “the village of Blair Logie, at the foot of the Ochils, has long been a favourite resort for invalids in spring and summer. Infectious distempers are but little known.â€

    At this time the mineral springs had been discovered in the old Aithrey Hill Mine and were contributing to the development of Bridge of Allan as a Spa.
    Blairlogie Castle immediately below the mine was owned by Lord Balfour of Burleigh until 1891. I wonder whether it was him that dammed the bottom adit of the mine for water extraction for the castle knowing or knowing of its mineral properties to help the “invalids†and ward off “infectious distempersâ€
    Below the mine, you can see where the water is coming from which I assume was the lower entrance and there are a number pipes and tank visible still taking the water to the property below.

    The entrance is the lowest part and a crawl. It is a pig to find in the gorse too. At least this means it's not likely to get any casual visitors.
    after a short distance in theres and easy scramble down 2-3m
    lovely colours of the pink barites and copper seam in the roof here
    short abseil down to the lower level
    from here 2 passages lead off, one of them to the flooded winze
    flooded winze showing copper colourisation
    the passage then continues for a short distance round the corner
    looking back up to the second level about 4m up with 2 passages off. Hand/foot holes had been cut in the rock going up here
    at 2nd level showing passage on opposite side of main winze
    copper colours all around this level
    close up of the copper seam showing chisel marks on the rocks

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