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Report - Tresavean Copper Mine, Cornwall, Feb 2010

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Pasty, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Pasty

    Pasty 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    A brief history lesson…

    Tresavean mine was the third largest copper producing mine in Cornwall, its total recorded output of copper ore was 233,372tons, a figure only bettered by Dolcoath in the Camborne/Redruth area in the nineteenth century.
    Early signs of the mine go back to around the 18th century , Tresavean mines Ltd was formed in 1881 to work the setts of Tretharrup, Trethellan, West Trethellan, Wheal Brewer and Treviskey. They built a new engine house for pumping, winding houses, stamps and tramways laid out from the production shafts.
    The mine closed again in 1886 and resurrected again in 1905, with the addition of more buildings and an extension to the engine house stack.
    The mine was successfully dewatered to the 268 fathom level in 1911 and was the first Cornish mine to be done so using electric turbine pumps. The days of the traditional Cornish pumping engine were soon to be over for ever.
    1915 saw periodic stoppages due to labour shortages during the first world war, the mine also switched to tin production before finally closing in 1928 due to a crash in prices.

    For one of Cornwalls premier mines, there are sadly very few industrial archaeological remains, as the site has long been subject to disturbance.
    Engine houses were knocked down, aggregate piles were removed in the 1930s, ‘landscaping’ and a massive capping programme in the 90s saw the site change to its present state.

    About the only thing left to remind you of whats below your feet are the concrete cap markers, and a single commemorative stone marking the end of the tramway, which is now a bridleway. Theres no access into the mine from here, the council have done a good job in sealing the whole site up, but luckily, for the time being, the same cannot be said for the dozen or so shafts which lie on the outskirts on private land….

    Worth saying that you should obviously think twice about wondering around peoples land here without permission, the farmers here don’t seem to appreciate mine explorers or our interests in our mining history!




    The Trip.....
    Team Pasty finally found a open shaft in the area worth dropping which wasnt blocked, well actually, it was blocked, when we first got down it seemed a waste of time, but there was some small levels coming off the shaft part way down, so we swung into them tomb raider style and had a look...

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    Im standing on the ledge in that last one, looking back at another pasty member dropping down in, they had it easy as i could pull them in from where i was.

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    small tunnel leading back into the main workings, there was a fair distance down this tunnel to reach the main lode.

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    passing a couple capped shafts we finally got to this, and the tunnel opened up into a stope. The way ahead was climbing down under that wooden ledge.

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    down we go drop number 2. Dont tell me off for rub points on the rope, its only a 3m drop!

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    Further into the stope...

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    Opened up into a massive stope, this photo doesnt really show it as it is.

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    Dropping down further....

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    This was as far as we got the first visit. The Just behind the people in the picture is hole in the floor, throwing a stone down it seemed quite a drop so we returned with bolting kit and more rope.

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    Happy pasty man chooses rock area for the anchors wisely...

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    good rock

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    Rigged and ready to drop, time to go where no one has been in a long long time...
    I dropped it first, it led into another massive stope below us, you could even look back under and see that what we were standing on was a mixture of false floor and massive boulders jammed in the stope keeping the whole thing up.

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    Pastyman2 come down to join me

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    looking above him

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    This is what we have just dropped, strange to note it felt several degrees warmer at this point!

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    looking back up at the whole we dropped through, you can just make out the false floors to the left that the rest of the team are standing on while waiting for us! The black rope was 40m and only just made it to the floor.

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    This is the bottom of the stope looking accross, we were hoping there may have been more tunnels linking up with other workings, but if there were they have now collapsed. You could walk the length of the stope floor, even right back under where we came from but that was about it.
    We retraced out tracks and climbed back out.

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    #1 Pasty, Mar 6, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010

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