Report - West Wheal Jane mixed mine, Cornwall, 2009

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Dec 3, 2007
South west
The Team Pasty mine tour of the SouthWest continues....

The history part:

West Wheal Jane and Wheal Jane are said to have been in operation in 1740, The mines ceased about 1875 and work was continued above adit in a small way until 1893.
In 1905 the mines were amalgamated with others under the new name Falmouth Consolidated mines, which was dissolved about 1915, but tributors continued working until 1919.
Records of output are as follows…

1854-89 410 tons black tin, 50 tons of copper ore, 26 tons of lead ore, 158oz of silver, 390 tons of zinc ore, 27,170 tons of pyrite, 382 tons of arsenic and 270 tons of iron ore.

I cant seem to find any outputs since 1889, but up unitl then that’s 28,698 tons of ore removed, not to mention material from drives, connecting tunnels, adits and shafts…

Time to go see where they got it from. Weve been here before, but you need several trips to see it all, the place is massive.

First up this is an old photo we found on the net from Falmouth Consolidated mines, all of this has gone now though.


I would also like to point out at this point that is place is not near the new Wheal Jane site which operated in the 1970s, so please dont go snooping around there, there is nothing to see in there, access underground has all been capped, plus they have security as the yard is now used for storage.

The trip…

The absail in is always fun, 50m of free hanging, as the shaft gets a lot bigger as you drop down, theres also a lot of loose crap on the sides, just got to hope it doesn’t come down on your head.
From the bottom of the shaft it leads to a chamber, unfortunately you have to get wet at this point, the water varies from knee to waist deep! and theres several feet of thick orange mud.


Tunnels lead to..


Big chamber, that pillar in the middle is slowly falling to bits, its quite scary looking at the cracks in it! this angle is looking back where we have come from at the two pasty members on the wooden walkway.


The wooden walkway complete with cart rails


Mine cart to the right on the junction


One of the ore shutes for filling the carts


Looking back up at the wooden walkway.


Remains of the wooden barrow in the first stope, there are two more later on but not so good condition as this


Creepy cave side lit


This seemed to be some kind of calcium/mineral deposit and looked very strange!


Same formation but lit from the side


This is one of the biggest stopes and gives a good indication of scale.


Highly acidic water


Ladder left in position


At this point I persuaded one of my mates to climb on top this massive boulder which used to be part of the roof! gives a good scense of scale though.


The cross cut to Giles shaft, which is blocked.


Further down in deep adit, stacked deads to the left.


Barrow number2 on deep adit


The bridge on deep adit, this area is interesting as the water level varies depending on rainfall, one day we went here and the bridge was chest high in water to cross, worse bit was when we did get accross the water had cloulded up and you couldnt see where the timbers were...
This will have to do for today, but there is quite a bit more further on. When i find time i will do a part2!
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