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Author Cwm Cynfal copper mine
dtyson

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Joined: 17/11/2008
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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 10/12/2019 17:51:53
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I visited the site today in fairly grim weather and found the adit about 20m below the tramway and almost in line the the surface shaft (described as a 'quarry scoop' in the archaeological report). I think the report may have deliberately chosen this term to avoid highlighting mining features which might be problematic for the project - certainly missing an adit in the vicinity is a bit of a giveaway...

The adit mouth has a narrow path running in front of it and then the ground falls away vertically to the river below. There is spoil on the slope down to the river and there may be other mine features concealed which would not be visible without recourse to ropework. The adit heads on a bearing of 310 degrees magnetic into the country rock for about 29m and ends in a collapse. There are a couple of side passages; one 22m from the entrance is about 9m long which ends in a forehead; The other 26.5m from the entrance is about 2m long and seems end at a collapsed shaft. The mine passages are about 1.5m high and about 1.2m long. I will try and post a survey later. The mine seems a bit shorter than Bick's book notes so maybe some has been lost to collapses and I couldn't find any of the described rises.

Grid refs: Surface shaft hole: SH73594 41645 alt 322m
Adit: SH73630 41633 Alt 304m

There were two lesser horseshoe bats present in the mine and these were undisturbed. It may well be that there are other bats, like pipistrelles, lodged in cracks but I didn't look to avoid disturbance. The floor is wet and so no bat droppings were obvious.

I have posted some photos, some are rotated and one caption is wrong. I couldn't find a way of fixing this - maybe I am just being thick - PM if there is a way for me to edit/rotate or delete them!

I think there are serious issues about building a roadway above the mine. Given the passages and stopes are probably close to the surface then there is a real possibility of collapse, but a bigger problem is that of pollution.

The surface has remained undisturbed for years and so any water percolating through the workings will have leached out any copper salts in its path many years ago when no-one cared. If work disturbs the surface then the hydrology will change and the water will almost certainly find new routes through and will leach out other areas. This will add a heavy metal load which the river hasn't experienced for many years. Given NRW are seeking to clean up rivers to reduce metal pollution then I cannot see them agreeing to work which may result in new pollution of a fairly clean river.

Dave
IP: 92.27.142.161
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 10/12/2019 18:29:13
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Good work Dave and very professionally done. I bet the weather was appalling, its bad enough here at Great Wyrley, Cannock.

From memory I think that more material has come down as I vaguely remember a rising stope, there is also possibility of the lode being worked below adit. I wonder about the surface shaft as the application archaeology survey shows a depression, and if they all close together I wonder if the depression is the shaft and "hobbit hole" a bob pit? If so there would have been a run of flat rods from a wheelpit somewhere.

There must be quite a height of backs up to surface with high likelihood of voids in the collapse material. Was there any discernible difference in the material of the forward collapse and the one on the right?
I am thinking surface material or collapsed deadwork.

The photos are best first opened in Windows Photo Editor or Photoshop before uploading. Camera included software just displays them right way up but does not save the changes. if you right click the photo file, you should get a list of options. Camera included software is junk to me, I use Photoshop and the Windows one as default for opening Jpegs.

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'' as rare as a Cwmystwyth padlock''
IP: 92.24.24.50
BertyBasset

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Joined: 13/12/2007
Location: Caernarfon, North Wales

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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 10/12/2019 22:00:17
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Wow. Excellent job there Dave.

I was already concerned about a pipeline, with varying weight of water, in unconsolidated ground, on a slope, above a ravine in general, but the issues you've identified are very worrying.

Robin
IP: 86.161.130.204
nigeln1

Joined: 27/12/2019

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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 27/12/2019 14:35:21
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When I went in here about 10 years ago the collapse at the end of the level was easily dug through in under half an hour to give access to the stope. The highest point of the stope felt close to the surface although there was no hint of daylight or noise from the road above. The collapse had to be dug through again to exit the mine as it consisted of slope material dislodged whilst ascending the stope. An interesting place! IP: 176.227.133.73
dtyson

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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 27/12/2019 14:44:58
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Nigel,

That's really interesting and thankyou for posting - once the weather dries up and the bats have vacated the premises, then I may well have a poke around with a spade as it would be good to get a few photos of the stope etc., just in case the hydro scheme get approved...

Dave
IP: 92.27.142.161
royfellows

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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 27/12/2019 16:54:28
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nigeln1 wrote:

When I went in here about 10 years ago the collapse at the end of the level was easily dug through in under half an hour to give access to the stope. The highest point of the stope felt close to the surface although there was no hint of daylight or noise from the road above. The collapse had to be dug through again to exit the mine as it consisted of slope material dislodged whilst ascending the stope. An interesting place!


This sits with my vague memory as described earlier in the thread. I think, think, I climbed up so far and turned back.

It would be late 1980s.

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'' as rare as a Cwmystwyth padlock''
IP: 92.24.25.178 Edited: 27/12/2019 16:55:28 by royfellows
nigeln1

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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 30/12/2019 13:52:39
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I didn't have any tools with me and it was still an easy dig though maybe a small shovel would help.

Although it would be shame if the mine was affected I am still in two minds about the hydro scheme. If we are to continue consuming power in the way we do we are going to need renewables and I have always been broadly favour of hydro power over wind power. It would be hypocritical of me to be against this one just because its in my own back yard. There are
plenty of precedents locally and once the construction phase is complete their impact seems minimal. How many people walk up to Cwmorthin and realise that there a hydro scheme in situ?
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NeilC

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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 16/01/2020 12:29:11
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Just for info really in case anyone else was wondering...

The online SNP Planning objections form stated that any objections received would be acknowledged within 3 days.

I didn't receive acknowledgement or a reply to a follow up enquiry email.

Having phoned the Planning Office they have confirmed that they received a large number of objections (in excess of 30).

Well done to all those who took time to put fingers to keyboards.
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dtyson

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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 17/01/2020 16:45:25
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NeilC wrote:

Just for info really in case anyone else was wondering...

The online SNP Planning objections form stated that any objections received would be acknowledged within 3 days.

I didn't receive acknowledgement or a reply to a follow up enquiry email.

Having phoned the Planning Office they have confirmed that they received a large number of objections (in excess of 30).

Well done to all those who took time to put fingers to keyboards.

I didn't get an acknowledgement either - but assumed they were just inefficient! It's good to know that they got a lot of responses and thanks for checking with the planning office. I guess we won't hear anything for some time, but hope they actually make the effort to update those who put in objections.

Dave
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davel

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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 24/01/2020 12:38:11
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According to the Cambrian News Community News: Blaenau Ffestiniog today http://www.cambrian-news.co.uk/article.cfm?id=132111&headline=Community%20News:%20Blaenau%20Ffestiniog§ionIs=news&searchyear=2020)

The council proposes that an underground inspection of the area is required to ensure the safety of those working on the scheme and also road safety.
Dave
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royfellows

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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 24/01/2020 13:00:58
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I am thinking that an abseil to the bottom of the gorge would be worthwhile to ascertain whether there is a deeper adit.
Apart from the scheme, we could be missing something.

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ChrisBones69

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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 28/07/2020 16:33:47
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Did you find the adit entrance? I'm local and only just found out about the copper mine and went to have a look myself
IP: 90.244.218.7
royfellows

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Cwm Cynfal copper mine
Posted: 28/07/2020 16:44:54
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ChrisBones69 wrote:

Did you find the adit entrance? I'm local and only just found out about the copper mine and went to have a look myself


No, with the lockdown and all that.
Upper adit is obvious, but cant help but feel maybe a deep one in the gorge bottom.

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