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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Mining Legacy
rufenig

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Joined: 18/03/2008
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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 06:52:05
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Interesting article Smartass

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-17315323

The Industrial Revolution, which made Britain the powerhouse of the world in the 19th Century, may have been consigned to the history books but it has left a legacy of environmental problems.

Experts warn it continues to pollute drinking water, poison rivers and threaten flooding and in the process it fuels climate change and affects huge swathes of the modern landscape.

The mining of lead, tin and other metals is thought to have contaminated nearly 2,000 miles of waterways. Estimated repair costs run into the hundreds of millions.

Dr Hugh Potter, a mine pollution specialist for the Environment Agency, said: "The metals are going to continue to come out of these mines and spoil heaps for hundreds of years without any significant lowering of the impact.

"So unless we do something about it, it will have an impact for a very long time."

But recent attempts to undo some of this, and other examples of historical damage, have made notable headway.
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Peter Burgess

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Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 07:53:24
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Mining legacy? Sure, and it is important to reduce the harmful impact, but we have just as much "good" mining legacy - the great advances the mining of raw materials had on the wealth of the country, the solid remains of all the activity which we explore and study, and which the "public" enjoy at numerous mining museums. Why do we have to be presented all the time with the "bad" side of the legacy? There is a balance - we would not be the country we are if it were not for the hard labour of our predecessors extracting mineral wealth. Maybe the only beneficiaries at the time were the mine and land owners, but this has over time provided the country with great benefits. Our mining and industrial expertise was exported throughout the world, providing more wealth and influence. The price we pay for this is one of contamination and clean-up. You can't make good omelettes without breaking a few eggs!

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AR

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 08:15:44
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I chuckled when I got to the end and the writer had to admit that some of these "contaminated" landscapes are now protected due to the rare plant communities thriving on them....

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Aditaddict

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 08:35:32
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Sounds like someone is trying to justify more government funding for his department, instead of cuts IP: 81.109.224.134
Peter Burgess

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 08:38:51
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I probably would if it was my livelihood at stake.

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Vanoord

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 09:56:56
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I was looking through the 'Mines of the Gwydir' books last night, in particular a couple of photographs of the Cwffty engine house.

That was swept away by the Forrestry Commission and all that remains is a cleared site with a couple of 'interpretative panels' rather than a fine engine house standing as a monument to those who worked there.

The strange thing is that there's a car park there and the panels with artists' impressions of the buildings, so obviously someone thinks that visitors might be interested in what was there before - so why remove it in the first place?

Some parts of the Hafna engine house do remain, but again that's been extensively demolished so although there are some remains, they're difficult for someone who isn't acquainted with them to interpret them easily.

There's probably an argument that revolves around the liability aspects of leaving structures standing, but that does't seem to cause a problem in Cornwall.

Then again, as the BBC article perhaps proves, there's also a pretty strong opinion amongst the wider population that industrial remains are a Bad Thing and a reminder of When We Had To Get Our Hands Dirty, so they should be done away with and all the nastiness forgotten about.

I had a curious exchange of emails a while back with someone who wanted my/our support for demolishing a listed colliery headframe for precisely that reason: it was a memory of an older age and didn't look right. No doubt they wanted a retail park and a MacDonalds.

I despair.

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Trewillan

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 13:17:42
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Vanoord wrote:

...swept away by the Forrestry Commission and all that remains is a cleared site with a couple of 'interpretative panels' rather than a fine engine house...

...parts of the Hafna engine house do remain, but again that's been extensively demolished...



Of course, none of the above means they have actually dealt with any contamination, which was the point of the OP.
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droid

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Location: Tamworth

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 13:31:43
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AR wrote:

I chuckled when I got to the end and the writer had to admit that some of these "contaminated" landscapes are now protected due to the rare plant communities thriving on them....


Quite right.

Some of the pioneering work on heavy metal tolerance in plants was done on the Derbyshire lead hillocks. These plants are so adapted to living in a toxic environment that they are outcompeted in normal ground.

I was lucky enough to meet the person who did this work, many years ago. Big Grin
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AR

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 13:51:55
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Vanoord wrote:


I had a curious exchange of emails a while back with someone who wanted my/our support for demolishing a listed colliery headframe for precisely that reason: it was a memory of an older age and didn't look right. No doubt they wanted a retail park and a MacDonalds.


Clipstone, I presume?

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Vanoord

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 15:42:39
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AR wrote:

Clipstone, I presume?


Penallta.

...every single person who lives in and around the area want them demolsished they are a disgrace you havent got to put up with the horrible looking buildings every time you drive past the Baths and Canteen. I will be taking this up with my local M P to see if there is any thing that can be done to have these buildings taken down.

Okay, this doesn't look too great:



But with a bit of care and attention you can get something like this:




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Vanoord

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 16:56:54
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By some coincidence:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-18591080

Multimillion-pound plans to regenerate two opencast mines for tourism and leisure have been unveiled.

East Pit in the Amman valley and Margam near Port Talbot are earmarked for energy efficient development, although neither would be ready for at least seven years.

SLR Consulting has been appointed by Celtic Energy and Oak Regeneration as the master planner for the project.

Planner Will Ryan said the aim was to provide a legacy for the sites.


"That's the over-arching intention for both these sites," he told BBC Wales.

"We are aiming to put in place proposals whereby the sites will be reclaimed and regenerated for future generations.

"It's fair to say we don't have a specific figure but the value of the two projects would run into excess of £10m."

Mr Ryan said planning for East Pit was further down the line than Margam and hopes an application will be submitted in November.

East Pit will close in 2018 and he hopes both projects will be completed in seven to 10 years from now.


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rufenig

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 17:58:06
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Even more!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-17315323

The Industrial Revolution, which made Britain the powerhouse of the world in the 19th Century, may have been consigned to the history books but it has left a legacy of environmental problems.

Experts warn it continues to pollute drinking water, poison rivers and threaten flooding and in the process it fuels climate change and affects huge swathes of the modern landscape.

The mining of lead, tin and other metals is thought to have contaminated nearly 2,000 miles of waterways. Estimated repair costs run into the hundreds of millions.

Dr Hugh Potter, a mine pollution specialist for the Environment Agency, said: "The metals are going to continue to come out of these mines and spoil heaps for hundreds of years without any significant lowering of the impact.
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droid

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 18:26:32
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Clearly no-one's told Severn Trent where the water from Meerbrook Sough comes from Laugh Laugh IP: 86.20.198.141
Trewillan

Joined: 21/02/2012

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 19:23:35
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rufenig wrote:

Even more!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-17315323

The Industrial Revolution, which made Britain the powerhouse of the world in the 19th Century, may have been consigned to the history books but it has left a legacy of environmental problems.

Experts warn it continues to pollute drinking water, poison rivers and threaten flooding and in the process it fuels climate change and affects huge swathes of the modern landscape.

The mining of lead, tin and other metals is thought to have contaminated nearly 2,000 miles of waterways. Estimated repair costs run into the hundreds of millions.

Dr Hugh Potter, a mine pollution specialist for the Environment Agency, said: "The metals are going to continue to come out of these mines and spoil heaps for hundreds of years without any significant lowering of the impact.


I think you already posted this.
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carnkie

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 26/06/2012 19:58:34
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There are a number if mine sites in the US under the EPA Superfund projects dealing with this very problem.

The Iron Mountain copper mine in California probaly the best example. It produces the most acidic natural water on earth.

Edit.

The question of maintaining historical buildings is completely irrelevant.

[web link]

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IP: 89.242.56.122 Edited: 26/06/2012 22:49:19 by carnkie
carnkie

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 27/06/2012 00:29:45
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Peter Burgess wrote:

You can't make good omelettes without breaking a few eggs!


Regarding the social consequencies of mining, what do you consider a few eggs? The death toll in coal mining during the 19th century or the fact that there were more widows in the Camborne/Redruth area, per capita, than anywhere else in the UK. The legacy of mining has to be balanced between maintaining archaelogical aspects and the social consequencies. Sometimes I feel some views become slightly myopic.

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The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
IP: 89.241.100.242 Edited: 27/06/2012 07:00:14 by carnkie
somersetminer

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 27/06/2012 00:44:36
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carnkie wrote:

Peter Burgess wrote:

You can't make good omelettes without breaking a few eggs!


The death toll in coal mining during the 19th century or the fact that there were more widows in the Camborne/Redruth area, per capita, than anywhere else in the UK.


what proportion of those were widows of miners? as opposed to men in the fuse works/foundries/factories etc
obviously allied trades, but I'm interested in the stats of coal mining v metal mining, I would presume lower

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carnkie

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 27/06/2012 08:11:11
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somersetminer wrote:

carnkie wrote:

Peter Burgess wrote:

You can't make good omelettes without breaking a few eggs!


The death toll in coal mining during the 19th century or the fact that there were more widows in the Camborne/Redruth area, per capita, than anywhere else in the UK.


what proportion of those were widows of miners? as opposed to men in the fuse works/foundries/factories etc
obviously allied trades, but I'm interested in the stats of coal mining v metal mining, I would presume lower



I don't think I've seen any stats that separates mortality in that much detail. In any case I would have thought premature deaths in fuse works/foundries/factories would have been minor in comparison. The major reason behind the high mortality rate in hard rock mining was Phthisis and various complications of the disease.

I have a paper somewhere that includes the comparison of coal mining and hard rock mining that I'll see if I can find. Of course the one big difference was that hard rock mining wasn't subject to explosions that took so many lives during the Victorian coal mining era.

Regarding the legacy it does depend on the direction of approach. By this I mean the retention of the physical landscape is a constant reminder of the skill and ingenuity of past engineers and the skill and courage of the miners bur if you come at it from another direction by taking a walk around local graveyards, one is reminded of the very heavy price they paid.

One could also add the pollution of the Neath and Swansea areas of S. Wales due to the copper smelting that took nealy a hundred years to sort out but that's a subject in it's own right.

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IP: 89.241.107.204 Edited: 27/06/2012 08:34:04 by carnkie
Peter Burgess

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Mining Legacy
Posted: 27/06/2012 08:38:01
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carnkie wrote:

Peter Burgess wrote:

You can't make good omelettes without breaking a few eggs!


Regarding the social consequencies of mining, what do you consider a few eggs? The death toll in coal mining during the 19th century or the fact that there were more widows in the Camborne/Redruth area, per capita, than anywhere else in the UK. The legacy of mining has to be balanced between maintaining archaelogical aspects and the social consequencies. Sometimes I feel some views become slightly myopic.
Then stop feeling that way and credit your fellow mine historians with a good overall understanding of the pains and problems of mining, past and present.

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carnkie

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Posted: 27/06/2012 09:12:53
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I'm sorry I didn't realise the subject of mining legacy was confined to mining historians. For example, currently, the subject of mountain top coal mining in West Virginia appears to have reached a wider audience for obvious reasons.

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