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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Cambrian Mines Trust
royfellows

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 04/07/2013 13:26:14
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I have just uploaded a plan of the workings at Cwmystwyth which shows the position of all of the levels etc and also the area of the Scheduled Ancient Monument. Please be aware that much of the area is also a SSSI and this area overlaps the former.
The plan is an excellent piece of work, credit to Mr Frank Giecco of Wardell Armstrong by whose kind permission this has been made available.

Can everyone please note that nothing is to be done on the site without prior consultation with me. Also that the triangle of grassy ground adjascent to the road and the Nant yr Onnen stream is not Trust land but belongs to a local farmer.

More news is that Steel Ore Adit is open as is Pengeulan East which is a blind heading but nice level.

--

Better a NAMHO delegate than an organiser, that way you just get the disappointments not the aggro. LOL
IP: 88.105.221.156
royfellows

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Posted: 18/07/2013 09:54:20
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Cwmystwyth Mines

I have had reported to me that there may have been some activity in the vicinity of Pughes Level. Will everyone please note that this level is completely run at the Cwmystwyth Fault and that the Trust does not allow any access due to the highly polluted nature of the water coming out of it.

Also I have to make it clear that no work of any nature is to be done on the site without the authority of the Trust. There are private properties that abstract water from Nant y Watcyn and Nant yr Onnen, please do not interfere with these.

Also, the site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a SSSI, this is from our own website:


NO overnight parking, off road vehicle use, fires or camping.

Do NOT remove anything from the site. As well as being private property its a SSSI and you could be prosecuted!

Do NOT leave litter, please take it away with you when you leave. The police have been instructed to prosecute anyone caught dumping rubbish, and the Trust will not hesitate with regard to this.

Although unenclosed, the land is used for grazing, so is not the best place to exercise your dog. If you bring a dog, please keep it under close control. If it has a known tendency to chase sheep, it must be kept on a lead.





--

Better a NAMHO delegate than an organiser, that way you just get the disappointments not the aggro. LOL
IP: 92.24.112.73 Edited: 18/07/2013 09:55:37 by royfellows
Graigfawr

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 18/07/2013 19:11:47
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Pugh's Adit does not even penetrate as far as the Cwmystwyth Fault. It was only ever driven as far as Pugh's Shaft, located about 100m north of the adit entrance. The shaft is completely run in and hence Pugh's Adit ends at rockfalls where enormous quantities of waste rock have blocked the shaft.

IP: 2.100.56.21
royfellows

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Posted: 18/07/2013 20:28:15
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Graigfawr wrote:

Pugh's Adit does not even penetrate as far as the Cwmystwyth Fault. It was only ever driven as far as Pugh's Shaft, located about 100m north of the adit entrance. The shaft is completely run in and hence Pugh's Adit ends at rockfalls where enormous quantities of waste rock have blocked the shaft.



Thanks for this Robert, even less reason for anyone to go in there!


--

Better a NAMHO delegate than an organiser, that way you just get the disappointments not the aggro. LOL
IP: 2.98.225.65
royfellows

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Posted: 13/08/2013 14:27:55
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I am very pleased to announce the appointment to our board of directors of Prof of geology David James.

David is a sedimentary geologist and former geophysicist who followed an international professional careeer in oil and gas exploration and research. A graduate of Oxford and the University of Wales, Swansea and a Chartered Geologist, he is now retired from salaried employment but is an Honorary Visiting Professor at Cardiff University specialising in basin analysis, fluid flow and seismic interpretation. He has served on the Council of the Geological Society of London and is a trustee of the Cambridge Arctic Shelf Programme. He lives much of year in Ceredigion where he has long-standing research interests in the sedimentology and mining geology of Central Wales on which has published extensively, including the first modern geological evaluation of the Cwmystwyth Mines.

David is also a very real explorer and has spent a lot of time in my company underground either up to his chest in water or dangling on a rope.

Roy Fellows

--

Better a NAMHO delegate than an organiser, that way you just get the disappointments not the aggro. LOL
IP: 2.98.235.242
royfellows

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Posted: 26/08/2013 10:29:02
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There is an extraordinary meeting of the Ceredigion Mines Forum this coming Friday 30th August, 10:30 for an 11:00 start at the Halfway Inn, Pysgah (on the A4120 between Aberystwyth and Pontarfynach/Devil's Bridge) - with a site visit to Cwmystwyth in the afternoon.

Coffee and tea will be provided at the start of the meeting. Lunch is not included but the Halfway Inn does a good range of food and drink, and we hope you will take advantage of their catering.

The subject of the meeting is the future plans for Cwmystwyth as outlined in a paper I have prepared. Representatives of RCAHMW, Ceredigion Council, Dyfed Archaeological Trust, Cadw and other statutory bodies should be in attendance. If you have interests in the mines at Cwmystwyth and its immediate area please make sure you attend.

Rosa level at Cwmystwyth is now open again however I recommend extreme caution to anyone contemplating a descent of the workings. The rock is very flakey and anchors appear to be of the 8mm split variety, a poor combination. Also, some of these appear to have been in place a very long time, the bolts are rusty and these started being produced in stainless quite a few years ago, I suspect 20 years old or thereabouts. I have places some 10mm sleeve bolt anchors at the very top but the whole descent needs checking.

There are also a lot of loose deads, I think some stabilisation work is needed.

10mm sleeve anchors have also been placed at the head of the skipway in Level Fawr as a better alternative than belay to the timbers.

--

Better a NAMHO delegate than an organiser, that way you just get the disappointments not the aggro. LOL
IP: 2.98.226.50 Edited: 26/08/2013 10:33:42 by royfellows
Graigfawr

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Posted: 26/08/2013 16:34:26
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The 8mm spits in Rosa were placed in 1990-91.

A rather involved route was bolted down the stope immediately west of the crosscut by John Carter and Dave Jackson who had aspiration to publishing a rigging guide to a variety of caves and mines (most of the routes they bolted were in Yorkshire caves). This route follows a number of short scrambles to a 15ft pitch, from where the route doubled back on itself slightly past a acrowjack left by NCMC in the 1970s. The second pitch (about 60ft) to Mitchell's passed through deads in its upper half; it is blocked by a large boulder that fell in the 1990s.

Bolts were placed by another local group at the head of the large winze immediately east of Rosa crosscut. This provides a cleaner descent to Mitchell's but intersects a section of drivage where the floor has been stoped away, leaving only gritty ledges on the footwall.

Many of the spits further down the routes quickly filled with ochre. I suspect that many of the spits would now be hard to find.

Note that from the 15ft pitch mentioned above, if you walk along the deads to the western extremity of the stope, a small hole into a lower stope is reached. Descent of this is not advised because it passes large quantities of extremely grit and rocks adhering loosely to the footwall and attempts to abseil past them dislodges large quantites of material.
IP: 2.100.162.208
royfellows

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Posted: 26/08/2013 17:21:48
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Thanks for this.
I noted the winze in Roasa to the east and it looks a clean pitch but could not see any bolts so assumed it had been checked out and found to lead nowhere, it appears I was wrong!

Today I discovered an upload on the web of Aber Caving Clubs accounts of their explorations in the late 1980s, it makes interesting reading. But due to the time that has passed much may well have changed in Pughs Mine due to the unstable nature of the workings.

--

Better a NAMHO delegate than an organiser, that way you just get the disappointments not the aggro. LOL
IP: 2.98.226.50
royfellows

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Posted: 02/09/2013 18:20:29
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Nant Trefach Adit was briefly reopened this weekend for a geological examination. Its hideously dangerous and blocked completely after a short distance therefore it was immediately resealed when we had finished.



(click image to open full size image in new window)

Some nice hangers secured by 10mm through bolts have been placed at top of the skipway. Better than belaying to the timbers.

--

Better a NAMHO delegate than an organiser, that way you just get the disappointments not the aggro. LOL
IP: 92.19.59.233
Graigfawr

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Posted: 02/09/2013 19:11:34
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royfellows wrote:

Nant Trefach Adit


Nant Trefach Level (entry no.7 in S.J.S.Hughes 'The Cwmystwyth Mines', 1981, p.68 / map on p.52) is located behind the magazine, about 100m east of the level you posted an image of. The only trace of it on surface is the trickle of water along the gutter that emerges from the base of the retaining wall behind the magazine.

The level that you posted an image of is of the western of the two Nant y Gwaith levels (entry no.11 on p.68 / map on p.52); it enters boulders collapsed from an open cut three or four metres uphill of its portal; the absence of a dump raises the possibility that it never penetrated any further. S.J.S.Hughes suggested that it "maybe part of Nant Trefach Adit come to surface" (Hughes 1981, p.68) but survey of the Nant Trefach Level (published in D.Bick, 'Waller's description of the mines in Cardiganshire', 2004, p.50) clarified that the Nant Trefach Level's west drivage did not penetrate this far west, so it is not connected to the Nant Trefach Level.

These are the usual names of these levels as published by Hughes, however discussion continues as to where the Nant Trefach Level may have actualy been located (much further east - closer to Copper Hill has been suggested) - see discussion in WMS newsletters. The extant workings do not accord with Waller's 1704 description and plan (see Bick 2004, pp.50-1) but Smyth's 1847 plan (Hughes 1981, p.19) does name this level as 'Nant trefach Level', and the workings shown on his plan accord closely with the extant workings. The form of the crosscut (see photo in Bick, p.48) seems appropriate for a level driven in the first decade of the eighteenth century (but could concievably be many decades later).

Intriguing workings that deserve further study!
IP: 92.26.79.230 Edited: 02/09/2013 19:13:56 by Graigfawr
royfellows

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Posted: 02/09/2013 19:44:53
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Thanks Robert.


--

Better a NAMHO delegate than an organiser, that way you just get the disappointments not the aggro. LOL
IP: 92.19.59.233
royfellows

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Posted: 13/09/2013 15:56:59
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Cwmystwyth Mines

I have just uploaded three pdf documents relative to various initiatives at this site, these include a Hydro Electric proposal by Barratt Associates. Will stakeholders and interested parties please study these and let the Trust have your input.

The Hydro document was prepared as a platform for discussion with Barratt Associates in August 2013. At this time (early September) the Cambrian Mines Trust has put forward our vision of how such a scheme could be acceptable to the Trust and await BAs proposals. When this happens input from other stakholders and interested parties will be invited before the Trust makes any final decision. As the site is a SAM and SSSI there will need to be authority approval as well.
As the proposals include some partial restoration of original mining features these are provisionally supported by Cambrian Mines Trust, but final decisions depend on BAs final proposals.

Beside the Hydro proposal, the Trust is keen to move forward in other directions and to this end an extraordinary meeting of the Ceredigion Mines Forum was called.
The platforms for discussion were the first two documents and after what was generally regarded as a sucessful meeting we all visitied the site.
Third document are notes on the meeting prepared by the chair, Peter Austin.

--

Better a NAMHO delegate than an organiser, that way you just get the disappointments not the aggro. LOL
IP: 88.105.210.16 Edited: 13/09/2013 16:06:44 by royfellows
mikehiggins

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Posted: 13/09/2013 17:54:16
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Thanks for uploading all that info, just finished reading through it all. Some interesting proposals and a lot to think about. One immediate question - Peter Austin's notes refer to "Concerns about unsympathetic underground exploration – it was noted that a set of conditions for underground access had been posted on the website." Assuming that means CMT's website, I couldn't find these conditions - can you point me in the right direction? IP: 86.145.3.161
royfellows

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Posted: 13/09/2013 19:43:50
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mikehiggins wrote:

Thanks for uploading all that info, just finished reading through it all. Some interesting proposals and a lot to think about. One immediate question - Peter Austin's notes refer to "Concerns about unsympathetic underground exploration – it was noted that a set of conditions for underground access had been posted on the website." Assuming that means CMT's website, I couldn't find these conditions - can you point me in the right direction?


Right, first I want to say that 'access controls' or anything resembling padlocks, funny handshakes, or 'north Wales type politics' in any mines owned by the Trust will be over my dead body. The only exception to this will be in any mine where there is underground work going on, which I have to say may actually involve contractors.

The conditions for access to any Trust mine (see page 2 of this thread) refers to 'permitted' access. Obviously in the absence of any locks there would be nothing to prevent anyone going in as a trespasser. At this point in time things are moving forward at such as pace that I cannot handle a permit system, so access at this time is free to anyone properly equipped to go underground. That is current trust policy.

What was actually mentioned at the meeting referred to my initiative for work on the portal of Level Fawr and the need to be able to easily get men and materials into the mine for essential work. (A timber supporting the main crib just above the skipway is sagging) Also I am determined to get the 2004? collapse spiled through to a proper full size roadway, the tight crawl tube at the end would remain as is as a second exit from the far workings.
The concerns expressed at the meeting were that this work would drain the level making access a dry or simple welly walk in and that this could attract 'casual entry'.
I take this on board and see a solution in a 'Nenthead Gate'.

As far as secured mines, such as those on land where the Trust is not in ownership but only holds Mineral Rights or acts as an ACB a combination lock is perceived as ideal solution. That is where our permits and conditions would come in, to get a permit you just ask for one and agree to our conditions and get the combination that will work all of our locks. Simples.
Yes, and no need to hold BCA insurance, we have our own. (Smiley face)

On a personal note, I am aggrieved by activities such as the commercial stripping of minerals with no regard to the fabric of the mine, theft of artefacts, plus other interferences such as stripping perfectly good ladderways out to make 'sporting pitches'. Believe me this has happened in the past and resulted in the mine in question being shut down to explorers.
My ultimate vision for Level Fawr, and indeed all the Cwmystwyth Mines, is that they can be carefully preserved underground as well as at surface, and yet the underground remain free to all explorers. I will stand corrected if I am wrong but I believe that Cwmystwyth is unique in that it is in complete ownership of the mine exploration and history community. I see no reason why ‘official’ funding cannot be available for underground works in the same way as on surface.

At the meeting I was given an interesting piece of information by the CADW rep. Scheduled Ancient Monument status extends to the underground.
Very interesting.

Anyway, if anyone has any more questions, misgivings, or whatever, then please lets hear them.


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Better a NAMHO delegate than an organiser, that way you just get the disappointments not the aggro. LOL
IP: 88.105.210.16
AR

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Posted: 13/09/2013 22:45:38
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royfellows wrote:


At the meeting I was given an interesting piece of information by the CADW rep. Scheduled Ancient Monument status extends to the underground.
Very interesting.


Yes, anything underneath a monument's designated area is covered by the scheduling (the notes about SAMs on English Heritage's website explicitly state this), and as such any works in a mine within a scheduled area require the consent of the Secretary of State. Without this, any works or operations would constitute damage to the monument, which is a criminal offence under the 1979 Ancient Monuments Act.

I'm slowly introducing the caving community to this concept, particularly in relation to Castleton Moor and what's underneath it....

--

I want you to kill Nicholas Parsons, and I want you to make it clean. But if you can't make it clean, make it messy. If you can't make it messy, make it noisy. And if you can't make it noisy, make it silly!
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ChrisJC

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Posted: 14/09/2013 08:09:17
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AR wrote:

... and as such any works in a mine within a scheduled area require the consent of the Secretary of State. Without this, any works or operations would constitute damage to the monument, which is a criminal offence under the 1979 Ancient Monuments Act.


So if one were to go into Cwmystwyth and put some bolts in to access a shaft, that would constitute a criminal offence?

Chris.
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AR

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Posted: 14/09/2013 08:48:08
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If CADW consider that putting bolts in constitute "works" under the 1979 act, then it would be an offence. As there's no provision in the act for retrospective consent for works already done, before doing anything on a scheduled site you need to discuss with CADW/EH and see if you need to apply.

--

I want you to kill Nicholas Parsons, and I want you to make it clean. But if you can't make it clean, make it messy. If you can't make it messy, make it noisy. And if you can't make it noisy, make it silly!
IP: 86.133.158.35
Ty Gwyn

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Posted: 14/09/2013 10:27:21
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Where can i find the pdf regarding the Hydro application by Barratts? IP: 217.43.126.177
Morlock

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Posted: 14/09/2013 10:37:20
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Ty Gwyn wrote:

Where can i find the pdf regarding the Hydro application by Barratts?


Click on Cwmystwyth button.

http://www.cambrianmines.co.uk/
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Ty Gwyn

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Posted: 14/09/2013 11:09:40
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Thanks Morlock.
Is there sufficient water at the top of the mountain to supply a Hydro system,or will extra water have to be pumped up there?
IP: 217.43.126.177
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