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British Industrial History

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Wheal Jane

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Wheal Jane was a tin mine near Baldhu and Chacewater in West Cornwall

  • Wheal Jane was probably seriously worked for tin from the mid 1700s. Given the complexity of ore formation near granitic emplacements, amounts of arsenic, copper, silver and zinc were also worked at some time.
  • Around 1885, most of the nearby mines became uneconomic.
  • 1895 Wheal Jane was able to struggle on for a few years, principally due to its arsenic revenue, but it too succumbed around 1895.
  • It re-opened in 1906 as part of Falmouth Consolidated, with a modernisation and cost reducing agenda, but it was to close again within a decade.
  • Work recommenced at low intensity in the run up to World War II but interest was turning to more modern processing techniques to recover more tin from what was already available and the old mine spoil was re-worked until 1946.
  • It was re-opened again in 1969 and much development work was done underground and in improving the surface processing facilities and ownership eventually passed to Rio Tinto Zinc.
  • 1985 Like the remainder of Cornwall's tin mines (Geevor, Pendarves and South Crofty Mine), it was dealt a body blow by the end of the International Tin Agreement in 1985 and the subsequent collapse of the world tin price.
  • 1992 It never really recovered and the pumps were finally switched off in 1992.

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