Copper Mining

Copper Mining

There is evidence of copper mining have taken place at Parys Mountain for over 4000 years. There is some evidence that the area was mined by the Romans and even more evidence that bronze age peoples used stone tools to mine copper from the mountain.

The history of mining in more recent times started with Jonathon Roose who came from Cumbria to explore the mountain land belonging to the Rev Bayley of Llys Dulas. One last exploration was started in February 1768 under the direction of Jonathan Roose. This was successful and a rich vein was found on 2nd March 1768 close to the previously named golden venture shaft. This lead to the open cast working in Mona mine. The miner who discovered the lode was called Roland Puw and for his work he was given a rent-free cottage for life.

By 1770 the vein had been extended onto the land belonging to Parys farm. This caused increasing bitter legal disputes about the boundary between the owners of the two farms on the mountain. On the one hand Sir Nicholas Bayley, who owned the Mona land and Rev Edward Hughes who half owned Parys farm. One man who played a large part in the legal disputes was Thomas Williams (Twm Chwarae Teg or Tom Fair Play).

Thomas Williams was born 31/5/1737 at Llansadwrn in Anglesey to a minor land-owning family. He became a lawyer and was first used by Edward Hughes in 1774 to try and untangle the legal disputes about the boundary of the Parys and Mona lands.

Thomas Williams legal work led to the formation of the Parys Mine company in 1774. With Roose as his technical expert. Over the next few years his influence and skills grew. He also formed alliances and eventually also gained control of the Mona mine. Between 1787 and 1792 his influence grew until he had complete control of the Anglesey and Cornwall copper production.

Thomas realised that more money could be made from the copper if he controlled the downstream products as well and the raw ore. He built a copper and wire works at Greenfield near Flint where he produced copper and brass products to be used in various markets. He also held a patent for the production of “Copper Nails” which were used to hold copper sheeting to many wooden ships at the time including Lord Nelson’s Victory.

Thomas Williams also started to invest and develop the port at Amlwch to allow for the export of copper and the import of raw materials needed at the mine.

The development of the port was continued by the Treweek family who came to Parys Mountain in 1811.

Over the next 150 years smaller mining operations for copper continued at the mine.

In 1973 the existence of a high-grade polymetallic ore deposit in the engine zone was discovered by Cominco Ltd It was estimated that the reserves were 4.8 million Tonnes of an ore containing 1.5% copper,3% lead,6% Zinc and small amounts of gold and silver.

Based on these results a new shaft (The Morris shaft) was sunk in 1988.

An experimental processing plant was also built. This has increased the known reserves in the mine to 6.5 million Tonnes. Further experimental drillings / explorations are planned.

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