The images on this page were taken at Cligga Head Wolfram Mine in the late 1990’s. Wolframite was the main source of Tungsten which was widely used in the manufacture of munitions.
The Cligga Head Mine first opened in 1938 and was closed on the completion of the Second World War in 1945. In the 1960’s Geevor Mine in collaboration with other mining companies, re-commenced underground works with active exploration and diamond drilling. No great results were forthcoming and in 1964 Geevor Mine decided to expand their own sett with the re-entry of the Levant Mine workings, Sadly the site was again abandoned.
More work at Cligga Head was planned for the 1980’s, however the huge drop in the price of Tin due to the market collapse halted this project. The story here is not over yet, with rising Tin prices I believe there has been renewed interest in the site, the future, who knows, the area maybe mined in the future.
These images were taken in the late 1990’s.
Cligga Head Mine 1: This first image shows the surface remains of the mines processing plant. They are extensive and well worth a look.
Cligga Head Mine 2: One of the settling tanks used in the ore processing on the site.
Cligga Head Mine 3: The remains of buddles in the processing area.
Cligga Head Mine 4: One of the convex buddles at the extensive surface remains.
Cligga Head Mine 5: Machinery foundations and fixings, there is evidence of a flywheel. Possibly a compressor was mounted here.
Cligga Head Mine 6: Perhaps these are boiler foundations? A heavy Steel girder, brickwork and perhaps the remains of a chimney.
Cligga Head Mine 7: One of the capped shafts at Cligga Head Mine.
The surface area beyond the mine was the location for the British and Colonial Explosives factory which opened in 1893. This was eventually purchased by the Nobel Explosive Company, the site was in production until 1909 when a drop in metal prices closed many of the neighbouring mines. These images were taken in 2014 on the hottest day for several years, Tracy sat in the shade and I had a wander around.
Cligga Mine 8: The original factory was spread over a 100 acre site, he remains of building are scattered all the way to the airfield.
Cligga Mine 9: The purpose of some of the buildings is difficult to imagine, at its height the factory was producing 3 tons of nitroglycerine was per day.
Cligga Mine 10: One of the surviving settling tanks at the explosive works.
Cligga Mine 11: A heavily constructed building on the site. In the wall to the left is the blocked up entrance to one of the underground tunnels.
Cligga Mine 12: Another image of the same building. The massive stone wall behind was probably in place to offer some protection from a blast. The building is heavily constructed and may have been a storeroom.
Cligga Mine 13: The steps running up the side of the building. I wish they could tell a story of who walked up them.
Cligga Mine 14: Such fine brickwork lines this entrance to an underground chamber. This would have been covered in soil when the site was open.
Cligga Mine 15: One of the underground passages on the site. With the rough walls and roof this was probably used for storage.
Cligga Mine 16: The roof of this passageway was nicely lined with bricks and finished to a high standard.
Cligga Head Wolfram Mine and the Explosive Works are well worth a wander around, there are a lot of interesting remains. So, be prepared to spend a while exploring the remains.
Consols and United Mines