Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pit,  this is the first page containing images of this huge working excavation in the St Austell Area of Cornwall. These images were taken in May 2012 on a tour arranged by the pit’s owner and operator, Imerys.

Mining here first began in around 1830 when 8 smaller pits were operating.  As the operations grew these pits gradually merged together to form one large complex known  as the Karslake Pits.

The modern day China Clay Pit is mindbogglingly huge, it covers over 500 acres with a circumference of around 15 miles. Some places within the pit are over 130m deep, which is nearly three Nelson Columns.

My thanks go to those who gave up their time to arrange the visit and show me around.

 

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pit 1: These first few images are taken from the Pit viewing area. It really gives an idea of the size of the place, it is huge.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pit 2: The conveyor belt in the foreground leads to a bank of Classifiers in the distance.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pit 3: The waste product is used for fine sand. In the centre of the image is a recovery sand plant.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pit 4: In the foreground is a small processing area. The pit behind just seemed to go on forever, filling the horizon.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pit 5: A more detailed image of the conveyor belt.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pit 6: Down at ground level in the pit, this is a change of direction point in the conveyor belt.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pit 7: The mined product can be seen on the belt.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pit 8: A close image of the conveyor belt disappearing into the pit.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pit 9: A final image of the conveyor belt stretching away towards the mountains of waste material in the distance.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pit 10: Water storage tanks in a processing area within the pit.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pits 11: This is a wider view of the processing area. On the raised area are a bank of Cyclones used to separate out different grades of fine material.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pits 12: A bank of electric motors caught my eye. Seems like they make quite an interesting image.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pits 13: Finally, at the end of the long conveyor belt, there is a bank of Classifiers. The mined material is ferried here, then the coarser sand elements are removed from the slurry.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pits 14: A closer look at these huge machines. Sadly they were not working when I was there.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pits 15: The back of the bank of Classifiers. The various pipes here would consequently remove the clay suspension material to a refining plant for final processing.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pits 16: Deep within the pit is this group of Pump Houses. Without these in place the pit would rapidly fill with water.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pits 17: A second view of the Pump Houses. The mountains of waste material in the background seem to dominate the whole area.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pits 18: The Pump Houses were very photogenic.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit

Littlejohns China Clay Pits 19: Finally, a closer view of one of the buildings, the power supply is in the channel going down the slope.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit 2

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