Mount Wellington Tailings

Mount Wellington Tailings Dam, this is the area of the Wheal Maid valley at Gwennap that was used by during the 1970-1980’s to hold the waste from the mine mill. The waste was usually stored due to the fact that technology is always improving, so the material could be re-treated in the future should the processing techniques allow it.
The colours here can be spectacular with vivid reds and yellows in the water and surrounding earth created by the minerals still held within the waste.  The water within the tailings dam is contaminated with a variety of substances: arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, zinc, lead and nickel. This makes a rather unpleasant soup that should be avoided.

These images were taken in 2013, I will perhaps go back and take a digital image to show the colours around the dam.

Mount Wellington Tailings 1

An image looking at the earth dam from the Twelveheads side, the water here is a very deep red. At the rear is a concrete access ramp for vehicles.

Mount Wellington Tailings 2

Looking down the concrete ramp.

Mount Wellington Tailings 3

What looks like some sort of access shaft on one side of the earth dam wall.

Mount Wellington Tailings 4

One of the overflow weirs in the tailings lagoon used to control the level of water behind the dam.

Mount Wellington Tailings 5

A wider image showing the second overflow weir.

Mount Wellington Tailings 6

A closer image of the lower weir.

Mount Wellington Tailings 7

A wider image looking towards the dam wall.

Mount Wellington Tailings 8

In the foreground a ramp which leads to the water.

Mount Wellington Tailings 9

A wide image looking across the lagoon, showing both the overflows wier and the height of the dam wall.

Mount Wellington Tailings 10

Looking across the Wheal Maid Valley showing the size of the tailings dam area.

Wheal Jane Mine

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