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 during a tour arranged by the pit’s owner and operator, Imerys.

Littlejohns China Clay Pit
Littlejohns China Clay Pit 1: The first few images were taken from the Pit viewing area. It really gives an idea of the size of the place, it is so huge.
Mining here first began in during the 1830’s 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.
Littlejohns China Clay Pit
Littlejohns China Clay Pit 2: The conveyor belt in the foreground eventually leads to a bank of Classifiers in the distance.
The modern day China Clay Pit is mindbogglingly huge, it covers over 500 acres with a circumference of around 15 miles. Also some places within the pit are over 130m deep, which is nearly three Nelson Columns.
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.
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 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: Another 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
Cornish Mine Images 7: The mined product can be seen on the belt.
Littlejohns China Clay Pit
Cornish Mine Images 8: A close image of the conveyor belt disappearing into the pit.
Littlejohns China Clay Pit
Cornish Mine Images 9: A final image of the conveyor belt stretching away towards the mountains of waste material in the distance.
Littlejohns China Clay Pit
Cornish Mine Images 10: Water storage tanks in a processing area within the pit.
Littlejohns China Clay Pit
Cornish Mine Images 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
Cornish Mine Images 12: A bank of electric motors caught my eye. Seems like they make quite an interesting image.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 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.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 14: A closer look at these huge machines. Sadly they were not working when I was there.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 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.
In another part of the pit there was a bank of small pumping houses. These were something I had never seen before. Without them the pit would have filled with water rapidly.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 16: Deep within the pit is this group of Pump Houses.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 17: A second view of the Pump Houses. The mountains of waste material in the background seem to dominate the whole area.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 18: The Pump Houses were very photogenic.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 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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