Mount Wellington Tailings Dam, this is the area of the Wheal Maid valley at Gwennap that was used by Mount Wellington 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 maybe the material could be re-treated in the future should the processing techniques allow it, or that is the theory.
In 1981 the company operating the mill at the time Billiton Minerals (UK) Ltd. Subsequently a Shell subsidiary obtained permission to lay a new pipeline from the tailings back to the mill for reprocessing.
The colours here can be so spectacular with vivid reds and yellows in the water and surrounding earth created by the minerals still held in 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 poison soup that should be avoided.
These images were taken on a summers day during 2013. I will perhaps go back and take a digital image to show the colours around the dam.