Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 1, the mill treated the ore from South Crofty until the mine closed during 1998. The mined material already been crushed to sub 150mm before drawing up the shaft. It was then loaded into lorries and brought to the mill by road.
After closure the mill which was the biggest building on the site (approx 67,000 SqFt) lay dormant and neglected. South Crofty purchased some of the equipment whilst the rest was scrapped. The building was finally demolished during 2006/7, the site is now occupied by a solar farm with 5680 panels.
Paul Chesterfield has once again kindly supplied information on the images.
The crusher drive having the larger pulley 3 or possibly 4 vee belts were used. These were regularly changed on routine maintenance shutdowns. Usually once a month for around 10 hours to prevent failure when in operation.
Changing the motors was a challenging task, necessitating the use of the overhead crane due to their size and weight.
The control panel and monitoring system can be seen on the left. This is the primary ball mill, the steel balls were 50mm in diameter, and the drum was rubber lined. This area was extremely noisy.
Behind this, and not in view would have been the rod mill. This worked on a similar principle but was first in the process and used steel rods. These were 50mm diameter and around 4 metres long, to further crush the gravel.
The control panel could control the speed of the ball mills as these were driven by DC 500volt electric motors with variable speed control. The 2 round chart recorders plotted the flow of material through the mills.
Mr Stan Williams was employed in the Mill for 8 years, he has written a short account of one of his memories:
I remember the work we did working for Press in between Consolidated and R T Z. Myself, Ros Spargo and Peter May were given the job of fabricating the rubber lining for the floatation baths. After we had cut the rubber we had to glue it in place, after a little while we started to giggle, sadly we could not stop.
The manager called us into his office accused us of being drunk. So he was just about to sack us when our shift boss came in and told him what we were doing, the glue had affected us. Out of that we got a danger bonus.