Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2

Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2, this is the second page of the mill interior as it was during 1998. Just before closure.

Once again thanks to Paul Chesterfield who has helped with the images, he has also written a short account for this page:

I started work at Wheal Jane as an apprentice electrician, aged 17. It was pretty daunting for to be going 900 feet underground, but very exciting at the same time. As electricians, we had to install the power for ventilation fans and pumps. Also we were often working in areas before the miners went in to drill and blast to further develop new workings.
We used to maintain the winding engines, pumps, locos etc, along with other general duties such as underground lighting and telephones. The work was extremely varied, with no two days being the same, I absolutely loved it! Latterly I moved to work in the mill maintaining the crushing and milling equipment along with conveyor systems, cranes etc.
My late father also worked at the mine as a storeman, twice: the first time for Consolidated Gold Fields, then at the same time as me for RTZ.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.1
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.1: The inside of the mill showing the huge amount of pipes in the facility. There were pumps associated with a lot of the pipes, all driven by 3 phase motors. These required: greasing of the bearings, drive belt checks, also periodic bearing changes.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.2
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.2: Wherever possible gravity was used to aid the material travel during the process so the equipment was built high within the shed.
The next few images are of the Floatation Floor. This was where impurities such as Sulphides were removed from the ore slurry. By adding chemicals and then whipping the mixture a froth is formed. The bubbles in the froth attract the sulphide and this may then be taken off.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.3
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.3: An image looking down onto the Flotation Floor.
This was taken from the chemical reagent floor, where the various chemicals ( including cyanide) were accurately dosed to the process using peristaltic pumps similar to those used for kidney dialysis. On the right, the electrical control panel can be seen. There was separate panel for every motor containing fuses, contactor and thermal overload to protect the motors. If the flotation cells jammed, stalling the motor.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.4
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.4: This is taken at floor level in the Tin Flotation area.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.5
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.5: On mill shutdowns, the motors from the flotation cells were removed for bearing changes on a planned maintenance system. The electrical cables were also checked for earth continuity and insulation resistance.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.6
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.6: Many banks of cells in this part of the mill.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.7
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.7: The lighting was maintained from the overhead crane gantry. The crane ran the full length of the floor, enabling large items to be lifted from the basement to the top of the mill.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.8
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.8: This image shows the flotation cells in some detail.
Basically the cell driven by an electric motor, driving an impeller on the end of a vertical shaft, this was surrounded by a perforated rubber skirt. The action caused the tin, or copper zinc slurry to form into large bubbles, being aerated by the cell.
The foam was then removed from the front of the cell by the paddles (like a lawnmower blade) into pipework and down to the floor below onto the tables. The automatic greasing canisters for the paddles can also be seen (little white cans) on the bearings at the end of the cells.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.9
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.9: The control panel stretched the whole length of the building. At the end of the mill building, the brick wall up high is the reagent floor where the chemicals were dosed to the processes.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.10
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.10: This image shows a cyclone the large tank to the left, cyclones were part of the process to help classify and sort the mineral slurry.
The Tin slurry was then channelled to the recovery plant. This was the home to many shaking tables. These are an important part of the recovery process.
The fine Tin was held in water which was fed onto the corner of the table. The table was driven by an electric motor which produced a shaking effect. This movement over a rippled deck caused the Tin material to separate out of the liquid this was then recovered.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.11
Cornish Mine Images 2.11: Once the impurities have been removed in the Flotation Process the slurry runs over a bank of Shaking Tables. These concentrate the ore by removing high density material from the low density. After several cycles of this process the waste is pumped to the tailings dam, the concentrate goes for drying.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.12
Cornish Mine Images 2.12: There were several levels containing the shaking tables.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.13
Cornish Mine Images 2.13: My favorite image of the shaking tables..
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.14
Cornish Mine Images 2.14: The mill was huge, it just seemed to go on and on.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.15
Cornish Mine Images 2.15: A closer image of the table showing the feed pipes.
Wheal Jane Mill Gallery 2.16
Cornish Mine Images 2.16: The drive motor can be clearly seen on the bottom left hand corner of the table.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 2.17: This image is looking down on a pair of Shaking Tables. The rippled surface which holds the heavier particles (Tin Concentrate) can be easily seen with the slurry flowing across them.
After the recovery was complete the refined product was dried. So then it was moved to the storage shed pictured below.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 2.18: This shed was the storage area for the finished concentrate.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 2.19: The final product the dried concentrate. Tin Oxide refined from South Crofty Mine ore waiting to be bagged up. From here I believe it was shipped to India for smelting.
To finish this page on the Mill a few photographs taken on the outside of the building.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 2.20: An external image of the mill, all this has now been demolished and removed.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 2.21: The exhaust for the concentrate drier.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 2.22: A final image of the Processing Mill. The white square building to the right of the settling tank is the pump house. This contained the pumps that transferred the waste from the tank to the tailings dam.

I was so very fortunate to see the mill in action, I hope these images convey the fascination of the site.

Wheal Jane Group 2013


error: Copyright Simon Jones 2022