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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After the recovery was complete the refined product was dried. So then it was moved to the storage shed pictured below.
To finish this page on the Mill a few photographs taken on the outside of the building.
I was so very fortunate to see the mill in action, I hope these images convey the fascination of the site.