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MELLANEAR MINE 1864 - 1868


(Transcribed from Russell Webber’s [1934-2017] research)

The mine commenced working again in 1864 after 50 years of idleness and it was to become the last major copper mine in Cornwall. It was the western part of Wheal Ann (which later became West Alfred Consuls). In October 1863 a set for a term of 21 years, rent £20 dues 1/24th, was granted by Francis Rodd of Trembartha Hall, Esq, to George Augustus Ashton, of Lombard Street, London, Gent and Henry Nesbitt, of Old Broad Street, London, Gent.

The lease was granted for the working of the Mellanear (all minerals) Mining Sett on the properties of Trellisick and Mellanear. The mine was worked on the cost book principle, starting with 2500 shares, which fell to 1937, and finally to 1902 shares.

The Chief Agent of the mine was Richard Stevens 1863-68;
Purser Alm. E. Paul 1863-66; and Henry Nesbitt 1868;
Managers William Paul 1864 and W. Gill 1865-68.
The office address was Ethelburga House, Bishopsgate Street, London.

The mine was carefully inspected both at surface and underground by Captain J. Vivian, of North Roskear, and Captain John Nancarrow. The sett was an extensive one and as a continuation of the Wheal Alfred lodes, it was recommended that an engine shaft be sunk immediately to reach the junction of the lode and Elvan course. The strength, size, and general appearance of the North lode contained all the elements of a great and promising mine.

The adit was 12 fms below surface, and the mine was worked to a depth of 50 fms, and the mine was drained of water by an 80 inch engine, with its cylinder linered down to 76 inches, which had moved the short distance from Wheal Ann. A 17 inch steam engine was employed for crushing ores and as a capstan, and at some time 51 men, 8 females, and 4 boys were employed.

In September 1866, Samual Higgs, Samuel Higgs (The Younger) and Bazeley of Penzance sought payment of £42-4-0, plus interest, for goods supplied and work done. Difficulties receiving the calls from shareholders resulted in the Purser Henry Nesbitt taking proceedings against Samuel Law (the younger) owing £68-10-0 on 60 shares, Wm Hayes £28-10-0 on 25 shares, and Wm Waugh £159-3-4 on 50 shares, to obtain overdue payments. If the calls were not paid the shares were to be sold in satisfaction of the debts.

The company could not make the mine profitable, and in February 1868 it was taken over by The Mellanear Mining Co. Ltd. The output of the mine between February 1865 and September 1868 was 942 tons of copper ore, raising a total of £2462-3-0