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Redruth's Wheal Jane Tin Mine

Rin Tin Tin - the Wheal Jane Tin Mine

News 1976 1 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


The Wheal Jane Tin Mine in the Carnon Valley near Redruth reopened in 1969 having operated as a tin mine since the mid-18th century. Wheal Jane was mined for cassiterite the mineral ore for tin but also arsenic, copper, silver and zinc. The mine finally closed in 1992 but pollution in the Fal Estuary caused a settling pool to be constructed for acid mine drainage to avoid further environmental contamination.

The International Tin Agreement 1985 saw the collapse of mines throughout Cornwall as the world price for tin plummeted. On 17 November 1991 a government grant which aids the continued pumping of contaminated water in Wheal Jane was stopped causing polluted water to enter the Carnon River causing public outcry. On 4 Jan 1992 the pumps were stopped entirely causing 50 million litres of acidic and metal-laden water to be released into the river and flooding surrounding landscape of Falmouth Bay and high arsenic concentrations caused loss of wildlife. In 1994 Wheal Jane Ltd provided prevention and treatment facilities, the first to meet UK and EU legislation environmental standards.