Camborne Vean Mine, Cornwall
Camborne and Crowan: grid reference SW652398
Notable minerals: Axinite, Chalcocite, Erubescite, Fluor & Hornblende.
Camborne Vean Mine sett lies in the middle of Camborne Town lying just south of the Penzance to Paddington Railway Line and was bounded to the east by Stray Park and to the west by Wheal Francis with the boundary being Trevu Road. What we know as Camborne Vean dates from 1756 although there is thought to have been some sort of mine working here for the last 300 years. Prior to 1810, Camborne Vean produced large amounts of high grade copper ore. From a maximum of 1200 tons of ore in 1818 the mine continued to mine good quality ore for a further six to seven years, until a fall in production and a slump in the price of copper lead to the closure of the mine.
The mine lay idle for just over a decade. It was reopened in 1841 and quickly produced good quality copper ore once again with over 18,000 tons produced at a value of £83,295. Dividends were posted between 1846 and 1850 totalling £11,500. Copper ore sales slowed once again in 1850 and remained at a depressed state. Camborne Vean had been amalgamated with Stray Park in the early 1820 but demerged in 1856. In 1859 the mine manager was Captain Charles Thomas.
Thomas Spargo states in his book The Mines of Cornwall (1865) that Camborne Vean was managed by Captain William Bawden (1860-64) with the mine leased from the landowners, Messrs. C. A .Reynolds and Gregor. The main shaft was 264 fathoms below adit (304 fathoms total - 1824 feet below surface) at this time the mine was drained by a 60-inch pumping engine, unremarkably installed over Engine Shaft, with a 22-inch winding engine and a 13-inch crushing engine nearby. Employment in 1864 was 137 people made up as follows; 85 men; 22 mine girls and 30 boys.
In 1865, Captain Nicholas Clymo replaced Captain Bawden as manager - a post he held until 1868. It was at this time that tin was discovered underlying the copper and the 77 tons of black tin produced in 1865 had a value of over £4,000 it best years production. This helped to keep the mine working into the latter part of the century but its best years were over.
In 1872, the company went into liquidation and the mine was sold. The new purchasers renamed Camborne Vean as 'New Dolcoath' as part of its 'New Dolcoath Tin and Copper Mine Ltd' . Shafts were deepened and other surface equipment purchased. The slump in the price of tin in 1874 caused problems. In 1876, the mine was once again in liquidation and several pieces of equipment including the 22-inch winding engine were offered for sale. The mine was reopened in 1881 with a new 21-year lease. There was some development and a small amount of copper ore produced.
In 1884, it was decided to restructure the company as a Limited Liability Company with the name of West Dolcoath and a further 21-year lease was applied for. West Dolcoath was amalgamated with Camborne Consols and Carn Camborne in 1888 according to that year's Mining Journal. This was not a success and the whole group ceased producing in 1889.
For more information on Camborne Vean and its neighbouring mines please purchase a copy of the excellent Cornwall's Central Mines: The Southern District by T. A. Morrison.
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Other nearby mines and their main ores
Carn Camborne (approx. 0.4 km; COPPER, TIN, ZINC & ARSENIC)
South Tolcarne (approx. 0.8 km; COPPER)
Pendarves United (approx. 0.8 km; COPPER & TIN)
Great Condurrow (approx. 1.0 km)
Dolcoath (approx. 1.2 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & MISPICKEL)
South Roskear (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC)
Stray Park (approx. 1.4 km; TIN & COPPER)
South Condurrow (approx. 1.5 km; TIN & COPPER)
North Roskear (approx. 1.5 km; COPPER & TIN )
Cook’s Kitchen (approx. 1.6 km; COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC)