St. Just Amalgamated Mine, Cornwall
Penwith: grid reference SW352316
Notable minerals: Cassiterite.
St Just United Mine group consisted of Wheal Bozands, Cape Cornwall Mine, East St. Just United, Wheal Bounds, Little Bounds, Buck, Owles, Whidden Venton and part of Bellan mine. The sett covers a large area and is located on the plateau between Cape Cornwall and the town of St. Just and is bounded to the northwest by Boswedden and Wheal Castle and the north by Wheal Cunning. Southwards lies the sett of Letcha containing the ancient Wheal Hermon.
In common with the rest of the St. Just mining area the lodes although quite high grade were very narrow. Copper was mined as well as Tin and mining dates from at least the end of the 16th century according to the historian John Norden. Prior to the development of steam power, the pumping took place by waterwheel - see the remaining structure at Wheal Call, part of Boswedden mine.
The following lodes were worked: Bozands Lode, Saveall's Lode, Praze Lode, Trelewack Lode, Bellan Lode, Buck Lode, Pryor's Lode, Badger Lode and Whidden Owl Lode. Shafts included Bozands, Bayley's Engine, Saveall's, Cape Cornwall, North Shaft, West Buck, East Buck and Bounds Shafts.
Records show that Little Bounds was about 64 fathoms deep by 1820 and underwent a period of expansion into the 1830's when it was known as Ballowall Mine. This venture stopped working in the 1850's but the lease to mine this area was bought by the St Just United Tin and Copper Mining Company in 1861. By November of the following year the mine employed 206 people increasing to over 330 in total (263 men, 41 boys and 26 girls) by mid-1864. Financial problems caused by non-payment of mineral dues and extremely late payments to creditors saw the company called to the courts and with no solution in sight the mine was placed up for sale in August 1866.
St Just United Mine was purchased by Henry Phillips and John Ward and was offered to the shareholders of East St Just United at cost-price. The two mines continued to work under the name of East St Just United for around about a year when it was formally changed to the St Just Amalgamated Mining Company Limited at an EGM. The new venture continued developing the mine, mainly in the nortwest part of the sett until the mid 1870's when the availability of cheap foreign tin caused the metal price to fall and the mine to close once more. At the end of the decade the mine was reopened by the mining entrepreneur Richard 'Banker' Boyns the purser of Levant mine.
Cape Cornwall Mine was acquired by the new company with work now centered at Priest Cove, with a new 30-inch stamping engine installed adjacent to the pumping engine at Priest Cove. Engine shaft was also renamed at this time in honour of Reverend Sir E. Bayley. Predictions of large ore reserves proved to be erroneous and when the 'Cream Pot' ore shoot (first discovered in the 1870's) was depleted by 1886, activities moved southwards towards Bosorne. Production was not all that high at this stage and mounting costs caused the decision to be taken to sell the mine in 1888.
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Other nearby mines and their main ores
St. Just United (approx. 0.4 km; TIN)
Boswedden (approx. 0.6 km; TIN & COPPER)
Wheal Castle (approx. 0.6 km; TIN)
Bosorne (approx. 0.7 km; TIN)
Boscean (approx. 0.9 km; TIN)
Wheal Edward (approx. 1.2 km; COPPER & TIN)
Wheal Owles (approx. 1.3 km; TIN & COPPER)
Botallack Crowns (approx. 2.0 km; TIN & COPPER)
Spearn Consols (approx. 2.6 km; TIN & COPPER)
Levant (approx. 3.2 km; TIN, COPPER & SILVER)