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Duchy Peru Mine, Cornwall


Perranzabuloe: grid reference SW796556

Notable minerals: Chalcopyrite, Chalybite, Galena & Marcasite.

As its name implies, Perran Iron Lode is not the name of a mine or group of mines but rather the body of ore underlying an area of Cornwall. Akin to the Great Flat Lode of Camborne-Redruth Mining District, the Perran Iron Lode runs from the north of Perran Beach to one mile southwest of St. Newlyn East in the Perranzabuloe Mining District of Mid Cornwall. The lode can be followed running east a distance of three miles from Gravel Hill Mine through Halwyn, Mount, South Mount, Treamble, Great Retallack, Duchy Peru and Deerpark Mines. The primary ore within the lode is siderite, (iron carbonate) otherwise known as spathic ore, with some limonite (hydrated iron(III) oxide ) as well as the sulphides of zinc, iron and lead, namely sphalerite, pyrite and galena.

It may be best to describe the mines individually:

Gravel Hill Mine, lies at grid reference SW765575 and was formerly known as Penhale Iron Mine, it worked the lode from Borlase Shaft and Shepherd's Shaft. Between 1874 and 1882, it raised 7,400 tons of brown haematite, of 47% metal content, along with 300 tons of limonite and siderite as well as 30 tons of 40% zinc ore.

Halwyn Mine was an opencast, or open work mine, situated about one mile southeast of Gravel Hill Mine at grid reference SW775575.

Mount lies approximately a quarter of a mile southeast of the Halwyn openwork at grid reference SW781565 and began life as an opencast mine too. Later resorting to the use of two shafts - No.1 and No.2. As Trebisken and Mount Mine, it produced 38,800 tons of iron ore, 5.5 tons of lead ore and 10 tons of silver ore in the years between 1859 and 1876.

Little is reported about the next mine, another opencast operation called South Mount, otherwise known as Crows-an-Carne.

Treamble was the next venture on the Perran Iron Lode. Located one and a quarter miles southeast of Cubert, the mine was originally two pits before resorting to raising ore from a number of shafts. These were: Waterwheel Shaft, Tennant's Shaft, Campbell's Shaft and Berryman's Shaft. Output from Treamble was as follows: Between 1859 and 1894 - 17,267 tons of mixed iron ores. Between 1873 and 1878 and including 1862, 32 tons of 75% lead ore and 130 ounces of silver. In 1882 it raised 7 tons of 40% zinc ore. On re-opening between 1937 and 1940, it produced 4,000 tons of iron ore whilst between 1940 and 1943 it sold 15,000 tons of iron ore.

The next mine was Great Retallack, otherwise known as Wheal Mexico. It lies just to the east of Treamble Mine and worked No.1 Lode and No.2 Lode (or Trebellan Lode) from quite a few shafts. These were: No.1 Shaft, No.2 shaft, Derrick Shaft, Engine Shaft, New Shaft, Iron Pit Shaft and Stevenson's Shaft. In the period between 1858 and 1880, Great Retallack produced 10,826 tons of iron ore, 11,639 tons of zinc ore, 198 tons of 75% lead ore and 600 ounces of silver.

Duchy Peru Mine was the largest and deepest mine on the whole Perran Iron Lode. It lies about 400 yards southwest of Rejerrah, at grid reference SW796556. Like many other mines on the lode it was formerly worked as an openwork. It worked the lode from a number of shafts: Roebuck's, Vallance's, Carter's New, Carter's Old, Tennant's and Old Engine (Old Sump) Shaft. Between 1858 and 1860, Duchy Peru produced: 21,400 tons of Haematite, 11,000 tons of mixed haematite/spathic ore, 760 tons of pyrite, 180 tons of ochre annd umber, 20,000 tons of zinc ore (ranging from 20% to 47% metal, and 3 tons of 34% lead ore. In 1860 it raised 185 tons of 3.5% copper ore and 185 tons of silver-copper.

Deer Park Mine lies at the eastern end of the Perran Iron Lode about threequarters of a mile southeast of Rejerrah and half a mile east of Duchy Peru. The mine was worked as three opencast pits with very little in the way of underground mining. The shafts were: Boundary Shaft, Horse Whim Shaft, Engine Shaft, Winch Shaft, Barton's Shaft, Lead Shaft and Fence Shaft. It produced 267 tons of iron ore, 3 tons lead ore and 10 tons of blende for the period 1875 to 1879.

There is a wealth of information on the mines and miners of Cornwall available. Why not explore Cornwall's industrial heritage through the Bookstore?

Other nearby mines and their main ores

Great Retallack (approx. 0.2 km; IRON, LEAD, ZINC & SILVER)


Budnick Consols (approx. 2.5 km; LEAD, ZINC & TIN)

Perran Consols (Wheal Vlow) (approx. 3.2 km; LEAD, SILVER & TIN)

New Wheal Chiverton (approx. 3.7 km; LEAD, SILVER, ZINC, ARSENIC & PYRITE)

East Wheal Rose (approx. 4.2 km; SILVER, COPPER & ZINC)

Wheal Chiverton (approx. 4.6 km; LEAD & SILVER)

West Wheal Chiverton (approx. 4.9 km; LEAD & SILVER)

Cargoll (approx. 5.0 km; LEAD, SILVER, COPPER & ZINC)

Cligga Head (approx. 6.0 km; TIN, WOLFRAM & ARSENIC)


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