Wheal Ludcott, Wrey and Ludcott United Mines, St Ive, Liskeard District, Cornwall, England, UK
One of a group of mines (Ludcott/Wrey/North Trelawney)working two north-south lodes about 120 yards apart. Eventually amalgamated as Wrey and Ludcott United about 1863 and ceased working in 1874.
Wh Ludcott, in the middle of the set, worked both the eastern and western lodes.
Dines: The Metalliferous Mining Region of South-West England, Volume II, pp 619-620.
Ref: Wheal Wrey & Ludcott United ( By Steve Rust). Mineral Realm Vol 2 No6 1983.
The Wheal Ludcott Silver Deposit.
The main lodes are intersected and faulted by three or four slides ( the adit of the North Trelawny mine was said to have been driven on a cross-lode). Earlier writers also recorded that the north/south lodes were known to dislocate the east/west lodes. So the intersection were quite complex .
The silver was disscovered in late 1861, while it is recorded, the 70 fathom level was being driven through the northern E-W slide in to the Wheal Wrey mine. There was also said to have been some indication of silver in the 60 fathom level. From here it was followed down to the 84 fathom level ( it is not recorded if the deposit was found any deeper). Other levels were also tried at lode-slide intersections, but nothing is recorded as having been found.
The ore was mostly discovered between the two dislocated parts of the eastern lode, which was thrown 6 yards (11mts) to the left. The silver was up to a yard (.9mt) thick against the foot wall of the slide, which underlies 62deg south, the slide is recorded as being 5 yards (9mts) thick at the intersection. The occurrence of the silver minerals at the lode/slide intersections is possibly due to remobilization of the existing silver enriched ore in the north-south veins by the later movement on the slides.
The silver bearing section of the slide carried argentite as the main ore, with lesser amounts of pyragyrite, proustite and stephanite. Native silver was said to have been present in some quantity as wire capillary masses. An "unconnected" mass of native silver occurred some 8 fathoms (15mts) east of the main orebody. It occurred on either side of a branch of the slide. The main gangue mineral is quartz with siderite; crystals and masses of galena were said to be imbedded in the sulphide ore. The deposite also carried pyrite and sphalerite as a minor part of the ore.
By 1864 the silver ore was all but worked out, having produced 306 tons of silver ore, which is the second highest recorded output from the West Country. When the deposit was first discovered share prices jumped from 12shillings and 6pence to 40 uk pounds each, and small fortunes where made for a short time.The deposit has produced some of the British Isles best examples of argentite and stephanite, and possibly proustite. J.H.Collins records after Davis, fibrous native silver and beautifull 1/2"(1.2cms) cube-octahedrons of argentite occur with stephanite crystals 11/2"(3.8cms) long.
Wheal Ludcott was opend in 1851, when a Mr Crouch obtained a lease for 21 years. He appointed a Capt Dunstan as the manager, who drove an adit north on the weastern lode, and a cross-cut east to try and find the Wrey lode. He was not successful and left the mine soon after. In 1852 a Capt Knapp took over with John Taylor as the purser. Under the new managment the adit was cross-cut 20 fathoms (37mts) further north, but when the Wrey lode was intersected it was found to be poor. Attention was now turned on to the west lode, which was ultimately opend to a depth of 60 fathoms(111mts) below adit. Later the east lode was taken up again, with sinking of a winz to a depth of 8 fathoms (15mts) in the cross-cut adit. In the bottom of the winz silver-lead ore was found producing up to 1/2 ton per fathom. To develop this find further a shaft was put down to 50 fathoms (93mts). Later to work the east lode more efficiently Willcocks shaft was sunk to an ultimate depth of 132 fathoms (245mts) below surface.
The most profitable time appears to have been soon after the purchase of Wheal Wrey, and he discovery of the silver deposit. In 1863 the mine employed about 250 people on the surface and underground.The mines continued to be worked untill 1874. In 1875 there was a proposed reworking, which came to nothing even though the 80inch cylinder beam engine had been purchased from the recently closed Wheal Mary Ann. The engine was never moved to Wheal Ludcott.
Production is recoded as follows:
3200 tons of lead ore 1856-62
105810 oz silver (from lead ore)
69 tons of silver rich ore.
12 tons of silver ore
Wheal Wrey & Ludcott United, output after 1866 is not recorded if there was any.
1870 tons of lead ore 1862-66
81589 oz silver (from lead ore)
87 tons of silver rich ore
306 tons of silver ore
Mindat ArticlesThe Wheal Ludcott Silver Deposit by Steve Rust
var: Argentiferous Galena
17 entries listed. 15 valid minerals.
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