At least a total 24 mines and 63 lesser mines are recorded to have worked for gold in the district, although some as a secondary product of lead or copper mines. Although most of the mines in the area produced a little gold, many were largely unsuccessful.
Two mines, Clogau (78,507 ounces between 1862-1911) and Gwynfynydd (40,054 ounces between 1862-1916), produced most of the area's recorded gold. A further two mines, Castell Carn Dochan (1913 ounces between 1864-98) and Cefn Coch (1392 ounces between 1862-1912), produced much of the rest!
The realisation of gold in the Dolgellau area during the 1840s resulted in a considerable but largely abortive goldrush during 1854-55. A lapse in activity led to a subsequent and more intense goldrush about 1860, but by 1870, most mines were derelict.
In 1887, the last and greatest goldrush began. Output peaked about 1900 after which a slow but steady decine began, mining being largely finished by the time of first world war.
Although little work has been done since this time, in more recent years both Clogau and Gwynfynydd mines have been exploited by companies taking advantage of the high premium payable for Welsh gold in the jewellery market.
The output for the district is uncertain and is probably significantly under recorded. It is thought that substantial quantities of ore was mined before 1860, but no reliable figures are available. Between 1861 and 1896 the recorded output was 279,027 tons of ore producing 126, 340 ounces of gold (a further 5,366 ounces of gold were also produced during this period, but without tonnage figures).
Ore output peaked in 1902 although the 29,953 tons of ore produced only 4,181 ounces of gold. However, the peak output of gold was in 1904 when 19,655 ounces of gold was produced from 23,203 tons of quartz ore.
Output after the first world war was very sporadic (although almost 3000 ounces of gold are recorded having been produced in 1935).
Welsh gold has traditionally been used to provide material for royal wedding rings, gold from the Dolgellau mines, Prince Edward Mine and Marina Mine, together with the mid-wales mine, Roman Deep at Dolaucothi, being used to make Princess Marina's wedding ring in 1935 (gold from the bar produced was also subsequently used for other royal rings).
Goldmining in Western Merioneth, T. A. Morrison (undated)
The Gold Mines of Merioneth, G.W. Hall (undated)
Modern working has been, as noted above, largely driven to meet the demands of the the jewellery market. None of the mines are currently working although one small company, Cambrian Goldfields Ltd., is again prospecting for, and creating jewellery with, Welsh Gold.
Fine examples of gold from the Dolgellau gold belt are held in the colection of the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.
Mineral ListMineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
72 entries listed. 66 valid minerals.
Localities in this Region
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Locality Updated: Buer, Bjørkedalen, Porsgrunn, Telemark, NorwayFrom Knut Edvard Larsen, 8th Dec 2013 12:31:10