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Phoenix United Mine, Minions, Linkinhorne, Liskeard District, Cornwall, England, UK

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Location is approximate, estimate based on other nearby localities.
 
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 51° North , -4° West (est.)
Margin of Error:~1km
UK National Grid Reference:SX265723
Other regions containing this locality:Devon and Cornwall metalliferous mining district, England, UK


Mining first commenced in 1836 under the name of Cornwall Great United Mines, but was unsuccessful. Reopened about 1844 as Phoenix Mine, West Phoenix Mine was included within the set in 1875, after which the mine was worked as Phoenix United.

Most of dumps removed at closure, including engine houses, but Prince of Wales Shaft has complex of buildings associated with it.

Note on the mineral list: for "coeruleolactite" see references and information given for Planerite-Turquoise Series.



This mine is on the flank of Bodmin Moor beyond the crest of Caradon Hill where unlike South Caradon the country rock has largely been eroded away to expose the granite at surface and what country rock remains is significantly more altered by regional metamorphism.
As with South Caradon, in the early years of operation after 1824 Phoenix was a faltering concern with a number of ownerships and name changes. In 1852 however a rich copper lode was struck and for 10 years output approached that of South Caradon but then rapidly declined.
A simplistic notion of hypogene deposition was already well understood and this seemed to have been confirmed by the findings at Dolcoath Mine where the copper gave way to tin at the granite-country rock contact. There were indications of tin at Phoenix and tin streaming had taken place on both Caradon Hill and adjacent to the Cheesewring Quarry nearby on the higher moorland. Furthermore Cassiterite was being worked at nearby Marke Valley Mine lower down the hillside. Gambling on there being tin reserves at depth a controlling share in the mine was bought by William West, a mining engineer who was at the time working for the company.
His gamble paid off and the workforce at the mine tripled within a year so that in 1877 a peak production of 34000 tons of tin ore was brought to the surface. Production thereafter declined but continued for another 20 years.
In 1907 the Prince of Wales shaft with its magnificent engine house was commenced. It was however a financial disaster, finally reaching a depth of 200 fathoms but with only 95 tons of black tin produced over seven years.
To help interpret these figures it should be noted that tin ore typically yields 1-2% Cassiterite aka ‘black tin’. So from 1853 to 1913 approximately 16500 tons of black tin was produced from this group of mines. By that simple reckoning the 1877 production was between 340 and 700 tons of black tin from the 34000 tons of ore, which over the 20 years of peak production would indeed give a total output approaching the total of 16500 tons of black tin.
Similarly the 80 000 tons of copper ore raised at Phoenix United yielded around 6.75% copper, in other words 5400 tons of copper. Compare this to the peak year at South Caradon which in 1864 produced 5144 tons of copper from a 10% ore.
Adding to the above figures the volume of waste rock that was removed from shafts, adits and barren ground or wall rock to permit access then it is easy to see how the total amount excavated could readily reach ½ a million tons or more, little wonder then the extensive tips.
Whilst little surface evidence remains in the undergrowth down the slope from the tips there are buddles and leats and reservoirs.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

48 valid minerals. 1 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Rock list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities


Localities in this Region

UK

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.

References

- Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 1124 pp.: 951.
- Dines, H.G. (1956): The metalliferous mining region of south-west England. HMSO Publications (London), Vol. 2, pp. 591-594.

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