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Parys Mountain Mines (Paris Mine; Parys Mine; Mona Mine; Morfa Du Mine), Amlwch, Isle of Anglesey, Wales, UK

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 53° 23' 12'' North , 4° 20' 39'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 53.38694,-4.34444
GeoHash:G#: gckztnu3r
UK National Grid Reference:SH441904
Owned/operated by:Anglesey Mining
Locality type:Group of Mines
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate
Other/historical names associated with this locality:Gwynedd;

The type locality for anglesite, specimens were found ca. 1790-1800 when the mine worked the gossan. Specimens are generally rare and examples can now most commonly be seen in old museum collections. Large crystals of barite have also been recorded during this period, but do not appear to have been saved. Many of the other specimens listed are generally microscopic in nature, unprepossessing, or are disseminated within the ore.

Whilst there is some evidence that parts of Parys mountain had been subjected to Bronze age fire setting techniques and that the Romans had mined areas here for lead and copper, the mines were first recorded worked in Elizabethan times (ca. 1580). A map in the Public records office (PRO SP45/36 MPF11) shows the havens of Amlwch and Dulas and gives distances to the copper works locating them on the eastern side of Parys mountain.

The main phase of working began in 1761, with Parys Mountain rapidly becoming Europe's premier copper mine. The Great Lode, which contained an average of 3.5% copper, was discovered in 1768. Together with underground workings and its newly-started opencast, Mona mine also utilised the precipitation process. In 1772/3, large amounts of scrap iron were being transported from London to be used in Mona Mine's precipitation pits.

By 1770 the vein had been extended onto Parys farm land causing increasing bitter boundary disputes. As a consequence, the deposit was then worked jointly by two mines, Mona Mine in the east and Parys Mine in the west. However, arguments over boundaries continued for many years and in 1835 a court ruling gave 2000 square yards of Mona mine's land to Parys mine.

Whilst masses of copper to 30lbs were noted by Lentin in 1800, the subsequent exhaustion of easily won supplies led to a dramatic drop in production in both mines in the first decade of the 19th century. Although there was a resurgence in the 1820s when new lodes were discovered, by around 1830, many of the Mona mine's precipitation pits were abandoned.

In 1832/4 the Parys mine's North Discovery lode was found, which lasted until around 1840, after which most mining had finished, with many mine workers moving to the Drws y Coed mine in Snowdonia.

There was a further resurgence of mining ca. 1860, the Parys Mines Company making an estimated £400,000 profit between 1858-70, after which mining continued in decline until ca. 1890 when most mining had ceased.

In 1877 part of the lease at the western end of the deposit was sold to the Morfu Du mining company, who then worked the Morfa Du Mine (small, shallow, ill-defined workings - SH 432900) from 1881-1904 and raised 5783 tons of ore.

In 1899 the Mona and Parys mines were merged to form Mona and Parys mines Ltd. Activity was concentrated at the precipitation and ochre works.

It is estimated that between 1768-1904, a total of 3.5 million tons of ore were raised, producing 130,000 tons of copper and around 20km of underground workings were driven. Although large opencasts remain on the hill, there is remarkably little to be seen in the way of minerals.

Modern exploration commenced in 1955, initially by Anglesey Mining Exploration Ltd and then by the Anglesey Copper Mines (UK) Ltd, who, until 1962, drilled 11 boreholes. From 1966-70 the Canadian Industrial Gas and Oil Company Ltd ( CIGOL) drilled a further 52 bore holes without finding promising reserves.

In 1973, a high-grade polymetallic ore deposit was discovered by Cominco Ltd. Estimated reserves were 4.8 million tonnes of ore containing 1.5% copper, 3% lead, 6% Zinc, and small amounts of gold and silver.

In 1988, a new shaft (Morris shaft) was sunk by The Anglesey Mining Company. Reserves are now stated to be 7.8 million tonnes. In 2008, AMC began negotiations with Western Metals of Australia to purchase and develop the site, but the subsequent fall in world metal prices has left the future of mining here unresolved.

Of historical interest, Parys Mountain provided the copper sheathing for the hulls of warships of the British Navy, its fleet being completely coppered between 1778-82. The technique, developed in Britain, improved performance (and protected the hull from the ravages of the Teredo worm) and gave the British Navy important advantages over the French and Spanish fleets during the wars of the time.

The site has also featured as a location for a number of films including the cult UK Sci-Fi series, "Dr. Who".

NB: contemporaneous mining tokens (pictures shown within site photos) name the mining company as the Paris Mine.

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.

Mineral List

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

Rock Types Recorded

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!

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

419.2 - 443.8 Ma

ID: 2034601
Unnamed Extrusive Rocks, Silurian

Age: Silurian (419.2 - 443.8 Ma)

Lithology: Felsic lava and felsic tuff

Reference: British Geological Survey. DiGMapGB-625. British Geological Survey ©NERC. [23]

443.8 - 485.4 Ma

ID: 3192124
Paleozoic crystalline metamorphic rocks

Age: Ordovician (443.8 - 485.4 Ma)

Lithology: Metasedimentary schist

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

541 - 4000 Ma

ID: 3150723
Precambrian mica

Age: Precambrian (541 - 4000 Ma)

Description: undifferentiated metamorphic

Lithology: Mica schist

Reference: Asch, K. The 1:5M International Geological Map of Europe and Adjacent Areas: Development and Implementation of a GIS-enabled Concept. Geologisches Jahrbuch, SA 3. [147]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page 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.


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Klaproth, M.H. (1802) Untersuchung der schwefelsauren Bleierze von Anglesea. Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper, Dritter Band, Rottmann Berlin, 162-164.
Russell, A. (1927) Notice of an occurrence of niccolite and ullmannite at the Settlingstones mine, Fourstones, Northumberland; and of serpierite at Ross Island mine, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland. Mineralogical Magazine, vol. 21, n° 119, 383-387 (referring to "blue stone" - a mixture of sphalerite, galena, pyrite, and chalcopyrite - "from the Parys and Mona mines.").
Pointon, C.R. (1979) Palaeozoic volcanogenic mineral deposits at Parys Mountain, Avoca and S.E. Canada - a comparative study. Ph.D. thesis, University of Aston, Birmingham, 265 pp.
Ixer, R.A. and Pointon, C.R. (1980) Volcanogenic sulphide mineralisation at Parys Mountain, Anglesey, U.K., p. 279-285 in Janković, S. and Sillitoe, R. H. (Eds.) (1980) European copper deposits. Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) - Special publication no. 1, Department of Economic Geology, Faculty of Mining and Geology, Belgrade, 303 pp.
Pointon, C.R. and Ixer, R.A. (1980) Parys Mountain mineral deposit, Anglesey, Wales. Transactions of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, B89, 143-155.
UK Journal of Mines & Minerals (1995) n° 15, 11-17.
Butler, S. (2000) Acid mine drainage in the Afon Goch (South), Anglesey. Unpublished MSc. thesis, University of Wales, Bangor.
Jenkins, D.A., Johnson, D.B., and Freeman, C. (2000) Mynydd Parys Cu-Pb-Zn Mines: mineralogy, microbiology and acid mine drainage. In: Cotter-Howells, J.D., Campbell, L.S., Valsami-Jones, E., and Batchelder, M. (eds), Environmental Mineralogy: Microbial Interactions, Anthropogenic Influences, Contaminated Land and Waste Management. Pp. 161- 179. The Mineralogical Society Series, 9.
Thomas, R. (2000) The implications of dewatering Parys Mountain: a study in trace metal pollution. MSc. thesis, University of Wales, Bangor.
Cotterell, T.F. and Jenkins, D.A. (2008) Ranciéite from Mynydd Parys, Amlwch, Anglesey, Wales. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 59-63.
Tindle, A.G. (2008) Minerals of Britain and Ireland. Terra Publishing. 616 pp.
Rocks & Minerals: 18: 71.

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