Gonamena Mine, Caradon

Gonamena Mine

Gonamena Mine operated from 1844 to 1871 with a later attempt at re-opening in 1883 to 1886. It had initial success with tin, but never was sucessful in mining copper. The conclusion seems to be that it was a mediocre mine surrounded by successful mines. The mines Southern boundary adjoins the mines of South and West Caradon. Both highly successful commercially. South Caradon was one of the biggest copper mines in the world at its height. Gonomena appeared to have excellent prospects from the surveys carried out here. But its output and its profits never matched its rich neighbours.

It employed a maximum of 94 workers and produced a total of 9693 tons of copper ore peaking at 961 tons in 1860.

Its maximum depth was 158 fathoms at Hingston's shaft and underground its workings interconnected with Both South and West Caradon mines.

The large scale of the early tin workings indicate that tin was an extremely successful operation. The main excavation is over 15 metres deep in places and over 100 meters wide. It extends up the slopes of Caradon hill to near the television mast roadway.

1844 Underground working for copper commenced.

1855 An agreement to work the mine from a shaft within West Caradon is cancelled

1860 Production peaks at 961 tons

1863 A New pumping engine is installed at Hingston's shaft. Production declines and stops due to rising water levels.The new engine was purchased from Wheal Hender.

1863 Workforce peaks at 94. An adit is started under the streamwork to extend into Northern part of set. Cross cuts are also being driven Northwards to find new lodes.

1869 Production reaches 1868 Tons of copper

1872 Work abandoned. closure occurred shortly after the peak of 1869 and in 1871 the mine had produced under 500 tons.

1877 8 tons of copper ore sold . This may just be from re-working of dumps

1883-86 Re-trial as "West Gonamena Mining Company" Trial failed. This was only a small operation with 16 staff employed, half of which worked underground. West Gonamena only produced 20 tons.

Bodmin Moor, Caradon and Liskeard Mines