Cligga Head Mine, Cornwall

Cligga Head Mine, Cornwall

One of the small mines on the geologically complex Cligga Head. Very little has been written about this mine. In fact its main references are to the diverse mineral specimens originating here, and sold on the web today.

Lots of mine spoil which was from the Cligga Head mine and which has slid down the slopes can be seen from a point by Shag Rock.

Dines mentions in 1956 that open mining was not financially rewarding in the 19th century. Tin was mined by hauling the ore-boulders, which fell off the cliff, up in baskets.

1938 September 21st the "Cligga Wolfram and Tin Mines Ltd" was founded and soon after completion of the installation the rich ore veins were exploited.

1939 The Rhodesian Mines Trust Ltd. took over the company Contact shaft was extended until it reached close to sea level and new stopes were drilled to fully exploit the ore body.

1940, vibration from blasting caused the first of several collapses of the area of cliffs housing the process water pumps (at the northern end of the beach). Eventually, a tunnel was driven to the northwest and a new pump chamber established just above sea level, well away from the effects of blasting.

1941 with the new pump system functional, it was possible to increase production. However, although production had increased, the cost of production had also increased.

1945 Cligga Mine closed. The War was nearly over and shipments of American tungsten were now arriving regularly in England. The high cost of producing a small quantity of tungsten from Cligga could no longer by justified and therefore, production at Cligga was halted.

Early 1960’s the ‘Geevor Mining Company took out a lease on the mine and in collaboration with the Sungesi Besi, Tronoh and Panang Companies started a programme of shaft rehabilitation and deepening with a view to re-opening the mine. Contact shaft was deepened to 550 feet from surface, drives ‘on lode’ were started both seawards and inland.

However water was hit at about 250 feet from the shaft and work there abandoned. The seaward drive continued for some 800 feet before further exploration by diamond drilling commenced. The results were inconclusive, and by early 1964 Geevor had decided to unwater ‘Levant’ mine instead of re-opening Cligga.

1976 there was renewed interest in mining for tin on a small scale at Cligga, and Wheal Concord undertook a limited programme of evaluation. Wheal Concord Ltd planned to re-open contact shaft in 1984-1985, but the collapse of the tin-market in October 1985 put a stop to this.

St Agnes Area Mines