Rosevale Mine, Cornwall

Rosevale Mine, Cornwall

Rosevale Mine is a owned former tin mine at Zennor, near St Ives in West Cornwall. The underground workings have been restored and preserved as a typical Cornish mine. The mine is owned by the Rosevale Historical Mining Society, three people who have undertaken the restoration of the underground workings as a voluntary activity.

3.6 tons of black tin produced between 1906 and 1913. The mine was re-opened by some local miners who had returned from abroad. They erected a 5-stamp battery driven by waterwheel.

1912 Rayfield [Cornwall] Tin Syndicate Ltd acquired the lease on Rosevale Mine and renamed it the Zennor Mine. No.2 Level was started as new crosscut to intersect the existing workings and a crosscut was also driven northwards from No.1 Level.

1913 it was reported that a significant body of payable ore had been identified in a 3 feet wide lode grading at 473 lb/ton tin. By September the grade had been reduced to an average of 15 lb/ton recovery. A new processing mill, powered by a gas suction engine and including 2-head of pneumatic stamps, was being constructed on the site.

1913 Rayfield Cornwall Tin Syndicate Ltd formed a subsidiary company named Zennor Tin Mines Syndicate Ltd to work Rosevale, with a capital of £50,000 in 5s shares. A report in January 1914 stated that the lode at the Zennor Mine was yielding 50-60 lb/ton tin and that the mill was rapidly nearing completion.

1914 work was suspended as a result of the outbreak of World War I. The Rayfield Tin Syndicate group had spent a large sum of money at Rosevale and continued to retain interest in the mine.

1917 preparations were being made by RCTS to re-open the mine and to commence exploratory drilling for other lodes. However there was insufficient labour available to permit the resumption of mining. RCTS maintained the lease into the early 1920s, but there is no further record of activity.

1930's two Germans may have worked the mine to a small extent .

Rosevale is the only underground mine restoration project of its type in Cornwall. It is equipped as a working mine, but also contains a wide variety of mining machinery, tools and relics. Although Rosevale Mine is not a commercial 'tourist' mine, underground tours were provided for the general public at various times to obtain additional funding for the mine.

A tour consists of walk-in access along one level (No.2 Level), climbing 30 metres of fixed ladderway in a near vertical stope up to another level (No.1 Level) and walk-out egress through this level [layout and photos]. This tour aims to demonstrate the methodology of hard-rock, narrow vein mining, including a wide variety of mining equipment and enables people to appreciate the underground environment of a typical Cornish mine. A tour of this type takes between 1-2 hours. Miners battery lamps and safety helmets are provided, but visitors need to wear boots or stout shoes and rough clothing.

The mine is registered as a 'location' for film companies wishing to use an authentic underground mine. The varied nature of the workings provides an ideal venue as both a typical 19th century mine or as a more modern mine. It has been used by the BBC and by independent film companies for documentaries, drama and advertising

In the past the mine has been used by students at the Camborne School of Mines for surveying projects and for geological research

Rosevale Mine

St Ives, Zennor and St Erth Mines