wheal jane | no feed, no water, no chance

I moved on, into the main body of the mine buildings. The ground floor was stripped, barren of equipment. However, I was taken by a row of instrument panels along one side of this massive room, and so climbed, and climbed, up gantries and across catwalks to get higher into the upper parts of the building.

It was a maze: some catwalks lead nowhere; others turned and took me away from my destination; all had gates, tied shut, which required climbing, or swinging round.

It got darker.

A hole in the building allowed me to peer out, into the black day, the squalls of rain, and the whipping wind. The noise increased, banging relentlessly as the loose sheets on the building shook and buckled against the force of the wind.

I looked down into the valley and the huge lake, red and angry. I read later that the mine closed in 1991, and they simply downed tools and left it. They didn’t cap the shaft. And it gradually filled with water, saturated with heavy metals and poisons. And one day, it bubbled over, and poured into the valley, and polluted the entire area.

Then, with the benefit of hindsight, they said they should’ve capped it.

"The lakes aren't actually lakes - they're the tailings lagoons. They still pump water out of the mine and treat it with lime, then let it settle in the lagoons before discharging it into the river. Otherwise the oyster fishermen downstream in Falmouth suddenly have nothing to fish. The mine did flood and overflow when they briefly stopped pumping due to bad weather but it spewed out of the Nangiles mine adit which is about a mile away from there. Long story." - Griffin