Parys Mountain copper mine

Parys Mountain is one of Anglesey’s must-visit locations! For the general public, there is a network of walks around the weird landscape of the ancient copper mine at Parys Mountain starting from the car park on the B5111 from Amlwch to Llanerchymedd.  A well marked track leads to the viewpoint overlooking the spectacular Great Opencast – shaped by miners using nothing more than picks, shovels and gunpowder!  There is a level walk around the top of the Great Opencast and a viewing area with a stunning panorama that shows off the excavation’s amazing colours – an artist’s palette of reds, oranges, pinks, browns, purples, blacks, greens, yellows, and greys. Advice on visiting can be found on the Anglesey tourist website

general view from viewpoint over Great Opencast
general view from viewpoint over Great Opencast [S Campbell]
general views over mined area with piles of roasted ore giving amazing colours [J Conway]
general views over mined area with piles of roasted ore giving amazing colours [J Conway]
Windmill on summit originally powered a pumping engine[J Conway]
Windmill on summit originally powered a puming engine[J Conway]
general view over the Great Opencast [J Conway]
general view over the Great Opencast [J Conway]

GeoMôn information

For the geologist or industrial archaeologist, there are some more detailed trail leaflets. GeoMôn has two for you to download and follow, one around the surface exploring the stunning esoteric landscape at Parys Mountain Trail leaflet, once the biggest copper mine in the world, the other explores the port facilities at Porth Amlwch trail leaflet from where the copper ore was exported to Swansea for refining. Parys Underground Group maintains an excellent website all about the mine, its geology, history and social history. Topping the mountain are the recently restored remains of a windmill, originally used to power a pumping engine on the nearby shaft.

it's hard to find any copper ore these days but in the very base of the Great Opencast these veins of pyrite, galena and small traces of chalcopyrite can be found.  [J Conway]
it’s hard to find any copper ore these days but in the very base of the Great Opencast these veins of pyrite, galena and small traces of chalcopyrite can be found. [J Conway]

precipitation pits, where scrap iron was placed in mine drainage water causing the precipitation of cooper from solution [J Conway]
precipitation pits, where scrap iron was placed in mine drainage water causing the precipitation of copper from solution. BEWARE this water is sulphuric acid and extremely corrosive (pH <2) [J Conway]
filamentous bacteria growing in mine drainage water. BEWARE this water is sulphuric acid and extremely corrosive (pH <2) [J Conway]
filamentous bacteria growing in mine drainage water. BEWARE this water is sulphuric acid and extremely corrosive (pH <2) [J Conway]
The Parys Mine is probably unique amongst large mines in never having a railway; ore was transported by horse and cart down this trackway to Porth Amlwch[J Conway]
The Parys Mine is probably unique amongst large mines in never having a railway; ore was transported by horse and cart down this trackway to Porth Amlwch[J Conway]
Core samples from drilling in 1980[J Conway]
Core samples from drilling in 1980[J Conway]
"New" shaft erected in 1980 for trials by Anglesey Mining[J Conway]
“New” shaft erected in 1980 for trials by Anglesey Mining[J Conway]
small cone crusher used during trials in the 1980s [J Conway]
small cone crusher used during trials in the 1980s [J Conway]
rotary ball mill used during trials in the 1980s [J Conway]
rotary ball mill used during trials in the 1980s [J Conway]

Copper kingdom

A visitor centre , located in Porth Amlwch next door to the Geopark Centre, the Copper Kingdom tells the tale of the times and tribulations of the lives of our ancestors and of the transformation of a small fishing village into one of Wales’ most industrious towns of the 18th and 19th centuries. You can experience the working life of the Copper Lady, Miner, Smelter, Mine Manager or an Assay Manager. Copper Kingdom is full of history and is a location that should not be missed, fun for all of the family so why not follow its twists and turns learn about our local history and have a great day out. Here too, you can visit the Sail Loft, a listed building with its sloping floor, a place for a small bite to eat and with further information about the ship building industry which grew up to service the needs of the copper mine.

Modern day Mining

Anglesey Mining plc is a UK mining company listed which 84 and currently has interests in projects in Wales, Sweden and Canada. It is exploring and developing its Parys Mountain property which hosts a significant polymetallic zinc, copper, lead, silver and gold deposit where there is a head frame, a 300m deep production shaft, planning permission for operations and freehold ownership of the minerals and land. Infrastructure is good, political risk is low and the project enjoys the support of local people and government. Visit the website for details of its activities and future economic prospects for the site.

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