Announcement Date: June 21, 2014
MODERATE UNDERGROUND – Carrock Fell is a tungsten mine, the principal ores are wolfram and scheelite but other minerals are present as well. Small scale workings, mainly looking for lead and copper, took place in the 19th century but only yielded a few tons of galena.
Tungsten mining was begun in earnest in the early 20th century and continued sporadically up until 1981. The veins cross the steep-sided valley at almost a right angle making it easy to work the mine via a series of adit levels driven into both sides of the valley. The last, and deepest, level is known as the Canadian level because it was driven by Canadian servicemen in 1942.
They drove extensive development levels along the principal veins but didn’t actually mine any ore and the operation finished in 1943. Nothing much happened for a few decades until a new company took the lease in 1971 and built a new mill. A slump in ore prices delayed production but in 1977 they finally got going and continued until 1981 when falling prices again forced a shut-down. At its peak, production reached 16,000 tons of ore a year but the low grade meant that most of that was waste, the saleable product being 200 tons of 65% concentrates. The mill, and other buildings, were cleared in 1986 and the mill site landscaped. The building remains that are still visible today belong to an earlier phase of mining in 1913.