Copper and nickel ores of Scotland. Area I, II and III. Historical notes and mainland areas.

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From: Wilson, G.V. with contibutions by J.S. Flett. The lead, zinc, copper and nickel ores of Scotland. Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain Vol. XVII: Edinburgh : HMSO, 1921.

Contents

History[edit]

Although ores of copper have been worked in Scotland since remote times, we have little reliable information concerning the ancient workings, but it is quite likely that the copper used for the bronze implements of the early inhabitants was extracted from native ores. The earliest records of the bronze industry in the country are stone moulds (chiefly sandstone) for casting axes, rings and bars. Many of these have been found in Aberdeenshire,[1] and they are considered to date back to 1500 or 1800 B.C. About the beginning of the present era the smelting of metals was general throughout the country, and the sites of several bronze smelting works are now known. The earliest is in the fort of Dunagoil, in Bute,[2] where part of a clay mould for casting the bronze butt end of a spear shaft was found. The most interesting site is at Traprain Law[3] where the excavations have yielded evidence that bronze was cast there between 200 A.D. and 400 A.D. Complete moulds of clay for casting dress-fastenings, along with broken ones, for rings and pins have been found, together with small, well-formed, triangular fireclav crucibles and iron tongs for lifting the same. The presence of an ancient foundry at the Mote of Mark,[4] near Kipford, in Kirkcudbrightshire, is also of interest, and in all probability the ores used were of local origin. In this part of Scotland, thin veins carrying copper ores are fairly abundant along the coast, and easily recognised by the bright green colour of their secondary- minerals. The date assigned to the Mote of Mark is about the ninth century. One of the first authentic records of copper mines in this country relates to a contract drawn up between the King and Cornelius de Vois in 1597.[5] In another similar contract with Peterson in 1576[6] the duty on copper was fixed at 6 stones per hundred, counting six score to the hundred. It was also _provided that if the King should require copper for making artillery, or for any other proper purposes, it was to be supplied one shilling per stone cheaper than the market price in France or Flanders.

In 1583 Eustatius Roche[7] obtained a grant of all the mines and minerals in the kingdom, and agreed to pay one-tenth of all the baser metals as duty. In addition he was to pay 2000 lb. weight of copper yearly. He worked copper at Wanlockhead in 1584,[8] and also came to an agreement with the Laird of Edzell in connection with the working of two copper mines in Glen Esk.[9] Copper mines were held to belong to the Crown, and from a statement in a letter from the Privy Council to the Lords Secretaries in 1683,[10] we gather that up to that time the working of the copper ores had been a failure. It was thought, however, that by employing skilled men the mines could be wrought to advantage, and with a view to improving the industry a German named Joachim Gonel was given a 30 years' lease of a copper mine at Currie. Little appears to have resulted from this adventure, and the working of copper ores has never become a stable Scottish industry, though one or two mines have been fairly successful for short periods. In recent times the only mines that have been worked to any extent are Sandlodge in Shetland, and Enrick in Kirkcudbrightshire. Just prior to the war some excitement was caused by the discovery of a mass of copper ore near Kilfinan, in Argyllshire, but the pocket did not prove large and was soon exhausted.

Except for the early foundries, little in the way of copper smelting has ever been done in. Scotland. The ore was exported in many cases either to Swansea or Holland. Williams[11] states that the lack of furnaces and smelting appliances was a great detriment to the successful working of the copper mines. About 1845 the Bridge of Allan Mines were in the hands of the Caledonian Mining Company[12] , if who erected smelting furnaces in Alloa, and for a short time produced excellent copper, but with exhaustion of the mines the work was given up and the plant dismantled. At the present time a certain amount of copper is extracted in Glasgow by the wet process from the spent pyrites used in the manufacture of sulphuric acid.

Output[edit]

We have little information as to the output of copper ores, and such as there is will be found in the detailed accounts of the individual mines.

The veins and deposits

The deposits of copper and nickel ores are of more diversified types than those of lead and zinc. Thus, for instance, besides ordinary " cavity fillings," many of the deposits occur as metasomatic replacements. Some are magmatic segregations, and others infiltrations of mineral matter into the interstices of sandstones.

The following tables give the common ores of copper and nickel as found in Scotland, the percentage of metal being the theoretical amount present in the minerals.

Copper Ores
Primary Ores Chemical Composition Percentage of Copper
Primary Chalcopyrite CuFeS2 34.5
Primary Cupriferous pyrites (FeS2)(CuFeS2) Variable
Secondary Chalcocite Cu2S 79.8
Secondary Bornite 3Cu2SFe2S3 55.57
Secondary Tetrahedrite 4Cu2SSb2S3 Variable
Secondary Azurite 2CuCO3Cu(OH)2 55.2
Secondary Malachite CuCO3Cu(OH)3 57.4
Secondary Chrysocolla H2CuSiO4H2O 22.4-36.0
Secondary Copper pitch Hydrated Oxide—Iron, &c. Variable
Nickel Ores
Ores Chemical Composition. Percentage of Nickel.
Primary Nickeliferous pyrrhotite Fe7S8.Ni To 5.9
Primary Niccolite NiAs 43.9
Primary Millerite. (FeNi)S 64.4
Primary Pentlandite NiAs2 22.0
Primary Chloanthite NiS2NiAs2
Primary Gersdorffite 35.2
Primary Smaltite (Co.Fe.Ni) As2 To 9.5
Secondary Annabergite NiAs2O.8H2O 37.3 of Ni0

Practically all the ores of copper and nickel have been worked at some time or other, but those of the latter on a very small scale, and at only two or three mines.

Details of the mines and veins

In the following descriptions of the mines the areas as used in the details of the lead and zinc mines are adhered to for sake of convenience. In many cases the positions of the copper mines in the individual districts can be obtained by reference to the maps published in that part.

Area I[edit]

Copper ores have been worked in this area from very remote times, but in most cases the mines were only small, and few records exist either as to their period of working or of the amount of ore raised.

Kirkcudbrightshire. Copper and nickel ores[edit]

Enrich Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietors: Trustees of the Cally Estate (Gatehouse of Fleet).

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 5; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 43 S.E.; New Series 48 S.W., S.E.

The old mine is situated on the hill about half a mile north-east of Enrick and two miles south-east of Gatehouse of Fleet. A good cart track exists from the road to the main shaft.

The vein was accidently discovered about 1820,[13] and a lease was taken by a Welsh company, who expended a considerable sum of money. A certain amount of ore was raised, and shipped to Swansea, where it was used as a flux in smelting high-grade ores.

The vein trends almost east-and-west, and consists mainly of brecciated country-rock, together with red-stained calcite, quartz and dolomote, which carry occasional strings of chalcopyrite and malachite. It is said to have been from 4 to 6 ft. in width, and to have carried solid ore in places at its centre. The gangue material on both sides is ore-bearing, and was worked. A sample of the best ore from the bottom, or No. 5 level, yielded 19 per cent. of copper; one of washed ore from the same level, 2.2 per cent. of copper, and one of unwashed gangue from No. 4 level, 1 per cent. The samples also showed from 4 to 10 per cent. of zinc.

The vein has been worked for a distance of from half to two-thirds of a mile, and several shafts have been sunk. The main one, near the top of the hill, is well-timbered, and the head-gear is still standing. Five levels have been driven for considerable distances along the course of the vein, and the adit-level was opened up and repaired a few years ago.

Drumruck Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietors: Trustees of the Cally Estate.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 37 N.E., S.E.; New Series 41 N.W.

The mine and works are situated on the east side of the Little Water of Fleet, and near the Scrogs of Drumruck, about 5 miles north of Gatehouse of Fleet. There is a good road to within a mile of the mines, but the last part of the distance is by rough cart-track.

The vein was discovered and opened up a few years before the war by Colonel Murray Baillie, who spent a considerable sum on the adventure.

The vein trends 20° N. of W., and hades south at 76°. It is about 2ft. 6 in. in width, associated with a felsite dyke, and consists mainly of broken country-rock (Silurian slate), with thin ribs of quartz, carrying a little chalcopyrite and malachite near the centre.

Extent of the Workings.—Three levels have been driven into the hill along the course of the vein. The lower one is about 800 ft. long, and from 1 to 2 in. of chalcopyrite are said to occur at the face. A little stoping has also been done, and a certain amount of ore raised. Since the whole of the material was put through a ball mill, which reduced it to too fine a state of division for the sand tables to deal with, practically all the ore was lost.

Dromore Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Mr. Cliffe M'Culloch.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcud brig ht Old Series 37 S.W.; New Series 40 S.E.

A description of this mine is given on p. 54.

Lauchentyre Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Sir William Maxwell.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 43 S.W.; New Series 47 N.E.

The old mine is situated beside an old cart track a quarter of a mile south of the farm of Lauchentyre, and about 4 miles west of Gatehouse of Fleet.

The direction-of the vein could not be made out, but the material on the dump showed that the infilling consisted mainly of broken country-rock (Silurian slates). The ores appear to have been chalcopyrite, copper pitch, malachite and zinc-blende, and the gangue minerals, quartz, calcite and dolomite. The workings do not seem to have been extensive, but a shaft was sunk and an old adit-level was driven a short distance.

Kings Laggan Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Sir William Maxwell.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 43 N.W.; New Series 47 N.E.

The old mine is situated about 100 yds. north-west of the farm of Kings Laggan, which is some 4 miles by a fairly good road west of Gatehouse of Fleet.

The vein is exposed in the burn just behind the house. It trends N.N.W., hades to the W.S.W. at 0°, and is about 5 ft. wide. The infilling consists mainly of broken country-rock, and quartz containing disseminated strings and specks of chalcopyrite. There is also a good deal of malachite staining. A recent analysis of a general sample yielded the following result:


Per cent
Insoluble 87.60
Sulphur 1.13
Iron 3.30
Copper 1.63
Zinc Trace
Lime 490
Alumina 142
Gold Nil
Silver 2 dwt. per long ton

Extent of Workings.—A little work was formerly done at this locality. A level has been driven along the vein, and a shaft has been sunk.

East Blackcraig Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Colonel Dunbar.

Lessees: Ore Supply Ltd., Newton Stewart.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 22; New Series 39 N.E.

A full description of this mine is given on p. 48.

The mine was primarily a lead mine, but a small pocket of chalcopyrite was met with near the engine shaft, and worked for a short time about 1864-65. Twenty-eight tons of ore, which yielded 3 tons 10 cwt. of copper, and was valued at £140, are said to have been raised.

Craigencallie Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 8; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 22 N.E.; New Series 25 N.W.

It has been not possible to locate this mine, but according to report the vein is from 5 to 6 ft. in width, trends 15° N. of W., and hades to the south-west. The infilling is said to consist of quartz, with associated pyrites and chalcopyrite.

Culcronchie Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 36 S.E.; New Series 40 N.W.

The old mine is situated about a mile and a half up the Culcronchie Burn. The vein trends a few degrees north of east-and-west, and a level has been driven a short distance along its course.

Craignell Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 8; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 23 S.W.; New Series 25 N.E.

The old mine is situated on the side of a tributary of the Black Water of Dee, and about 300 yds. from Craignell, which is 13 miles by road north-east from Newton Stewart. The last two miles or so are over a rough, moorland road.

At the present, little is to be seen at this locality, but according to reports written in the early part of 1886, a small mine has been worked. The vein is stated to be 18 in. in width, to trend 20° E. of N., and to hade to the east. The infilling is described as being quartz and calcite carrying chalcopyrite and zinc-blende.

Hestan Island Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Mr. Houston, Dumfries.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 5; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 52 N.W.; New Series 56 N.E.

The old mines occur near the north end of the rocky island of Hestan, which is situated about half a mile south of J Almorness Point, at the mouth of Auchencairn Bay. They were being worked by an English company in 1845,[14] and the ore raised was shipped to Swansea.

The vein trends north-east, hades east at about 80°, and is associated with a line of crush along a dyke of felsite. A few strings of calcite and malachite are to be seen. On the west side of the island two levels have been driven from points about 15 yds. apart, and just above the sea-level. The entrance to the northern one is now filled up, but the southern one is open, and the level has been driven about 70 yds. About 30 ft. higher up there is another level which is about 3 fms. long, and a cioss-cut has been driven about 1 fm. on its east side. Still further up the cliff, and on the grassy slope, the sites of two old levels or shafts can be made out.

A level has been driven a short distance in an east-and-west direction along a felsite dyke on the other side of the island.

Rascarrel Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 5; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 51 S.W.; New Series 56 N.E., S.E.

The old mine is situated about 100 yards from the coast, and one-quarter of a mile south-west from Airds.

The direction of the vein could not be ascertained. From the material on the dump the infilling consists mainly of broken country-rock (reddish grits), together with a little barytes and quartz, which occasionally show malachite staining. The workings are only small, butfa shaft has been sunk, and anyadit-levelcross-cut driven from the foot of the sea-cliff towards the shaft.

Colvend Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 5; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 46 S.E.; New Series 51 S.W.

The old mine is situated at the head of a small, rocky inlet near Bells Isle, on the farm of Uppertown of Glenstocking, and about five-sixths of a mile E.S.E. of Colvend Church. Access is obtained either from the sea or by a rough pathway from the farmhouse.

History.—The mine appears to have been known for a considerable time, and was working about 1770,[15] when a considerable quantity of ore was raised; sufficient it is said to have paid the expenses of extraction. Williams[16] mentions the occurrence of as many as twenty veins containing ores of copper in the parish of Colvend, and appears to have been of the opinion that the company who worked them spent too much time and money on superficial trials instead of concentrating on the most promising vein. He also considered the district to be a rich mining-field, and states that ribs of mixed copper ore up to 4 or 5 in. in thickness were to be seen at some of the trials.

The vein occurs on a north-east line of fissure which has been weathered out into a narrow gorge by the action of the sea. It is of a pockety nature, varies from 2-4 ft. in thickness, and contains numerous riders of country-rock (crushed porphyritic felsite). The hade is to the east at from 70-80°, and the infillin.g consists mainly of highly crushed rock containing strings of calcite and quartz, carrying a little chalcopyrite, malachite and azurite. A few yards to the east a thin vein of pyrites can be seen running parallel to the main vein. It can only be traced a few yards, and is then cut off by another vein consisting of calcite and dolomite, which is about 9 in. thick, trends W.N.W. to E. and W., and is seen to cut across the chilled edge of the felsite, and to throw it against Silurian slates (also much smashed). The relations of the main vein to this W.N.W. vein are not seen, but presumably they are the same as for the pyrites vein.

Extent of the Workings.—A level has been driven 3 fms. along the vein, and just above high-water mark. Practically no stoping has been done, and the walls are now encrusted with soft oxides of iron, together with azurite and malachite. At the top of the cliff the site of an old shaft, now filled up, can also be made out, together with the mouth of another level, now almost closed up.

Piper's Cove (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 5; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 46 S.E.; New Series 51 N.W., S.W.

The old mine is situated on the seacoast, at the Piper's Cove, and one-quarter of a mile south of Douglas Hall. The vein occurs along a line of smash, which has been weathered out into a long narrow cave by the action of the sea. It has been worked to a small extent, and the sites of shafts or levels can be made out.

Talnotry Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietors: The Trustees of Major Stewart.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; Kirkcud- bright Old Series 29 S.E.; New Series 32 N.E.

The old mine is situated on the west side of the Palnure Burn, and about 250 yds. south-east of Talnotry Cottage, from which place there is a good road to Newton Stewart, about 6 miles to the southwest.

The deposit is said to have been discovered about 1885, and was at first opened up by a small syndicate, of which Major Stewart was one of the pron'oters. A little work was done, and about 100 tons of ore were raised, but none was taken away.

The deposit occurs as a so-called magmatic segregation at the base of an irregular, sill-like intrusion of diorite. It is well exposed at the surface on the side of a small burn, and can be examined over a vertical height of about 50 ft. At the top, the deposit is seen to thin out both laterally and vertically; about half-way down it is 10 or 12 ft. in width. Near the base it thins out again, and the non-metalliferous base of the sill can be seen resting on the hornsfelsed Silurian slates. The deposit appears, therefore, to be lenticular in shape, and most probably of no great lateral or vertical extent. On its southern margin against the slates it is composed mainly of pyrrhotite, and the niccolite content increases as the diorite is approached.

Analyses of the material yielded the following results:-# Pyrrhotite from southern margin of the deposit.

  1. Pyrrhotite from centre of the deposit.
  2. Picked niccolite ore.
  3. (4) Picked niccolite ore.
1 2 3 4
Per cent Per cent Per cent Per cent
Sulphur 16.68 22.83 7.55 3.30
Iron 28.00 35.23 6.55 6.60
Copper 1.56 0.62 1.45 0.73
Nickel 1.70 2.96 11.56 9.30
Cobalt Nil Nil
Arsenic 0.10 14.87 11.24
Alumina 11.00 4.60 4.32
Insoluble 36.80 51.00 55.00
Gold per long ton Nil Trace 2 dwts. 3 grs
Silver per long ton 8 oz. 3 dwt, 8 grs 4 oz. 6 dwt, 22 grs 3 oz. 13 dwt, 20 grs

Extent of the Workings.--The mine has only been opened up on a small scale, but two cave-like excavations have been made, and from the bottom of the lower one a winze has been sunk 10 ft. on a string of niccolite.

Wigtownshire. Copper and nickel ores[edit]

Tonderghie Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Mr. Mlean of Tonderghie and Wigtown.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 2; six-inch, Wigtown Old Series 37 N.W.; New Series 35 S.E.

The old mine is situated on the seacoast between St. Ninian.s Cave and Burrow Head, about three-quarters of a mile from Tonderghie House, and five miles south of Whithorn. It was opened up by a Welsh company prior to 1845.[17] They found a few specimens of rich ore, but soon abandoned the work.

The vein trends a few degrees north of east-and-west, and hades north at 70°. The walls are about 10 ft. apart, and horizontally slickensided. The infilling is mainly brecciated country-rock (Silurian slates and intrusive felsite dyke). The gangue minerals are barytes and quartz, and the whole contains sparsely distributed strings and specks of chalcopyrite and pyrite, together with a little green malachite.

Extent of Workings. At the west end the vein has weathered out into a deep, narrow forge, where a little work has been done, and a shaft sunk close to the sea. A little ore can be seen at this locality. About a hundred yards to the east, and on the line of the vein, there is an old shaft, and some 60 yds. further east again the mouth of the adit-level is visible at a small bay near the foot of the cliff.

Wauk Mill (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: The Marquis of Bute.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; Wigtown Old Series 19 N.W.; New Series 14 S.E.

The old mine is situated at Wauk Mill, about half a mile south-east of Kirkcowan. The vein trends almost due north-and-south, and crosses the Tarf Water at the Mill.

Ayrshire. Copper and nickel ores

Swinlees Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 22; six-inch, Ayr 7 S.E.

The old mine is situated on the south slope of Carwinning Hill, about half a mile W.N.W. from Swinlees House and two miles north of Dairy.

The mine was worked nearly a century ago, and was abandoned owing to lack of ore.

The vein trends north-west, and is from 2 to 3 ft. in width. The infilling consists mainly of broken country-rock (intrusive felsite, and limestone), calcite, quartz and barytes, with associated chalcopyrite and malachite. Two levels have been driven along the vein, but the lower one is now closed; from the size of the dumps, a fair amount of work has been carried on.

Balkeachy Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 7; six-inch, Ayr 55 S.E.

The old mine is situated on the banks of a small stream, one-quarter of a mile west of Balkeachy and three miles south of Girvan.

The vein occurs in Silurian rocks, and close beside a N.N.E. line of fault, which throws up a mass of serpentine on the west.

A shaft has been sunk, but little work appears to have been done. Fragments of malachite are to be seen on the spoil heap.

Dalmore (Stair)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 14; six-inch, Ayr 34 N.W.

Veins carrying copper and antimony ores are said to have been found in this parish.[18]

Renfrewshire. Copper and nickel ores[edit]

Drumshantie Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 30; six-inch, Renfrew 1 N.E.

The old mine is situated in a quarry (in the Calciferous Sandstone Series) on the south side of the Gourock Burn, 200 yds. south of Drumshantie, and two-thirds of a mile south-east of Gourock. The mine was first worked prior to 1810, and was visited by Williams,[19] who states that the ore (malachite) was disseminated throughout the sandstones. A little bornite[20] is also said to occur. Another mine, where the deposit occurred under similar circumstances, is situated at an old quarry about a quarter of a mile east of Larkfield, and one mile south-east of Gourock. One or both of these mines were being worked about 1874.

Kaim Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 30; six-inch, Renfrew 10 S.E., 11 S.W.

The old mine is situated at Kaim, about two miles north of Lochwinnoch.

The vein is associated with a quartz-dolerite dyke which can be traced for nearly a mile in an almost east-and-west direction. It is only thin, and a little malachite was formerly to be seen adhering to the walls. The mine was worked by small shafts along the course of the vein, and the engine shaft was in operation in 1874. A heap of slag is to be seen near the road. A trial for copper ore was made near Calderbank Bleachfield, about three-quarters of a mile north of Lochwinnoch. It was opened up about 1860, and a level was driven a short distance on the vein. A little ore is said to have been raised and sent to England for smelting, but it did not pay the expense of working. Further trials have also been made on the east side of the Calder Water, near Reikam Linn, and also between Clovenstone and Glenward Hill, but neither appear to have yielded results.

Lanarkshire. Copper and nickel ores[edit]

Katystaklin Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: The Marquis of Linlithgow.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 15; six-inch, Lanark 49 N.E., S.E.

The old mine is situated on the south side of the Short Cleuch Water at Katystaklin, one mile south of Leadhills village.

The mine was opened up in the middle of the eighteenth century, and a level was driven a short distance, but work was abandoned in 1760. A little malachite and barytes can be seen on the small dump.

Long Clench Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: The Marquis of Linlithgow.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 15; six-inch, Lanark 47 S.W.

The old mine is situated on the west side of, and near the foot of the Long Clench. The vein trends north-west, and carries chalcopyrite, copper pitch and malachite. Three small shafts have been sunk, and two levels driven in to unwater the workings.

Dumfriesshire. Copper and nickel ores[edit]

Moffat Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 16; six-inch, Dumfries 9 N.E.

Trial mines for copper have been opened up on the sides of the Auchencat Burn,[21] near Hartfell, north of Moffat.

Edinburghshire. Copper and nickel ores

Currie. (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 32; six-inch, Edinburgh 6 N.E.

The exact site of the old mine is not known. It is mainly interesting as being the one which Joachim Gonel[22] was given a lease of in 1683, with a view to improving the copper industry in Scotland. The locality appears to have been visited by Williams,[23] who described the ores as being very rich, and of a bright grey colour, but was not certain whether the deposit occurred in a true vein or as pockets in limestones.

Haddingtonshire. Copper and nickel ores

Priestlaw Hill Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 33; six-inch, Haddington 20 N.E.

The old mine is situated on the banks of the Whiteadder, about one-quarter of a mile west of Priestlaw.

Berwickshire. Copper and nickel ores

Hoardwell Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Lord Home.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 34; six-inch, Berwick 10 N.E.

The old mine is situated on the north bank of the Whiteadder, about one-third of a mile north-east of Hoardwell and just opposite to Elba.

The mines are very old, and were worked about 1760 and again in 1825,[24] but without success. Three levels have been driven in a N.N.E. direction along the strike of the country-rock (greywacke), which is vertical. The levels are close together, and only at the middle one is there any signs of a vein. This consists of crushed greywacke, and shows no indication of gangue or ore minerals. The levels are of considerable size, but there are no dumps, and the material was evidently tipped directly into the river, and so eventually washed away. The ores were chalcopyrite and tetrahedrite.

Ellemford Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: G. G. Turnbull, Esq., Abbey St. Bathans.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 33; six-inch, Berwick 10 N.W.

The old mines are situated in the valley of the Whiteadder, near Ellemford, and were opened up prior to 1791,[25] but without success. The first occurs about 20 yds. along the road to Ellemford from the corner of the cottage at the north end of the bridge over the White-adder. The mine was worked by a level, but the entrance is now blocked.

A later trial in the beginning of the nineteenth century[26] led to the same result, and since then the mine has remained abandoned, and there is nothing to see. The second is situated about 80 yds. farther along the same road. The vein trends north-west, hades south-west, and follows a line of crush, with horizontally slickensided walls. It is about 2 to 3 ft. in width, and consists mainly of broken country-rock (red-stained greywacke). No ore or gangue minerals could be seen.

Extent of Workings. A level has been driven for a distance of about 80 yds. along the course of the vein. From the end of the level a cross-cut has been taken 20 yds. in a north-east direction, and another, about 8 ft. long, has been driven on the same side of the level about 20 yds. from the entrance. No stoping has been done, and the work appears to have been a trial.

Another mine was formerly worked on the other side of the White-adder, and about half a mile up the small burn which joins the main stream just opposite Ellemford. The site of the mine is now obliterated.

Lauder Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 25; six-inch, Berwick 19 or 20.

In " The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. i., 1792, p. 73, mention is made of an abandoned copper mine, which had not defrayed the expense of working.

Area II[edit]

Many of the more recent copper mines are situated in this area, and although some of them produced very rich ore, it only seems to have occurred in small quantities.

Argyllshire. Copper and nickel ores[edit]

Figure 10. Map of the head of Loch Fyne, showing the distribution of metalliferous mines and veins.
Figure 11. Map of the central district of Loch Fyne, showing the distribution of metalliferous mines and veins.

Kilsleven Mine (Islay) (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: W. Bankier, Esq., Dunlossit, Islay.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological; Sheet 27; six-inch, Argyll 198 N.E.

The position of the mine is shown on the map of the district ((Figure 9), p. 69). It is close beside and about 1 mile along the road from Ballygrant to Dunlossit.

The vein is said to have been discovered in 1770 by a Mr. Freebairn,[27] who at that time was working the Islay lead mines. He opened up the mine by a level, and obtained 100 lb. of ore within three days, and also traced the vein at the surface for a distance of over one-quarter of a mile, and found ore all the way. The mine was eventually abandoned owing to inability to cope with the water. During the last period of mining in Islay the mine was opened up again, and a certain amount of lead ore[28] was raised. This, together with the copper ore, was taken to a small washing plant erected near Ballygrant.

The vein trends north-west, and is from 2 to 3 ft. in width. The country-rock is limestone, and the infilling consists of numerous broken fragments of the latter, together with calcite, and dolomite carrying chalcopyrite and galena.

Extent of Workings.—The mine has been worked open-cast for a distance of 100 yds. A level has also been driven, and a cross-cut to intercept the vein at 12 fms. During the more recent working a shaft was sunk a depth of 20 fms.

Locality 1 (Figure 11) Kilmartin Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 36; six-inch, Argyll 149 N.W., N.E.

The mine is situated near the top of the hill, and close beside the road which crosses from Upper Largie to Old Poltalloch. The vein appears to have been discovered in the early part of the eighteenth century.[29] It was worked for a short time, but Was abandoned before 1793. The ore raised was shipped to England from Port-na-Moine, on Loch Craignish.

Several small veins up to 4 ft. in width are found cutting a large sill of epidiorite. The main vein trends north-west, and consists of quartz and calcite carrying chalcopyrite. From the specimens still to be found in the ruined storehouse, the ore was of good quality, and an assay of some of this material gave the following result:[30]

Copper — 30.31 per cent

Silver — 1 dwt. 7 grs. per long ton

Gold — 6 grs. per long ton

The veins were first worked open-cast, but afterwards an adit-level was driven, and a shaft sunk from the hill slope above. At the end of the adit-level the forehead is covered with a late stalatitic growth, and the vein is not visible.

Several small veins of little importance have been observed in the sill of epidiorite which runs through Seil, Torsav, Beag and Luing.

Locality 1 (Figure 10). Coille-bhraghad Mine (Inveraray) (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: The Duke of Argyll.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 37; six-inch, Argyll 133 S.W.

The mine is situated at Coille-bhraghad, about one and a half miles south-west of Inveraray. There is a fairly good road to within a few yards of the workings. The mine was originally opened up as a copper mine by the Duke of Argyll. In 1851[31] the presence of nickeliferous pyrrhotite was noticed, and as this ore had formerly been discarded the old mine was reopened, and between 1854 and 1867 a fair quantity of nickel ore was produced. The figures of output for this period, as taken from the records in the estate office at Inveraray, are as follows:

Copper Ore Nickel Ore
Year Tons cwt Tons cwt
1854 42 5
1855 71 10
1856 1 58 12
1857 37
1858 3 3 50
1859 8 15
1860 1 5 33 10
1861 3 15
1862 1 8 49
1863 24
1864 2 8 25
1865 2
1866
1867 12 10

The ore appears to occur as a metasomatic replacement of certain quartzose bands in the schists of the district, and no true vein could be seen. The schists strike north-east, dip north-west at about 40°, and are associated with a suite of epidiorite intrusions. The ore is fine-grained, and consists of an intimate mixture of pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, pyrites and pentlandite.

Analyses of pentlandite gave the following results:

1 2
Per cent Per cent
Iron 50.87 43.76
Nickel 10.0] 14.22
Sulphur 37.99 34.46
Cobalt 1.02
Arsenic 0.04
Insoluble 0.38 7.35


The mine has been worked open-cast along the mineralised zone, and several small shafts have been sunk down the dip of the rocks. An adit-level cross-cut has been driven from a point about 60 yds. to the south-east. The remains of the old dressing floor can still be made out.

Locality 2 (Figure 10). Criagnure (Craigerrine Mine) (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: The Duke of Argyll.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 37; six-inch, Argyll 140 S.W.

The old mine is situated beside a small tributary of the Abhainn Dubhan, about one and three-quarter miles by rough cart track south-west of Brenachoil, and eight miles from Inveraray.

It was opened up by the Duke of Argyll prior to 1845, but as it did not pay expenses, was soon abandoned. When the ore at Coille-bhraghad was found to be nickeliferous, an examination of the old dumps at Craignure was made, and the ore was found to be of the, same type. There does not seem to have been any attempt made to open up the old mine, but a good deal of nickel ore was taken away from the dumps. The deposit occurs under similar conditions to that at Coille-bhraghad, and the two mines are on the same tine of strike. It appears possible, therefore, that a mineralised belt of rock exists between the two localities, and that further search may disclose pockets of ore along the line between them. The deposit has been worked for a distance of about 60 yds., and several small shafts have been sunk. From the material on the dumps, at least 4 in. of solid ore must have occurred.

Inveryne and Kilfinan. Copper and nickel ores[edit]

The Highland schists on both sides of Loch Fyne have long been known to contain veins and deposits of metallic ores, and in some localities, for instance, near Loch Arail, the country-rock is impregnated with sulphide-ores to such an extent that the waters of the loch are poisoned, and fish are said to be unable to live.[32]

Until a few years before the war the ore deposits on the east side of Loch Fyne were considered to be of less economic value than those on the west. About that time it was discovered by the Otter Copper Company[33] that certain calcareous bands in the schists were impregnated with copper ores for a distance from 2 to 3 miles along their strike in a north-east direction from Inveryne to Tom-nanCodhag. Further exploration led to the discovery of a large mass of ore near Kilfinan, which was opened up and worked for a short time. The deposits occur as metasomatic replacement of limestone, and not as true veins.

The sulphide-ores met with are chalcocite and bornite, and the oxidised ores are malachite and azurite. The gangue is mainly limestone, with a little quartz and siderite.

Locality 9 (Figure 11) Inveryne Trials[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 29; six-inch, Argyll 181 S.E.

The trials are situated on the farm of Inveryne, 2 miles south-west of Kilfinan.

At this locality the limestone occurs in three bands, which strike E.N.E., and dip W.N.W. from 30° to 40°. They are separated from one another by layers of hornblende-schist or epidiorite. Deposits of copper ore have been discovered in all three limestones, but that in the middle band is the most important. It has been opened up at a point 300 yds. north-east of Inveryne, and is about 11 ft. wide. A 5-ton sample is said to have contained 8-2 per cent. of copper, but the yield was not so high for the whole of the ore raised.

Drum Farm (Stranger Lode)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 29; six-inch, Argyll 181 S.E.

The trials are situated near the roadside 230 yds. N.N.E. of the farmhouse of Drum, about one mile N.N.E. of Inveryne.

The limestone is about 7 ft. in thickness, and is impregnated with malachite.

Locality 8 (Figure 11) Tigh-an-rathaid (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 29; six-inch, Argyll 181 N.E.

The trial is situated about 300 yds. east of the road, and 630 yds. slightly west of south of Tigh-an-rathaid. A few small levels represent all the work that has been done at this locality.

Locality 7 (Figure 11) Murder Lode (Kilfinan)[edit]

Maps: One inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 29; six-inch, Argyll 181 N.E.

The mine and works are situated in a field on the hillside, about one-third of a mile E.N.E. of Kilfinan Church. There is a cart track to the works.

The deposit was discovered by the Otter Copper Company about 1911, the site being selected as suitable because it was well known that grass would not grow on this part of the field. Tradition said that this was due to a fight to the death between two women, but it was suspected that the true cause was the presence of salts of copper and of free sulphuric acid produced by the decomposition of underlying Copper-sulphide ores. A trial was accordingly made, and very soon a vertical vein of copper carbonate, about 2 in. in thickness, was met with. This was followed for about 40 ft. towards the north, when it suddenly expanded into a solid mass of " grey copper ore " from 1 to 2 ft. in thickness. The total width of the deposit is stated to have been from 12 to 14 ft., and at the richest part it contained about equal parts of malachite and sulpide-ores. At the northern end of the working a cross vein with an N.N.W. trend can be seen. Its south-west wall consists of red clay and is slickensided. In the underground workings this vein contained about 2 ft. of solid sulphide-ore, and also sent off a flat of ore 2 ft. thick, for a distance of from 2 to 3 ft. into the limestone. The mine has been worked open-cast and by level. A shaft has also been sunk, but the rich pocket of ore was soon exhausted, and for the last few years the mine has been more or less abandoned.[34]

The general appearance of the deposits suggests that it is what is known as a metasomatic replacement fissure lode; that is, one in which the ore-bearing solutions have travelled along a fissure and have replaced such materials as limestone, which they have met with in their passage. In case of any future development of this mine it would be as well to drive along the cross:vein, with a view to finding where it cuts any of the other bands of limestone that exists in the district.

Locality 6 (Figure 11) Doire-nan-caorach.[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 29; six-inch, Argyll 171 S.E.

Several appearances of copper ore are to be seen on the hillside between Doire-nan-caorach and Tom-nan-Cadhag. They are usually associated with limestone, but good malachite is to be observed weathering out of a band of hornblende-schist near Tom-nan-Cadhag.

Locality 3 (Figure 11) Castletown Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Mr. Graham Campbell of Shirvan.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 29; six-inch, Argyll 171 N.W.

The old mine is situated on the east side of Lochgilp, and about 150 yds. west of Ballimore. The vein was first worked a considerable time ago. It was opened up again in 1912, but it had to be closed down owing to inability to cope with the water.

The vein trends north-east, averages 6 ft. in width, and hades west at 70°. The infilling consists of quartz, which is much shattered, and is recemented by a later growth of the same mineral. The ores are mainly cupriferous pyrites, with a little chalcopyrite and galena. The vein can be traced to the shore, where it is rather more cupriferous. (An assay yielded 4 dwt. of gold to the long ton.[35]

A shaft was sunk 100 ft., and the vein at that depth was 4 ft. in width.

Locality 2 (Figure 11) Kaimes Vein[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 37; six-inch, Argyll 161 S.E.

A quartz vein, carrying copper pyrites and a little galena, is to be seen near Kaimes, about four miles east of Lochgilphead.

Locality 4 (Figure 11) Loch Dobhrain[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 28; six-inch, Argyll 180 N.W.

A two-foot quartz vein, carrying a few specks of chalcopyrite and galena, is seen at the west end of Loch Dobhrain.

Locality 5 (Figure 11)[edit]

Abhainn Strathain (Abandoned)

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 28; six-inch, Argyll 191 N. E.

The old mines and works are situated on the sides of the Abhainn Strathain, and in the gorge known as Eas Cruach nan Cuillean; which is situated about two miles south-west of Erins, from which place there is an old track.

Several trials have been made. The lower one is situated about 150 yds. up the gorge, and consists of a level driven a short distance along a quartz-schist containing specks of copper ore. A little overhead stoping has been done at the end of the level, and a shaft was sunk, but it is now full of water. About 50 yds. further up the burn there are workings on both sides of the gorge, and a level has been driven a short distance in a north-west direction along the strike of a quartz-schist, which contains specks and strings of chalcopyrite. At the head of the gorge small levels have been driven north-east along a band of schist, which is spangled with pyrites. The "Old Copper Mine," shown on the six-inch map, consists of a shaft which is now full of water. About 70 yds. north-east, on the line of the deposit, there is another shaft, and some 250 yds. farther along the strike, and on the sides of a small burn, the remains of shallow workings can also be seen.

Mull. Copper and nickel ores[edit]

The Wilderness[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 43; six-inch, Argyll 94 S.W.

A thin vein carrying copper ores occurs at this locality. It is of no value, but shows a little malachite.

Perthshire. Copper and nickel ores[edit]

Tomnadashan[edit]

Proprietor: The Marquis of Breadalbane.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 47; six-inch, Perth 69 N.E.

The old mines are situated at Tomnadashan, on the south side of Loch Tay,' one mile from Ardtalanaig and seven and a half miles from Kenmore.

The mine was discovered by the late Marquis of Breadalbane, who ,erected washing, dressing and smelting works on the side of Loch Tay. He worked the deposit for nearly twenty years, but apparently at a loss.

According to Cadell and Grant Wilson[36] the Highland schists at Tomnadashan are pierced by an intrusive rock, which has produced certain metamorphic phenomena around its margin. This rock is of a dark grey colour, has a granular texture, and is best described as a kersanite. At the mine this rock is itself intruded into by an granitic rock, which has a very irregular boundary. Small quantities of pyrites are disseminated through the kersanite, but the ore was mainly developed near its junction with the granitic rock. There is no sign of a true vein, and the ore occurred in small grains and in masses, which were occasionally 2 or 3 ft. in diameter.

The ores were principally chalcopyrite and " grey copper," together with a little iron pyrites. The gangue minerals are quartz, calcite, siderite and a little barytes. The copper ore was mainly associated with the granitic rock, which also contains thin quartz veins carrying plates of molybdenite. The sides of the old workings are encrusted with green malachite, chrysocolla and calcite.

The dressed ore yielded 3.58 per cent. of copper and 30.28 per cent. of sulphur. The deposit was opened by up several small shafts from the surface, and a level was also driven, but the work was never carried on extensively, as the ore raised did not pay the expense of working.

Abernyte Vein[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 48; six-inch, Perth 75 S.E.

An attempt to open up a copper mine[37] was made on the sides of the glen, above Baledgarno, in the latter end of the eighteenth century. Although some ore was found, it was not considered to be worth working.

Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire. Copper and nickel ores[edit]

Airthrey Hill Mine (Bridge of Allan) (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 39; six-inch, Stirling 10 N.E.

The old mine is shown on the six-inch map of the district, and is situated in the wood about 200 yds. north of the Mineral Well, and approximately three-quarters of a mile from Bridge of Allan Station.

The mine appears to have been known for a considerable time, and it was being worked by the Foullis family in 1661.[38] From that time this and other mines in the district were worked intermittently till about 1815, when all work ceased. According to Williams,[39] the Bridge of Allan mine was rashly closed down about 1790, although good ore was to be seen at the foreheads and in the soles of the levels. About 1805 the mine, which then had been abandoned for a number of years, was opened up by the Caledonian Mining Company.[40] They wrought the mine extensively, and produced a quantity of dressed ore, which was smelted at new works erected at Alloa. At the present time the water which rises from the sole of the level is used for its medicinal properties.

The vein trends north-west, and hades north-east at from 70° to 80°. It is from 2 to 3 ft. in width, and consists mainly of pink barytes. The country-rock is a volcanic conglomerate, containing numerous rounded boulders of igneous rock in a sandy matrix. A few yards into the mine another vein can be seen. It has a more westerly trend than the other, hades to the south-west, and consists of about 4 ft. of pink barytes. The ores worked were mainly chalcopyrite and grey copper ore (chalcocite and tetrahedrite).. Pyrites and mispickel were also found.

An analysis of the rough ore is given as follows:[41]

Per cent
Iron 51.0
Copper 19.2
Arsenic 15.7
Sulphur 14.4

Extent of the Workings. The workings on the first vein are only small, but it has been open-casted for a short distance, and a level has been driven north-west about 50 ft. For the first 30 ft. or, so, and till its junction with the other vein, a certain amount of stoping has been done in the roof. About 60 yards along the line of the vein the site of an old filled-in shaft can be made out. The workings in the second vein are more extensive, and a little stoping has been done on it near the junction with the first vein. The level ends in a winze, which is at least 60 ft. deep, and the workings were drained by a crosscut adit-level which issues at the roadside, below Mine House.

Allan Water Trial (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 39; six-inch, Stirling 10 N.E.

The old trial is situated on the east side of the Allan Water, and about half a mile above Bridge of Allan. It consists of a small trial driven along an east-and-west vein of quartz and barytes carrying specks of malachite.

Airthrey Silver Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 39; six-inch, Stirling 10 N.E. or S.E.

The mine was discovered in 1760 on the Estate of Airthrey, which then belonged to a Mr. Haldane.[42] Between 1761 and 1764 a company of English gentlemen collaborated with the proprietor and laid out a sum of money in opening up the mine. They raised about 12 tons of ore, which was valued at £60 per ton in London. The undertaking came to an end owing to the person to wham the ore was consigned becoming bankrupt.

Blairlogie Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Colonel Hare, Blairlogie.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 39; six-inch, Perth and Clackmannan 133 S.W.

Several old mines and trials for copper ore have been made on the veins of barytes which occur in the Old Red Sandstone volcanic rocks behind Blairlogie.[43] None of them seems to have been of much value, and they have long been abandoned. The ores are chalcocite and tetrahedrite, with malachite and chrysocolla. The more westerly working is situated on a 9 to 12-ft. vein of pink barytes, which is well exposed on the west side of the burn a few hundred yards up Blairlogie Glen. The vein trends N.N.W., and a level/has been driven on it for a considerable distance. A good deal of malachite-stained material can be seen lying about on the old track; which in some places practically follows the course of the vein. The next vein lies about 140 yards to the east of Blairlogie. It trends in the same direction as the first, and has been worked on a small scale for copper ores.

A few yards further east the mouth of a level on another vein can be seen. About one-quarter of a mile further east, and just above Cotkerse, two veins are to be seen on the hillside. The most westerly one trends north-west, is about 3 or 4 ft. in thickness, and consists of quartz and barytes, carrying disseminated copper ores. Its outcrop is marked by a loose rubble, which is void of vegetation.

The more easterly vein is seen at an old trial level about 100 yards

further east. It trends nearly nortb-and-south, and consists of about 2 ft. of pink barytes and quartz, carrying minute disseminated specks of copper ores. These two veins should intersect at a point on the hill about 100 yards south of the level mouth.

Jerah Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 39; six-inch, Perth and Clackmannan 133 N.W., or Stirling 11 N.W.

The old mine is situated about half a mile north-west of the farm of Jerah, and four miles from Bridge of Allan Station. Access is obtained by the old Sherrifmuir road to a point about half a mile due west of the mine, whence the way lies over open moorland, with no definite track. The vein, which was worked some considerable time ago, .trends north-west, and is almost vertical, with a slight inclination to the north-east. It is from 2-3 ft. in width, and the infilling consists mainly of pink barytes and quartz, through which small strings of chalcocite are scattered, together with a good deal of staining due to the presence of malachite and chrysocolla.

Extent of the Workings. At the north-west end the vein has been worked to a small extent both open-cast and by level. The former is now filled in and the level is full of water, but a little stoping can be seen to have been done near its mouth. About one-quarter of a mile to the south-east, and on the line of the vein, the site of a small open-cast can be made out, and there may also be a level, but the latter cannot have been driven any great distance, as the dumps are only small.

Menstrie Trials (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Ceological, Sheet 39; six-inch, Perth and Claekmannan 133 N.W., N.E.

A vein of quartz and barytes can be traced for a distance of about 5 miles in a north-west direction from Balquharn, about one and a quarter miles east of Menstrie. Where exposed in the small burn on the north side of Colsnaur Hill, the vein is about 8 ft. wide, and consists of about equal quantities of quartz and barytes, with numerous specks of chalcocite.

Alva Silver Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Miss Johnstone of Alva.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 39; six-inch, Perth and Clackmannan 133 N.E.

The old mine is situated about one-quarter of a mile up the Silver Glen, and half a mile east of Alva. The vein was discovered in 1711 by Sir John Erskine,[44] who brought miners from Leadhills to work it. The silver ore was found in thin strings at the surface. On opening up, a large mass of ore was discovered, containing native silver, which yielded 12 oz. of pure metal to 14 oz. of ore.

It is stated that the value of the weekly output of ore from the mine averaged £400, and that Sir John. made from £40,000 to £50,000.

Very soon, however, the rich pocket became exhausted and the silver ores gave place to those of lead and copper. In 1759 the mine was opened up again by Charles Erskine and others. They followed the vein for a considerable distance beyond the old workings, but found very little silver ore. A shaft was also sunk, and an aditlevel driven in from a point on the burn side lower down the glen. During the progress of this work a large mass of cobalt ore was encountered, and a quantity was wrought, which was afterwards sold for pottery purposes. The old dumps were also gone over, and the cobalt they contained was abstracted. Two veins are said to have been worked, one trending north-west and the other east-and-west. They are both from 3-6 ft. in width, and the infilling consists of barytes, calcite and quartz, which carry argentite, chalcopyrite and mispickel, together with malachite, erythrite and native silver.

A recent analysis of the cobalt ore gave the following result:

Per cent
Cobalt 31.85
Iron 10.24
Copper 9.77
Arsenic 33.3
Galena 7.53

Extent of Workings.—These are only on a small scale. Three levels have been driven along the veins, and two shafts have been sunk. The one on the east side of the burn is connected with the levels, but the one on the west is only connected with shallow workings. A winze has also been sunk from the middle adit for a depth of 7 fms. to another level from which another winze 11 fms. deep has been sunk to the low adit. The native silver is said to have been obtained near the position of the top winze.

Tillicoultry Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 39; six-inch, Perth and Clackmannan 134 N.W.

The old mines are situated in the Mill Glen, half a mile north of Tillicoultry. They were worked about 1750[45] to a considerable extent, and four different kinds of copper ore are said to have been found, together also with silver and cobalt. The veins varied up to 18 in. in thickness, and the dressed ore was worth £50 per ton. The mines were in the hands of a London company, who employed 50 men for a considerable number of years, but the operations finally ceased, as the ore raised did not defray the expense of working.

Burn of Sorrow Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 39; six-inch, Perth and Clackmannan 134 N.W.

The old mine is situated in the Burn of Sorrow, about one and a quarter miles north-west of Castle Campbell, access being obtained by a rough hill track.

History. The mine was discovered early in the eighteenth century, and was worked for a number of years for lead and copper ores,[46] which are said to have been exported to Holland. It was abandoned prior to 1795, and has remained so to the present day. The vein trends N.N.E., is apparently 2-3 ft. in width, and composed of a breccia of broken country-rock (felsitic lavas, porphyrites and ashes of Old Red Sandstone age). The primary ores are pyrites, chalcopyrite and galena, but none appears in any great quantity. The secondary minerals are chalcocite, malachite, azurite, linarite and chrysocolla. The gangue is mainly pink barytes, but a little quartz also occurs.

Extent of Workings.—The vein appears to have been opened up for a few fathoms by levels on both sides of the burn, and its course can be traced by a natural hollow for a considerable distance on the south side of the burn. The ore was first hand-picked and then washed. Small dumps of coarse and fine gravel are to be seen. They consist mainly of pink barytes, much stained by malachite and azurite. In all probability the ore worked consisted of chalcopyrite and chalcocite.

Area III. Ross-Shire[edit]

Rassal Mines (Kishorn) (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Mrs. Stewart of Kishorn.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 81; six-inch, Ross 103 S.W.

The old mine is situated about two and a half miles from the mouth of the River Kishorn, and half a mile north-east of Rassal. The rocks of the district are of pre-Cambrian and Cambrian ages, and the vein occurs in the Eilean Dubh limestone, which is the top member of the Durness Limestone Series. The country is much disturbed, and about one-quarter of a mile east of the mine the limestone is cut out by a large thrust plane.

History. The mine has been known for a number of years, and was examined by Williams[47] before 1810, who states that it contained the best copper ore he had ever seen.

The vein follows a line of crush, and trends about 10° north of west. It is almost perpendicular, and the ore, which consisted of bornite, together with malachite and brochantite, occurred in small pockets.

A good deal of trial work appears to have been done, and at least two shafts have been sunk, but the workings are only shallow and of no great extent.

Loch Duich Trials (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Sir Keith Fraser.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 72; six-inch, Ross 124 S.

The trials are situated on the north-east side of Loch Duich, and about a mile and a half south-east of Dornie.[48] In 1904 and 1905 two Welsh miners were employed in driving a short level along a gneissose layer in the Lewisian Gneiss. The band is from 5-6 ft. in width and is rich in pyrites and pyrrhotite, and where seen at the surface, weathers with a rusty surface. An assay of a sample taken from the outcrop is said to have given the following result:

Per cent
Iron 55.0
Sulphur 40.0
Copper 0.25
Nickel 0.8
Silver 11 dwt. per long ton
Gold 3.5 dwt. Per long ton


Other assays gave only 1 dwt. 4 grs. of gold as the average of four samples.

References[edit]

  1. Graham Callander, A Stone Mould for Casting Flat Bronze Axes, etc., Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot, vol. xxxviii., 1904, p. 487.
  2. Ludovic M’L.. Mann, Report on Relics discovered during the Excavations at the Fort of Dunagoil, Trans. Bute Nat. Hist. Soc., vol. viii., 1916, pp. 36,38,39.
  3. A. O. Curle and J. E. Cree, Account of excavations on Traprain Law. etc., Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot., vol. 1., 1916, p. 124.
  4. A. O. Curle, On the Excavation of a Vitrified Fort known as the Mote of Mark, etc., Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot., vol. xlviii., 1914, pp. 125-168.
  5. Cochran Patrick, Early Records relating to Mining in Scotland, 1878, pp. lviii. and 14; also Reg. Priv. Coun., vol. i., p. 612.
  6. Cochran Patrick, Cochran Patrick, Early Records relating to Mining in Scotland, 1878,, p. lix,; also Reg. Sec. Con., 1575-7, fol. 23.
  7. Cochran Patrick, Cochran Patrick, Early Records relating to Mining in Scotland, 1878, p. lix., 16-23; also Reg. Sec. Con., 1583, fol. 64. MS. Reg. Ho., Edin.
  8. Cochran Patrick, Cochran Patrick, Early Records relating to Mining in Scotland," 1878, pp. lix., 50.
  9. Cochran Patrick, Cochran Patrick, Early Records relating to Mining in Scotland," 1878, pp. lix., 39.
  10. Cochran Patrick, Cochran Patrick, Early Records relating to Mining in Scotland, 1878, pp. lix., 180-1 (Reg. Sec. Con.), 1682-5, p. 141.
  11. Williams, The Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom," vol. i., 1810, p. 369.
  12. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. viii., 1845, Stirling, p. 222.
  13. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. iv., 1845, Kirkcudbright, p. 293.
  14. The New Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. iv., 1845, Kirkcudbright, p. 361.
  15. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. xvii., 1796, p. 108.
  16. Williams, The Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom, vol. i., 1810, pp. 370-371.
  17. The New Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. iv., 1845, Wigtown, p. 54.
  18. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. vi., 1793, p. 115.
  19. Williams, The Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom, vol. ii., 1810, p. 419.
  20. Heddle," The Mineralogy of Scotland," 1901, vol. i., p. 30.
  21. The Silurian Rocks of Britain," vol. i., Scotland, 1899, Mem. Geol. Surv., p. 656.
  22. Cochran Patrick, Early Records relating to Mining in Scotland, 1878, pp. lix. and 180-1.
  23. Williams, The Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom, vol. i., 1810, pp. 302, 369.
  24. Milne The Geology of Berwickshire, Trans. High. Soc., vol. v., New Series, 1837, p. 247.
  25. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. i., 1791, p. 70.
  26. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. ii., 1845, Berwick, pp. 94, 106.
  27. Gregory Smith, The Book of Islay, 1895, pp. 464-465.
  28. This volume, p. 72.
  29. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. viii., 1793, p. 95.
  30. The Geology of the Seaboard of Mid Argyll, Mem. Geol. Surv., 1909, p. 103.
  31. The Geology of Mid Argyll," Mem. Geol. Surv., 1905, p. 151. t Heddle, The Mineralogy of Scotland," 1901, vol. i., p. 23
  32. The Geology of Knapdale, Jura, and North Kintyre, Mem. Geol. Surv. 1911, p. 139.
  33. Summary of Progress for 1912," Mem. Geol. Surv., 1913, pp. 92-95.
  34. C. T. Clough, The Copper Lodes of Inveryne and Kilfinan, Argyllshire, Summary of Progress of the Geological Survey for 1912 (1913), p. 92.
  35. The Geology of Knapdale, Jura, and North Kintyre, 1911 (Mem. Geol. Surv.), p. 139.
  36. Cadell and Grant Wilson, The Breadalbane Mines, Proc. Roy. Phys. Soc. Ellin., vol. viii., 1884, pp. 202-206.
  37. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. ix., 1793, p. 153.
  38. Cochran Patrick, Records relating to Early Mining in Scotland, 1878, p. lvi.; also Acts Scot. Parl., vol. vii., p. 361.
  39. Williams, The Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom, vol. i., 1810, p. 369.
  40. The (New) Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. viii., 1845, Stirling, p. 222.
  41. Heddle, The Mineralogy of Scotland, 1901, vol. i., p. 39.
  42. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. iii., 1792, p. 289.
  43. Barytes and Witherite, vol. ii., Special Reports (Mem. Geol. Surv.), 1916, pp. 84-85.
  44. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. xviii., 1796, pp. 140-144; also The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. viii., 1846, Stirling, p. 178.
  45. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. viii., 1845, Clackmannan, p. 68.
  46. The (Old; Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. xv., 1795, p. 161.
  47. Williams, The Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom, vol. i., 1810, pp. 303, 367.
  48. The Geology of Glenelg, Lochalsh, etc., Mem. Geol. Surv., 1910, pp. 174-5.