Lead and zinc ores of Scotland Area II. Islay, Loch Fyne, Strontian, Loch Sunart and others in Argyllshire

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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.
Plate 1. Map of Scotland, with Index to one-inch sheets.


This area comprises the country lying between Area I. on the south, and the practically east-and-west line which forms the northern boundaries of the counties from Argyllshire on the west to Kincardineshire on the east. Except in Fife, the country-rock is nearly in all cases either of igneous or of metamorphic origin. A glance at the map (Plate 1) shows that a highly mineralised belt of country stretches north-eastwards from Islay to beyond Loch Tay, a distance of over 100 miles. Along the whole of this belt the country-rock are principally quartzites, quartzose flags, mica schists and limestones. Many of the veins trend north-east, but others with N.N.W. and east-andwest directions are known. In the Strontian district all the veins belong to the last set, and are in nearly every case accompanied by highly decomposed dykes of basalt. Some of the veins in Islay also belong to this set.

A few of the mines in this area.; such as those at Strontian, Tyndrum, and Islay, have been worked on a fairly large scale, but most of them consist only of small workings, and are of little or no value.

Contents

Islay[edit]

Figure 9. Map of part of Islay, showing the distribution of metalliferous mines, and their relations to the outcrops of limestone.

Numerous old mines and trials for lead ore are known in Islay, an island situated off the west coast of Scotland, and reached by steamer from Glasgow to either Port Askaig or Port Ellen via West Loch Tarbert. The veins occur in the stretch of limestone country which extends from Port Askaig to Bridgend, and are most numerous near the village of Ballygrant. Most of the workings are quite near the roads, which are in good condition.

Maps[edit]

One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 27; six-inch, Argyll 198 and 209.

Geology[edit]

The district in which the veins occur is composed essentially of a thin series of slightly metamorphosed rocks consisting of:

Blue limestone (Islay Limestone).

Black slates and phyllites (Esknish Slates).

The slates are well exposed near Esknish, between Bridgend and Bally-grant, where they were formerly extensively quarried. The overlying Islay Limestone is a massive bed some 50 ft. in thickness, which has been quarried and burnt for lime. This is the rock in which veins are productive. The earth movements to which the area has been subjected have caused the strata to be bent into a series of shallow folds, both limbs of which dip to the west, and whose axes strike in a north-east direction. Owing to this type of folding, and to the thinness of the limestone, none of its outcrops is of any great extent, and the depth of the individual masses is small. The trend of most of the veins is across the strike of the limestone outcrops. The size of the ore pockets is consequently limited, and there is little likelihood of the veins being productive in depth, since the underlying slates are not the type of rocks to yield fissures suitable for the deposition of minerals.

History[edit]

The lead mines of Islay have been known for a long time, and are said to have been worked by the Danes or the Norsemen. The first authentic record is for the year 1549, when Donald Monro,[1] Dean of the Isles, in a description of his tour in Islay, makes the statement " In Illa is meikle lead ure in Mochyills."

In 1616 a patent of the copper and lead mines of Islay, Mull, Skye and Lewis was granted to Archibald Primrose[2] and it was suggested that a number of Englishmen should be brought to work the mines. In a letter from Sir John Campbell, dated 1680, we find that he agreed to let the mines and minerals of Islay to a number of gentlemen, who were also to farm the whole island and pay three years' rent in advance, and so on from three years to three years. In consideration of the loss of interest on this money he agreed to abate £1000 from the total rent. The Kildalton charter chest contains several accounts of mining schemes in Islay, and a brief resume of some of these is given below. The first is undated, but gives an account of operations from 1720 to about 1760. The writer had known the mines for forty years; at which time they were in the hands of the Glasgow Company. He states that their lease was about ended, and the men were employed washing the old dumps and taking the ore out of the richer portions of the veins. Soon after this Sir A. Murray of Stanhope leased the mines. He does not appear to have been to Islay himself, but placed a local man who had little or no skill in charge, with the result that no systematic work was done. Eventually the proprietor intervened and took the mines into his own hands. He worked them for a few years, but afterwards let them to Squire Haily. The arrangement does not appear to have worked smoothly, as we find that the smelting mill and tools were arrested, and laid up in Little Glasgow (Glasco Beag). The mines were then leased to Capt. William Thynne (by whom the writer of this article was employed), who went to Islay in 1745. He would not interfere with the arrested tools, but made new ones of his own and employed twelve men. The rebellion, however, broke out, and the captain returned to England, and any ore that had been raised was taken to Clydeside the following April.

The writers of some of the papers in the chest go into great detail in their descriptions of the individual workings, and these are incorporated into the accounts of the various mines given later. (The reports can be seen in full in " The Book of Islay," pp. 458-467.)

Pennant[3] visited the island in the course of his tour. At that time the manager of the mines was a Mr. Freebairn, and the ore was smelted in an air furnace near Freeport (just north of Port Askaig). Williams,[4] who went to Islay and examined the mines, noticed two main directions for the veins, namely, north-and-south, and east-andwest, and also a number with courses oblique to these. He was struck by the large number of dykes. of basalt which occur, and having noticed instances of ore in contact with the igneous rock, appears to have come to the conclusion that the two were genetically connected. He condemned the method of working of the Glasgow Company (i.e. " innumerable shallow pits and trenches, with no apparatus for pumping or drawing water ") as pernicious to future working and examination, as most of the veins were laid bare in trenches which soon filled with water. After spending three weeks in Islay he finally declared that he never saw so many good veins in such close proximity to one another.

When Macculloch visited the island prior to 1819, the mines were abandoned, and he does not appear to have seen any of the veins. The mines were working again by 1862, and continued in operation till 1880, when they were finally closed down. This last attempt at working seems to have been more systematic than its predecessors. A large washing plant was erected near Mulreesh, and a smaller one near Ballygrant.

Output[edit]

From papers in the Kildalton charter chest it appears that the total amount of lead exported from Islay between 2nd February 1769 and 3rd October 1774 was:

Tons Cwt
Bar Lead 260 1
Ore 72 6
Slag of Lead. 90

About 1770, Mr. Alexander Sherriff, the Leadhills manager, visited Islay, and a comparison between the expenses on £100 worth of lead is given as follows:

For Leadhills
Suppose lead at £14, 15s. per ton:— £ s. d.
Royalty to Lord Hopetoun 16 13 4
Cartages to Leith at 30s. per ton . 10 10 0
Commission and shipping charges there 3 0 0
£30 3 4
For Islay
Suppose lead same value, i.e. £14, 15s.:— £ s. d.
Tack Duty 12 10 0
Cartage to sea at 2s. per ton 1 5 0
£13 15 0
Balance of Expenses Islay below Leadhills 16 18 4

The following figures, taken from the " Mineral Statistics " (Mem. Geol. Surv.), give the output of ore from 1862 till the mines finally closed down:

Tons Tons Ozs Tons Tons Ozs
Year Ore Lead Silver Year Ore Lead Silver
1862 34 24 290 1872 20 15
1863 34 25 331 1873 100 73
1864 60 45 1874 80 65 1071
1865 1875 20 15
1866 155 116 1708 1876 42 30 150
1867 291 218 2570 1877 200 146 1864
1868 218 161 2413 1878 250 190 2793
1869 121 85 1350 1879 181 135 1687
1870 70 50 840 1880 50 39 1224
1871 13 9 133


The veins and their contents[edit]

The veins of Islay belong to the three main systems which are common to Scotland, namely, northwest to north-north-west, east-and-west and north-east, but unfortunately, as is also the case generally, there is little or no evidence as to the relative age of these systems. In some cases dykes of basalt are found parallel to the veins, and in one instance an east-and-west vein was cut through by a north-west dyke.

The veins vary in thickness from mere strings to 3 or 4 ft., but are very irregular, and often send of branches into the surrounding country-rock. The gangue minerals are calcite and dolomite, with a little quartz. The ores, which are galena, blende, pyrites and chalcopyrite, were found to be most plentiful at the junctions of the lodes.

Details of the mines and veins[edit]

According to the old reports, lead ore has been worked at eight distinct localities in Islay, namely, Mulreesh, Portnealon, Shinegart, South Ardachie, North Ardachie, Bally-grant, Gartness and Balitarsin. There are also workings at Robolls, Woodend and Loch a' ChuirnBhig, and a copper mine at Kilsleven.

Some of these names are not to be found on the six-inch Ordnance maps, but the localities of the individual mines can be made out with a certain degree of accuracy.

The Mulreesh workings are by far the most extensive, though from the old accounts a fair amount of work was done at Ardachie. The remainder of the workings are in the nature of trials, or mines in what appear to have been fairly rich but small pockets of ore.

Mulreesh Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Mr. Morrison of Islay.

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

The old mines and works are situated at Mulreesh; about 2 miles south-west of Port Askaig and half a mile north-west of the main road to Bridgend. (See (Figure 9) )

The vein has been known for a long time, and in 1770 the workings were 22 fms. deep and the main shoot of ore was 14 fins. long, and had been taken out up to the surface. The ore varied in thickness from mere strings to 4 ft., and was to be seen in the sole of the level from 10 in. to 2 ft. in width. In more recent times the mine hasbeen sunk to a depth of 40 fms., and worked by four level's which are 10 fms. apart.

The vein trends N.N.W., and consists mainly of calcite and dolomite, with galena, blende, pyrites and chalcopyrite. The later workings appear to have been on a fairly extensive scale, and besides those on the main vein there are innumerable trials on offshoots and cross-course veins. The ruins of the old dressing plant, together with a dam and sluice to work the mill, can still be seen.

Portnealon Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Mr. Morrison of Islay.

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

The exact situation of this mine is dubious, as no such name occurs on the six-inch maps of the area. From the old descriptions it seems possible that Portnealon is contracted from Port-na-eilean, meaning the port of the island, possibly Eilean Mor at the north end of Loch Finlaggan, which is the Portnealon Loch of the old account.

The vein was said to carry ore at the surface, and to run in a north-and-south direction from a point about 400 fms. south of the Mulreesh. Vein. From the fact that Mr. Sherriff suggested driving a level northwards on the course of this vein as a means of draining the Mulreesh workings, it appears that its true direction must be nearly north-east.

Shinegart (Seanghart) Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

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

The old mine is situated about half a mile south-west of the south end of Loch Finlaggan and 300 yds. north-east of Ballimartin, to which place is a fairly good road. It was reported upon by Mr. Sherriff, and is said to have carried ore up to 8 in. in width, and to have been abandoned owing to inability to cope with the water. The site of the old shaft, and remains of dam and sluice, can still be made out.

Robolls Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

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

The old mine is situated on the east side of, and about half a mile north-east from the foot of the Loch Finlaggan. The nearest road is half a mile to the east. The mine seems to have been discovered at a later date than the others as it is not mentioned in the old accounts.

The vein trends north-west, and the ore was dispersed through the limestone in considerable quantities. The works are of no great extent, and the mine was one of the last working in Islay.

Woodend Trials (Abandoned)[edit]

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

Numerous old trials occur on the farm of Woodend, from a quarter to half a mile north of Ballygrant. None of them is of any extent, and they appear to be trials along lines of dykes.

Ballygrant Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor W. Bankeir, Esq., Dunlossit, Islay.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 27; six-inch, Argyll 198 S.W. s

The position of this mine, which is shown on the six-inch Ordnance maps, is about 200 yds. north-east of the village of Ballygrant. The vein trends east-and-west, and hades to the south at about 80°. At the present time little is to be seen except a large hole filled with water. The dump is small, but this is said to be due to the fact that before working ceased the old dumps were removed, and any ore picked out of them.

Gartness Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

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

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

The mine is situated on the farm of Gartness, and on the south side of the Ballygrant Burn, about half a mile south-east of Ballygrant.

This vein is said to trend north-west and to have contained ore up to 2 ft. in width. A small quantity of native silver is stated to have been obtained from the mine. About 150 yds. further west, small trials and open-cast workings can be seen on another vein.

Ardachie Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

In the old accounts mention is made of lead mines occurring at North and South Ardachie. They are said to be on lands adjoining to Gartness, and from the general description, one gathers that they were either south or south-east of that place. No such name as Ardachie now occurs on the Ordnance maps of Islay, and it has not been possible to locate these mines exactly.

On the accompanying map (Figure 9) the sites of three old mines are shown occurring from one and a half to two miles south and southeast of Ballygrant. In all probability that near Loch Bharradail is South Ardachie, and the one just half a mile to the north may be North Ardachie. At present there is little to be seen except the sites of small shafts and open-cast workings at any of the localities.

South Ardachie Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

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

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 27; six-inch, Argyll 209 N.W.

The vein was worked on a considerable scale about 1770, and is said to trend east-and-west. It contained ore up to 2 ft. in width, and is cut by a basalt dyke.

North Ardachie Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

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

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

The old mineis situated about half a mile north of South Ardachie. The vein trends east-and-west, and ore up to 6 in. in width is said to have been wrought, but the mine was abandoned owing to inability to cope with the water.

Loch a' Chuirn Bhig Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

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

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

Two small workings are to be seen near the north and south ends of Loch a' Chuirn Bhig, which is situated about half a mile south-east of Uchnanclach, on the main road from Port Askaig to Bridgend.

Balitarsin (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 19; six-inch, Argyll 208 N.E., S.E.

A vein of lead ore is said to have been found on the farm of Balitarsin, one and a quarter miles E.S.E. of Bridgend.

Kilslevan Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

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

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

The old mine is situated close to, and on the east side of the road from Ballygrant to Dunlossit House, and about half a mile north-east of Loch a' Chuirn.

The vein trends north-west, is from 2 to 3 ft. wide, and can be traced for a distance of about a quarter of a mile. It consists essentially of calcite, with a little copper and lead ores. The mine was discovered about 1760, and was first worked for copper, but more recently a little lead ore was taken from there to Ballygrant for washing.

Loch Fyne district[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.

This comprises the district on both sides of Loch Fyne in the county of Argyllshire. There are no railways, and the area is mainly served by sea-borne transport.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheets 28, 29, 37; six-inch, Argyll 12, 126, 141, 161, 170, 181, 191.

Geology[edit]

The rocks of the district are mainly of metamorphic origin, and consist of the following sequence:[5] * Intrusive sills of epidiorite and hornblende schists.

  • Beinn Bheula Group of Schistose grits.
  • Green Beds, epidiorite and chlortic schists with bands of schistose grits.
  • The Loch Tay Limestone.
  • The Stonefield Schists, with limestone bands.
  • Erins Quartzite, consisting essentially of quartzite, with bands of limestone and phyllite.
  • Ardrishaig Phyllites, consisting of grey phyllitic schists with bands of quartzite and limestone.
  • Loch Awe Group, consisting mainly of pebbly quartzite, black and grey slates and limestones.
  • Large intrusions of granitic rocks also occur, together with dykes of basalt.

In the district under consideration the strike of the beds is S.W.- N.E., and the dip is generally in a N.W. direction. The ore deposits are usually associated with the Ardrishaig Phyllites and underlying quartzite, and two types have been noticed, namely, true veins and metasomatic replacements.

The veins and their contents[edit]

Veins[edit]

The Veins vary from mere strings to 10 or 12 ft. in width. Iii many cases they consist almost entirely of gangue, either quartz or calcite, while others contain fair quantities of siderite. Some of the ore-bearing quartz veins show signs of fracture due to movement, and the broken material has afterwards been recemented either by quartz or siderite. Many of the veins trend north-east, but others have northwest, and east-and-west trends.

Metasomatic replacement deposits[edit]

The metasomatic replacement deposits are of no great extent, and usually occur as replacements of limestone by metallic sulphide ores. Deposits of this type are often repeated as small pockets of ore along the strike of the parent rock. In some cases the ore consists of only one mineral, but more often it is of a complex nature, and may also contain a good deal of unreplaced rock.

The minerals of the ore deposits[edit]

Many of the deposits have been worked for ores of copper, namely, chalcopyrite, chalcocite, and cupriferous pyrites. Galena and blende also occur, and the former has been worked at two localities. The usual gangue minerals are quartz, calcite, siderite and barytes.

The amount of precious metals occurring in the veins of this district is, on the whole, rather higher than the average for Scotland. Especially is the case in the complex ore formerly worked at Stronchullin, between Ardrishaig and Loch Tarbert, which yielded on assay, gold to the average value of 2 oz. to the ton.[6] (See also page 81).

Details of the mines and veins[edit]

Locality A (Figure 10), Eagle's Fall Vein (Not worked)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 37; six-inch, Argyll 126 N.E.

The vein is situated about half a mile W.S.W. from Eagle's Fall, and one and a half miles N.E. of Achadunan. It consists of a few strings of barytes, carrying small specks and strings of galena, and is associated with a N.N.W. basalt dyke and line of crush. About one quarter of a mile to the south another thin vein of barytes and siderite occurs.

Localities B and C (Figure 10), Achadunan (Not worked)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 37; six-inch, Argyll 126 S.W.

Vein B is situated on the slope of the hill about half a mile due east from Achadunan. It trends north-east, and consists of about 1 ft. of barytes, with thin strings of galena up to a quarter of an inch in thickness.

Vein. C is seen crossing a small burn about a mile S.E. of Achadunan. It trends 5° north of west, and consists of about 1 ft. of calcite and siderite carrying thin strings of galena.

Locality D (Figure 10), Clachan Beag Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 37; six-inch, Argyll 126 S.W.

The old mine, which is perhaps the one mentioned in the (Old) " Statistical Account,"[7] is situated on the hillside one quarter of a mile south-west of Clachan Beag and about 200 yds. from the sea. The deposit occurs as a metasomatic replacement of part of a bed of limestone. Owing to the small size of the exposure it was impossible to see how far the replacement had extended, but from the size of material on the small dump it could be gathered that at least 1-ft. width of ore must have occurred. The bed of limestone strikes in a north-east direction and dips to the north-west at 40°. The replacement has given rise to a highly complex ore containing disseminated galena, blende and pyrites in a siderite matrix. An assay yielded:

Lead — 12 per cent

Silver — 2 oz. to the long ton

Gold — Traces

The workings appear to have been in the nature of a trial, probably for argentiferous galena. Little was done, but from 10 to 20 tons of the ore occur as a small dump at the mouth of the mine.

Locality E (Figure 10), M`Phun's Cairn (Not worked)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 37; six-inch, Argyll 141 N.W.

A band of pyritous schist, 8 yds. wide, is exposed on the shore about 70 yds. N.N.E. of 111Thun's Cairn, and a mile north of Strachur. The material is of a siliceous nature, and contains bands which are rich in pyrites, together with associated galena and blende. These bands range up to 6 ft. in width, but are only of small lateral extension. An assay made by Mr. E. A. Smith at South Kensington gave[8] the following result:

Silver — 11 Dwt. — 18 per long ton

Gold — 1 Dwt. — 7 per long ton

Insoluble residue, mainly silica and a little mica, 24.50 per cent., Zinc 3.5 per cent., Iron 30.0 per cent., lead 3.0 per cent., sulphur 30.5 per cent.

Locality F (Figure 10) (Not worked.)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 37; six-inch, Argyll 141 S.E.

The locality is situated on the Allt a' Challtuinn, about three-quarters of a mile N.N.E. of Bridgend, at the head of Loch Eck. The vein is about 6 ft. wide, hades to the west, and is associated with a felsite dyke. It follows a line of crush, and is said to carry thin strings of galena.

Old lead mines are reported to occur in Glen Aray between Inveraray and Loch Awe, also in Glen Shira, near Rob Roy's house.

Locality A (Figure 11), Kaimes. (Not worked.)[edit]

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

A quartz vein carrying pyrites and a little galena is to be seen near Kaimes, about 4 miles east of Lochgilphead.

Inverneil Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 28; six-inch, Argyll 170 S.W., S.E.; 180 N.W., N.E.

A large number of small mines have been opened up on the Inverneil estate,[9] but none is of any size, and most are simply trials on quartz and other veins. One is said to have been wrought in the early part of the eighteenth century.[10]

Locality B (Figure 11) (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 28; six-inch, Argyll 170 S.E.

About 100 yds. up the Inverneil Burn from the bridge a level has been driven about 30 ft. in a direction 30° south of west, but there is no sign of any vein material. A thin quartz vein is seen crossing the burn about 80 yds. further up the stream.

Locality C (Figure 11) (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 28; six-inch, Argyll 170 S.E.

The old mine is situated on the north side of the Inverneil Burn, and about one-third of a mile above the bridge. The vein varies in breadth from 12-18 in., trends north-east, and hades to the northwest. The infilling consists mainly of quartz, with a little galena and pyrites.

Extent of Workings.—The vein has been worked open-cast for a short distance.

About 130 yds. further up the stream, and on the south side thereof, an adit has been driven a distance of 20 ft. in a south-easterly direction. No vein is to be seen, but the roof and sides are covered with stalactitic growths.

Locality D (Figure 11) (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 28;1-six-inch Argyll 170 S.E.

Three old mines are situated close together on the sides of the Inverneil Burn, and about two-thirds of a mile above the bridge. The first consists of a small level, and has been driven a short distance on some thin strings of reddish quartz; which trends 40° east of south, but show no traces of ore.

The second is about 70 yds. further up the burn, and consists of a small level running about 15° east of south. No vein is to be seen, but strings of galena occur in the material on the dump.

The third is a few yards further up the stream; the vein trends north-and-south, hades west at about 45°, and consists of calcite and quartz, with a little interspersed galena. A level has been driven a short distance on the vein.

Locality E (Figure 11) (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 28; six-inch, Argyll 170 S.E.

A 10-ft. quartz vein is exposed on the slope of the hill about a quarter of a mile due north of the Inverneil bridge. It trends northeast, hades to the north-west, and consists mainly of quartz, with a little pyrites and small specks of galena.

Locality F (Figure 11) (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 28; six-inch, Argyll 170 S.E.; 180 N.E.

The old mine is situated on the south-east slope of Cruach Mheadhonach, half a mile south-west from Inverneil bridge, and is connected to the main road, 150 yds. away, by a rough cart track.

The vein trends 30° north of west, hades to the south-west, and is about 9 in. to 1 ft. in width. The infilling consists of quartz with a little siderate, together with galena, pyrites, and chalcopyrite. An assay gave the following result:

Lead — 17 per cent.

Silver — 2 oz. 8 dwts. per long ton.

Gold — 12 grains per long ton.

Description of the Workings.- The workings on this vein are the most extensive in the district. An adit-level has been driven in, from a point about 150 yds. from the road, and three or four shafts have been sunk, some of them to adit. There is a fair quantity of material on the dump at the adit mouth, but the bulk of it is country-rock.

Locality G (Figure 11) (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 28; six-inch, Argyll 170 S.E.; 180 N.E.

A few small trials have been made in Gleann Beag about a mile west of 1 nverneil bridge, but no ore appears to have been found.

Locality H (Figure 11), Loch. Arail (Loch Errol on the six-inch maps) (Abandoned)[edit]

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

Several small trials for lead ore have been made on thin quartz veins at the north-east end of Loch Arail, but none is of any importance. A level has been driven a short distance on one of them, and the material on the dump shows a little galena and pyrites.

Locality I (Figure 11) (Abandoned)[edit]

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

This locality occurs at the west end of Loch Dobhrain, which is situated about one-third of a mile west of Loch Arail. The vein trends 25° east of north, and hades south-east. It varies from 2 ft. to 2 ft. 6 in. in width, and consists of quartz, with specks of galena and chalcopyrite.

Locality J (Figure 11) (Abandoned)[edit]

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

An old lead mine is shown on the six-inch Ordnance map about three-quarters of a mile south-south-east of the above locality, and one-quarter of a mile west of Loch Fuar Bheinne. The vein consists from 1-2 ft. of quartz, with specks of galena. A small amount of work has been carried on.

Locality K (Figure 11) (Abandoned)[edit]

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

The old mine is situated on the north side of the road, about one mile south-west from Loch Arail. The vein is about 2 ft. 6 in. wide, trends a few degrees east of north, and hades east at 50°. The infilling is mainly quartz, with a little galena.

Locality L (Figure 11), Stronchullin (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Mr. Graham Campbell of Shirvan.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheets 28, 29; six-inch, Argyll 180 N.E.

The old mine is situated about 120 yds. west of the junction of the Stronchullin and Gleann da Leirg burns.

The vein trends a few degrees east of north, hades to the west at 70°, and has a maximum width of 18 in. The infilling consists of quartz, with galena, zinc-blende, chalcopyrite and cupriferous pyrites. About twelve years ago a sample of ore from this locality was assayed by the Tharsis Copper Co. of Glasgow for its copper content, but although the result showed only a small amount of copper, it revealed the unexpected presence of gold to the value of two ounces to the long ton. Other samples were afterwards tested with the following results:[11]

Sample Gold per ton Silver per ton Copper per cent Lead per cent
Ozs dwt grs Ozs. dwt. grs.
1. (1 cwt) 1 12 15
2. (1 cwt) 1 9 9
3. (1 cwt) 5 1 6 4 8 20 1.42 10.42
4. (1 cwt) 4 18 0 4 12 6 1.47 10.77
5. (10 Tons) 1 4 12 2 8 0 1.20 2.10
6. (10 Tons) 1 9 7 2 16 0 1.70 3.9
7. Concentrates 2 5 15 3 4 0 1.8 10.1
8. Concentrates 7 1 0 6 0 0 2.2 21.5
9. Slimes 0 9 0 2 0 0

The gold is not in a visible form, and on comparing the assays we get little help in arriving at any definite conclusion as to which metal it is mainly associated with. The copper appears the most likely but this metal is present both as chalcopyrite and as cupriferous pyrites, so unless the iron were also estimated it would be difficult to say whether either or both of these minerals is auriferous.

Description of the Workings.—The mine was formerly worked for lead, and there are old workings on the north side of the Stronchullin Burn. The more recent workings consist of an open-cast about 80 ft. long and from 10-18 ft. in depth. A small shaft has also been sunk. The southern extension of the vein is difficult to follow, but a quartz vein exposed about half a mile up the Gleann da Leirg may possibly be its prolongation.

Locality M (Figure 11) Ardtilligan Burn (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 29; six-inch, Argyll 180 S.E.

The old mine is situated about one-third of a mile up the Ardtilligan Burn. It is said to have contained a good deal of zinc-blende. An adit, now full of water, has been driven a short distance in a direction 10° south of west.

Locality N (Figure 11) (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 29; six-inch, Argyll 180 S.E.

The old mine is situated about three-quarters of a mile up the Allt na Dunaiche. The vein trends 20° north of west, consists of from 2 to 3 ft. of white quartz, and can be traced up the burn for about a quarter of a mile. The site of an old shaft or level can be seen, but there is no sign of any ore. A third of a mile upstream a tributary comes in from the south. This branches in about 100 yds., and an old trial can be seen about 60 yds. east of, and a quarter of a mile up the east branch.

Locality O (Figure 11) (Abandoned)[edit]

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

A metalliferous vein occurs at the foot of Coire Mhaim, a tributary of the Abhainn Mhor, which flows into the sea near the entrance to Loch Caolisport. The vein is about 8 ft. wide, and the infilling consists of dolomite and quartz, carrying specks of chalcopyrite and zinc-blende.

Strontian and Loch Sunart[edit]

Figure 12. Map of Strontian, showing the distribution of metalliferous mines and veins.

Situation and Geology. This remote mining district is situated in those parts of Argyllshire known as Morvern. and Sunart, which lie to the west of Loch Linnhe. No railways exist in this district, and access is difficult except by sea.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance, Sheet 52; six-inch, Argyll 17 S.E.; 18 S.W., S.E.

Geology[edit]

The district, which has not been mapped by the Geological Survey, contains a varied assemblage of rock types. These are mainly of metamorphic origin, and as far as could be gathered from a short visit, the oldest rocks consist of a series of micaschists and banded quartzites, which are well exposed on the north side of Loch Sunart, near Coire-an-t-Suidhe and Ben Resipol. The same types make their appearance in Laudale and Glen Dubh, on the south side of the loch. At the eastern end of the Strontian group of veins, however, the rocks consist of a group of augen-gneisses, which are clearly seen to be later than the mica-schists. On the south and east the schists and gneisses are cut off by the outcrop of the Strontian granite, which runs in a more or less east-and-west direction from the Strontian River, and passes westwards between Bellsgrove Lodge and the large open-cast workings at Whitesmith, to a point about half a mile south-east of the Corrantee Mines. Here it turns abruptly to the south and continues in that direction towards the Sound of Mull. Further to the south-west the gneisses and schists are overlain by sedimentary rocks of Carboniferous, Jurassic, and Cretaceous ages, and these again are covered up by great spreads of plateau basalts of Tertiary hge. Besides the general country-rocks, the district is intersected by numerous dykes of basalt and pegmatite.

The lines of fracture follow three main directions, namely, 10° N. of W., 10° S. of W., and N.W. The metalliferous veins are usually associated with the former set, but occasionally the other two sets are ore-bearing.

History[edit]

The Strontian. Mines are said to have been discovered by Sir Alexander Murray of Stanhope,[12] the proprietor of the estate, in 1722. He appears to have worked them himself for a fe.w years, but in 1729 they were let to the Duke of Norfolk & Company, who agreed to pay one-sixth part of the ore raised as royalty. This company worked the vein open-cast along the outcrop, and erected a smelting mill with four hearths. Soon afterwards the mines came into the hands of the York Buildings Company, who proceeded to sink shafts and to drive levels. At one locality they found the vein about three and a half yards wide and sprinkled all through with ore, and at another 30 in. of solid ore is said to have been obtained. This company considerably increased the plant by adding several more furnaces and a smelting mill. They also built a number of dwellings to accommodate their men, together with malt kilns and a brew-house. In 1733 an interesting map and account of the area was published under the title of " A Plan of Loch Sunart, etc." The York Buildings Company worked the mines continuously until 1815, when they were shut down for reasons not definitely known. About 1794 they employed 46 miners, and 30 other labourers. From 1817 till 1836 the mines appear to have occasionally been worked by the proprietor, but chiefly with the view of finding employment for the inhabitants. In 1836 they were again let, but work soon ceased, either from lack of capital or insufficiency of ore. Some of the mines were, however, working again by 1850, and continued with varying fortune till 1872, when they were again abandoned. They remained so till 1901, when a proposal was made to reopen them, and work was started at the Bellsgrove Engine Shaft. This attempt came to an end in 1904 through lack of capital, and since that time the mines have remained idle.

The Lurga, mines were also discovered by Sir A. Murray soon after his discovery of Strontian. He appears to have formed a company, known as the Morvern Company, to work them, and a lease was taken from the proprietor, the Duke of Argyll. From a statement made by Duncan Forbes of Culloden to the Duke in 1737, we find that the rent paid was £41, 17s. 7d. This company built offices and a pier at Liddesdale, and raised a little ore which was exported.

Output[edit]

The rent paid at the beginning of the nineteenth century varied from £1000 to £1500, and, since this represented one-eighth of the total produce of the mine, it follows that the annual value of the ore raised must have varied from £8000 to £12,000. With the price of lead varying from £32 to £24 per ton, it appears that the average output from the mines was in the neighbourhood of 400 tons per annum. From that date to 1853 we have no figures, but the following tables, taken from " Mineral Statistics " (Mem. Geol. Surv.), give the output of the various. mines worked from that time until 1872.

Bellsgrove Fee Donald Corrantee
Year. Tons. Ore. Tons.Lead. Ozs. Silver. Tons. Ore. Tons. Lead. Ozs. Silver. Tons. Ore. Tons. Lead. Ozs. Silver.
1847 50 30
1848 236 141
1849 250 151
1850 290 226
1851 288 225
1852 270 208 1000
1853 310 239 1070
1854 174 130 536
1855 100 74
1856 31 23 45
1857 51 39 78 14 11
1858 44 34
1859 44 34 162
1860 21 16 64
1861 39 29 59
1862 142 106 210
1863
1864 169 119 296 I
1865 300 217 450
1866
1867 *240 168 672 --
1868 25 18 74 15 11
1869 25 18 90 67
1870 12 0 Zinc-blende Zinc-blende
1871 12 9 30

These figures probably include those for the preceding year.

The veins and their contents[edit]

Practically all the lead-bearing veins of the district trend about 5° to 10° N. of W. (see (Figure 12)), and, except at Coire-an-t-Suidhe, are associated in each case with parallel dykes of basalt. Usually the material of the dykes is much decomposed, and now consists of soft, sandy, green clay. This alteration of the dykes is most noticeable at the more highly mineralised portions of the lodes. In some cases there are two parallel dykes, one decomposed and the other quite fresh. They are probably of widely different ages, and, while the former may be of Permo-Carboniferous age, the latter are probably Tertiary.

The primary ores are galena, zinc-blende, jamesonite and iron pyrites. Of these galena has been worked extensively at White-smith and Bellsgrove Mines; and small quantities of blende have also been raised from Coire-an-t-Suidhe.

The principal gangue minerals are barytes, calcite and quartz. Small quantities of strontianite and celestine also occur; the former being of special interest since strontia, the oxide of strontium, was discovered in this mineral by Dr. Hope of Glasgow in 1791,[13] and called after Strontian.

Other gangue minerals of interest are the barium zeolites, harmotome and brewsterite.

Details of the mines and veins[edit]

Corrantee Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Figure 13. Plan and section of Corrantee Mine (Strontian).

Proprietors: The Board of Agriculture for Scotland.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance, Sheet 52; six-inch, Argyll 17 S.E.

The mine is the most westerly of the Strontian group, and is situated near the head of Coire-an-t-Suidhe (Corrantee). It is about 5 miles by road from Strontian Jetty; for 3 miles of this distance the road is in good condition, but the remainder is a rough cart track.

Description. The vein can be seen at the surface over a distance of about half a mile, the most westerly exposure is in the Allt Coirean-t-Suidhe, where it consists only of a few ribs of barytes. About half-way from here to the Deep Level mouth the vein is seen in the burn. It is there 3 ft. wide between walls, and carries near the centre about 1 ft. of pink barytes, with interspersed small cubes of galena; the country-rock is a pink felsite. At the mouth of the Deep Level the country-rock is mainly micaceous schist. The vein is nearly vertical, much broken up, and consists of strings of barytes, with a little galena and a good deal of blende. At the lowest open-cast the vein was about 8 ft. wide, and from 6 hi. to 2 ft. of complex zinc-ore has been left on the foot-wall. These workings are dry, and were drained by a small cross-cut adit to the Allt Tarsuinn, about 70 yards to the south. Above this point are several shallow workings, which are filled with water although the Deep Level has been driven under them.

Further up the hill the country-rock is quartzite, and the vein branches. The north branch trends 10° S. of W. and the south branch 15° N. of W. From this point little work has been done on the south branch, but the north one has been worked open-cast for a considerable distance, and at its widest part the section across the vein is as follows:—

Foot-wall Ft in
Quartz, with galena and blende 1 3
Barytes and Quartz, with galena 1 0
Rider of quartzose-schist 3 0
Calcite, with galena and blende 2 0
Quartz, with barytes and galena 1 6

If this branch keeps its course it should cut the Strontian Main Vein at a point about 1300 yards to the east. (See West Whitesmith Trials.)

Extent of Workings. Up to the present the workings on this vein have been of a limited nature. The Deep Level is only 123 fms. long, and little in the way of stoping has been done (see Sect., (Figure 13)). The main open-cast is 67 fms. long, and has been worked to a maximum depth of 16 fms. The remains of the old office and dressing plant can still be made out. Recent assays are as follows:-

Picked blende — 60 per cent. Zinc;

Picked galena — 80 per cent. Lead; and 18 oz. 13 dwt. 8 grs. of silver per ton of galena.

A sample of sand from the old tailings dump yielded 8.5 per cent. of zinc.

West Whitesmith Trials (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance, Sheet 52; six-inch, Argyll 18 S.W.

About 1300 yards E.N.E. of Coire-an-t-Suidhe and 400 yards west from Whitesmith open-cast; two veins carrying white barytes have been opened by shafts and trenches. The more westerly of these trials, together with the vein of barytes trending 10° N. of W., and the vein of barytes exposed about 100 yards to the east, appear to be on the continuation of the Strontian Main Vein. The other vein trends 10° S. of W., and if continued westwards would join up with the north branch of the Corrantee Vein. These two veins of barytes probably meet at a point about 90 yards east of the most westerly trial-shaft.

Strontian Main Vein Whitesmith, Middleshop and Bellsgrove Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietors: The Board o' Agriculture for Scotland.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance, Sheet 52; six-inch, Argyll 18 S.W.

The Whitesmith workings are the most westerly of the three. They are situated at an elevation of from 900 to 1100 ft., and at a distance of 4½ miles from Strontian. The last half-mile is by a rough path from Middleshop. This section of the vein is reported to have been the richest, and at the Whitesmith Whim Shaft the workings are said to reach to a depth of 120 to 130 fms. At the surface the vein has been worked by a large open-cast, 135 fms. long, 60 ft. deep, and varying from 4 to 12 ft. in width. The vein is nearly vertical, with a slight hade to the south, and it consists essentially of barytes and calcite, with sparsely distributed lumps and Specks of galena. Four whin or basalt dykes are seen crossing the vein. The west end of the open-cast finishes against one, which is about 3 ft. thick, runs in a north-westerly direction, and is said to throw the vein several fathoms to the north.

Extent of the Workings.—Besides the open-cast and the old workings already mentioned, the Whitesmith Level has been driven about 290 fms. from a point to the east, to well under the main open-cast. It was connected to the surface by four shafts, and the material on the dumps shows that the vein contained a large quantity of barytes.

The Middleshop workings adjoin Whitesmith on the east, and occur on the west side of, and close to the road to Polloch. About this point another vein, the Armstrong Vein, appears to split off from the Main Vien, and takes a direction about north-west. Where seen it hades at a high angle to the south, is about 4 ft. wide, and consists essentially of calcite and barytes, with a little galena and blen.de. The Main Vein at this point is about 71 ft. wide, and consists of barytes and decomposed basalt dyke; while another similar dyke, but unaltered, runs parallel to and along the hanging-wall.

A good deal of work has been done on the Main Vein at andinear its junction with the Armstrong Vein, but nothing is known as to the depth of the workings below the open-cast. The Armstrong vein has been worked open-cast a short distance, and a shaft has been sunk.

The Bellsgrove workings are the most easterly, and also the most extensive of the three. All the workings are on the Main Vein, which here varies in width from 8 to 30 ft., hades to the south, has gneiss on the foot-wall and granite on the hanging-wall, and consists essentially of calcite and barytes, with a little galena, together with harma,- tome and brewsterite. At one point the vein is cut by a large basalt dyke, 19 ft. wide, which runs in a north-and-south direction, and has in no way affected the vein. East of this dyke the vein consists principally of barytes, with a little interspersed galena.

Extent of the W orkings.— This section of the workings is drained by the Grand Level which was started by the York Buildings Company, and consists of a cross-cut adit driven through granite from a point 230 yds. north-east of Bellsgrove Lodge, and cuts the vein at 210 fms. at a depth of 180 ft. From this point it has been driven 118 fms. west and 212 fms. east along the vein. The large dumps near the mouth of the level are wrongly named Middleshop Mines on the six-inch Ordnance map. The western end of the level runs under the Middleshop workings, but so far no communication has been made between them. At the Clashgorm, or western end of the Bellsgrove workings, a shaft has been sunk to the level. From here eastwards to the end of the level, and just beyond the Bellsgrove Engine Shaft, practically all the payable ground about the level has been stoped out, in some cases to the surface. The Bellsgrove Shaft has been sunk to a depth of 30 fms. below adit, and a little stoping has been done. To the east of this shaft the vein has mainly been worked by the Bellsgrove main open-cast, which is about 150 fms. long, and at one point, just west of the already-mentioned large basalt dykes, is over 100 ft. deep and 35 ft. wide. To the east of the dyke the workings are only shallow, and are almost entirely in barytes.

The Fee Donald Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietors: The Board of Agriculture for Scotland.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance, Sheet 52; six-inch, Argyll 18 S.E.

These mines, wrongly named Bellsgrove Mines on the six-inch Ordnance map, are situated on the banks of the Alit Feith Dhomhail, a tributary of the Strontian River. They are about 4¾ miles from Strontian Jetty, and the road is in good condition, except for the last mile or so, which is narrow and washed away in places.

Seven veins have been proved here. In order from north to south they are as follows:—North Vein, Antimony Vein, High Vein, Level Vein, Brecon String, Cross Vein and Smiddy Vein. Of these the Smiddy Vein is the only one which has been worked to any extent. The workings on the others are of the nature of trials.

The Smiddy Vein trends about 3° N. of W., and its course can be traced by old workings for a distance of about a quarter of a mile west of the burn. It hades at 77° to the north, varies in width from 4 to 9 ft., and consists mainly of calcite, a good deal of decomposed basalt, together with galena, pyrites, barytes, strontianite, celestine, harmatome and quartz. The country-rock is mainly red, felspathic gneiss.

Extent of Workings.—The mine was worked partly by open-cast, but mainly by four levels driven westward into the hill. The top level was driven a distance of 110 fms., and cuts through a transverse basalt dyke about 15 fms. from the end. The low level has been driven from a point about 50 yds. west of the burn. It is a cross-cut for 10 fms., and then continues along the vein for a distance of 211 fms. These two levels are about 40 fms. apart, and the two others occur at approximately equal distances between them. Most of the stoping has been done between the surface and the third level, and all the payable ground above the lowest level has been worked. Except one small stope, about 40 ft. deep, nothing has been taken out of the sole of the low level.

The Cross Vein trends about 3° W. of N., and is seen accompanied by a basalt dyke about 100 yds. south of the Smiddy Vein.

The Brecon String trends 12° N. of E. It cuts the Smiddy Vein at. a point about 200 yds. west of the burn. A level has been driven on it for a short distance.

The Level Vein is seen crossing the burn about 250 yds. upstream from the Smiddy Vein. It is associated with a basalt dyke, and consists of broken country-rock, a little calcite and small strings and crystals of galena. Open-cast workings and levels have been driven short distances on both sides of the burn.

The High Vein occurs about 60 yds. further upstream. It is parallel to Level Vein, and trends about 12° N. of W. The country-rock is red, felspathic gneiss. The vein, which is accompanied by a thin, basalt dyke, is about 3 ft. wide, hades to the south, and consists mainly of broken country-rock, with occasional thin strings and small cubes of galena. A small open-cast and a level have been driven short distances on the south side of the burn.

The Antimony Vein occurs about 110 yds. upstream from the High Vein, to which it is parallel. The vein is from 3 to 6 ft. wide, hades at 60° to the south, and is accompanied by a basalt dyke. The infilling consists mainly of broken country-rock, with calcite, quartz, galena and blende. A level has been driven a short distance westward on this vein, and at a distance of about 15 fms. from the mouth a little stoping has been done in the floor and roof.

The North Vein occurs about a quarter of a mile further up the burn. It trends about 15° S. of W., and has been worked open-cast a short distance along its course. It is accompanied by a basalt dyke.

Lurga Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Canon Newton.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance, Sheet 52; six-inch, Argyll 41 S.W.

The old mine is situated on the north side of Glen Dubh, and about a quarter of a mile up the small burn running a few degrees north of west from the ruins of Lurga, which are about five miles south-west from Liddesdale. It is reached by an old pack-horse track, which leaves the main road about two and a half miles from the mine.

The country-rocks are quartzose and micaceous schists, and the' vein, which trends a few degrees north of west, is associatediwithia highly decomposed basalt dyke. It hades to the south at about 65°, varies in thickness from 4 to 10 ft., and consists mainly of barytes and a little quartz, together with galena and zinc-blende.

Description of the Workings.—The vein has been worked open-cast and by level. The lowest level has been driven a considerable distance, and is accessible for 20 yds., but beyond that point the vein has been stoped out both above and below the level, and the latter workings are now full of water. About 50 yds. upstream from the level mouth the vein splits into two, and both branches, which are only a few yards apart and run parallel to one another, have been worked on to a small extent. The southern branch carries galena and blende, and at one point 4 ft. of good, clean, white barytes is also seen. The top level on this branch is full of water and impassable. The north branch forms the bed and sides of the stream, and consists mainly of barytes, with interspersed lumps and strings of galena. It appears to have been worked open-cast, and perhaps also by level, but on no great scale. A little higher up the stream the ruins of an old dam, with a lead to the washing floor, can still be made out. The dumps consist mainly of barytes, but they are small and much spread out.

Minor occurrences[edit]

Lead and zinc ores are said to occur at several localities near Glen Sanda, in Morvern, notably at Rudha a' Chamais Bhain, half-a-mile north-east of Glen Sanda Castle, in a vein of spar associated with a basalt dyke, and also in a quartz vein near the summit of Ben a' Chaisil.

Old lead mines are also said to exist at Dalelea, in Moidart,[14] near the foot of Loch Shiel, and also just opposite to Eilean Shona.

Other Argyllshire mines and veins[edit]

Crossapol (Island of Coll)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance, Sheet 51; -six-inch, Argyll 50.

In " The (Old) Statistical Account " a lead mine is stated to occur at Crossapol[15] According to Macculloch[16] the ore occurs as a narrow string of steel-grained ore lying in a fissure which is terminated by the sea. He also states that the vein has not been worked.

Glenorchy (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 45 or 46.

A lead mine was worked on the confines of the parish of Glenorchy in 1422.[17] In "The New Statistical Account" the occurrence of several quartz veins carrying galena is mentioned, and they are stated to have a common N.N.E. to S.S.W. trend. One having a different direction is mentioned as occurring near Ariveann[18]

Appin (Glen Creran) (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheets 46, 53; six-inch, Argyll 58 S.W.

In "The (Old) Statistical Account"[19] mention is made of the occurrence of several lead veins in Appin; only one had been worked, and that without success. In all probability this statement relates to the old mines near the head of Loch Creran referred to by Kynaston and Bailey.[20]

The more northerly locality occurs in the limestone near Invercreran, where a level has been driven a short distance along a small vein of calcite carrying galena. The southern locality is situated in the south side of the river, and about half-a-mile south of Taravocan. The sites of four small trial mines can be made out, but otherwise there is little to be seen. This is the locality mentioned in the "New Statistical Account",[21] where a vein of lead ore is said to occur on the hill near the Balliveolan House.

Croggan, Mull[edit]

Proprietor: Maclaine of Lochbuie.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 44; six-inch, Argyll 97 S.W.

A lead mine is said to have been worked for argentiferous galena. near Croggan, but all signs of it are now obliterated. In all probability it is the one mentioned by Sir A. Murray of Stanhope in " The Interests of Great Britain Considered," published in. 1740.

References[edit]

  1. Gregory Smith, The Book of Islay, 1895, p. 475.
  2. Gregory Smith, The Book of Islay, 1895, p. 365.
  3. Pennant, A Tour in Scotland and Voyage to the Hebrides, 1790, vol. ii., p. 250.
  4. Williams, The Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom, 1810, vol. i., pp. 270-274.
  5. The Geology of Knapdale, Jura, etc. (Mem. Geol. Surv.), 1911, pp. 7 and 8. See also The Geology of Mid Argyll (Mem. Geol. Surv.), 1905, and The Geology of Cowal (Mem. Geol, Surv.), 1897,
  6. The Geology of Knapdale, Jura, etc. " (Mem. Geol. Surv.), 1911, pp. 134, 135.
  7. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland" vol. iii., 1792, p. 165.
  8. The Geology of Cowal " (Mem. Geol. Surv.), 1897, p. 58. " The Geology of Mid-Argyll " (Mem. Geol. Surv.), 1905, p. 152.
  9. The Geology of Knapdale, Jura, etc. (Mem. Geol. Surv.), 1911, pp. 135-140.
  10. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. six., 1797, p. 320.
  11. The Geology of Knapdale, Jura, etc." (Mem. Geol. Surv.), 1911, pp. 136, 137.
  12. Sir A. Murray cf Stanhope, The Interests of Great Britain Considered," 1740, in which a copy of the map " A Plan of Loch Sunart, etc.," 1733, can be seen, together with a full account of the discovery of Strontian and Lurga mines. " The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. xx., 1798, p. 292. Williams, The Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom," 1810, vol.p. 453. " The New Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. vii., Argyll, pp. 134, 154, 170.
  13. Dr. Hope, Account of a Mineral from Strontian. and of a peculiar species of earth which it contains. Trans. Roy. Soc. Edin., vol. iv., pt. 2, 1798, pp. 3-39.
  14. The New Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. vii., 1845, Argyll, p. 133.
  15. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. x., 1794, p. 400.
  16. Macculloch, The Western Islands of Scotland," vol. i., 1819, p. 68.
  17. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. viii., 1793, p. 351.
  18. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. vii., 1845, Argyll, p. 91,
  19. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. i., 1791, p. 499.
  20. The Geology of Ben Nevis and Glencoe, Mem. Geol. Surv., 1916, p. 234.
  21. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. vii., 1845, Argyll, p. 481.