Parys Mine
The Parys Mine is located in a desolate almost Martian looking area on the top of Parys Mountain in Anglesey. Decades of open cast mining and the tipping of spoil from the mines have left a large area crater marked and strewn with multi coloured spoil from the copper mining. The area has been mined from the Bronze Age, although most of the evidence of this has been wiped out from decades of open cast mining and the tipping of spoil from the deeper and later mines. The entrance to the Parys mine, dating back to the Victorians takes you down a series of rock steps down to the mined levels. The evidence of the Victiorian miners can bee seen from thie deeply incised clog marks on the steps. The high mineral content of the rock makes this an interesting an colourful place, the rocks, formations and even the water is brightly coloured, making this a great place to photograph. The sulphur and metal content of the rock along with the damp conditions makes this the ideal home for snottites, the extremophile colonies of bacteria that dangle like stalactites from the roof of the passages. These digest the sulphur in the rock producing sulphuric acid as a by product which give the water in the cave a very low PH. The snottites quiver with every drop of water that drips from them and the slightest breeze of air makes them writhe like tentacles, quite offputting!

After mining had finished drainage levels were dammed to allow the mine to flood. This was to leech the metal content from the mine and spoil, the water then being taken to precipitate the metals. This process ceased but the dam remained in place meaning the mine stayed flooded for a number of years. In recent years the mine has been drained to prevent the possible breech of the dam causing catastrophic flooding in the town of Amlwch that sits below the mountain. In the lower levels that were flooded now remain some very bizzare dried snottite formations. In one area of the mine the Victorain workings intersected some of the Bronze Age mine workings. In this section there is still in place the round hammer stones that the Bronze Age miners used to break up the ore containing rocks. This is a really facinating place and a photographers paradise.
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