Cwmystwyth Lead Mine

Closes 19 Oct 2043

Opened 16 Oct 2023



Cwmystwyth Mine is approximately 6km northeast of the village of Pont-rhyd-y-groes, Ceredigion.

The mine covers around 250ha on the steep northern slopes of the Ystwyth Valley, with some minor workings on the southern slopes.

Cwmystwyth exploited three mineral lodes over the course of its operation, namely Comet, Kingside and Mitchell.

The earliest mining at Cwmystwyth has been dated to the Early Bronze Age, when copper was extracted from the Comet lode in an opencast on Copa Hill.

The mine was worked intermittently from this time, at varying profitability, until finally being abandoned in 1950. The remains at Cwmystwyth are extensive and include vast waste dumps, a large opencast, ruinous buildings, shafts, adits and leats.

The River Ystwyth receives all surface and sub-surface drainage from the mine. This adds approximately 12 tonnes of zinc, 2 tonnes of lead and 30 kg of cadmium to the river each year.

This input of metals contributes to the River Ystwyth failing its Water Framework Directive standards for zinc, with zinc remaining elevated downstream of the mine as far as the sea at Cardigan Bay. The metal inputs also detrimentally impact fish and invertebrate populations.

Next steps are for the Outline Design of intervention and remediation measures identified by the Feasibility Study to be further developed, including consultation with stakeholders.

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