History of Wheal Hughes
Wheal Hughes original mining operations took place between 1865 and 1874. The modern operation started in 1990, when the opencut pit was commenced. The opencut was completed in 1992 at a depth of 65 metres (nom.), and underground mining was commenced at deeper levels. Mining was ceased in 1993 due to dramatic declines in copper prices, at the 95 metre level.
The Moonta Town Council/District Council of the Copper Coast commenced a tour operation at the mine in the late nineties, but decided to cease the tour operation in July of 2007. Locals banded together and now provide volunteer labour via a committee comprised of the local branch of the National Trust andd the Moonta & District Progress Association, which saw the tours recomence in January 2008.
Tours go underground and visit the 35 & 55 metre levels - originally you needed to be relatively fit to undertake the walk out from the underground portion of the mine, up a very steep tunnel ( the decline) - but now most guides drive the whole tour.
Please feel free to contact me for more information, as I am a volunteer guide at the mine.