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Removing Water


The Royal Visit 28th November 1980

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Under the Sea

sealing the breach under the sea

As early as the 18th Century the workings at Levant mine, to the west of Geevor, stretched out below the sea bed. 

After operating continuously for 110 years from 1820 the mine was finally abandoned in 1930 and slowly flooded. By 1959, Geevor badly needed new ore reserves with best options lying to the west. Levant’s flooded workings were therefore drained.

After an inspection at Levant it was discovered that the water rose and fell with the tide, the sea had broken into the mine workings. This breach was eventually identified as a known weak spot called the ’40 backs’ where the Levant miners had worked very close to the sea floor above. Between 1961 and 1962 the ‘breach’ in the sea bed was located by drivers (image) and plugged with concrete pumped from the shore. This process was completed by 1970, 50 million gallons of water was pumped out of the mine.

With the Levant breach sealed and the mine dewatered, a crosscut (tunnel) was driven into the workings from Geevor. But the lodes were disappointing and a decision was taken to abandon Levant and develop other known lodes under the sea. This was achieved by sinking a gently sloping shaft out under the sea from the bottom of Victory Shaft (approx 450m below surface), called the Sub-incline shaft. Work on the project commenced in 1975 and was opened by the Queen in 1980.


Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of the Geevor Archive

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Comment left by john.woodcraft on 2010-03-16 16:44:46

what a magnificient acheivement at the time,and all I noticed,was the red/pink of the sea,and my eyes,(big drinker then)

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