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PHOTOS: Mineshaft opens up in St Ives car park

PHOTOS: Mineshaft opens up in St Ives car park

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 10:44am 29th April 2018. (Updated at 12:04pm 30th April 2018)

Experts believe a 40ft mineshaft that has opened up in a car park on a St Ives housing estate could run much deeper.

Photos and video are revealing the full scale of the sink hole that appeared at Garth-an-Creet on Saturday.

The area has been cordoned off and it is awaiting an assessment from a specialist.

carbis bay crew st ives mineshaft

A member of the Carbis Bay Crew, a group of climbers, cavers, mine explorers and divers, was at the scene.

The group use their skills throughout the Duchy, volunteering their time to help with anything from animal rescues to cleaning rubbish. 

Stuart Dann, who also represents Mining Eye, posted a picture of the hole on Facebook, explaining the shaft's exposure and how it highlights the area's mining heritage.

He said: "St Ives and Carbis Bay were heavily mined and reminders of this, in terms of subsidence threat to property is a continual pain for residents.

“Occasionally something more spectacular than a report with red ink, or a feint 0.2mm crack occuring on the wall of a building occurs”.

carbis bay crew mineshaft st ives

Stuart added: "It appears that prior to the construction of the estate, an inadequate mining investigation was done to locate and subsequently make safe the various things that can open up and fill us with wonder.

“Looking at the record, they did have the decency to put a car park over the shaft site, rather than a house”.

His post continues: "Tarmac is pretty good stuff at keeping together over voids and when something does open up, it can form bottle like features which are quite heart stopping to peer over the edge of”.

carbis bay crew mineshaft st ives

carbis bay crew mineshaft st ives

Photos: Stuart Dann from Mining Eye/Carbis Bay Crew

How deep is the shaft?

Stuart posted: What's happened is that the choke, or timbering covering the shaft (approx 200m deep) has failed and the bedrock (about 3.5m down-ish) has "coned" out under the tarmac to form quite an exciting hole.

“This was apparently 20m deep or so, but when measured was 10m. The shaft is about 8ft square (sorry to mix units) and a fair bit bigger at the just-under-the surface”.

mineshaft 2

Is it a risk to nearby homes?

Stuart was back at the scene on Sunday afternoon and told Pirate FM: "The shaft itself, it appears looking into it, has got good rock all the way around it so it's a shaft that just goes down and intersects workings, which are the other holes, at depth and so there's no real risk of workings being right next to it, as there are in other cases".

What happens next?

Stuart said: "What would usually happen is a study would be done to potentially locate these on old maps and old plans.

"Then what they would do is a site investigation. So, either using drilling or a digger, would dig a big hole and find out where the shaft actually is and then they would take steps to plug it permanently.

"That's the big thing really - because this shaft wasn't plugged permanently when they closed the mine which is why it's opened up again".

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