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Leicht Mine 

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Lecht Mine

Well of Lecht, Morayshire.

NGR:NJ 23760 15938
WGS84:57.22780, -3.26439
Length:Not recorded
Vert. Range:Not recorded
Altitude:Not recorded
Geology:Lead, Manganese

Lecht Mine in the hills north of the Lecht Road (from Corgarff to Tomintoul) near the Well of Lecht, is where lead was mined between 1730 and 1738 when the York Mining Company established workings here on land forfeited to the government following the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. . The ore, both ironstone and manganese ore was taken on packhorses over the hills to Culnakyle, near Nethy Bridge where there was timber for smelting. Later in the 1840s, it became a Manganese Ore mine reopened by the Duke of Richmond with the ore sent to Newcastle for use in the bleach trade. When production reached its peak during the 1840s, 63 people were employed at the mine. By 1847, however, cheap imports of manganese from Russia made it unprofitable and the mine closed. It probably has the largest manganese deposit in Scotland. The rocks exposed around the mine are now a mix of ore deposits and spoil heaps left over from the old workings. They are predominantly dense weathered blocks of ores of iron (weathered yellowish and brown), and manganese (black). The manganese ores include some rare ore-minerals containing zinc and lithium. As well as its large size and rare minerals, the Lecht mine is also important for the process which formed the ore minerals.

The most prominent feature of the mining landscape at Lecht is a two-storeyed, rubble-built building with a large arched doorway, which was restored and re-roofed with local slate in the 1980s. It dates from a second, post-1841 phase of activity at the mine, and probably served as a crushing mill, powered by a water wheel measuring almost 8m in diameter which was set at one of its gable walls. Other remains include a mill lade, dumps of waste material, and mine workings which consist of vertical shafts and adits which have been driven at a shallow angle into the hillside.

Alternate Names: None recorded.

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This entry was last updated: 2017-11-27 18:48:51

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