Branching out – visiting Cae Coch

A couple of weeks ago I visited another disused pyrite mine in North Wales, Cae Coch. While both Cae Coch and Parys are pyrite mines, the two are very different in terms of how they were worked and the minerals currently present, though of course there is some overlap. Mellanterite is quite abundant at Cae Coch, but I’ve yet to see it at Parys. Navigation within Cae Coch is much simpler than Parys, though getting to the mine itself proves much more difficult, as I found out a couple of weeks ago.

I was joined on my trip by Olly Burrows of the Parys Underground Group (PUG) and together we cordoned off a section of Cae Coch to prevent disturbance to natural formations that arose as a result of the mining processes. Biologically speaking Cae Coch is relatively well characterised by Barrie Johnson and his team over the years, though it has been a number of years since microbiological investigations were undertaken at the site. As part of PARMIN I will undertake some sampling of additional mineral environments at Cae Coch, for comparison with Parys mine.

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