Warning: Abandoned mines are dangerous places. Do not enter abandoned mines.
The Wheal Ellen site is located approximately 2.4 km southwest of Northampton in the Midwest region of Western Australia. The Wheal Ellen lead mine operated between 1873 and 1924. The site includes mine shafts, subsidence risk areas, opencut pits, a tailings stockpile, costeans, buildings, machinery and shallow workings. Following assessment of the site in accordance with the program’s risk assessment and prioritisation process, Wheal Ellen was selected as a shaft rehabilitation project.
The Wheal Ellen site is also included within the Northampton Lead Tailings Program (NLTP) being managed by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. Phase 2 Part B of the NLTP has now commenced with the construction of a permanent and secure facility to safely dispose of tailings removed as part of the townsite remedial works and tailings at the Wheal Ellen site.
A geotechnical assessment of existing features and associated subsidence risk areas across the site has been completed. Subsidence hazard zones have been mapped and controls recommended for activities close to the voids and subsidence risk areas.
A report has been prepared detailing a methodology to rehabilitate and make safe the hazards associated with the shafts, open pits and subsidence risk areas.
This project is funded from interest generated by the Mining Rehabilitation Fund. Due to the current low interest rates, this project has been placed on hold until sufficient funds are available to complete the required earthworks.
For more information on how the Western Australian State Government is addressing the risks associated with abandoned mine features through management and rehabilitation view Abandoned Mines Program.