One of the chiefs at Anglesey Mining PLC is "confident" that large-scale mining at Mynydd Parys on Ynys Môn will start again.

A company listed on the London stock exchange, Anglesey Mining PLC has interests in Sweden, Canada and Wales.

In the 18th Century, Mynydd Parys, near Amlwch on the north east of the island, was the largest copper mine in the world. But the history of the site dates back to the Bronze Age.

New drilling work currently underway shows there is still an abundance of copper and zinc there.

The National Wales: Mynydd Parys or awyr. Llun: DronePics.WalesMynydd Parys or awyr. Llun: DronePics.Wales

Due to a drop in the price of copper between the 1980s and 1990s, Don McCallum of Anglesey Mining plc told our sister title, Corgi Cymru: "The Mynydd Parys site has effectively been mothballed since then. But recently, metal prices have risen, and at the moment, there is a very high demand for copper and zinc."

"This is because copper is used extensively in electrification," he said. "At the moment the global demand for copper is higher than the available supply. As a result, the price of copper has gone up and we believe there is a viable case for copper mining once again.

"So we are trying to secure investment in order to start the work again."

As for zinc, it is a metal that is used in the construction process. Very often a layer of zinc is applied to steel. According to Mr McCallum: "zinc is currently at a good price and demand is high."

Mr McCallum claims that the company has "the support of Anglesey Council and the Welsh Government" because it would be able to create work on a large scale on Mynydd Parys.

He said: “Copper and zinc are the main products we have in Parys Mountain. But there is also lead, silver and gold here, but don't get too excited about the gold and silver - there is very little here. Very often, those five metals are found together."

Mr McCallum confirmed that: "a royalty will have to be paid to the Crown Estate for any gold found."

Originally from Belfast, Mr McCallum, who lives on Ynys Môn, acknowledged: "There will be opponents. We have planning permission that dates back to 1988 though. But this will be reviewed.

"We will have to provide much more environmental information today than we would have in 1988, and show how we would cope with environmental problems. Consultations with the public would be part of that."

But it seems there will be several more steps to the journey - and several studies to complete - before becoming a major employer on Ynys Môn.

"But we're on the right track, we're talking to investors," said Mr McCallum, but he didn't want to be drawn on the exact figure the company needs.

"The Mynydd Parys site is very large and we own a significant part of it - we rent some on lease from the Marquess of Anglesey (Charles Paget)."


Part of the mining process is the dirty and acidic waste water that rises to the surface. But Mr McCallum's argument is that the modern mining process is cleaner and he says the company is "aware" of its responsibilities in terms of "the environment, wildlife and plants in general."

The lifespan of any new mine in Mynydd Parys would be about 12 years, he said.

"There is the potential to create 100 direct jobs on site, and locally - around 500 jobs including contractors etc. It's quite a big project," he said.

The site currently employs three people full time.

"Everything depends on attracting investment - Anglesey Mining itself doesn't have a lot of money. But we have mining consultants on site at the moment."

Should investment be secured, the company, he said, "could start mining in two years after that."