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Cambrian News, 11th January 1980
Clogau workers take a breather as price soars
by ERYL JONES-WILLIAMS

The rocketing price of gold, three times more now than what it was three months ago, has had remarkable little effect on the workers at the Clogau Gold Mines at Bontddu near Dolgellau.

The men have in fact stopped looking for gold and are busy erecting new stagings and drilling new air ventilation shafts. But with a twinkle in his eye 69 year-old Mr. Jack Williams, a shareholder and former gold mine worker said that they had already struck a rich vein before Christmas. The gold was in a difficult area and the men, were now making the necessary safety precautions before getting the visible gold out.

Mr. Williams was not surprised at the high cost of gold over the recent weeks and pointed out that everything else was going up, “gold has always been a valuable commodity and if other things are going up then why not gold”, he said.

The price, whether it was 200 dollars an ounce as it was when they started their mining operations, or the 650 dollars an ounce that it was last week does not worry Mr. Jack Williams. “All I am pleased about is that I have been proved right and can find the gold at Clogau”, he said, adding that when the mine was closed some 40 years ago everyone thought that there was no more gold. “I knew there was and I have found it”, he said. It was about 12 months ago that Mr. Williams was contacted by Australian Mr. Ray Thackwell and art dealer Mr. Nickolas Lott about reopening the mine and last September they struck a vein, and gold has been extracted and taken away to make Welsh gold rings with some 35 jewellers in Wales selling them. The Welsh gold rings are unique for there is a dragon mark on the inside.

Mr. Williams said that most of the rings, costing around £110, are being sold to the U.S.A. and Canada, but that the prices would no doubt rise as would their value.

The men working at the mine are pleased about the increase in the price of gold for it makes their Jobs more secure.

Last week Bernard Williams and Arthur Thomas were busy 80 ft. down the mine filling up an old bucket with ore while Ken Williams winched up the ore and onto the truck which was on the old lines that have been used since the last century.

Outside Mr. Jack Williams was sifting through the ore to find the visible gold while Jerry Williams, on his mini tractor, was assisting him in the movement of the ore.

This week Jerry is leaving for London to appear on the Jimmy Saville show “Jim’l Fix It”. Last October a young girl asked if she could go down the mine and it was filmed. It will be shown this Saturday.

Unfortunately Mr. Ray Thackwell will not see it for he is in New Zealand at the moment and is due back later this month. Mr. Thackwell takes the gold from the mine for processing in the London area before it can be turned into rings.


Submitted by Nick Southwick

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