The mines at Blackcraig
The mining lease for Blackcraig allowed the Craigtown Mining Company to mine anywhere on the land. It also allowed them to construct any buildings necessary to the mining operations. You can discover some of the evidence of their activity while exploring the Kirroughtree Lade trail.
There were two mines at Blackcraig. West Blackcraig was located just south of the military road; East Blackcraig was to the north, where Kirroughtree Forest is today.
The mining process
Once mined, the galena ore was dressed. Water was a vital part of the process, needed to power crushing equipment and to wash away any waste material. This left the ore clean and ready for smelting, which also needed water to power the bellows for the smelting furnace.
The mining company built a lade to bring the water for this process. This man-made channel transported water from Loch Bruntis, at the top of the hill, down to the mining operations.