Manganese was first discovered on the mountains in 1873, however it was not until 1909 that commercial mining began. Clumps of  black ore were propelled 700 metres down the mountain in a wood and corrugated iron chute to a jetty on the sea’s edge. A short cocopan line took the ore to the end of the jetty where it was tipped into shallow-bottomed lighters and delivered to larger ships for export to Europe. The manganese was used in the production of chlorine and as an alloying element with iron.  The mine was a short-lived venture and closed suddenly in 1912, with some substantial deposits still intact. You can see the stacked piles of ore and the dry walls used to contain them to this day. The quickest way to reach these mines is via Chapman’s Peak Drive, near East Fort. There are several mine shafts, some have dangerous drops. No 7 shaft has the largest entrance – 15m wide and 3m high.

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