|Date||7 July 2012|
|Location||Gwydyr Forest||SH 76522 62182; 53.14242°N, 3.84750°W|
Lead mining in the Gwydyr Forest area dates back to around 1615, when John Wynn, 1st Baronet, had samples of ore from his Gwydir Estate analysed. Mining activity in the area, in a total of about 21 mines, continued until the early 20th century.
Klondyke Mill was built in 1899 and first appeared in the Ordnance Survey map in its 1914 edition as the New Pandora Lead Works. The mine at the mill was never very productive and the majority of the ore processed there came from the Pandora mine at the southern end of Llyn Geirionydd. The ore was conveyed via a tramway along the eastern shore of the lake and then down a 200m-long aerial ropeway from the tramway terminus some 65m above the mill. The mill was powered by water from the lake, its 82 hp turbine being fed via a 15 inch pipe.
The site was also known as the Crown Spelter Mill, but the name Klondyke comes from the time after the First World War when the mill was operated by the Devon and Crafnant Mining Syndicate. The latter was owned by Joseph Aspinall, a fraudster who was indicted in 1922 for misappropriation of funds in a confidence trick at the mine, the proceeds of which he had used to fund his lavish lifestyle. Aspinall had claimed to have discovered a vast deposit of silver and brought parties of investors, many of whom were rich elderly ladies, up from London to visit the mine. The glittering faces of the tunnels that they were shown were not, however, a massive lode of silver, but in fact 20 tons of lead concentrate purchased from Cornwall and applied to the tunnel walls.