Natural Resources Wales is looking to tackle pollution from abandoned metal mines in a community between Llanidloes and Machynlleth.

The Dylife Metal Mine Project aims to prevent around nine tonnes of harmful metals entering the Afon Twymyn and the Afon Dyfi every year to improve conditions for wildlife in the area.

The pollution from Dylife Mine Site impacts 20 kilometres of watercourses with zinc, lead and cadmium.

The Afon Twymyn and one of its tributaries, the Nant Dropyns, flow through the Dylife site, receiving metal-rich run-off and discharges which impact on water quality and ecology. This results in the Afon Twymyn failing to achieve the ‘good status’ required by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) all the way to its confluence with the Afon Dyfi.


Construction of a modern road embankment and associated surface water drainage in the 1970s increased the impacts arising from the mine and results in flooding of the Afon Twymyn valley during storm events, according to Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

The Dylife project aims to address the main pollution sources, improve the drainage and create a stable landform at the site for the long term.

County Times: The head of the Twymyn valley with the escarpment of Craig y Maes on the left. Picture: Geograph.The head of the Twymyn valley with the escarpment of Craig y Maes on the left. Picture: Geograph.

County Times: Industrial remains in Dylife. Picture: Geograph.Industrial remains in Dylife. Picture: Geograph.

Residents, landowners, community and voluntary organisations and other interested persons have until Sunday, April 7, to share their views in an online survey at

"Wales has a long history of mining metal ores, dating back to the Bronze Age, with the industry reaching a peak in the latter half of the 19th century," NRW explained.

"Approximately 700km of rivers in Wales are impacted by over 1,300 abandoned metal mines, and a major source of the metals found in our rivers, streams and lakes are from these abandoned metal mines.

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"We recognise the importance of preserving our rich mining history, whilst also developing a programme to tackle the pollution these abandoned mines cause. 

"Over the coming years, the Welsh Government will support Natural Resources Wales and The Coal Authority to work collaboratively in the delivery of the Programme.

"Our primary aim is to reduce pollution from abandoned metal mines to improve the health of our rivers, which will benefit the environment, people and the economy."