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The Mines Royal Copper Works at Neath Abbey already existed in 1797, when there were 38 furnaces for smelting and refining, producing some 17 to 20 tons of pig copper. The works continued to function until 1862 when it was leased by Williams Foster and Co. Operations were finally suspended in 1881. The ruins of the copperworks were finally demolished to make way for the motorway as were the remains of the dry docks at Neath Abbey.

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