Fluorspar is a critically important industrial mineral which has been mined and processed in Stoney Middleton for hundreds of years and is today the only producer in Britain.
Fluorspar is a mineral (calcium fluoride) found with limestone having been deposited within the fissured rock during volcanic activity many thousands of years ago. It is found underground mainly in veins infilling the naturally occurring faults in limestone. fluorspar always occurs along with other minerals, the most commercially important being barytes and galena (lead ore). The minerals are extracted by open
pit or mining methods and today is principly from Milldam Mine near Stoney Middleton.
It is an essential mineral used in the refrigeration / air conditioning, plastics industries, insulation for wires, cables and semi-conductors, non-stick cookware (Teflon) and for processing metals including aluminium, stainless steel and urainium for nuclear fuel.
Cavendish Mill in Stoney Middleton has been producing fluorspar for generations. The process includes first crushing the ore before a washing and separation process and finally heating it to produce acid grade fluorspar. The mill is operated by British Flourspar Ltd employing over 40 people locally.
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