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Heights Mine, Westgate, Weardale, North Pennines, Co. Durham, England, UK

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The Heights mine is located to the north of the River Wear, between the villages of Eastgate and Westgate. The Heights mine proper consists of numerous underground workings that were developed on three principal veins - the roughly parallel Heights North and South veins and the intersecting West Cross vein. Most of the workings were developed to access the associated flats at the High Flats horizon in the Great Limestone.

Though some lead was obtained from the flats by the Beaumont Company during the early 1860s, the Heights mine was principally worked by the Weardale Iron Company between 1850 and 1868 as a source of iron ore. Commercial iron deposits were found in the flats surrounding the veins as limonite derived from the oxidation of iron carbonates (ankerite and/or siderite).

The flats associated with the three main veins are quite vuggy and have been the source of some magnificent specimens of twinned emerald-green fluorite, in crystals up to 4 centimeters. Well-formed specimens of pale purple to colorless fluorite have also been found. Associated minerals include galena, calcite, and aragonite. Larger, opaque green fluorite crystals to 8 centimeters have also been encountered.

The old underground workings, long a source of specimens dug by amateur collectors, were in dangerous condition and were sealed in the late 1970s. In recent years the area surrounding the original mine has been developed as a quarry for crushed stone and as quarrying progressed, portions of the South and West Cross veins were again exposed.

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6 entries listed. 5 valid minerals.

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