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Billingham anhydrite mine, Billingham, Co. Durham, England, UK

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 54° 35' 49'' North , 1° 15' 41'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 54.59711,-1.26162
UK National Grid Reference:NZ477227
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate

Billingham anhydrite mine is located on the north bank of the River Tees, near Stockton. Shaft sinking began in September 1926 and bottomed 14 months later at a depth of 850 ft. By 1953 the mine incorporated 200 miles of underground roadways and one square mile of workings. Production ceased in 1971 and the mine closed in 1978 when the shaft was capped.

Owned and operated by Imperial Chemical Industries, Billingham anhydrite mine formed part of the giant ICI Billingham works that covered a site of about 1,000 acres and was, in the 1960s, the second largest chemical factory in the world. A visit by Aldous Huxley to the Billingham site is said to have inspired his novel "Brave New World"

Anhydrite occurred in three seams the Upper, Main, and Lower anhydrite seams, the Main (worked) seam consisting of 15-20 ft. of massive anhydrite averaging 90 per cent. purity. It formed an essential raw material for the chemical works in its manufacture of sulphuric acid and ammonium sulphate fertiliser.

In 1983, NIREX, the Nuclear Industry Radioactive Waste Executive, announced a proposal to use disused mine as a site for the disposal of intermediate level nuclear waste. There was huge public resistance since, despite the site's geological suitability, much of the mine's 11 million cubic metres of potential storage space lies under the town of Billingham. Although plans for nuclear storage were dropped in 1985, a proposal in 2007 by a private waste management company to re-open the mines for "use as a long-term disposal facility for low hazard waste" met with similar opposition.

Mineral List

16 valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

Late Cretaceous
66 - 100.5 Ma

ID: 3191056
Mesozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Late Cretaceous (66 - 100.5 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

201.3 - 252.17 Ma

ID: 2032435
Triassic Rocks (Undifferentiated)

Age: Triassic (201.3 - 252.17 Ma)

Lithology: Sandstone and conglomerate, interbedded

Reference: British Geological Survey. DiGMapGB-625. British Geological Survey ©NERC. [23]

Early Triassic
247.2 - 252.17 Ma

ID: 3137334
Early Triassic sandstone

Age: Early Triassic (247.2 - 252.17 Ma)

Lithology: Sandstone

Reference: Asch, K. The 1:5M International Geological Map of Europe and Adjacent Areas: Development and Implementation of a GIS-enabled Concept. Geologisches Jahrbuch, SA 3. [147]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


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Mine & Quarry Engineering (Dec 53 - Feb 54) The Billingham Mine — Part 1, 2 & 3
Mineralogical Magazine 1959 32 : 172-175.

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