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Fontsante Mine, Tanneron, Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 43° 32' 44'' North , 6° 50' 14'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 43.54556,6.83750
Other regions containing this locality:The Alps, Europe
Köppen climate type:Csb : Warm-summer Mediterranean climate
Name(s) in local language(s):Mine de Fontsante, Tanneron, Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France

A former fluorite mine, started in 1919 and closed in 1987. This large deposit is composed of 20 parallel veins hosted in gneisses. Here are their names from north to south:
- "Lenté" group (from A to E)
- "Nord" group (from 0 to 4)
- Saint-Barthélémy
- Saint-Augustin (known for its sulphides)
- Blanc
- Rouge
- Sainte-Barbe
- Clet
- "Sud" group (from 1 to 3)
- Figuier (known for its dark green cubic fluorites)

All these veins were operated underground by the SECME (Pechiney) company which produced here almost 2 000 000 tons of CaF2 ore.

According to P. Detang (1981), 4 mineralizing stages are known:
1) faulting of gneisses then low filling of cracks by purple and/or green fluorite (sometimes as "aztec pyramids") with white quartz.

2) Large filling of the main veins by green and/or white fluorite with sellaïte

3) deposits (in vugs of the previous stage) of yellow/colorless cubic fluorite with baryte and some sulphides such as galena, sphalerite, pyrite, marcasite, etc...

4) Very low deposits of quartz and carbonates (calcite, dolomite, ankerite...)

The finest fluorite specimens of Provence come from this famous deposit. It is also well known for its barytes and its silver minerals (proustite, acanthite, stephanite, etc...) Today, all adits are closed but some large dumps and many outcrops still remain.

Mineral List

31 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 Macrostrat.org

Paleozoic - Neoproterozoic
252.17 - 1000 Ma

ID: 3131315
Upper Gneiss Unit (Massif Central)

Age: Neoproterozoic to Permian (252.17 - 1000 Ma)

Description: high grade metamorphic

Lithology: Major:{gneiss}, Minor{amphibolite,migmatite/anatexite}

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]

252.17 - 298.9 Ma

ID: 3186387
Paleozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Permian (252.17 - 298.9 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]

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

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. 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 mindat.org 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.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Wilson F.A. (1977), Fluorite from the Fontsante mine (Estérel, Var, France). The Mineralogical Record, Juillet-Aout, pp309-311
Mari, G. (1977). "Fontsante (Var)." Minéraux et Fossiles, 25, 36-45.
Mari G. (1979): Mines et minéraux de la Provence cristalline (Maures.Esterel.Tanneron). Ed. SERRES.(in French)
Mari G. (2002), La mine de Fontsante (Var), Le Règne Minéral, n°43, pp: 38-60

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