Fluorspar Mines at St. Lawrence

Creator(s): St. Lawrence Miner's Memorial Museum

St. Lawrence is a community on the Southeast Coast of the Burin Peninsula. Until the early 1930s, the people of the area survived through a combination of inshore fishing, small-scale farming, and other traditional activities. In 1929, a tidal wave devastated the area. This added greatly to the hardship already inflicted by the Great Depression and the collapse of the saltfish trade. In 1931, entrepreneur Walter Seibert from New York USA offered the people some hope when he visited the town to inspect fluorspar deposits he had purchased from a St. John's businessman in 1929.

The St. Lawrence Fluorspar Deposits

At the time of its discovery, the St. Lawrence mineral deposits were described as the largest known fluorspar deposit in North America. In 1933, the men of St. Lawrence began the task of extracting and shipping the ore for Seibert's company, and the first fluorspar vein mined was at Black Duck.

This Community Stories Exhibit describes the early days of mining in St. Lawrence, the history of this Pre-Confederation Fluorspar Mine from 1933 through 1978. These Fluorspar Mines are steeped in a history of success and failure, hope and despair, resilience and courage.

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