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March-April 2009

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The Hilton Mine

Scordale, Cumbria, England

Located along the western margin of the North Pennine Mountains near the town of Appleby, the Hilton mine is one of several mines in Scordale that were worked first for lead and later for barium ores during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Although none of the mines have been worked commercially since prior to World War II, the Hilton became a popular site for amateur collectors during the 1960s and 1970s, producing specimens of what is undoubtedly the finest yellow-amber-colored fluorite to come from the entire region. During this period, Scordale was incorporated into a military maneuvers range, and access has since become severely restricted. In addition, years of visits by collectors have left the accessible workings in very poor and unstable condition. Sadly, these things taken together likely preclude much, if any, future specimen production from the mine.
Jesse Fisher, who has a master’s degree in geology, is a partner in UK Mining Ventures, which is operating a specimen-recovery project at the Rogerley mine in Weardale, England. His most recent article for Rocks & Minerals was on the Rogerley mine and appeared in the March/April 2008 issue.

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