economic geology of North Wales

Jun 30th, 2015
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The Snowdonia region has been heavily exploited since the early 19th century for an broad range of minerals and rocks. The most extensively extracted of these is the slate that can be found throughout the whole of North Wales. Slate in the region was formed by regional low grade metamorphism from the Caledonian orogeny around 400Ma caused by the closure

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8.0 Economic Geology:The Snowdonia region has been heavily exploited since the early 19th century for an broad range of minerals and rocks. The most extensively extracted of these is the slate that can be found throughout the whole of North Wales. Slate in the region was formed by regional low grade metamorphism from the Caledonian orogeny around 400Ma caused by the closure of the Iapetus. Slate mining in North Wales began during Roman times when the slate was used for the cladding on houses and at the fort at Caernarfon. Throughout history, North Wales has produced the greatest slate extraction for the United Kingdom, with the slate industry rapidly increasing in the early 19th century with a change from mining to quarrying, and in 1898 approximately 489,000 tons of slate was quarried (Lewis, 1979). The beginning of the 20th century and the start of the First World War saw the rapid decline of the slate industry as the miners enlisted to fight. After the war and for the rest of the 20th century the industry never boomed back to the same extraction rates seen in the 19th century, for example, in 1973 the average annual production was 20,000 tons (Lindsay, J, 1974).In the m

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