Nfld. & Labrador

St. Lawrence fluorspar mine gets $5M from feds, hundreds of jobs touted

The federal government has announced a major investment in the fluorspar mine on Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula.

Government of Canada says investment will create 350-400 construction jobs, up to 200 operational positions

Canada Fluorspar Inc. hopes to begin mining on the Burin Peninsula by 2017, reviving an industry that was shut down in the 1970s.

The federal government announced a major spending commitment to the old fluorspar mine on Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula, just days after the provincial government announced a plan to reactivate the operation. 

The $5-million expenditure is being provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Business Development Program, and will help Canada Fluuorspar with the acquisition and installation of processing equipment at the mine in the Town of St. Lawrence.

A map produced by Canada Fluorspar Inc. shows the planned arrangement of the new mine site in St. Lawrence. (http://canadafluorspar.ca/)

Once it's up and running, the operation will mine for fluorspar — or fluorite, a mineral used for a wide range of industrial and commercial materials, including for camera and telescope lenses.

Minister of Public Services and Procurement Judy Foote announced the spending on Wednesday, which ACOA says will create 350 to 400 jobs during the construction phase and up to 200 operating jobs.

St. Lawrence has a troubled history with fluorspar, after a mining operation shut down in 1978. 

Fluorspar - or fluorite, is a mineral used for a wide range of industrial and commercial materials, including for camera and telescope lenses. (WIkipedia)

The news comes on the heels of a $17-million loan that the Newfoundland and Labrador government announced last week to help reactivate the old mine. 

"This financial support will help diversify our economy and strengthen rural development on the Burin Peninsula and the province as a whole," Industry Minister Christopher Mitchelmore said in a statement.