Larne Area Plan 2010
Policies & Proposals: Minerals
The geology of Larne Borough is richer in minerals than present exploitation suggests. Historically, iron and bauxite ores were mined by means of adits excavated into valley sides throughout the area. Some of the old mine shafts remain but it is not considered likely that the deposits could be worked economically again.
Mineral extraction in the Borough presently consists of basalt quarried for road stone and building aggregates at Ballyrickard and Crosshill and Ulster White Limestone, commonly referred to as chalk, quarried at Glenarm and Kilwaughter. The chalk is used as a construction aggregate, as a filler in the manufacture of such diverse products as paints, plastics and cable wire, as agriculture lime and as an animal food additive.
Rock salt is known to underlie coastal areas from Larne Town southward into the Carrickfergus Borough where it has been mined around Kilroot throughout this century. Mining of rock salt requires, in addition to planning permission, a licence from the Department of Economic Development (NI) under the Mineral Development Act (NI) 1969. Licences are also required from that Department for the exploration or development of oil and gas under the Petroleum Production Act (NI) 1964. Exploration under licence for oil and gas is ongoing in Larne Borough.
There are extensive tracts of upland peat bog across the south Antrim Plateau but extraction for domestic fuel is limited in extent compared to other areas of upland peat in Northern Ireland. Machine cutting is not common in the area and is absent from the Garron Plateau.
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