Okoruso Fluorspar Mine From The Air - (Gecko Namibia (Pty) Ltd)
Collectors of fluorite will already know of the vast array and plentiful supply of beautiful fluorite from Okoruso in Namibia.
Specimen mining has been managed under license to Peter Eysselein for many years. There are 2 excellent articles below from Minerat.com covering specimen extraction, cleaning and the different forms and fluorite habits from different areas at Okoruso
The commercial mine/pit was opened around 1920 and has been in continuous operation since the 1980s and transferred to Belgian chemical company Solvay SA in 1997.
In October 2014 Solvay announced the closure of commercial mining at Okoruso citing depletion and economic reasons for putting operations into power and maintenance, with further exploration to continue. Some 400 miners were put out of work.
The mineral licences for the Okorusu Fluorspar (Pty) Ltd now belong to Namibian mining group Gecko, and have completed surveying of the complex.
The reserves of fluorite at 30% are quoted to be 9 million tons, in context the Solvay operation extracted 1.8 million tons in their 16 year occupancy. Further exploration is expected to increase this. The stated plan is to re-continue with mining within the open pit and via underground operations processing the recovered ore for both high grade (acid) and low grade (metallurgical) spar.
Gecko have not given a date for this continuation, if I find out I will update.
In the meantime I am sure the mineral world will continue to marvel at the colour shape and form of specimens recovered over nearly 100 years* of specimen mining and still going strong!
Okoruso Fluorite - (JWT659816 see below)
*I would be interested if anyone has any pictures of very early Okoruso material, the earliest specimens I have seen are from the 1960s.
Okoruso Fluorite from the 1960s - (MGR659730 see below)