Story: Rock, limestone and clay

Trimming mica

Trimming mica

During the Second World War, when this photograph was taken, a shortage of mica sparked a search for possible New Zealand sources as part of the war effort. The mineral was used in radio condensers and in aircraft as spark-plug washers. The search focused on the hills of South Westland, where dykes known as pegmatites occur in the rock. These contain large-grained minerals, including muscovite mica. However, the New Zealand deposits proved too small, and inferior to those overseas.

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Private collection
Photograph by Harold Wellman

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Rock, limestone and clay - Other minerals', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/5263/trimming-mica (accessed 20 June 2021)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 12 Jun 2006