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.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by Harold Wellman

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Rock, limestone and clay - Other minerals', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 April 2024)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 12 Jun 2006