Gypsum mining has taken place in the Kirkby Thore area since the 19th century. The product (after drying and grinding) is used to produce plaster and plasterboard for the construction industry.
The mine at Birkshead has very little surface presence as most of the associated plant and machinery is located underground. Entrance is via a drift entrance and the product is moved by conveyer belt to the nearby British Gypsum processing plant at Kirkby Thore.
The Sub Brit visit included viewing the installation of explosives in the working face where ANFO (Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil) is used. We also saw descaling operations, the sump and water pumps, underground crusher and conveyer operations.