§ Mr. McLoughlin
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the economic importance of a domestic marketable source of the vein mineral fluorspar; and what assessment she has made of its downstream value to the economy in associated industries, in particular those situated in(a) the northwest of England and (b) Derbyshire. 
§ Nigel Griffiths
The DTI is aware of the economic importance of a domestic source of fluorspar and the value of the industry to the economies of the north-west, Derbyshire and the south-west. There have been no specific assessments made of the economic importance of a domestic marketable source of the fluorspar. However, currently deposits in the Peak Park district of Derbyshire are being worked economically providing jobs and contributing to the local economy. In what is a highly competitive global market the high quality of the 1729W mineral being extracted is needed to underpin a viable fluorine producing industry in the north-west, that is itself providing a significant number of jobs and contributions to the local economy in that region. Officials are working with the companies concerned and local stakeholders to ensure that the UK continues to reap the economic benefits of working these deposits with minimal impact on the environment.