St. Lawrence is located in southeastern Newfoundland on the Burin Peninsula. The Burin Peninsula Highway joins the community with all other towns on the peninsula. Major centres such as St. John's, Gander, Grand Falls and Clarenville are all within three to five hours driving distance. The French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon can be visited by taking a fifteen minute plane trip from Winterland or by embarking on a one hour ferry ride from Fortune.
St. Lawrence can attribute much of its past and present prosperity to its abundance of natural resources. Traditionally the economy was dependent upon the fishery; However, For many years the fluorspar mines provided the residents of the area with a stable economy.
The presence of fluorspar in the St. Lawrence area was recognized in the mid nineteenth century, but commercial exploration was only undertaken in 1933.
Mining in the area continued unabated by a series of operators until 1977 when production ceased. However the potential of the mine was realized and from 1984 to 1990 the mine was operated by Minworth PLC, a firm based out of the United Kingdom. The mine operated by Minworth comprised of two main centres - the Blue Beach North mine site and the concentrator / administrative area.
Minworth extracted ore from both underground and the surface. Underground operations were active in the Blue Beach North and South mines. The competency of the granite allowed for the removal of ore through open stoping methods. Underground mining was typically limited to the summer months. While in operation, the mine employed approximately one hundred forty staff and hourly paid employees. Many of the staff workers have considerable experience in local mining operations and are subject to a collective agreement with the United Steel workers of America Union.
The mine was capable of processing approximately seven hundred twenty tonnes of ore per day and had access to a modern warehouse (capacity 5 000 tonnes of fluorspar concentrate) and dock facilities owned and operated by Transport Canada.
The mine property is held under a lease arrangement, with the current owner having property rights covering two thousand eighty eight hectares, mining leases of two hundred thirty six hectares, and surface leases of forty hectares. The assignment of mining leases are subject to the approval of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.