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The white material on the banks of the River Bann near Portglenone is diatomite. This is made up of skeletons of silica from minute diatoms (of about 40 species) which flourished in the somewhat warmer climate at the end of the Ice Age in fresh water in a larger lake that preceded the present Lough Neagh. Diatomite was, at one time, cut like peat close to Toome and used in making insulating bricks.