Coromoto Minerals Mining
Operations at Mount Mica, July and August, 2005
August 2, 2005 from Mount Mica pocket 11-05.
It is 20 cm tall.
|August 2nd proved to be a productive
day. Still digging straight into the pocket from where we had intercepted it, we fiinally reached what
appeared to be the opposing wall, a distance of nearly 3m. As we
began excavating along the wall and towards the bottom, a
significant tourmaline was found. This tourmaline appeared to
have been attached to the wall at one point. Recovered with its base,
it was more than 20cm long. As most of the large tourmaline at Mount
Mica, it had multiple terminations. These graded from light to dark
green and where either translucent or transparent.( see image at the
top of the page) Within inches a beryl more than 35 cm across was also
found. The beryl had a covering of cleavelandite with small green
tourmaline along its terminal face. It had apparently responded to the
changing environment within the pocket as it developed as there were
obvious zones within the crystal. Although etched along its prism
faces, the beryl was intact. Frequenlty the beryls at Mount Mica are
thouroughly etched to mere fragments. Like all the other pocket
beryls we have
found at Mount Mica, it exhibited only a very pale pinkish color.
This crystal too was apparently once attached to the side wall of the
As we continued
to excavat the pocket more and more small chambers contined to appear.
The very bottom of the pocket tapered into multiple
narrow cavities. Each of these was filled with the productive golden
cookeite sand and it was from these small spaces the best gem material
emerged. Digging these was challenging and very wet and cold. Water
constantly flowed into the pocket. This continuous flow led us to
wonder whether more pocket lay in the immediate vicinity.
The beryl above after some
cleaning. Clearly defined zones are visible along the termination.
Each day for more than 6 weeks the pocket yielded up at least one
specimen of either beryl or tourmaline that stood out from the rest.
The pocket was producing quartz crystals in sizes from micro to
mammoth. Many of these were scepters. Within the side cavites we found
cleavelandite plates layed down in mutiple layers. One side of the
plate would have a fine fabric like pattern of tourmaline. The other
would be amost coral like in that hundreds of small tourmalines stood
up like seaweed floating in the water from a bed of cleavelandite and
lepidolite. Though once terminated, most of this fragile tourmaline was
broken. When dug these plates looked like nothing more than rusty
mud. Cleaned, many were strikingly beautiful and almost surreal.
One of my
favorite pieces was actually thrown
on to the muck pile. Richard
noticed what he thought was a piece of quartz lit up by the afternoon sun
shining on the waste pile behind the screening table. On examination it
proved to be a flawless but colorless beryl. It's faces were lightly
etched giving it a distinictive nodular appearance. If found in a glass,
it would have been dismissed as an icecube.
Small cavities seemed to radiate in every
and each one seemed to have some
By the 1st week of September we had explored the pocket to a length of
13m. Quite frankly, the daily grind of digging this pocket was begining
to exhaust us. It is hard to imagine that would be possible. The
pocket had grown to such dimensions it required us to string lights
inside. ( In the image to the left Richard steadies a scepter quartz
crystal wtih attached tourmaline on our sled just prior to being drug
out of the pocket. Leonard Himes photo) In another first, the proper
working of this monster led us to
drill and blast within the pocket. We did this several times. Although
each small blast required tedious hand mucking, they seemed to rattle
up tourmaline and beryl from parts unknown. It is quite probable that
the walls of the pocket may have been laid down in layers with small
cavities hidden behind the quartz crystals and cleavelandite. We
blasted only a very small percentage of the pocket and removed the
quartz crystals only if they blocked access to other chambers.
Another big quartz crystal
nearly every bucket poured on the
screening table had something
Richard ,leaning on the left side of the pocket, starts to show signs
of being a little burned out.
to July/August : Page 1, 2, 3