|Mining Operations at Mount Mica & Orchard Pit Mines, Oxford County, Maine.|
Coromoto Minerals Mining
Operations at Mount Mica,
After a period of decompression from working pocket 21-06, we began expanding our advance to the left (north). As we did so, we encountered a whole series of small pockets and vugs each with a little pink quartz and a few small tourmalines. In the picture Mary is standing in front of chamber 1 of 21-6. At her feet is a small pocket. Notice how each of these pockets, large and small, appears to be encapsulated within a large feldspar crystal. As described in the September update, these large spars were a new development. Compare the textures of the pegmatite in the images below. The left image, taken in June of ’06, shows a relatively thin mineralized zone with a small pocket exposed. In the right hand image Richard provides scale for the much enlarged mineralization. The rusty area is the back wall of chamber 1 of 21-06. These two areas, though dramatically different in texture, are less than 10 meters apart. Generally bigger is better in that larger pockets are associated with coarser mineralization. Unfortunately we were to find that the thickened mineralization also required more cubic yards of material to be blasted and mucked out for each square meter of mineralized zone explored. This additional material increased haulage and slowed down 'production'.
Our expansion of the advance towards the left revealed the next pocket, 22-06. Like the others in this area, a druse of tourmaline led into the pocket from some distance away. This druse was becoming a reliable pocket indicator. One had only to follow it to the source. As we began to work 22, like 21, we discovered that it had an upper chamber leading up into the feldspar. We could not see inside but as we moved our hands around within is space, crystals
tumbled down. To our surprise they were bright pink gemmy quartz, the most pink so far. Unfortunately they were few in number. Pocket 22 consisted of 4 small chambers.
In total the volume was less than a quarter of pocket 21-06. Though every chamber had small tourmalines and quartz, only the upper chamber produced pink quartz crystals. Like 21, it appears to be embedded in a feldspar crystal. Besides the very bright pink color that came out of 22 chamber 1, there were two exceptionally interesting quartz crystals. Apparently these two had begun their development as very plain milky quartz. However, as the environment shifted during the final phase of their growth, their terminations transitioned to gemmy pink quartz.
We spent about a week cleaning out the various cavities of 22. More material remained to be removed but further careful drilling and blasting would be necessary to better access the spaces. We decided to return to this task later and instead to mine easterly beyond 21-06. In this process we opened a small space containing granular lepidolite and one decent gemmy tourmaline. As we did this mining we were impressed by the very large schorls we encountered. Our hopes were that these large crystals were an indicator of some significant finds yet to be made.
The denouement, though, would have to wait as we allowed our enthusiasm for our pink quartz find to get the better of us. Charged up as we were, I decided to take our finds to the Munich Gem and Mineral Show in hopes of finding a few buyers. From a commercial standpoint the trip turned out to be something of a disaster. I foolishly decided not to low ball my estimate of the material’s value when sending it by Fed-Ex to Munich. This declaration resulted in something akin to a roach motel when it came to the VAT tax. The theory is that you pre-pay the tax and can apply for a refund on that portion of the goods not sold and returned to the US. Here is where the roach motel comes into play. They can get in but that can’t get out. No amount of application for refund seems to loosen up the money. The VAT paid almost exceeded gross sales. May the EURO Zone enjoy the fruits of our labor. Having whined the above, beyond the hemorrhaging of the almighty dollar, we had an enjoyable trip. The Mineralientage München is well worth the experience. It was obvious to me though that the legions of Chinese mineral dealers dragging their wheeled suitcases of fluorite did not have to pony up the VAT demanded by Fed-Ex. I was doubtful they entered via the red channel either. Honesty does pay and pay and pay and pay…somebody has to do it. What amazed me, looking at how much money our trip to Munich cost, how so many Chinese dealers purveying essential the same goods could travel to Munich in the hopes of netting a few dollars. Perhaps I was seeing the other side of the Walmart tide or the US 401K money hosed into China being ‘put to work’. All in all, Europe was not ready for pink quartz. Another of life’s lessons learned the hard way…but a GOOD time was had by all. After our 'successes' with the pink quartz in Munich, we returned, incredibly, charged up to find more.