Mining Operations at Mount Mica & Orchard Pit Mines, Oxford County, Maine.

Coromoto Minerals Mining Operations at Mount Mica, January, 2005

Mt Mica January 2005
Mt Mica January 3, 2005 (P. Lyckberg photo)

By January 3, 2005 we were ready to resume our exploration of pocket MMP28-04. Besides Skip Simmons, PeterSketch of Pocket 28 Lyckberg from Luxembourg had come over to participate. Peter felt that a major pocket comes along infrequently enough to warrant a hastily arranged trip to Maine.  Although the ' Upper Chamber' and the 'Passageway' and been nearly dugout, the 'Room' was essentially untouched. (The general layout of the pocket and the major pieces recovered to this time are shown in the sketch to the right.)  The first order of business was to pump out the water and , as much as possible, make our workings habitable.View into the Room. Winter was rapidly taking command of our operation. 

Eventually we settled down to the business of working the 'Room'. Prior to getting started Peter Lyckberg captured this view into the chamber. As can be seen, large quartz crystals and masses of feldspar covered the top of the pocket. Mary and Richard did most of the 'heavy lifting' within the Room. Soon they had dug it down enough that they were able to stand up inside the cavity. 5 gallon buckets of pocket dirt were handed out to an assistant stationed  in the Passageway.  A steady stream of these buckets moved to the screening table.

Mary enters Room
Mary attacks the Room
(P. Lyckberg photo)

Passing out a large elbaite
and passes a large elbaite out  into the Passageway.
(P. Lyckberg photo)
Richard and Bob Whitmore working the screens

One Room opens upof the first significant pieces to emerge from the this new work in the Room was the base to the large pink elbaite found just afterPink elbaite Christmas. When the pieces were assembled the crystal reached 54 cm. As the Room was enlarged dozens of quartz groups, many with attached tourmaline were recovered. Gradually the Room achieved the proportions of its name ( see image to the left).  The work was messy and muddy and not to mention cold. The high temperatures reached on January 3 to 5 never exceeded -3C ( 25F). The temperature in the Room was more moderate however.  As the contents of the Room emerged over the next three days perhaps 2 events stand out. The first was the removal of a huge cathedral quartz group by Richard. The piece required considerable effort to remove as its mass approached Richard's own. The second major find was a huge elbaite recovered in two pieces by Mary.

Cathedral Quartz
Richard rests after finally extracting his quartz crystal
 (P. Lyckberg photo)
Huge elbaite
Mary's tourmaline after a little cleaning
 (P. Lyckberg photo)

Pocket 28 Quartz
Some of the quartz groups from MMP28-04
Karen Webber photo
Pocket 28 tourmaline
Some of the tourmaline from  MMP28-04
Peter Lyckberg photo

Plan view of pocket 28 of '04

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