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Broken Hill Gem and Mineral Show 2011

Last Updated: 6th Nov 2011

The Broken Hill Gem and Mineral Show - Rock-On 2011, was held over the weekend of the 28th to 30th of October. The show ran for the three days and was followed by two very well attended field trips on the Monday and Tuesday.

When the doors opened at 10:00 am on the Friday we had a full hall of exhibitors. Some had come from as far away as Queensland and Tasmania, while the others, including many of our regular exhibitors all came back to our little spot in the Australian outback, from the nearby cities of Adelaide, Melbourne, Mildura and Sydney (nearby, as in less than 1200 km away) . The location of the show was at the Regional Events Centre, which is a new building on the grounds of the Broken Hill Racecourse. Here, there is a very large pavilion for the exhibition hall and ample grassed areas in front where those attending could camp on site.


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There was a large variety of gems, minerals, jewellery, polished stones, lapidary supplies, fossils and lots more on display, with some items on show for the very first time. Being held in Broken Hill, there was a good representation of Broken Hill minerals on sale. Some of the best rhodonites and spessartine garnets seen in quite a while were on sale as two old collections were put on the market this year. These complemented the huge variety of world wide material on sale and some of the more notable material included...

Dehne McLaughlin had samples of azurite balls in white kaolin shale from the Malbunka Copper Mine in the Northern Territory. This mine is already famous for the azurite suns, while this year there was a discovery of balls of azurite.


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Pristine Minerals also had azurites, this time from a copper mine in Laos. These were exquisite and the quality and size rivals classic Tsumeb samples. These azurites were associated with malachite, often in pseudomorph form.


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The last new find on display was from Peter Beckwith of Crystal Habit, with large Japan law tinned citrine quartz from Zambia. These have to be unique in size and form with some crystals up to 20cm long and doubly terminated.


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The field trips held after the show were very popular and very quickly filled up with willing fossickers.

The Monday trip was to the Triple Chance Mine looking for beryl crystals and feldspar. This mine had long been closed to collectors, however it is in the process of winding down and our club was able to get special permission to enter the site as they are no longer actively mining. Those in attendance all found good samples of beryl, with the best find, a single tapered hexagonal crystal 6cm across and 15cm long. After we left the Triple Chance Mine, we spent an hour over at the Baileys Tank garnet mine looking for almandine garnets in hornblende. This spot is now a graded area with the remnants of a small pit. Following the rehabilitation of the open cut mine in 2005, the whole side of the hill is covered with material that was spread out from the dumps and collecting good samples is easy.


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The Tuesday field trip was onto Limestone Station, to look at the old lead / zinc mines for gahnite crystals. At the Hidden Treasure Mine some very nice, up to 1.5cm gahnites were found, by turning over rocks and sieving through the topsoil. Then over to the Nine Mile South Mine where small pink garnets - spessartines and books of black biotite mica were collected. Nearby and along strike to the main mines is a reef of the quartz-gahnite horizon and some very nice gahnite samples were found. In the rocks around the mine are almandine garnets and small chocolate brown doubly terminated staurolite crystals. We then went to the Great Western Mine and collected more gahnite along with pieces of the green plumbian feldspar.


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Overall the show was a success and many of those in attendance have already indicated that they will come back next year...





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Comments

It was a great show, thanks for organising this Trevor and we'll certainly be back next year.

Ed Richard - Pristine Minerals

Ed Richard
9th Nov 2011 11:16pm
Thanks to all that came to the show, it was good to see the hall full! We had our monthly meeting and we decided to go ahead with one next year. We are looking at early September, at the racecourse again, the reason for the earlier date is to get away from other shows. The other venues in Broken Hill - Entertainment Centre or Showground are either too expensive to hire or unavailable on the weekends that we want them, so we are back in the main pavilion at the racecourse. We will let everyone know the final date and venue as soon as it is certain.

Cheers Trev

Trevor Dart
11th Nov 2011 10:39am
It appears that all of the venues are booked out over the dates that we wanted to run our show. There was talk at our December meeting about going back to a bi-annual show, now this might have to happen as we cannot get the Garry Radford Pavilion on a date that does not clash with other major shows in New South Wales, Victoria or South Australia. So at this moment in time, it looks as if there will not be a Broken Hill show in 2012. We will look at the best date to hold another one in 2013 and let all of the past participants know once it is confirmed. Thank again to all of the people who have supported our shows in the past.

Regards, Trev

Trevor Dart
14th Jan 2012 12:37am

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