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Posted by ECBEC  
ECBEC July 03, 2012 06:28PM
Anybody know where there is still some operating bentonite mines in the Ridgecrest/Lone Pine/ Barstow Area. Need some to seal some ponds. Thanks for your help!
Rock Currier July 04, 2012 11:29AM
There are no Benitoite mines anywhere where you can steal some ponds.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Erik Vercammen July 04, 2012 12:40PM
I think it is about bentonite, a clay mineral (or rock).
Bart Cannon July 04, 2012 01:55PM
Bentonite is a very plastic clay mineral in the montmorillonite / smectite group.

It usually develops from the weathering of deposits of basalt rich volcanics. Wyoming is the most common source. Here in Washington State we have plenty of it which could be collected but with great effort and legal problems from roadcuts in the Columbia River basalt.

As well as a pond liner underlayment, it is the most commonly used drilling mud.

You can buy 100 pounds of the best stuff for about $20. I think.

Don't bother trying to collect it

Find the website for World Wide Drilling Resources, and start e-mailing or phone calling. Or make a phone call to a mining company doing heap leaching. We still have a few mining companies left in the U.S.

Rock Currier July 04, 2012 08:40PM
Does anyone know where he could find a few pounds of bentonite near Ridgecrest/Lone Pine/ Barstow Area, California that he can grab some off? Certainly a much more possible job than grabbing off a few pounds of benitoite

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Rock Currier July 04, 2012 08:46PM
Does anyone know where he could find a few pounds of bentonite near Ridgecrest/Lone Pine/ Barstow Area, California that he can grab some off? Certainly a much more possible job than grabbing off a few pounds of benitoite. Although stories from back in the day are that when the Benitoite deposit know today as "The Gem Mine" was first found, the ground was littered with blue benitoite crystals and the finder picked up several pounds of them at the time. One wonders if there is not a similar hillside somewhere in San Benito County or somewhere else where blue crystals are littering the ground. Or perhaps a place where a gallon of diamond crystals have concentrated in s pot hole in a river some where. Those excite the mind a bit more than bentonite.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Jim Bean July 06, 2012 03:05AM
Last time I drove past Owens Lake (2-3 yrs ago), they were doing some sort of remediation project on the lake bed to mitigate dust. If that project is still going on, it might be worthwhile to check in with someone at the project site. At the time they were moving quite a bit of lakebed clay and might possibly be looking to get rid of some in the process.
Alfredo Petrov July 06, 2012 03:08AM
Bentonite is $90/ton in Bolivia, but that's a bit far....
Reiner Mielke July 07, 2012 12:42AM
It doesn't have to be bentonite to make a good impermeable liner. Any pure clay if applied properly will work.
Bart Cannon July 07, 2012 12:59AM
Bentonite is an "expansible" clay. Expands when wet. It's better for the purpose as a pond liner, and much cheaper than kaolinite, for example..

I would be interested in hearing about the alternatives.

I made a comment about drilling muds. Baryte / barite is also used as drilling mud since it sinks instead floats down the drill hole, but it doesn't seal the hole against grounwater in and groundwater out..

Reiner Mielke July 07, 2012 01:55PM
Bentonite is amazing stuff, I first ran across it as a joke that they pull on me in the material testing lab doing atterberg limit tests. Stuff seemed to expand for ever. LOL
Volkmar Stingl July 07, 2012 10:33PM
Bart Cannon Wrote:
> Bentonite is a very plastic clay mineral in the
> montmorillonite / smectite group.

As far as I know is bentonite not a clay mineral, it is a kind of rock originating from altered volcanic ash layers! Bentonite consists of a mixture of mainly clay minerals of the smectite group (mainly montmorillonite) and smaller amounts of other phases, like quartz, pyrite, some carbonates, opal CT etc. The high expansion potential is related to the high content of montmorillonite.

I am not sure if it is necessary to use expandable clays for sealing a pond. In my opinion, normal lakebed clays (like Jim mentions) fulfill the same function and are much cheaper. It's a question of grain size and compaction, not of expandability.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2012 02:21AM by Volkmar Stingl.
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