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Calcite Pocket (2007) at Highway 50, Lochaber, Quebec

Last Updated: 8th Oct 2017

By Phil M. Belley

(Had this short locality description unpublished since 2012, figured I might as well make it public)

In spring 2008, after having looked at newly blasted road cuts, we decided to head west to explore the already paved road and see if any minerals could be found. After a short walk west we spotted a large, dirt-filled pocket on the north cut. This is a brief description of the find.

Roadcut on N side of Hwy-50

The vug at the contact of a grey quartzite with calcite-phlogopite marble. The vug contained several 'chambers', allowing for many double-sided specimens to form.


Occurs as small yellowish elongated tabular crystals. Uncommon. To ~5 mm.

Greyish crystals of calcite, sometimes with bluish or yellowish tints, reach sizes of over 8 cm and are frequently twinned. Some crystals are transparent though the majority were translucent to opaque. A large portion of the crystals were damaged because areas of the pocket collapsed (probably during blasting). The crystals, all modified rhombohedra, have a frosted surface, though some smaller faces are smooth and transparent.

Qtz on Cal - 7 x 6 x 5 cm

Calcite twin - crystals to 8 cm

Red and less commonly black iron oxides occur on quartz crystals and sometimes on calcite crystals.

Solely found as subsurface inclusions in calcite.

Translucent to transparent crystals on calcite or quartz-rich rock, occasionally reaching 2 cm.

Specimen preparation: Calcite specimens were cleaned using an ultrasonic bath.
Locality status: Although some small back areas of the pocket were left intact, collecting is no longer permitted as the road is now open.

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