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Untold Story 40

Last Updated: 8th Nov 2012

By Richard Swierczek

Crocoite is found in this mine at this location. This mine supplies the majority of Crocoite distributed globaly. The Adelaide Mining Company markets this mineral and has created a web site to hi-lite the prismatic crystal formations of Crocoite:

While Tasmania has a quality representation. rock & mineral collections are very impersonal. After all, It is a rock. Even-though non-collectors can refer to it as pretty but have no understanding of why anyone (in their right mind) would collect them. In an effort to regain respectability. I like to associate the mineral or location to a frivolous object. While this association is seldom Geological, it may add to your collection
and win over some skeptics. What follows is my attempt to associate this specimen with the Tasmanian Devil. Pardon the American humor and read this with a gesture of fun.

The cow in some religions is considered to be a sacred animal. Their freedom is not to be obstructed. I always wondered, "Are their McDonald's in these Countries"? Do yellow caution signs exist that warn us of "Cow Crossing"? Are by-products consumable: milk, butter, cream, yogurt,and chip dip? The Tasmanian Devil is sacred to the people of Tasmania. Why? Exclusive? The alligator, different than a Crocodile, is common in the Florida Everglades. If one was loose in a Disney theme park would guests try to capture it for a "pet"? It is exclusive. Back to the cow where one has fond memories of a cow: the "Chick Filet" cows enticing you to eat chicken, Disney characters, nursery rhymes about the cow jumping over the moon, etc.

On the other hand, the Tasmanian Devil is a horrific looking animal. Even the cartoon version is meant to intimidate. The TD is probably a descendant of the Tasmanian tiger,(some like kangaroo & dog ), which was hunted to near extinction. The T Tiger & the T Devil have the same ability to open their jaws very wide.A person from China wrote a blog about the tiger titled "the most disturbing animals on earth". It is worth reading and is at http://www.chinabaike.com/z/twht/yinghanshuangyuxinwen/2011/0113/140046.html Perhaps this will help to remember Crocoite & their Tasmanian beauty. Perhaps not.
Collecting R & M's does have a "lighter" side that can be intertwined with geological facts which follow:

Tasmania is a destination with many conflicting views. The Red Iron ore that is railed to the World comes from the mountains of the mainland but Tasmania had their own raw materials such as, silver & lead. While these mines are now non-existent and the ores had to be loaded aboard cargo ships, Tasmanian shippers have struggled with costs.

Austalilia's mainland exports iron ore; the richness of iron ore is determined by the amount of magnetite, Look at the mine images that can be found using a goggle search. The shipping ports of Tasmania have a long history of trying to compete with the mainland depicting a struggle to "even the playing field" when compared to shipping costs.

Prayers were answered, in 1976 the government subsidized the shippers of Tasmania to achieve equality.

Much ore from the mines is crushed prior to loading and is made into pellets. 2.5 million tons of these pellets were shipped. To have an idea of the scope of operations, cargo ships are loaded at a rate of 2,500 tons per hour and can hold 45,000 tons. Depending on the destination turnaround can be lengthy. Before the ore reaches the ships for loading, red iron ore trains haul the extracted ore from the Western Australia mines. One of the leading haulers is the BHP railroad. The conventional train is around 2,000 meters and is measured by the amount of ore cars. The braking systems for trains have improved and we find trains ranging from 6,000 meters to 8,000. It takes eight locomotives linked together to pull this load.

China takes 25% of the iron ore but this export accounts for 60% of Australia's exports. Australia is rich in mineral reserves and continues to supply countries like Japan & the United States. However, let's put the China markets in simple terms. Over the last 15 years, there has been a building boom in China. Over 90 million homes were constructed. That number of homes could house the populations of the UK, France & Germany combined. Do you think China has some financial clout? The building bubble in China has burst & the demand has faltered. The global economy is hurting. Perhaps, we need memories of simple times when Tasmanian Tigers roamed freely as herds of cows. We need to appreciate the beautiful crystal formation of Crocolite produced by Mother Nature.
In other words, find happiness in the simple things-rock collecting and the friendships developed putting these "untold Stories" out there..

Article has been viewed at least 5840 times.


I'm just a little bit confused about what exactly you were trying to get across, there.....

Ibrahim Jameel
4th Nov 2012 9:18pm
Fixed link to Tasmanian Tigers.

Richard Swierczek
5th Nov 2012 12:58am
Richard, thanks for your work...but can I ask you what is the 'take home' message of your story?

Chris Mavris
5th Nov 2012 3:45pm
Absolutely nothing!!1 Perhaps-iron ore can be more than a mundane mineral & good quality Crocoite is exclusive to Tanansia.

Richard Swierczek
5th Nov 2012 11:06pm

I'm sorry but I am with Ibrahim and Richard

Crocoite has nothing to do with iron ore !!! The current owners operate the mine for specimens and not for crushing into pellets for the Chinese market.

Even the first paragraph is totally incorrect and so is everything else in the article.

The Tasmanian Tiger is extinct and the Tasmanian Devil is certainly not a descendant of the Tasmanian Tiger

As for the Tasmanian Devil - he is gorgeous !!


Keith Compton
7th Nov 2012 7:35am

Some more comment on this article of a more serious note

I should also point out that this photo is copyright of the Australian Newspaper and it is of a BHP train in the Pilbara in Western Australia - not Tasmania - which is only some 3000 plus kms away.

The photo can be located on the web by simply searching for "BHP iron ore trains"
The caption in the Australian Newspaper under the photo states: "A BHP iron ore mine in the Pilbara region in Western Australia. Source: Bloomberg "


Keith Compton
7th Nov 2012 7:48am
Keith, let me hire you as a researcher. I'll be more careful next time with the facts. This was my first article, I'll do better.

Richard Swierczek
7th Nov 2012 7:45pm
I fixed the glaring errors but the Tas Devil is NOT gorgeous & may be related to the tiger. Locals claim they still see "Tigers". Kind of like the legend of Big Foot or the Loch Ness monster.

Richard Swierczek
8th Nov 2012 12:31am
I continue to be concerned about the photo as it is not your photo and there is no acknowledgement of that fact

Keith Compton
9th Nov 2012 12:46am
I'll see if I can find the copywrite-info.

Richard Swierczek
9th Nov 2012 2:37pm
I wrote to the news photo dept at The Australian asking permission to use. I'll delete it if they deny the request.
I really like the picture and if denied, I'll inquire about buying the right to use.With just joining Minedat in July, I want to ensure I do things correctly.

Richard Swierczek
9th Nov 2012 3:14pm
News service in Australia (Australian & Telegraph) reports picture not theirs. Wrote Bloomberg.

Richard Swierczek
12th Nov 2012 10:46am

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