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Kola! 2017 part 2

Last Updated: 4th Dec 2018

By Jolyon Ralph

This is a LIVE report, keep this page loaded for live updates - new images will appear as they are added.



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Finally the weather has changed and we can go up the mountain onto the Khibiny massif. Just waiting for the cable car to open.



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Going up...



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Town of Kirovsk where we stay.



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At the top.



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Eudialyte rich pegmatites right next to the ski lift station.



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Admiring the view



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Welcome to the tundra.



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Cannonballs? No grinding balls from grinding machines



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Hiking down to the next locality



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The processing plant for apatite ore.



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Blueberries!



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Hiking on. And the sun is out!



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Time to try the drone



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Now we've reached our destination, where we have an exposed vein containing catapleiite and analcine etc



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Katya tried the Russian Selfie Stick.



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Or, if you prefer, a drone group selfie.



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Finally down from the mountain! What an amazing day!



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Quick visit to Fersman's original mineral research station - or rather the site where it stood.



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Nice views here



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Last collecting spot of the day, some pseudonorph replacements of delhaleyite conprosibg hydrodelhaleyite, pectolite and red dots of Villiaumite



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We are leaving this morning to visit the Lovozero massif - no idea if our internet there will be as good as in Khibiny but if not I'll update tonight.



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Visiting the collection of Viktor Grigorievich Grisha who has an excellent Kola collection.



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Spheres cut only from Kola materials.



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Impressive catapleiite specimen. Sorry about delay we lost internet on the Lovozero massif



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Next we visited the local museum



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Various local minerals



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Collection of chemical products mined here, including Caesium phosphate, rubidium metal and rare earth phosphates



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Next, we visited the Umbozero mine, abandoned for 15-20 years.



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The abandoned Umbozero mine from the air.



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Next stop was the Umbozero mine northern quarry.



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We found a pegmatite vein with aegirine crystals, Ussingite and beautiful lilac murmanite. Here are some of the finds, also including an ilmenite crystal and several euhedral large eudialyte group mineral crystals.



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First stop today, Afrikanda.



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Middle of nowhere and we meet up with Igor Pekov, famous Russian mineralogist and a group of Russian collectors.



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The quarry.



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Digging in the quarry for perovskite.



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Blue skies at last and a fantastic perovskite specimen - what a great day! Now driving to Kovdor!



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We've arrived in Kovdor!



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Evening walk to see the Kovdor mine. We'll be back here tomorrow for an official visit.



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Kovdor mine at sunset.



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Katya channelling her soviet past. Kovdor mine entrance.



Before we start the day in Kovdor, I finally got the drone video from the trip to Umbozero onto the computer...



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Waiting for the safety briefing at the Kovdor mine.



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About to start our safety training at the Kovdor mine, a requirement for access



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At the Kovdor mine waiting for our contact who will take us in to collect.



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Company bus ride into the mine.



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Admiring the view



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The mine



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Collecting



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Big magnetite crystals



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If anyone knows what this is let me know below!



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We start today at the dumps of the phlogipite quarry looking first for diopside.



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Diopside with phlogopite



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Sad kola opal!



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The phlogopite quarry



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Mica!



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Now to the iron mine dumps



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Walking to the dumps



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Beautiful forest



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At the dump!



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Mica crystals in a calcite pod in massive diopside



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Visit to Kovdor museum!



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Mineral display of minerals from the local mines.



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Display



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Incredible Kovdorskite



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Large 'Francolite' (carbonate-fluorapatite)



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Reproduction of the inside of the tent of the Saami people - the original inhabitants of the area before the Russians came.



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Display dedicated to the discoverers of the Kovdor iton deposit in the 1930s



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A reconstruction of a traditional lantern using phlogopite mica windows.



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Kovdor mine in 1961



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Mine diorama. I'm pretty sure our son, Roman, has exactly the same diggers and trucks at home.



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Minerals of the deposit card - produced by the mine owners, EuroChem.



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Concentrates from the mine. Magnetite, left, baddelleyite - centre, apatite right. The smaller white isn't labelled.



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Found a mineral shop



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Minerals and all sorts of Stuff.



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Spheres



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Most of these are not officially for sale, although I suspect they would take offers.



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Back on the dumps of the Kovdor iron mine, but this time inside the area of the mine itself.



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Nice big magnetite crystals



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Visiting the ore processing plant.



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The plant



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Inside the magnetite processing plant.



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There are a mixture of rod and ball mills at the plant.



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Inside one of the rod mills.



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Flotation tank.



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The collecting side of our trip has finished, and we celebrate with an evening Vodka party at the Phlogopite mine dumps.



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No, this isn't a radioactive pirate, it's Charles Gould playing with his UV torch.



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Our fireworks were meant to be the highlight of the evening, and they were excellent. But they were not the highlight...



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Because nature decided to give us a natural firework display beyond our wildest expectations...



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A few of us left at midnight to take more photos of the aurora, and this time we weren't disappointed.

A perfect ending to this (usually) live report, thank you all for reading!





Article has been viewed at least 9577 times.

Discuss this Article

26th Aug 2017 15:17 UTCJolyon Ralph Founder

Many more photos on mindatorg instagram

http://instagram.com/mindatorg

27th Aug 2017 06:05 UTCJohn Attard Expert

Thank you indeed Jolyon and Katya for making this possible. I could not make it this time to the Mindat trip but it is possible for me to see what it is like over there.

27th Aug 2017 08:45 UTCJolyon Ralph Founder

One thing I find impressive is how good the internet is in general here in northern Russia. Hotel Wifi even in small town hotels is better than almost any wifi in hotels in the US and 3G/LTE coverage outside is surprisingly good.

28th Aug 2017 16:26 UTCMark Heintzelman 🌟 Expert

Thanks ever so much for sharing Viktor Grigorievich Grisha's catapleiite specimen with us! These Lovozero Massif catapleite specimens are really quite amazing, a true treasure!

29th Aug 2017 02:40 UTCPaul Brandes 🌟 Manager

Good to know, Jolyon. When Nat and I were in Scandinavia a couple years, we had good internet all the way to Nordkapp in Norway. It truly is becoming a connected world... The photos are great as well. Thanks for sharing!

25th Nov 2018 03:15 UTCCasper Voogt

Yes the wifi was good up there. Thanks again for the wonderful trip!
 
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