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Mindat Adventure UK

Last Updated: 15th Sep 2018

By Jolyon & Katya Ralph

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





Today a small group of international visitors is joining me for a mineralogical tour of the UK. First stop, the Natural History Museum. We start in the Earth Science galleries.



Flashlights at the ready as we enter the Earth's Treasury exhibit



Apatite cut and rough



Linarite from Caldbeck Fells



Chalcocite from Levant mine approx 4cm tall



Minerals from the Arthur Russell collection



Tsumeb display



Nice asbestos specimens



Amethyst from the Snamane mine, Zambia



This is on display in these galleries. I'll leave the captions to you.



The blue whale in the main hall. There used to be a big dinosaur here until last year.



Monkey!



The mineral galleries



Part of the index



Baryte from Goose Green mine, Cumbria



Robin is showing us the Russell Collection



How to write a catalogue properly



Just a drawer of Liroconite.



Bournonite from Cornwall



Inside the Vault display at the NHM.



Childrenite from Devon



Wood Tim



Isle of Man Galena



Huge Cornish fluorite



Siderite geode from Wheal Maudlin approx 50cm



Liroconite



Blue fluorite from Cumbria



Goethite epimorph after gypsum from Mexico



Cotterite. Quartz from Ireland



Cotterite. Quartz from Ireland



Opal



Hemimorphite from Roughten Gill Cumbria



Wiulyite form Russia, mislabeled



Cornish Clinoclase



Melanterite



Botryoidal scorodite from Algeria



Cornish Apatite



Barytocalcite possibly from blagill Cumbria



Blue John fluorite



Chlorargyrite



Vesuvius botallackite



Calomel from Moschel-Landsberg, Bavaria



Several orpiment specimens haven't coped with daylight very well



Today in Truro at the Royal Cornwall Museum



The Rashleigh gallery



World's largest Liroconite specimen



Malachite and Azurite



Clinoclase



Restormel Goethite



Bournonite



Fluorite from Herodsfoot



Amethyst with crandallute, pyrite and fluorite



Blister copper (Chalcopyrite) on arsenopyrite



Cornish Rhodonite



Cerussite from Pemtire Glaze Mine



Galena form west chiverton Mine



Besore Mine galena



Cassitertite from Trevaunance



Wood tin from Wheal Kitty



Chalcopyrite



At the Wheal Jane Mine site



Pure Cornish tin - being smelted on-site from local concentrate for Cornish Tin jewellery



Pumping water from the old shaft



A huge specimen of quartz and pyrite from Wheal Jane. The site is now being redeveloped into a geobusiness Park.



Walking around the incredible Poldice mine at St Dat. Nothing much to be found on the dumps apparently but spectacular scenery.



The white dumps are from the calciner and are very rich in arsenic, so we stay clear



Quartz with sone kind of epimorph from Poldice.



Blackberries are out. But possibly arsenic rich so I’m keeping clear of these too :)



Pretty ‘clinker’



Drone-eye view of the Poldice Mine workings.



Visit to the workings at Wheal Coates. This engine houde, or the remains of it at least, are preserved by the National Trust. This is the mine the famous pseudomorphs of cassiterite after feldspar came from, but no collecting is allowed here now as it's a hugely important historic place.



Engine house.



North Cornwall coast



Wheal Coates engine house and the sea



Quick stop at Trevaunance Cove to view the mining remains here and see quartz vein rich pebbles on beach. And stopping here for lunch.



On south west coast path making our way to Cligga.



A capped shaft



Approaching Cligga



The greisen veins, an important protected geological site - so no collecting here.



Taking a break at the Mine workings.



Cassiterite crystals



Roman is enjoying playing in the old workings



Walking back to the car



Starting today with a private tour of the Geevor mine.



Calcite, or possibly rhodochrosite, from Geevor



The lodes and geology of Geevor



Incredible 3D model of the underground workings.



Victory Shaft, first opened in 1919.



Sample storage.



Vanning for tin, to measure ore grades.



Tin and sulfides separated.



What to use for brushing the sample off the vanning shovel? A real rabbit's foot, of course.



When calculated out professional vanning was an exceptionally accurate way to calculate ore grades.



Assay sample calculator.



Winding equipment



The driver's cab.



Mine closed 16 Feb 1990



Modern model of lodes and shafts



The washing plant



Ball mill



Levant workings and mill



At botalkack



The old generator house.



The crowns.



The modern botalkack head frame built in the 1980s but never used.



Waiting for sunset



Overhead view of The Crowns.



And a view from the sea. That’s all for tonight!



Serious collecting day today at the North Herodsfoot mine (http://www.northherodsfootmine.co.uk ) thanks to Richard and Frances for hosting us!



Ed bashing some rocks.



Aerial view of the North Herodsfoot workings remains.



After our visit to Herodsfoot we made a quick visit to meet the fine folks at the Southwest Branch of the British Micronount Society in Liskeard, where we had a great time discussing international micromineral collecting and the many common friends we all have. We also got to see sone fine Cornish micros.



After the meeting we made a slow drive back through China Clay country. Nowhere is available for collectors any more but there are extensive and incredible workings to view from the side of the road. Here is our group outside the now closed Gunheath China Clay pit where many good phosphates and other minerals came from in the past. I was last in here in the 1990s and it’s sad to see such a classic site has gone.



Starting today at the King Edward Mining Museum



Mine cart shovel loader



Standing on the Great Flat Lode



South Comdurrow winding house.



Shaft at King Edward Mine



Mine cage from South Crofty.



King Edward mine was used until the 1980s as a teaching mine for the Camborne School of Mines. This winding equipment still works.



Harvey's Air Compressor



As it was in 1905



Native copper samples.



The Pendarves Grotto



Closeup



Location and relationship with other local mines.



An indication of how much ore is needed to produce the dish of concentrate which produces a tin bar of the size shown.



A 28lb (12.7kg) ingot of tin.



14lb (6kg) ingot of copper.



Water driven stamps



Rich botallackite specimen from Botalkack



Polished slab of Wheal Remfrey explosion breccia.



A round buddle.



So I don't have to write it all



Treating bubble ore to produce pure Cornish bubbles. Actually the machinery has to be bleached every now and then for health and safety reasons and that contains unwanted detergent



Where students tested mine drills



Ed is showing us some good Cornish minerals. Here is some Gunheath turquoise



A spar box from the Dean Quarry,Lizard - from the old quarry manager.



West Basset Stamps



Last picture caption was wrong it's North Wheal Basset Lyle's Shaft. Here's looking down the shaft.



Part of Basset set.



More basset



Biddles



Looking over the valley



More workings. Note the altered chalcopyrite rich rock in the wall



A chimney



Wheal Basset and Carn Brea (the hill with the monument)



Part of East Basset



Some drone photos from Basset today.



The buddles from the air.



Buddles from the air.



Today we left Cornwall behind us and are now in Somerset at the offices and showroom of Crystal Classics Fine Minerals http://www.crystalclassics.co.uk



Now it's time to go shopping



Heading north today. First a brief shopping stop in Chesterfield and a chance to see the famous crooked spire.



Now we are in the peak District of Derbyshire



At Treat Cliff Blue John Caverns



Inside the cavern



Crystalline purple fluorite in situ



Blue john vein with calcite



Stalactites in the deeper caverns



Closeup of flow stone



Museum display



Carved items in the museum



Different vein types



From the 'lost' vein. Found in 1945 but hidden by the discoverer just before he died and not re-discovered until 2013.



Look what Charles discovered.



Mineral display at Castleton museum



Elaterite



Goniatite fossil in blue John fluorite



And now we have reached Weardale.



View down into Weardale valley.



At the Rogerley Mine for an underground tour courtesy of the fine people at UK Mining Ventures. As usual I managed to get a drone shot, although it nearly blew away in the strong wind.



Entrance to the Mine.



Now at the Killhope Mining Museum



Geology displsy



The weardale granite which doesn't reach the surface but has been found in drill cores at depth.



The country rock is carboniferous limestone but the mineralised veins date to the Permian 290 million years ago.



Fluorite



Galena And fluorite



Cerussite



Quartz on Fluorite



They have a fantastic display of spar boxes - wooden boxes often mirrored inside decorated with mineral specimens.



Spar box.



Another



Some were created as little mining scenes



Mineral shelf.



Ore crushing rollers.



Mine tools



Post mining growth of aragonite on the shovel.



What a beautiful day!



Starting today at High Force waterfall. This shows the contact between the Dolerite sill (upper) and lower sandstone and limestone.



Next stop High Force quarry. We found very thin veins containing pectolite in the dolerite but nothing worth collecting.



The vein.



Stop in Alston for fish and chips.



Now at Nenthead



Extensive workings.



Workings



The smelt mill



Entrance to Carrs Level



Dumps here are extensive.



Over the top towards the Lakes and a brief stop at Hartside Summit. 1903 ft.



The Hartside Summit cafe is no more though!



Our hotel for tonight is in Shap, and the hotel is displaying two excellent polished slabs of the local Shap granite.



Almost two weeks of fabulous weather comes to an abrupt end with wind and rain - so our group has decided to abort on the planned hike in the Caldbeck Fells today for some slightly less exposed activities.



So we went into Scotland instead. Here we are at Wanlockhead.



The workings. And no rain!



Extensive dumps.



Hemimorphite from the dumps



A little late in the day due to internet issues but here is the museum of lead mining at Wanlockhead



Veins of the Wanlockhead-Leadhills area



Wanlockhead minerals.



Caledonite.



Aragonite



And we end our trip with a quick visit to the BMS Symposium in Leicester





Article has been viewed at least 5951 times.

Comments

Jolyon and Katya,
great to see that local UK material of high quality has been preserved.


Tony Albini
3rd Sep 2018 3:41pm
That's strange. Orpiment usually tolerates daylight quite well. It is realgar that is sensitive, but even decomposed realgar produces a strongly orange colored powder. I'm not sure what is shown there, but it doesn't look like either orpiment or realgar.

Keith Wood
3rd Sep 2018 7:46pm
Thank you for posting photos of some of the fantastic specimens in the museums! Most of us will never get to see them in person so this is the next best thing. Please leave the link to this page on the top of the Mindat home page (at least for a few days) so collectors will get to enjoy this "eye candy".

Kevin Conroy
5th Sep 2018 3:04pm
Thank you for posting photos of some of the fantastic specimens in the museums! Most of us will never get to see them in person so this is the next best thing. Please leave the link to this page on the top of the Mindat home page (at least for a few days) so collectors will get to enjoy this "eye candy".

Kevin Conroy
5th Sep 2018 3:12pm
I really enjoyed my NHM visit in 2015

John Montgomery
5th Sep 2018 8:42pm
Thanks for the nice photographic tour!

Uwe Kolitsch
6th Sep 2018 11:19am
Great travelogue! Visited the UK ~30 yrs ago but the Rashleigh Gallery at the Royal Cornwall Museum was closed for repairs. Did get to see the Geology Museum in London but had to rush. Looks like John S. White's unflattering review of the new displays at the NHM was spot on--glad the old mineral gallery remains. Hope to make it back some day.

Ed Clopton
6th Sep 2018 6:34pm
Hi Ed,

It would be great if you could make it across again.

I would be more than happy to take you out to some sites for some collecting.

Dale Foster
7th Sep 2018 7:49am
In parts of the U. S. the form of the chalcopyrite shown in the photo above is called "Blister Ore". Beautiful specimens were found New Britain, CT when the new Arute Field was being built.

Tony Albini
7th Sep 2018 3:17pm
Thank you Jolyon for the excellent tour.
Someday, I need to get out there to see where my family was from.....

Paul Brandes
9th Sep 2018 2:51am
Seems that that engine house will be restored ?
I can see a ballancing bob behind the speaker on the ground.
Would be nice.

Paul De Bondt
9th Sep 2018 10:44am
I gave Pip a walk over the eastern stamps site at Wheal Basset this morning, got a nice native copper with cuprite, a meta-torbernite and a reasonable cassiterite from the vestiges of the dumps remaining on the site. Will upload some pictures in the morning.

Dale Foster
9th Sep 2018 4:59pm
It was great meeting your group yesterday at the Launceston meeting - it was certainly one of the more lively get togethers we've had there.

Alysson Rowan
9th Sep 2018 8:02pm
This article just keeps getting better and better. The Blue John photos are terrific along with the historical information.

Larry Maltby
11th Sep 2018 3:27pm
Does that mean UK mining are working Rogerley again?

Keith Compton
13th Sep 2018 12:38pm
UK Mining yes, but not the Jesse Fisher entity. It's now operated by Ian Bruce.

Kevin Conroy
14th Sep 2018 4:50am
Excellent report !
Thanks !

Thierry Brunsperger
14th Sep 2018 7:50am

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