SUPPORT US. If is important to you, click here to donate to our Fall 2019 fundraiser!
Log InRegister
Home PageAbout MindatThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusWho We AreContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatCorporate SponsorshipSponsor a PageSponsored PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Learning CenterWhat is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthInformation for EducatorsMindat ArticlesThe ElementsBooks & Magazines
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
Mining CompaniesStatisticsUsersMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day GalleryMineral Photography

Collecting at the Faraday Hill Roadcut, Bancroft

Last Updated: 8th Jul 2013

By Michael Adamowicz

Collecting at the Faraday Hill Roadcut, Bancroft

By: Michal Adamowicz, rockhound

This is one of the easiest localities that you can locate & its also very close to Bancroft. This roadcut is a classic locality as it has been collected by collectors from all ages. Let me begin by giving you directions.


If you are traveling north on highway 28 toward Bancroft, make a turn left onto highway 118 . drive for 4 kilometers until you come to the Monck road, turn onto Monck road and follow it for 1.5 kilometers to the road cut. The roadcut will be on a slight hill with a TV transmitter tower, or such , on it also on the right. The roadcut is on both sides of the road but in my opinion there looks to be better collecting on the left (northwest) side. Its best to part at the bottom of the hill before the roadcut or after the roadcut on the hill.

Geology: A large body of orange calcite to pink, course grained Calcite mixed with tremolite occurs in a belt of metasediments.

Here are some pictures from the site.

Here is the roadcut looking south west. As you can tell it was a misty, wet, & cold day.

Here is the northwest section. The best collecting is along this side.

Here is the southeast section.

Mineral list:
- Apatite (small blue prisms)
- Calcite (white & orange)
- Meta-autunite?
- Molybdenite
- Powellite?
- Pyrite
- Tremolite (grey to cream blades)
- Uraninite (black cubes in Calcite & whole in cavities)


Collecting here is not as easy as you might think, as most of the road cut is tough material. You can’t really just hack at a wall with much ease. Here you can shift through broken material around the cut & see what you can find. But the most successful method is to dig along the upper sections of the road cut to try to locate cavities. In these cavities you are most likely to find grey tremolite crystals but if you are lucky you might also find small brown/black Uraninite cubes. The fractured material near the top portions of the cut also has small gemmy blue Apatite crystals in orange Calcite.

Most of the apatite that you will find will be in the orange calcite & in the material that was exposed in the cavities.

If you are looking for Uraninite you can also find it in cavities, but also small pieces are found along the southeast section of the road cut in the walls. Just look for the black dots, & use a Geiger counter on them. As expected the Uraninite is strongly radioactive.

Just one thing to mention, if you want to hack at the roadcut be sure to throw all the waste material & debris over the cut, do not fill in the ditch or highway maintenance workers will get annoyed & can push to have the site closed to collectors, it has happened before.

Here are some samples from the road cut. Most were collected by digging around the top of the cut.

Uraninite with Tremolite. (9.8 x 7.5 x 5.9, 8mm uraninite cube). This is the kind of cavity material you want to find.

Blue Apatite with orange Calcite. (5.4 x 5.2 cm)

Uraninite on white Calcite. Most Uraninites from this locality will be like this (3.1 x 1.8)

Here are some advantages & disadvantages to this site.

1. Easy to locate, little chance of missing the roadcut if following odometer.
2. Decent size roadcut on both sides of the road.
3. Can find orange/white calcite, black Uraninite, blue Apatite, & creamy tremolite.
4. Close to Bancroft, the Wilberforce area, & the Silver Crater Mine.

1. Hard to collect at, most material is solidly in the roadcut walls. You have to dig around cracks in the cut or near the edge exposed at the top of the roadcut.
2. Few minerals to be found. You will mainly find the orange/white calcite & the Uraninite specks.

Overall it’s a good site to collect at. Its one of few sites to collect Uraninite & with cubic structure. Also you can find orange calcite, creamy tremolite & blue apatite crystals also. The site has been picked over quite well so locating samples is not the easiest, you may have to look vary carefully for pieces. I have heard rumours of small betafite being found here in the calcite, I suppose its possible as the material vein dike has some similarity to the Silver Crater site which is composed of another calcite vein-dike. The landscape in the Monck road area is dotted with calcite vein-dikes. This site is really worth visiting as it is on the way to the Wilberforce area on 118, you might as well take a quick turn on the Monck road & have a quick peek.

Thanks for reading, Rockhound Safe & with Determination.

- Bancroft & District Mineral collecting Guidebook, Faraday Hill, page 43, 2005 edition.
- Mindat, Faraday Hill, mineral list.

Article has been viewed at least 14896 times.

Discuss this Article

18th Jan 2009 04:52 GMTDana Slaughter

Hi Michal,
I very much enjoy your frequents posts about the Bancroft area. I've visited Bancroft a few times and have always loved collecting and camping in the area. I've collected here at the Faraday Hill roadcut and found a fairly large (nearly 1 inch) bright molybdenite crystal in matrix as well as all the other minerals that you mention. The calcite is a pleasing orange color that most people don't recognize and I used a Faraday Hill calcite lump in a mineral identification quiz that I gave to my former club in Michigan. Not ONE person correctly identified it as calcite and ALL thought it was feldspar! It's too bad that the apatites aren't larger from here as their color is outstanding. I miss the Bancroft area greatly and my wife and I often consider flying to Toronto, renting a car and some tools and heading off to stay in Bancroft for a couple weeks. We now live in Arizona and visions of flowing streams,beaver dams, green foliage and awesome mineral sites keep me dreaming of Bancroft. Keep up the great work--I very much enjoy your articles.

Best regards,
Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Public Relations by Blytheweigh.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2019, except where stated. Most political location boundaries are Β© OpenStreetMap contributors. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: October 16, 2019 01:25:54
Go to top of page