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Ron Layton's Blog

Last trip to the Old Reliable

27th Apr 2012

I went to Tucson last week, 4-20-12, to visit my in-laws and I made one last trip to the Old Reliable copper mine near Mammoth. The road was very bad but fortunately I was on a dirt bike and didn't have to worry about getting stuck. I tried to find some more libethenite near the mine where I first collected in 1988. I drove to the very top terrace to see if a certain rock was still there and I was surprised to see it there in the same area I left it many years ago. It was a distinct light gray and about as big as a large watermelon and I remember finding some very nice libethenite, pseudomalachite, apatite group species and some unknown green blades that may be atacamite. This time I took the whole rock apart and carefully removed the waste material since I would be carrying everything out on my back. I was limited on time and had to get back to Tucson to catch a plane so I didn't have time to look around much. My intention was to hopefully find that rock and I was successful. When I got home I glanced at a few pieces through the scope and found all the same minerals I did 25 years ago. Its surprising that the rock wasn't moved when they graded out the terraces and did that gigantic blast, let alone all the leaching solution they sprayed everywhere. As it was, just the very tip was projecting out of the dirt and I'm sure if recent rains hadn't exposed it I would never had found it.

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