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Barnett Opal Mine, Silica Gem claims, Last Chance Canyon, El Paso Mountains District, El Paso Mts, Kern Co., California, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 35° 25' 4'' North , 117° 56' 39'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 35.41783, -117.94428

A former precious opal occurrence/claims/mine, located in the W canyon wall complex of Last Chance Canyon, on state park land. NOTE: This locality is not listed in the USGS MRDS database.

The opals are found as amygdales in basalt. The lower half of the Silica Gem Claims (upper half known as the Nowak Mine while the lower half known as the Barnett Mine) previously owned by Richard and Shirley Barnett of Bakersfield, California; For many years operated as a site for fee digging at $2.00 per person per day through about the mid to late 1990s. The abandoned claim is now part of Red Rock Canyon State Park.

The opal sometimes fills vesicles in hard basalt which had to be broken down to find & remove the gems. Precious opal varied from the size of a pinhead (averaging 5 to 10 mm) to several inches (rare). Many fine opals had been produced from this and the neighboring Nowak mine.

Mineral List

1 valid mineral.

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Sinkankas, John (1997) Gemstones of North America, Volume 3. Geoscience Press, Tucson AZ: 259.

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