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Re: Interesting mineral find in North Carolina

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  • Dan Gilmore
    Here s an update on my Norht carolina find: I went back to the location where I found the original sample, got another sample from a few hundred feet up stream
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 1, 2000
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      Here's an update on my Norht carolina find:

      I went back to the location where I found the original sample, got
      another sample from a few hundred feet up stream and got a count of
      300 cpm, from a dry surface sand sample. After cleaning out the
      hematite, the reading went up to about 500 cpm (the iron masked a
      good deal of the radiation, as you said before). A bit further up the
      stream, the activity drops off substantially. The native rock that
      seems to produce this appeard to be a metamorosed sandstone /
      limestone. I'm about 6 miles from the actual begining of the "Blue
      Ridge" on a the piedmont. However, I think that the source of the
      material is originally from an intrusive granite formation that
      boarders the tributary. I've also found this same phenomenon,
      although to a lesser degree in any number of streams that originate
      in local mountain coves. Also, if you go to a location
      called "Silvermines" (a state park) which is about 30 miles west of
      Fredricktown, Missouri (I used to live near there) you can get some
      good samples of radioactive minerals out of the old mine tunnels and
      tailings.

      --- In CDV700CLUB@egroups.com, ashborough@e... wrote:
      > Dear Dan,
      >
      > Anytime you find anything such as you have described,
      it is indeed a
      > significant find. You are to be congratulated for setting it aside
      from
      > the other material in the gold pan, and your wife, for suggesting
      that you
      > Geiger the sample. The little cubic pieces sound like uraninite,
      which as
      > you know is one of the prime ores of uranium. The hematite sand
      could
      > easily mask any of the black primary uranium ores. We have
      hematite all
      > over Georgia, and in its botryoidal form it closely resembles
      pitchblende,
      > which is almost totally absent in Georgia. Anything else that you
      have
      > that's radioactive enough to give elevated readings is evidence
      that the
      > area is worth checking out more extensively.
      > If you got a positive for phosphorus, that will
      account for some of the
      > radiation. I've been to the phosphate beds in north Florida where
      there's
      > some mildly radioactive material, which occurs wherever there's a
      > phosphorus deposit, and to the monazite areas near Jacksonville,
      where I
      > found some mildly radioactive material. It was not until after my
      trip
      > that I learned (or relearned, as it seems to me I had heard it
      before) that
      > one of the richest monazite deposits in North America is near
      Jacksonville.
      > At any rate, it would be tempting to see if there's anything
      upstream from
      > your finds, such as a watercourse, that shows elevated readings.
      > You might send Tom (Silvermoon) a call about the
      minerals. He's much
      > more familiar with the intricacies of the various uranium minerals
      than I
      > am. Those little black cubes, though, just about scream out the
      word
      > "uraninite," and, whatever they are, mark a real find. I'm
      envious! --
      > Haywood
      > >
    • ashborough@earthlink.net
      Dear Dan, It s sounding promisinger and promisinger! If you ve found the tributary above which the main creek is cold, ... well, you know how it works. It
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 1, 2000
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        Dear Dan,

        It's sounding "promisinger and promisinger!" If you've found the
        tributary above which the main creek is cold, ... well, you know how it
        works. It would be all I could do to resist taking off work a little early
        and tracking the source. You say there's some metamorphic sand/limestone
        in the area? It's a good bet that the radioactivity came well after the
        limestone was laid down, because except for phosphates one rarely sees
        radioactive limestone. It seems likely to me that the intrusion you speak
        of might be the source. Out west, one finds secondary products all over
        the place but primary minerals are quite rare. I'll bet what has happened
        is that some pitchblende has leached out of the intrusion and made its way
        down to the sandstone/limestone. Depending on how permeable the stuff is,
        you could get radioactivity dispersed all through the sand/lime.
        You know that in limestone geology you can draw a triangle with pure sand
        at one corner, pure limestone at another, and pure metamorphosed limestone
        (marble) at the remaining one. Any limestone that you find anywhere will
        occupy a point inside the triangle. (Of course, to be technical there
        should be another dimension going between limestone and dolomite, i.e.,
        calcium and magnesium, but the simple model is presented as a triangle.)
        Along the axes toward the sandstone corner one can assume increasing
        permeability, but the closer one gets to 100% limestone (and certainly 100%
        marble or dolomite) permeability will almost certainly drop off, fairly
        precipitously. Of course, other factors will affect it as well, such as
        the nature of the sand and other contaminants in the limestone. It could
        be that even close to the sandstone corner permeability will be reduced by
        something like bentonite clay.
        What I would suggest doing is taking a few samples of the limestone from
        the surface and a few from as deep inside the formation as you can safely
        get, and checking them for activity. In the same trip, though, I'd want to
        have a nice long look at that intrusion, with samples from any alluvium at
        its base as well as pieces of it from as high up as you can safely get.
        Your account of this find has definitely pricked my interest and gained
        my 103% attention. Please let me and the rest of us know how it goes,
        'cause it's often hard or impossible to get loose and go prospecting; and
        your success is vicariously our success as well. If you find yourself
        someday soon with a rock about the size of your fist, with great, slick,
        oily-looking black patches on it, and red-brown stains in the much lighter
        rock around it, and your geiger counter is pegged, screaming at you, and
        threatening overload, you'll be in the middle of an experience that is
        among the finest that this life can provide. Thank the Good Lord, I've
        experienced that, and I'll never, ever be the same again.
        Great Good Luck, and Happy Hunting! -- Haywood


        > [Original Message]
        > From: Dan Gilmore <gilmoredan@...>
        > To: <CDV700CLUB@egroups.com>
        > Date: 10/01/2000 1:18:45 PM
        > Subject: [CDV700CLUB] Re: Interesting mineral find in North Carolina
        >
        > Here's an update on my Norht carolina find:
        >
        > I went back to the location where I found the original sample, got
        > another sample from a few hundred feet up stream and got a count of
        >
        > 300 cpm, from a dry surface sand sample. After cleaning out the
        > hematite, the reading went up to about 500 cpm (the iron masked a
        > good deal of the radiation, as you said before). A bit further up
        > the
        > stream, the activity drops off substantially. The native rock that
        > seems to produce this appeard to be a metamorosed sandstone /
        > limestone. I'm about 6 miles from the actual begining of the "Blue
        > Ridge" on a the piedmont. However, I think that the source of the
        > material is originally from an intrusive granite formation that
        > boarders the tributary. I've also found this same phenomenon,
        > although to a lesser degree in any number of streams that originate
        > in local mountain coves. Also, if you go to a location
        > called "Silvermines" (a state park) which is about 30 miles west of
        > Fredricktown, Missouri (I used to live near there) you can get some
        > good samples of radioactive minerals out of the old mine tunnels and
        >
        > tailings.
        >
        > --- In CDV700CLUB@egroups.com, ashborough@e... wrote:
        > > Dear Dan,
        > >
        > > Anytime you find anything such as you have described,
        > it is indeed a
        > > significant find. You are to be congratulated for setting it
        > aside
        > from
        > > the other material in the gold pan, and your wife, for suggesting
        > that you
        > > Geiger the sample. The little cubic pieces sound like uraninite,
        > which as
        > > you know is one of the prime ores of uranium. The hematite sand
        > could
        > > easily mask any of the black primary uranium ores. We have
        > hematite all
        > > over Georgia, and in its botryoidal form it closely resembles
        > pitchblende,
        > > which is almost totally absent in Georgia. Anything else that you
        >
        > have
        > > that's radioactive enough to give elevated readings is evidence
        > that the
        > > area is worth checking out more extensively.
        > > If you got a positive for phosphorus, that will
        > account for some of the
        > > radiation. I've been to the phosphate beds in north Florida where
        >
        > there's
        > > some mildly radioactive material, which occurs wherever there's a
        > > phosphorus deposit, and to the monazite areas near Jacksonville,
        > where I
        > > found some mildly radioactive material. It was not until after my
        >
        > trip
        > > that I learned (or relearned, as it seems to me I had heard it
        > before) that
        > > one of the richest monazite deposits in North America is near
        > Jacksonville.
        > > At any rate, it would be tempting to see if there's anything
        > upstream from
        > > your finds, such as a watercourse, that shows elevated readings.
        > > You might send Tom (Silvermoon) a call about the
        > minerals. He's much
        > > more familiar with the intricacies of the various uranium minerals
        >
        > than I
        > > am. Those little black cubes, though, just about scream out the
        > word
        > > "uraninite," and, whatever they are, mark a real find. I'm
        > envious! --
        > > Haywood
        > > >
        >
        >
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      • silvermoon
        Hi Dan!!! Sounds like you ve had fun! The area you described is in the Monazite belt, which was the center of the Monazite mining activity in this country a
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 1, 2000
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          Hi Dan!!!

          Sounds like you've had fun! The area you described is in the Monazite
          belt, which was the center of the Monazite mining activity in this country a
          century ago.
          Monazite is a veritable gold mine of Rare Earth elements: It's definitely
          phosphate bearing: It's primarily Cerium Phosphate, with huge amounts of
          Lanthanum/Lanthanide elements (well into double digit percentages), and up
          to 5% of Thorium as diffused Thorium Silicate.
          Monazite is heavier than the standard quartz/feldspar sand: 2.7 or so
          sp.gr. vs. 4.8 to 5.8, so it used to be gravity concentrated.
          The only reason the Thorium industry here died is that it was cheaper to
          import Monazite from Brazil or Travancore.
          It's STILL washing out of the hills and concentrating naturally!
          If the black cubes were Uraninite, thery would be highly radioactive.
          That's all I can think of quickly that would be cubic.
          There is the slight chance that the material might be Samarskite or
          Columbite related, or could they possibly have a slightly different
          crystalline structure?

          Best Regards! -Tom
        • silvermoon
          Hi Dan! From what I ve seen, the material comes out of granites, and is present to the tune of 1/10th of 1%... I could also see it coming out of sandstones:
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 1, 2000
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            Hi Dan!

            From what I've seen, the material comes out of granites, and is present to
            the tune of 1/10th of 1%...
            I could also see it coming out of sandstones: This might be a weathered
            deposit of fossilized placer Monazite.

            -Tom
          • Dan Gilmore
            Hi Tom, I took a closer look at the black crystals and they re definately cubic and cubic octahederal which says uranium all the way. I also tried a borax bead
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 8, 2000
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              Hi Tom,

              I took a closer look at the black crystals and they're definately
              cubic and cubic octahederal which says uranium all the way. I also
              tried a borax bead test and it showed all the proper credentials when
              I put it in reducing and oxidizing flames. I also flouresces yellow
              under long/short wave UV after being given a splash of concentrated
              nitric acid (a good way to identify at least one UO2 compound in a
              dish of sand......). Oh, you can also concentrate thorium compunds
              out with sulfuric acid, but, don't try this at home......

              Dan

              --- In CDV700CLUB@egroups.com, "silvermoon" <silvermoon@m...> wrote:
              > Hi Dan!
              >
              > From what I've seen, the material comes out of granites, and is
              present to
              > the tune of 1/10th of 1%...
              > I could also see it coming out of sandstones: This might be a
              weathered
              > deposit of fossilized placer Monazite.
              >
              > -Tom
            • silvermoon
              Hi Dan! Definitely sounds like Uraninite to me! Thanks also for reminding me of the Borax test and Fluorescence... In one of my publications, I found a
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 8, 2000
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                Hi Dan!

                Definitely sounds like Uraninite to me!
                Thanks also for reminding me of the Borax test and Fluorescence... In one
                of my publications, I found a reference to fluxing minerals, etc., and
                calibrating the equipment for percentages of U.
                I have plenty of A.R. H2SO4, but not enough Monazite to work up (yet), and
                also want to have a real, working fume hood in place for the long process of
                extraction and separation of the RE's.

                -Tom
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