A Review of the Club's Field Trips for 2008

August - Purnamoota Station

Schorl Tourmaline crystals

On Purnamoota we visited the reef of schorl tourmaline approximately one kilometre north of the Black Prince. Here we uncovered some very nice plates of quartz with scatterings of sharp and clean - doubly terminated tourmalines over the surfaces. After we had found suitable pieces we ventured back to the Black Prince and had lunch and a bit of a fossick for copper minerals on the dumps. All in all a good day and a great chance to get out and bash some rocks.

September - Plumbago Station

The weekend trip to Plumbago Station was a joint field trip with the Port Pirie club and the Mineralogical Society of South Australia. As field officer, Trevor Dart ventured down a few days earlier and together with David Tiller, Ashleigh Watt and John Chivers did some exploratory work to try and find some new locations and reassess some of the previously visited sites. This early arrival paid off as after a fair amount of walking we located the Mount Victoria copper mine and found good quality magnetites up to 6-10 mm in size. Also at this location we found copper minerals such as azurite and malachite, chalcopyrite, pyrite, xenotime, apatite, epidote and limonite pseudomorphs after pyrite - devil’s dice. After three days of exploratory work to assess old locations and seek out new ones, the full group was able to visit several sites over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Old favourites included sites such as the Ethiudna Copper Mines where nice chrysocolla and olivenite could be found. The Lookout Hill mine and Stremples shaft where andradite garnet, grossular garnet, vesuvianite, conichalcite and clinoclase could be collected. At Stremples Shaft, a find of a new mineral for this location in olivenite was made by Lyndon Penney of the Yorke Peninsular club.

Fossicking for Davidite crystals

The Billeroo davidite prospect was revisited and shown to still provide good crystals of this mineral. The method now seems to be to scratch around through the surface material as most of the evident crystals have now been picked up. By scraping through the top 4 - 8 inches of soil many of the party were able to acquire that one great piece. This would be the case for Ashleigh Watt, who after three visits to this site has finally gone home with a prize sample. The new locations included the Mount Victoria Copper Mine, some pegmatites on the northern flank of Mount Victoria containing yttrocolumbite, samarskite monazite and xenotime and andradite garnet and epidote horizons with good crystals near Lookout Hill.

This trip was well worth the travelling and camping out as so much good material was obtained over the time spent. Plumbago - and in particularly the Mount Victoria region is worth going back for another trip, as there is more still to be found with a little exploratory walking

October - Tikalina Station - Radium Hill

In October we went down to Tikalina Station and visited the old Radium Hill mine site and surrounds. The day started out alright with a slight breeze, however by ten o’clock a gale force wind and dust storm had moved in making the fossicking ridiculous. Firstly we visited the museum at Tikalina, set up by the Radium Hill historical society. This is well worth a look if any members are thinking of a visit the area and contains photographs and relicts of the previous mining era as well as lists of people who worked at the mine and a layout of the old township.
At the old mine itself we were able to find some small pyrite cubes in schist and some nice radiating masses of actinolite. Following a brief stop at the old township for a cuppa we went over to the kyanite deposit and hunted down a few choice samples. By now it was midday and the dust unbearable so we canned the rest of the afternoon and headed back into town.

November - Limestone Station

In November we went out on Limestone Station to look for a variety of minerals including gahnite, copper minerals and silver / lead minerals at three main locations. Two of these spots had been visited following last year’s Rock-On and the potential was seen then to come back. At the Hidden Treasure mine we were able to find some very well formed gahnite crystals up to 1 cm in size. Over at the Nine Mile South mine we followed a quartz-gahnite reef that yielded excellent samples of sharp dark green gahnite crystals. Finally back at the Great Western mine we were able to find some copper mineralisation as we cracked open a few boulders. While this was just a morning venture and was finished by one o’clock, being our final field trip for the year it was great to see a good turn-up for the excursion.

Gahnite crystals
Gahnite Outcrop