Just outside the mine entrance, a miner drives the locomotive

Photos by Eric Greene taken during a June, 2015 visit to the Rogerley Mine

 

It seems I jumped the gun. In our early March newsletter, I wrote: "Another noteworthy event this year was the announcement that UK Mining Ventures that 2015 was their last year of mining at the Rogerley Mine in England." Apparently this is not necessarily the case. While there are some substantial hurdles which must be overcome in order to continue mining, happily there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.

The earth is a big place with a lot of out-of-the-way places where Mother Nature has created some truly odd and amazing geological formations. Here are pictures of what are frequently described as the 25 strangest geological formations on Earth -- locations that for the most part I had never heard of or seen before. Enjoy!


China's Zhangye Danxia mountains were formed on red terrigenous
sedimentary layers that have been eroded for 24 million years.

rogerley

It was a sunny day in early August, 2017 when I had the opportunity to visit a quarry in Granby, Massachusetts. The property is owned and operated by Cornell Nash, the sole heir to the quarry which was founded in 1939 by his father, Carlton Nash. When I arrived, Cornell was sitting in his office, in the corner of a large one-room store made of cement blocks that his father built.  Displayed on rustic wooden shelves are plastic dinosaurs, myriad inexpensive fossils, budget mineral specimens, and similar "tourist" items geared to the wallets of his most frequent visitors: children with their parents on vacation or with teachers on school field trips. About half the shelves are stocked with dinosaur footprints, the item that makes this locality unique: this is the only place in the entire world where you can buy genuine fossil dinosaur tracks right off the shelf.


19 pound 11" Brassy GOLDEN PYRITE Pyritohedral Crystals -Peru

This year in Tucson the wholesale price for good Peruvian pyrite specimens was triple what it was two years ago in 2011. I asked several dealers about this, and was given several reasons:


The Deccan Traps in Maharashtra, India

Since the 1970s, the state of Maharashtra in India has provided an abundant supply of zeolites and other minerals that have come out of the enormous lava flows called the Deccan Traps. The traps are arguably the largest volcanic feature on the earth. They consist of hundreds of layers of flood basalt over 6,500 feet thick, which cover almost 200,000 square miles - larger than the state of California. Basalt quarries in this region produce hundreds of tons of mineral specimens every year, creating a glut that keeps the price for most of these pieces amazingly low. Zeolites are a popular group of minerals to collect because they are so beautiful and because they contain such diversity in color, crystal form and rarity (some are very common and inexpensive to collect and some are rare, costly, and a pleasure to finally own). Most all the specimens come from basalt quarries which provide material for the building boom that has gone on in central India for the last 40 years. Others are found when wells are dug and when construction projects for buildings and roads require blasting.