Updated February,22, 2015



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Updated May 23rd, 2002

What's New at the Mine

I visited the mine on May 21st on my way home from the Costa Mesa Show.  I took several pictures and mpgs.   During my 45 minutes there I visited with John Price who is one of the folks doing the mining.   Larry was in town picking up a part for the machinery so I missed him.   Still a lot going on.  Here's what I saw:
 
 

Here's the sign that always gets my heart pumping - the entrance into San Benito County on the Los Gatos Creek road from Coalinga....  Both signs have had a rough time of it from either drunk or frustrated deer hunters as both signs were plastered with shot gun blasts.  People who shoot signs.... Nothing betrays the mentality of this type of person better in my mind.  Anyway, I am in!

 
On the way into the mine I stopped to get a nice overview of the Clear Creek drainage.  This is the basin where the Junnila Fresnoite/Benitoite mine is as well as the Artinite Pit where superb specimens of artinite and other rare carbonate species such as dypingite and desautelsite have been found.   Both deposits are situated up near the head waters of the basin.

I have prepared three mpg files that pan the mine from different locales. It was a windy
day there as you can hear the wind in the recording...

Mine Pan 1
Mine Pan 2
Mine Pan 3



 
 

The first view of the mine shows an excavator and some recent scratching around.  I am standing about 25 meters below the site of the original shaft of the mine.   The excavator is setting on old mine dump material. 

 
Here's a shot of the excavator.   I am standing near the processing plant. 

 
This season the crew is working through some old mine dumps and colluvium.  This is the face of the mine dump currently being worked. 

 
This is a shot of the water truck and loader.  The processing apparatus in the background gets fed by the loader. 

 
 
Here's two pictures of the processing plant. 

 
And here is what it is all about!  These are a few of the 5 gallon buckets that are filled with mine run material. 

 
This is one rock in particular that caught my eye.  It is about 30 cm across and you can see from the amount of blue showing that it has a fair amount of benitoite in it! 

 
Here is a member of the security force.  John's dog, whose name escapes me, covers a lot of ground at the mine and is easily excited. 


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