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Sapo mine Tourmaline
  
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texasdigger




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PostPosted: Apr 22, 2018 17:39    Post subject: Sapo mine Tourmaline  

I recently found a Sapo Tourmaline for sale. Fortune was on my side that day. It's about 1.25 inches at 10.8 grams.
It was labeled as "multi color Tourmaline XL from Mina do Sapo, Conselherio Pena, Minas Gerais, Brazil, came out in the late 60s"
The colors are unmistakable, but the date... Was Sapo producing bluecaps in the late 60s?
I seem to remember 1 specimen Id seen from early Sapo material but now, of course, I can find nothing about that era.



P3111641 (2).JPG
 Mineral: Elbaite (Tourmaline Group)
 Locality:
Sapo Mine, Ferruginha, Conselheiro Pena, Vale do Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, Brazil
 Dimensions: 3.1cm x 1.4 cm
 Description:
 Viewed:  586 Time(s)

P3111641 (2).JPG



P3111655.JPG
 Mineral: Elbaite (Tourmaline Group)
 Locality:
Sapo Mine, Ferruginha, Conselheiro Pena, Vale do Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, Brazil
 Dimensions: 3.1cm x 1.4 cm
 Description:
 Viewed:  591 Time(s)

P3111655.JPG



P3111661.JPG
 Mineral: Elbaite (Tourmaline Group)
 Locality:
Sapo Mine, Ferruginha, Conselheiro Pena, Vale do Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, Brazil
 Dimensions: 3.1cm x 1.4 cm
 Description:
 Viewed:  587 Time(s)

P3111661.JPG



P3111663.JPG
 Mineral: Elbaite (Tourmaline Group)
 Locality:
Sapo Mine, Ferruginha, Conselheiro Pena, Vale do Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, Brazil
 Dimensions: 3.1cm x 1.4 cm
 Description:
 Viewed:  591 Time(s)

P3111663.JPG


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texasdigger




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PostPosted: Apr 22, 2018 18:15    Post subject: Re: Sapo mine Tourmaline  

Boom. Now it shows on on page 2 of Google search. Nice work Google.
Heres the info. Sapo mine discovered in 1985.

The Sapo mine exploits a thick sub-horizontal pegmatite that was discovered in 1985 and has produced large pockets of quartz crystals, several important pockets of tourmaline and, recently, two large cavities containing excellent crystals of apatite-(CaOH) and a very important find of apatite-(CaF).

INTRODUCTION

Visitors to major mineral shows late in 2005 were intrigued by unusual-looking "apatite" specimens recently found at Brazil's Sapo mine, near Goiabera, in Minas Gerais. The specimens show green and yellow color-zoned, discoidal crystals (low-angle hexagonal dipyramids) to 3 cm pleasingly set on feldspar matrix. A similar surprise awaited collectors at the 2007 Denver Show, where there appeared generous numbers of extremely fine specimens showing sharp, lustrous, dark green hexagonal-tabular crystals of "apatite" from the Sapo mine, in loose groups and on albite-rich matrix. Recent analytical work has shown that some Sapo mine "apatite" is apatite-(CaOH) (formerly known as hydroxylapatite), some is apatite-(CaF) (formerly known as fluorapatite), and some crystals contain zones of both species. Thus the Sapo mine joins the roster of localities for world-class apatite-group minerals; it had also been known previously for its giant specimens of quartz and for excellent, gem-quality, "blue-cap" elbaite, both still emerging today.

LOCATION

Figure 1 shows the location of the Sapo mine about 40 km north-east of the town of Conselheiro Pena, in the important pegmatite province that extends from around Governador Valadares eastward to the border of Espirito Santo state. The various pegmatite bodies fall within the municipios (counties) of Divino das Laranjeiras, Mendes Pimentel, Galileia, Sao Geraldo do Baixio, Conselheiro Pena, Goiabeira and Mantena.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

In the past I had always believed the Sapo mine to be in the municipio of Goiabeira, but when I visited the locality recently with a GPS (Global Positioning System) I discovered that it is actually in the municipio of Conselheiro Pena. The reason for the confusion is that, until eight years ago, Goiabeira was merely a district of Conselehiro Pena, but in a referendum the population voted to split Goiabeira off from Conselheiro Pena as a new municipio. Meanwhile, residents in the Ferruginha district, located 10 km north of the Sapo mine, voted to remain a part of Conselheiro Pena. This left the remaining two portions of the municipio of Conselheiro Pena separated from each other by the new municipio of Goiabeira, so a narrow strip of land had to be designated along the northern border of Goiabeira in order to connect Ferruginha with the rest of Conselheiro Pena--and the Sapo mine just happens to be within this narrow strip.

HISTORY

In 1985 a local farmer found signs of green tourmaline outside an ant colony on his property, just across a hill from the present Sapo mine. The pegmatite was named Lavra da Formiga (lavra = "mine," formiga = "ant"), and hundreds of itinerant miners (garimpeiros) were attracted to it. Dozens of short vertical shafts were dug, resulting in the production of several hundred kilograms of green, blue and bicolored (red-green or blue-green) tourmaline crystals. Because so many garimpeiros had appeared, there was insufficient land available to accommodate everyone who wanted to dig, so some of the garimpeiros obtained permission from the farmer to dig on the other side of the hill. As a result of their efforts the Sapo pegmatite was discovered.

Sapo means "frog"--the pegmatite is located under a marsh which is home to many frogs. Small pockets of tourmaline and quartz were found during early work in the pegmatite, but this work was minimal since Horacio Creek runs through the marsh and the area is frequently flooded during the rainy seasons.

In 1992, Clovis Martins Coelho (nicknamed Clovis "Baiano" because he was born in the state of Bahia) received a lease and sank a new shaft which intersected the Sapo pegmatite at a depth of 5 meters below the surface. This proved to be a very successful mining operation: besides several dozen tons of large quartz crystals (colorless, citrine, smoky, "alligator," and "cathedral" quartz), Clovis also found many pockets of green, blue, green-red and "watermelon" elbaite crystals, as well as the now-famous "blue-cap" crystals.

[FIGURE OMITTED]

Just before Christmas 2001, a torrential rain caused Horacio Creek to overflow its banks, flooding the mine completely and filling the tunnels and the access shaft with hundreds of tons of sediment.
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