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A general guide for using the Forum with some rules and tips
Future localities?
  
  Index -> Mines and Mineral Localities
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Tom Mazanec




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PostPosted: Mar 19, 2016 14:20    Post subject: Future localities?  

Is it plausible that, in a few decades, we will be able to obtain fantastic mineral specimens from the sea/ocean floor or under Antarctic/Greenland icesheets?
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Mar 19, 2016 15:07    Post subject: Re: Future localities?  

If the ice sheets melt, as looks increasingly likely, then yes, of course, new localities will appear in the bedrock. It is already happening under glaciers in the Alps. In recent years there has been a little flood of new quartz crystals and other species from the high Alps in Switzerland as glaciers recede and expose virgin alpine clefts. Expect the same from Greenland eventually.

The ocean floor is less likely to be productive of great specimens because it's mostly young basalts and mud, but it will undoubtedly be mined for its metallic resources.
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marco campos-venuti




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PostPosted: Mar 19, 2016 15:38    Post subject: Re: Future localities?  

The presence of nice crystals in a place is not a guaranty that these crystals can be collected. Many factors are responsible for its destruction, as the type of mining activity and the accessibility of the deposit. Submarine deposits are unlikely to be a source for mineral specimens inclusive if they are near home. You can imagine to dig for minerals with a submarine? Also the price of a specimen dug in Antarctica would be crazy.
For example I live around 4 km distant from a mine called Cobre Las Cruces where amazing crystals of Chalcocite are present. But the mine crumbles all the mine run into a mill and then into an acidic pool for cathode separation of the metal. So nothing arrive into the mineral market and nothing in my collection. Sadly!
You can imagine a big mine in Greenland with hundred of mineral hunter running around collecting specimens?
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crocoite




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PostPosted: Mar 20, 2016 00:40    Post subject: Re: Future localities?  

Marco, specimens from Antarctica do come on the market from time to time, and they are not very expensive. I have a few in my collection.
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Mar 20, 2016 01:03    Post subject: Re: Future localities?  

Yes, I have had a few Antarctic specimens too. Some were collected by a cruise ship tourist on a small granitic hill while the other tourists were busy photographing penguins. Others were collected by an electrician who was helicoptered up a mountain to install a cell phone tower for a nearby military/research base.

Some people say it's illegal to collect minerals in Antarctica, but that seems to me to be a silly rule. We are afterall talking about a *continent*, not a little hill in a city park. If every mineral collector on the planet took 10 Kg (which of course is never going to happen), the continent would still be undiminished.

In fact, Antarctica has no government and therefore no laws of its own about collecting there. Each country that is a member of the Antarctic Treaty makes its own rules about how its citizens must behave there. So yes, your country might tell you not to pick up rocks. Take a friend along who is a citizen of a country that is not a member of the Antarctic Treaty (eg: Bolivia, Mexico, Egypt, Iraq, Philippines, and many others), and they can legally pick up rocks for you ;))
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Tobi




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PostPosted: Mar 20, 2016 01:53    Post subject: Re: Future localities?  

alfredo wrote:
If the ice sheets melt, as looks increasingly likely, then yes, of course, new localities will appear in the bedrock. It is already happening under glaciers in the Alps
That's why we should rather hope NOT to make a lot of such discoveries in the future :-/
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