We use cookies to show content based on your preferences. If you continue to browse you accept their use and installation. More information. >

FMF - Friends of Minerals Forum, discussion and message board
The place to share your mineralogical experiences

FMF English Forum is moderated by John S. White and Peter Megaw
 

Spanish message board






Newest topics and users posts
22 Nov-07:21:12 Re: new generation for picture - ploum (Ploum)
22 Nov-03:56:24 Re: new generation for picture - ploum (Pierre Joubert)
22 Nov-03:09:39 Re: new generation for picture - ploum (Tobi)
21 Nov-22:04:25 Re: munich show (mineralientage) 2017 (Roger Warin)
21 Nov-21:33:30 Re: munich show (mineralientage) 2017 (Roger Warin)
21 Nov-15:55:24 Re: the mizunaka collection (Philippe Durand)
21 Nov-15:22:37 Re: mineral names in different languages and their meaning (Pete Richards)
21 Nov-13:43:39 Re: new generation for picture - ploum (Ploum)
21 Nov-13:35:45 Re: mineral names in different languages and their meaning (Tobi)
21 Nov-12:27:46 Re: micro photos of inclusions in quartz (Zbhjzm)
21 Nov-11:20:15 Re: rarest quartz twins with inclined axes c (Reef)
21 Nov-10:11:59 Re: mineral names in different languages and their meaning (Pete Richards)
21 Nov-04:25:25 Re: mineral names in different languages and their meaning (Tobi)
21 Nov-04:21:11 Re: in memoriam: adalberto giazotto (1940-2017) (Tobi)
21 Nov-04:17:44 Re: mineral names in different languages and their meaning (Pierre Joubert)
21 Nov-03:40:43 Re: mineral names in different languages and their meaning (Tobi)
21 Nov-02:38:54 Re: mineral names in different languages and their meaning (Jm)
21 Nov-02:19:38 Re: micro photos of inclusions in quartz (Zbhjzm)
20 Nov-19:15:32 Re: franjungle collection (Franjungle)
20 Nov-18:11:57 Re: is this zircon ? (Dimce Catle)
20 Nov-17:35:46 Re: questions about microcline (Josele)
20 Nov-15:48:34 The mizunaka collection - copper (Am Mizunaka)
20 Nov-15:47:11 Re: is this zircon ? (Pete Modreski)
20 Nov-15:27:59 Re: mineral names in different languages and their meaning (Peter)
20 Nov-15:19:19 Re: is this zircon ? (Lluis)

For lists of newest topics and postings click here


RSS RSS

View unanswered posts

Why and how to register

Index Index
 FAQFAQ RegisterRegister  Log inLog in
 {Forgotten your password?}Forgotten your password?  

Like
35597


The time now is Nov 22, 2017 11:46

Search for a textSearch for a text   

A general guide for using the Forum with some rules and tips
Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)
  
  Index -> Featured Columns of FMF
Like
45


View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Fiebre Verde




Joined: 11 Sep 2013
Posts: 664
Location: Paris Area


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: May 13, 2016 21:16    Post subject: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Here are a few snapshots of a recent trip (last week) I made with a couple of friends in the Eastern Emerald Belt of Colombia.

We set off from Bogota well before dawn and headed first to the Gachalá emerald district.
We had our first rockhounding stop just a few km away from the famous (and now abandoned) open pit mine of La Vega de San Juan where was found the famous "Gachalá emerald" in 1967, a 858 carats crystal (5x5x5cm) which is now on display in the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington D.C.
We were hosted by a mine company called "La Emilia" which was named after another famous emerald specimen of 7,025 cts discovered in 1969 in the Las Cruces mine.
We had a tour of the various mining sites but the only emeralds we saw were actually the ones sold by some miners.
The next day we headed up north to the Chivor district. This was Saturday and the mines were not in operation. This did not stop us doing some rockhounding by taking an unofficial tunnel used by the "guaqueros" (unofficial or independent miners). I know, all this sounds completely illegal, but actually it is ok as long as the mining company operating in the area is made aware of our presence. Here too, we were not very successful in our attempts to find some beryl, even not crystallized.
Last day was spend partly in the village of Chivor where we saw many specimens and crystals on sale (it was market day).
On our way back to Bogota, we had a stopover in the town of Guateque where we also saw some very nice calcite and pyrite specimens... in a grocery store!

Enjoy the trip!

Gérard



MAP.JPG
 Description:
The various localities of the Eastern Belt are located within the blue rectangle. Underlined in red, some significant mining areas and towns.
If you look carefully, you will notice a spot called "La Suiza" (Switzerland in Spanish). Yes, it does look like Switzerland...
 Viewed:  8081 Time(s)

MAP.JPG



Bogota3.JPG
 Description:
The Emerald Trade Center building in Bogota.
Most of the key stakeholders of the emerald business have their main office in that building.
 Viewed:  8156 Time(s)

Bogota3.JPG



Bogota2.JPG
 Description:
This is enough to get inspired.
Why not me?
 Viewed:  8080 Time(s)

Bogota2.JPG



Bogota1.JPG
 Description:
Now it's just a matter to choose the right transportation mode.
 Viewed:  8084 Time(s)

Bogota1.JPG



Gachala3.JPG
 Description:
The "El Guavio" reservoir lake at low level.
In the background, the town of Gachalá.
 Viewed:  8103 Time(s)

Gachala3.JPG



Gachala4.JPG
 Description:
The campsite of the mining company "La Emilia".
 Viewed:  8084 Time(s)

Gachala4.JPG



Gachala41.JPG
 Description:
The shafts were not in operation during our visit due to a power outage.
This one had a depth of 40 meters.
 Viewed:  8085 Time(s)

Gachala41.JPG



Gachala2.JPG
 Description:
Entrance of a tunnel in the area operated by La Emilia.
 Viewed:  8086 Time(s)

Gachala2.JPG



Gachala1.JPG
 Description:
Kaolin is commonly found in the Gachalá area. But black shale is never far away!
Beryl crystals are found mostly in the kaolin.
 Viewed:  8073 Time(s)

Gachala1.JPG



Chivor13.JPG
 Description:
A little bridge on the way to Chivor.
 Viewed:  8086 Time(s)

Chivor13.JPG



Chivor19.JPG
 Description:
We were hungry so we asked this lady if could buy her bunch of bananas.
 Viewed:  8073 Time(s)

Chivor19.JPG



Chivor16.JPG
 Description:
The (promised) land of Chivor. The town of Chivor is still 20mn away.
"Tierra de nunca olvidar" literally means... hmmm... maybe Jordi can translate that one?
 Viewed:  8075 Time(s)

Chivor16.JPG



Chivor18.JPG
 Description:
Campsite of the Guali mine.
 Viewed:  8090 Time(s)

Chivor18.JPG



Chivor14.JPG
 Description:
Lush scenery in the Chivor area.
 Viewed:  8086 Time(s)

Chivor14.JPG



Chivor17.JPG
 Description:
Beautiful scenery in the Chivor area.
 Viewed:  8080 Time(s)

Chivor17.JPG


Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
6
   

Fiebre Verde




Joined: 11 Sep 2013
Posts: 664
Location: Paris Area


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: May 13, 2016 21:56    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

The trip is not over...


Chivor20.JPG
 Description:
We were lucky to see some toucans on the way. There is a toucan species called locally "toucan esmeralda".
 Viewed:  8068 Time(s)

Chivor20.JPG



Chivor15.JPG
 Description:
Central square of Chivor.
These two Indians are blessed with emeralds.
 Viewed:  8071 Time(s)

Chivor15.JPG



Chivor1.JPG
 Description:
Why this strange name?
 Viewed:  8067 Time(s)

Chivor1.JPG



Chivor12.JPG
 Description:
This is Saturday and the main tunnel is closed.
 Viewed:  8063 Time(s)

Chivor12.JPG



Chivor23.JPG
 Description:
Never mind... we then decide to take one of the backdoors only used by the independent miners.
 Viewed:  8070 Time(s)

Chivor23.JPG



Chivor21.JPG
 Description:
A small calcite vein with good crystals.
But no beryls...
 Viewed:  8064 Time(s)

Chivor21.JPG



Chivor22.JPG
 Description:
Contact between the crumbly grey shale and the black shale.
All these "unofficial" tunnels are connected to the official ones.
 Viewed:  8071 Time(s)

Chivor22.JPG



Chivor6.JPG
 Description:
Sunday is market day in Chivor.
 Viewed:  8072 Time(s)

Chivor6.JPG



Chivor5.JPG
 Description:
A small lot of nice euclase crystals.
 Viewed:  8062 Time(s)

Chivor5.JPG



Chivor7.JPG
 Description:
Euclase in matrix.
 Viewed:  8070 Time(s)

Chivor7.JPG



Chivor10.JPG
 Description:
A lot of loose emerald crystals.
 Viewed:  8061 Time(s)

Chivor10.JPG



Chivor8.JPG
 Description:
There is a tiny museum next to the square.
You better be convinced that pyrite is common in the Chivor district.
 Viewed:  8063 Time(s)

Chivor8.JPG



PiedradeChulo_Chivor.JPG
 Description:
Huge calcite in crumbly grey shale.
 Viewed:  8065 Time(s)

PiedradeChulo_Chivor.JPG



Chivor9.JPG
 Description:
A large specimen of pyrite and dolomite on sale in a grocery store.
 Viewed:  8072 Time(s)

Chivor9.JPG


Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
6
   

Fiebre Verde




Joined: 11 Sep 2013
Posts: 664
Location: Paris Area


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: May 13, 2016 22:24    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Last look before leaving Chivor.


Chivor2.JPG
 Description:
You would think streets in Chivor are paved in emeralds. Sadly not quite...
BUT some doorsteps are paved in pyrite!!!
 Viewed:  8037 Time(s)

Chivor2.JPG



Chivor11.JPG
 Description:
Some of these crystals are pretty nice actually.
 Viewed:  8065 Time(s)

Chivor11.JPG



Chivor24.JPG
 Description:
That fruit basket was not on sale :-(
 Viewed:  8053 Time(s)

Chivor24.JPG



Chivor3.JPG
 Description:
Nice combo.
 Viewed:  8056 Time(s)

Chivor3.JPG



Chivor4.JPG
 Description:
Never seen a tractor like this before!
 Viewed:  8055 Time(s)

Chivor4.JPG



macanal.JPG
 Description:
On the way to Guateque and Bogota. The whitish spot in the background is the town of Macanal.
Most of the mines in the area of Macanal are abandoned.
 Viewed:  8045 Time(s)

macanal.JPG



Guateque.JPG
 Description:
Late lunch in Guateque.
NOT a place for vegetarians.
 Viewed:  8042 Time(s)

Guateque.JPG



Bogota5.JPG
 Description:
Arrival in Bogota at sunset.
 Viewed:  8054 Time(s)

Bogota5.JPG


Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
10
   

Philippe Durand




Joined: 10 May 2016
Posts: 327
Location: Sainte Adresse


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: May 14, 2016 00:05    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Thank you for sharing this nice trip.
By the way, did you feel unsecure? The area is known to be one of the new western.
Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
   

Tobi




Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 2521
Location: Good Old Germany


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: May 14, 2016 01:58    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Fiebre Verde wrote:
Enjoy the trip!
I did, Gérard, thanks for providing an insight in this dangerous and beautiful area of the world.

For those who are interested in this topic (and who speak German): I recommend you to read ExtraLapis No. 21 (Smaragde der Welt, 2001), p. 38-49.

Cheers!
Tobi
Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
1
   

chris
Site Admin



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 518
Location: Grenoble


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: May 14, 2016 06:41    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Bonjour Gérard,

Thanks for showing us this area full of green no matter where you go.

Christophe
Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
2
   

Fiebre Verde




Joined: 11 Sep 2013
Posts: 664
Location: Paris Area


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: May 14, 2016 08:29    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Philippe, Tobi, Christophe, thanks for your appreciations!

Indeed the Eastern belt is very green but the Western belt (e.g. the Muzo area) which is at a lower altitude (1,000 meters less) is even more lush.
You get instantly soaked when visiting a mine in the Muzo area - this takes a bit longer in the Chivor district depending of the height of the tunnel.

Note there is an English version of the Lapis issue mentioned by Tobi (Emeralds of the World, 2002) but unfortunately it is out of print. It is sold at an insane price by some internet vendors - you're better off buying some specimens instead...
The Jan/Feb 2016 issue of the Mineralogical Record on Colombian emeralds is an excellent and cheaper alternative (although it's focused on Colombia unlike the Lapis issue).

Is Colombia more dangerous than other places? Are the Colombian emerald mines more insecure than the ones in Brazil, Zambia or Afghanistan? There is not an easy answer for that.
For sure ultra-violence was present in all aspects of life in the 80's and 90's but the situation started to slowly improve after the last emerald war ended in the early 90's.
On the political side, peace talks are under way and a formal agreement is expected to be reached pretty soon between the Colombian government and the guerilla.

Yes, planning a visit to the mines does require on-the-ground knowledge and logistics. This can be arranged through a good and reliable contact person.
Some local operators have started organizing mining tours. I don't know what level of service they offer but that could be a good starting point for the newcomers in Colombia.

Gérard
Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
   

Jordi Fabre
Overall coordinator of the Forum



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 3954
Location: Barcelona


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: May 14, 2016 10:21    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

In http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=51012#51012 Fiebre Verde wrote:
The (promised) land of Chivor. The town of Chivor is still 20mn away.
"Tierra de nunca olvidar" literally means... hmmm... maybe Jordi can translate that one?

"Tierra de nunca olvidar" = A place to never forget

Very interesting thread Gérard, thanks. I already moved it to the "Featured Columns of FMF"
Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
   

Fiebre Verde




Joined: 11 Sep 2013
Posts: 664
Location: Paris Area


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: May 14, 2016 16:33    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Jordi Fabre wrote:
In http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=51012#51012 Fiebre Verde wrote:
The (promised) land of Chivor. The town of Chivor is still 20mn away.
"Tierra de nunca olvidar" literally means... hmmm... maybe Jordi can translate that one?

"Tierra de nunca olvidar" = A place to never forget

Very interesting thread Gérard, thanks. I already moved it to the "Featured Columns of FMF"


I had the words right but in the wrong order... thanks Jordi!
Will try to keep that in mind but the chance to forget a place like Chivor is pretty slim.
Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
2
   

Nico78




Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Paris


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: Jun 06, 2016 08:29    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Thanks for the share!
Really nice pictures with a inch of humor and fun!

_________________
Young french geologist engineer somewhere around the world .
Also forgive me for my english syntax! I'm not yet fluent!
Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
1
   

Fiebre Verde




Joined: 11 Sep 2013
Posts: 664
Location: Paris Area


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: Jun 06, 2016 12:17    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Nico78 wrote:
Thanks for the share!
Really nice pictures with a inch of humor and fun!


Merci Nico78!
That was an inspiring trip even if we didn't find any beryl crystal when rockhounding.
Gérard
Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
1
   

Fiebre Verde




Joined: 11 Sep 2013
Posts: 664
Location: Paris Area


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: Nov 13, 2016 16:09    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Just came back from my second trip in the Chivor area this year.


P1170218.JPG
 Description:
Early morning, on the way to Ubalá, Cundinamarca.
 Viewed:  4486 Time(s)

P1170218.JPG



P1170244.JPG
 Description:
A 'campesino' with his mule and his dog, on the way back to his 'finca'. Still a common scenery in the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá - but for how long?
 Viewed:  4477 Time(s)

P1170244.JPG



P1170258.JPG
 Description:
50 shades of green.
 Viewed:  4474 Time(s)

P1170258.JPG



P1170291.JPG
 Description:
Emeralds are found on both sides of the Rio Guavio. But very few mines are in production.
 Viewed:  4482 Time(s)

P1170291.JPG



P1170310.JPG
 Description:
Montecristo miners' camp in Cundinamarca.
People sure know how to take their time here.
 Viewed:  4484 Time(s)

P1170310.JPG



P1170317.JPG
 Description:
On the way to Peter Rainier's hacienda.
 Viewed:  4474 Time(s)

P1170317.JPG



P1170330.JPG
 Description:
The scenery is spectacular all the way to the hacienda.
 Viewed:  4470 Time(s)

P1170330.JPG



Rainier1.JPG
 Description:
Hacienda Las Cascadas, Peter Rainier’s home and tea plantation.
Peter Rainier was the administrator of the Chivor mining district from 1926 to the late 30's.
 Viewed:  4477 Time(s)

Rainier1.JPG



Rainier2.JPG
 Description:
The chimney room.
Sadly the hacienda is a total wreck today.
 Viewed:  4482 Time(s)

Rainier2.JPG



Chivor1.JPG
 Description:
Market day in Chivor, Boyacá.
A market for rough stones and in-matrix specimens.
 Viewed:  4490 Time(s)

Chivor1.JPG



Chivor2.JPG
 Description:
2 lots of rough stones. The owner insisted that I take a picture of them.
 Viewed:  4479 Time(s)

Chivor2.JPG



Chivor3.JPG
 Description:
A 5 kg specimen. NOT glued!
 Viewed:  4481 Time(s)

Chivor3.JPG



Chivor4.JPG
 Description:
A beautiful 4.4 carats crystal from Palo Arañado mine.
Considering the shape and the quality of the crystal, a 50% reduction in weight can be reasonably expected after faceting.
 Viewed:  4484 Time(s)

Chivor4.JPG



Chivor5.JPG
 Description:
Very nice calcite and pyrite specimens from Piedra de Chulo mine.
 Viewed:  4486 Time(s)

Chivor5.JPG



Chivor6.JPG
 Description:
The town of Chivor is in good hands.
 Viewed:  4478 Time(s)

Chivor6.JPG


Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
4
   

Fiebre Verde




Joined: 11 Sep 2013
Posts: 664
Location: Paris Area


Access to the FMF Gallery title=

View user's profile

Send private message

PostPosted: Nov 13, 2016 16:39    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Continued.


Dixon1.JPG
 Description:
Unlike on my previous visit, the Dixon tunnel was open this time.
 Viewed:  4475 Time(s)

Dixon1.JPG



Dixon2.JPG
 Description:
Ready to go.
 Viewed:  4462 Time(s)

Dixon2.JPG



Dixon3.JPG
 Description:
A tourist miner who has been told this was a productive zone.
 Viewed:  4472 Time(s)

Dixon3.JPG



Dixon4.JPG
 Description:
A real miner in action. Note the difference with the 'miner' of the previous photo.
 Viewed:  4476 Time(s)

Dixon4.JPG



Dixon5.JPG
 Description:
Another noticeable difference between the 2 miners.
 Viewed:  4462 Time(s)

Dixon5.JPG



P1170426.JPG
 Description:
The Chivor dam lake is a recreational area.
 Viewed:  4476 Time(s)

P1170426.JPG



PaloArañado2.JPG
 Description:
Current production from Palo Arañado mine. Very clean crystals...
 Viewed:  4480 Time(s)

PaloArañado2.JPG



PaloArañado3.JPG
 Description:
Another lot from Palo Arañado mine.
Crystals are a bit more saturated than in the previous lot.
 Viewed:  4478 Time(s)

PaloArañado3.JPG



Coscuez_PaloArañado.JPG
 Description:
An illustration of the color variety of Colombian emeralds.
Crystal on the left is from Coscuez and exhibits a strong yellow cast.
Crystal on the right is from Palo Arañado (Chivor district) and exhibits a strong blue cast.
 Viewed:  4481 Time(s)

Coscuez_PaloArañado.JPG



IMG_1556.JPG
 Description:
Had a last cerveza in Munich-Bogota before heading back to Europe.
 Viewed:  4476 Time(s)

IMG_1556.JPG


Back to top
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Like
8
   
Display posts from previous:   
   Index -> Featured Columns of FMF   All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1
    

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


All pictures, text, design © Forum FMF 2006-2017


Powered by FMF