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Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.
  
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2013 12:36    Post subject: Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.  

I have often heard about Blesberg mine and on my recent Northern Cape trip, decided to make Blesberg my main destination. I spent 2 days walking a good number of kilometers around and on the mountain checking every possible place that showed an interest. Blesberg is a pegmatite (or to me, rather a number of pegmatites). The mine is no more functioning but in it's day it was mined for tantalite, feldspar, mica, beryl and spondumene. Quartz crystals, apatite, monazite and phenakite were also found. My knowledge of minerals is limited, so I will not attempt to venture beyond my limitations. May you enjoy the trip with me.


P1200652.JPG
 Description:
Blesberg mine from the Western side
 Viewed:  16898 Time(s)

P1200652.JPG



P1200657.JPG
 Description:
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P1200657.JPG



P1200660.JPG
 Description:
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P1200660.JPG



P1200661.JPG
 Description:
 Viewed:  16899 Time(s)

P1200661.JPG



P1200664.JPG
 Description:
I was told by someone that this pocket yielded stunning smoky quartz crystals. The pocket is about 1 meter wide and out of reach.
 Viewed:  16904 Time(s)

P1200664.JPG



P1200665.JPG
 Description:
Smoky quartz crystal; not worth removing.
 Viewed:  16875 Time(s)

P1200665.JPG



P1200666.JPG
 Description:
 Viewed:  16877 Time(s)

P1200666.JPG



P1200668.JPG
 Description:
 Viewed:  16907 Time(s)

P1200668.JPG



P1200672.JPG
 Description:
Copper related mineral on quartz.
 Viewed:  16899 Time(s)

P1200672.JPG



P1200673.JPG
 Description:
Beryl and spondumene
 Viewed:  16893 Time(s)

P1200673.JPG



P1200674.JPG
 Description:
Copper related mineral (I think)
 Viewed:  16889 Time(s)

P1200674.JPG



P1200675.JPG
 Description:
The cavity left by a large (more than a meter long) spondumene crystal that was removed (doubtfully intact)
 Viewed:  16875 Time(s)

P1200675.JPG



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Mike Wood




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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2013 12:52    Post subject: Re: Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.  

Looks like mineral collecting paradise to me Pierre ! A mountain full of abandoned pegmatite workings in the middle of nowhere under a azure blue sky....mmm... nice.
Regards, Mike
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2013 13:54    Post subject: Re: Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.  

Mike Wood wrote:
Looks like mineral collecting paradise to me Pierre ! A mountain full of abandoned pegmatite workings in the middle of nowhere under a azure blue sky....mmm... nice.
Regards, Mike


Hi Mike. Being a quartz man, I was disappointed in only finding a few small (nice) smoky quartz crystals. I still need to clean and photograph them. Here are a few more photos of Blesberg and vicinity.



P1200677.JPG
 Description:
Feldspar.
 Viewed:  16863 Time(s)

P1200677.JPG



P1200678.JPG
 Description:
Beryl.
 Viewed:  16847 Time(s)

P1200678.JPG



P1200679.JPG
 Description:
More copper related mineral on quartz.
 Viewed:  16871 Time(s)

P1200679.JPG



P1200680.JPG
 Description:
 Viewed:  16874 Time(s)

P1200680.JPG



P1200684.JPG
 Description:
 Viewed:  16861 Time(s)

P1200684.JPG



P1200685.JPG
 Description:
Mica.
 Viewed:  16864 Time(s)

P1200685.JPG



P1200686.JPG
 Description:
More cavities where large spondumene crystals were removed.
 Viewed:  16859 Time(s)

P1200686.JPG



P1200690.JPG
 Description:
Smoky quartz in rock.
 Viewed:  16857 Time(s)

P1200690.JPG



P1200697.JPG
 Description:
Kosie and his wife are all that is left of the mining staff. They live in a house at the bottom of the mine (about 50 km from Steinkopf) and earn a living breaking quartz for nurseries.
 Viewed:  16870 Time(s)

P1200697.JPG



P1200654.JPG
 Description:
Kosie and his wife's work.
 Viewed:  16865 Time(s)

P1200654.JPG



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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2013 07:15    Post subject: Re: Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.  

Here are a few more pics from Blesberg and vicinity.


P1200707.JPG
 Description:
A family of Duikers on Blesberg.
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P1200707.JPG



P1200704.JPG
 Description:
A grasshopper sits well camouflaged between pebbles.
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P1200704.JPG



P1200716.JPG
 Description:
A view from the Blesberg facing North.
 Viewed:  16762 Time(s)

P1200716.JPG



P1200643.JPG
 Description:
Everywhere weathered quartz veins surface with an interesting variety of quartz.
 Viewed:  16853 Time(s)

P1200643.JPG



P1200644.JPG
 Description:
Typical quartz from last mentioned quartz veins.
 Viewed:  16774 Time(s)

P1200644.JPG



P1200628.JPG
 Description:
 Viewed:  16761 Time(s)

P1200628.JPG



P1200629.JPG
 Description:
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P1200629.JPG



P1200630.JPG
 Description:
 Viewed:  16762 Time(s)

P1200630.JPG



P1200656.JPG
 Description:
 Viewed:  16755 Time(s)

P1200656.JPG



P1200590.JPG
 Description:
Puff-adder, responsible for the vast majority of snakebites in SA.
 Viewed:  16757 Time(s)

P1200590.JPG



P1200719.JPG
 Description:
A smoky quartz vein that has been exploited.
 Viewed:  16783 Time(s)

P1200719.JPG



P1200720.JPG
 Description:
Piece of smoky quartz left behind at above site.
 Viewed:  16765 Time(s)

P1200720.JPG



P1200721.JPG
 Description:
Another piece from the same.
 Viewed:  16783 Time(s)

P1200721.JPG



P1200647.JPG
 Description:
All around the mountain, and adjoining hills, excavations have been made - in search of what? Possibly tantalite.
 Viewed:  16768 Time(s)

P1200647.JPG



P1200726.JPG
 Description:
Koker boom (quiver trees) on Blesberg.
 Viewed:  16761 Time(s)

P1200726.JPG



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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2013 07:45    Post subject: Re: Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.  

A few more pics.


P1200729.JPG
 Description:
A prominent vein (one of many) on an adjoining hill.
 Viewed:  16756 Time(s)

P1200729.JPG



P1200730.JPG
 Description:
Another smoky quartz vein that was mined for, possibly, smoky quartz crystals.
 Viewed:  16732 Time(s)

P1200730.JPG



P1200731.JPG
 Description:
A piece of smoky quartz from this vein.
 Viewed:  16726 Time(s)

P1200731.JPG



P1200886.JPG
 Description:
Epidote from Blesberg.

81 x 60 x 27 mm
 Viewed:  16740 Time(s)

P1200886.JPG



P1200861.JPG
 Description:
Smoky quartz
Blesberg, Northern Cape, SA.
93 x 32 x 23 mm
 Viewed:  16738 Time(s)

P1200861.JPG



P1200872.JPG
 Description:
Smoky quartz
Blesberg, Northern Cape, SA.
45 x 32 x 31 mm
 Viewed:  16739 Time(s)

P1200872.JPG



P1200874.JPG
 Description:
An unknown vein in quartz.
 Viewed:  16741 Time(s)

P1200874.JPG



P1200877.JPG
 Description:
Spondumene. Hand for size.
 Viewed:  16738 Time(s)

P1200877.JPG



P1200880.JPG
 Description:
Beryl, spondumene crystal? Hand for size.
 Viewed:  16743 Time(s)

P1200880.JPG



P1200735.JPG
 Description:
Quiver tree.
 Viewed:  16744 Time(s)

P1200735.JPG



P1200740.JPG
 Description:
Sunset to the West side of Blesberg, the red clouds indicating welcome rain which did come the next day.
 Viewed:  16738 Time(s)

P1200740.JPG



P1200746.JPG
 Description:
Just 5 km from Blesberg (close to the Namibia border) is the entrance to another mine, Swartberg. The building in the picture was a little roadside shop. When the owner, who also sold minerals, died the place closed down and was plundered.
 Viewed:  16772 Time(s)

P1200746.JPG



P1200747.JPG
 Description:
Koekepan or ore wagon in front of above building.
 Viewed:  16744 Time(s)

P1200747.JPG



P1200751.JPG
 Description:
Swartberg (Black mountain) feldspar mine.
 Viewed:  16800 Time(s)

P1200751.JPG



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Joan Martinez Bruguera




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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2013 09:08    Post subject: Re: Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.  

Very interesting the excursion Pierre.
Thank you very much for showing the article.
Please more!
Regards ;-)
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2013 10:01    Post subject: Re: Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.  

Joan Martinez Bruguera wrote:
Very interesting the excursion Pierre.
Thank you very much for showing the article.
Please more!
Regards ;-)


Hi Joan Martinez. You always say kind things. Thank you:-) Unfortunately I have only one more photo. The wording is in Afrikaans, but I will translate it.



P1200749.JPG
 Description:
Mr Gauche. His son currently has the mining rights on Blesberg and Swartberg mines.
 Viewed:  16715 Time(s)

P1200749.JPG



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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2013 10:05    Post subject: Re: Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.  

The translation: 'Gauche at tantalite that he mined at Blesberg mine in 1965. He exported 60 tonnes to the U.S.A. Tantalite is still being used today in sophisticated electronic equipment and is worldwide a rare mineral'.

I photographed this from an old mine magazine at the manager's office at Swartberg mine.

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chris
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2013 10:17    Post subject: Re: Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.  

Hello Pierre,

Thanks for the report. Always a pleasure to enjoy your articles between crystal hunting & SA scenery. Let's hope you'll find a huge quartz pocket next time.

Christophe
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2013 10:36    Post subject: Re: Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.  

chris wrote:
Hello Pierre,

Thanks for the report. Always a pleasure to enjoy your articles between crystal hunting & SA scenery. Let's hope you'll find a huge quartz pocket next time.

Christophe


Thanks Christophe. I like that huge pocket bit. Please may it be tourmaline, gemmy blue!!!

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Don Lum




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PostPosted: Sep 07, 2013 11:16    Post subject: Re: Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.  

Hi Pierre,

Interesting pictures and commentary.

Thanks.

Don

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PostPosted: Sep 07, 2013 11:26    Post subject: Re: Blesberg mine, Northern Cape, South Africa.  

Don Lum wrote:
Hi Pierre,

Interesting pictures and commentary.

Thanks.

Don


Thank you very much Don. It is a pleasure:-) :-)

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