Go Go Jason Waterfalls!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Last month, I went rockhounding up in the Cobalt area, 140 km north of North Bay. I went with my Great Uncle and 3 members of my rock club. The 3 other members go there often, looking for silver. Cobalt and the surrounding area was famous for the amount of silver hauled out of the numerous mines. The weather was miserable, so we were collecting in the rain for most of trip.

We stayed at a hunting camp just south of Cobalt, on the shore of Lake Temiskaming. You could see Quebec on the other side. There are mine shafts all over the place, many of which haven't been capped, or even marked off with fencing. You have to watch where you step, lest you fall down a few hundred feet. We collected at old abandoned mine sites here and there, including some of the famous and most successful ones in the area known as Silver Centre.

I was lent a metal detector, set to ignore iron, but still pick up silver and other metals. I found a pop tab on the beach. One foot beneath the surface. Through clay. I did find some samples of silver and other minerals. I found a lot of cobaltite (silver in colour) and bright pink erythrite (which cobaltite decays into). There was also a lot of nickeline (coppery-silver in colour) and annabergite, a bright sea green mineral (the decayed form of nickeline). I found a few good pieces of silver, too.

I explored a bit around the Keeley and Frontier mines, right along the most abundant discovery of silver: the Wood's Vein. The concrete foundation of the old refining plant is sill there, and I found a couple of iron mill balls. There was a lot of really pretty creamy-pink calcite around the Keeley's ore dumps, and some lovely black rock with olive green veins.

Before heading back home, we stopped in at the mining museum in Cobalt. They had many, many high-grade samples of silver, from huge cut slabs, to fine naturally-formed wires. The mayoral chain of office was on display, too. It's made of a number of large (~4"x 2") rough discs (organically shaped) of solid silver!

No comments:

Post a Comment