The most important information for a beginner prospector of mineral deposits
If you dream about starting the search for mineral deposits, you should learn some important information, thanks to which you will easily find beautiful specimens. It is worth mentioning at the beginning that not all the raw materials can be obtained by a beginner. Most of them must be operated by professional companies that have the appropriate equipment and machines.
What are mineral deposits and what is their classification?
Mineral deposits are accumulated minerals in parts of the Earth’s crust that have been formed by the action of geological processes. They differ from resources in that they are present in such quantity and in such geological and economic conditions that their exploitation is profitable. In the economic industry, they are divided into two types: balance- the exploitation of which is profitable; off-balance sheet – are currently unprofitable, however, it is assumed that their extraction will be profitable in the not too distant future.
The second way to break down deposits is to take into account their economic importance. The classification is as follows:
- mineral waters – brines, sorrel and radial waters
- chemical raw materials – native sulfur, phosphates, salt, saltpeter
- glass and ceramic raw materials – some types of clay and clays, quartz sands
- energy resources – lignite and hard coal, natural gas, crude oil, peat, uranium ore
- building materials – binding materials (anhydrite and limestones), cut stone (sandstone and granite), decorative stone (marble, sandstone and granite), artificial aggregate (melaphyre and basalt) and natural aggregate (sand and gravel)
- ores and metal ores – incl. magnetite, aluminum, manganese, zinc, gold, silver, lead
- semi-precious and precious stones – garnet, rock crystal, tourmaline, diamond, beryl
Additionally, the deposits can be divided depending on the form of occurrence or below the lithosphere. Stands out:
- crumb bed,
- seams – copper ores and hard coal,
- secretions and concretions,
- dome- gypsum and rock salt.
Thanks to the knowledge of the above classifications, you can think about such raw materials the most. After reading the basics, you will be presented with places where you can start the adventure of searching for mineral deposits .
How to prepare for the search? Advice for novice explorers
Before we set off on an adventure, it is worth gaining basic knowledge about the area where we want to start searching. It is worth reaching for a map (topographic, geological, tourist or even Google Earth) and a book that will provide us with information about the topography. Particular attention should be paid to natural exposures (cliffs and slopes) and artificial (road slopes, quarries, drainage ditches and gravel pits). Active quarries and mines are best penetrated after the shooting, because then there is the best chance to extract beautiful loot. Most important, however, is the director’s permission to enter. It is not needed for old quarries, places equally rich in unusual specimens. However, this way to look for mineral depositsit is definitely more time-consuming and requires more effort, because you have to break the blocks yourself.
Perfect places for mineral seekers
Mineral deposits are often non-accidental places, so before searching, it is worth finding out where it is worth sending the group of conquerors. Many interesting specimens can be found on mine heaps, especially those freshly fertilized. It is in the new landfills that the most interesting minerals can be extracted. If we are among the old heaps, it should be remembered that they are usually already worn out, so it is worth digging the inner layers.
Post-mining heaps can be divided into heaps of metal ore mines, where it is easy to find ore minerals (arsenopyrite, sphalerite, hematite, chalcopyrite) and weathering (chrysocolla, goethite, malachite). In the case of coal mines, their heaps usually contain samples of sedimentary rocks, and even imprints of Carboniferous plants.
Lignite mines and gravel pits are the second suggestion of places to look for mineral deposits. When deciding on such areas, you should gain extensive knowledge. By reading the relevant literature, you will know how to track down the right quarry deposits. However, the most important thing is to look for cracks and any gaps where the crystals grow freely. Grenades are often found in gravel pits, while marcasite spherical concretions are popular in lignite mines.
A few tips at the end
If you have properly prepared for the trip, you will definitely come back with beautiful specimens. However, while searching for mineral deposits, it is worth remembering that:
- minerals are very often in clusters and it is worth extracting all of them,
- Rash removal of excess rock should be avoided if the specimen is fragile as it is easily damaged,
- you must not hit the crystal brushes and the crystals themselves with a hammer, because they will be destroyed,
- in the case of clusters, it is worth using several chisels, gradually hammering them along the entire length of the slot.
By following the tips above, you are sure to be a successful mineral hunter.