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 Post subject: Lane's Bismuth Mine
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:54 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Fairfield, CT
Hey guys!

For all those who visited Lane's Bismuth Mine in Monroe Connecticut, I've identified many of the minerals in the deposit sucesfully and although we didn't find too many good larger specimens yesterday, It seems like a fairly good locality for the micromounter :D

OK, so the ore mineral was Bismuthinite- Bi2S3 which is easy to purify- just roast the crushed oreat about 600 degrees celsius to extract the impure Bismuth (III) Oxide (I'm guessing it probably contained impurities of U, Te, Ag, Cu, W, and Fe so it wasn't good enough for use yet.

Associated with the Bismuthinite was Bismite (Little orange or yellow crystals and crusts) which is naturally occuring Bismuth (III) Oxide.I found a couple of nice examples of microcrystals under the 'scope. Bismite, like Limonite in Fe deposits is created through weatherng of the ore body attributed to exposure to moisture.

I also found Sphalerite, Pyrite, Limonite and Pyrolusite but those are fairly minor constituents.



As we observed, the ore wasn't too productive as I would estimate that about a kilo of ore would yield only a max of 5 or 6 grams of pure bismuth metal. This explains exactly why the workings weren't too developed as it would probably generate negative profit refining the Bismuth from the ore.

Happy Mining,

Jeremy :mrgreen:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:17 am
Posts: 755
Location: Monroe, CT
Hey Jeremy- I will post some info on Lanes mine when I find it. I was amazed how small the vein of Bismuthinite was, it must have been very valuable at the time it was mined to constitute even these small workings plus the cost of refining it. I will keep you posted for our next trip, and we still need to go underground at trumbull mine! -Mike


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 Post subject: On the subject of bismuth...
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:54 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Fairfield, CT
I don't exactly know if it was very useful at the time- many of bismuth's uses are environmentally friendly substitutes for lead and at the turn of the century the regulations on dumping toxic material weren't exactly too extensive as we know. I do know it was occasionally used as a soldering material for low-temp apps because when alloyed with lead, zinc, and cadmium some interesting low-melting alloys form (i.e. woods metal- fun stuff :D ). Bismuth is actually quite rare, rarer then silveror platinum at 4.6x10^-3 ppm in the earth's crust. It's nearly as rare as gold but the reason it's so cheap is because of it's ease of refinability. Reduction of the yelloy oxide on a proportionate amont of charcoal powder. Bismuth is fascinating stuff- It was formerly thought to be the heaviest stable element but recently an experiment was done to find that it's slightly radioactive making Thallium the heaviest stable element. Also, it is the most diamagnetic metal- It is able to make a NdFeB magnet levitate when placed between two reasonably thick disks of the material. It's a real cool experiment to do. Still, the bismuthinite ore was extremely unproductive when compared to the Canadian or Bolivian stuff.

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OK kids, let's get this straight, When I talk about rocks, I'm not talking about THOSE types of rocks....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:28 pm
Posts: 1764
Location: Winnemucca, NV
A while back I purchased about 16 ounces of 99.99% bismuth metal and NIB magnets and tried the levitation experiment. I wasn't successful at exposing bismuth's diamagnetic properties but I did not build it to spec. However, I have suspended various weakly magnetic materials on a string including hematite and been able to attract them to the magnet wheras any normal strength magnet wouldn't have even had the slightest pull. I am definitely interested in looking into the levitation experiment again.

By the way, I should add that those NIB magnets are dangerous! Many finger pinches and one warped monitor later, I can attest to their strength!

Miner Mike

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"If you thought old, abandoned mines were only in the west, then you haven't been to IronMiners.com!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:54 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Fairfield, CT
Try the kit from unitednuclear.com, It looks pretty good to me but the thing that probably affects it most is tthe shape of the slugs. The rare earth magnets are fun though. You would never expect something of their sizeto be that extraordinarily powerful. They probably can't ship large quantites by air because they would majorly screw up the nav systems of the plane. Something to try- make an amalgam of bismuth and mercury- they are both strong diamagnetics so the properties might be multiplied if they are intersuspended.

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OK kids, let's get this straight, When I talk about rocks, I'm not talking about THOSE types of rocks....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:23 pm
Posts: 98
Location: Closest to the Roxbury mine, CT
Hey Jeremy, If you remember I said I was going to look for kyanite up in washinton depot, which you thought was off limits. Well I found a bunch in a quartz vein about 8" wide. I got the superficial 1" of the kyanite out with an hour of hammering. I got some good samples but not great most of the blades were really intergrated with the quartz. The stuff that I didn't have time to start on was pure blue, with well defined blade like cystals. Some time soon I'll be hiking back there with a sledge and a huge chisel to finish it off.

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If exploring mines is wrong, then baby... I don't want to be right.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:54 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Fairfield, CT
Hey, I just didn't want you to get in trouble. Soundslike it's relatively safe so I'd definately go. It's just that some people get really annoyed with collectors on their property. I would like to see the specimens sometime! Also, you have directions? I've never been there but I just won a specimen from there in a mineral auction.

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OK kids, let's get this straight, When I talk about rocks, I'm not talking about THOSE types of rocks....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 9:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:23 pm
Posts: 98
Location: Closest to the Roxbury mine, CT
Take tunnel road up to a pull off on the left just before a house. The pull off is blocked off with stones as it used to be the continuation of tunnel road. Then you hike in ΒΌ mile on road to the power lines. There are random outcrops spread out in the area around the power lines, I was able to find one so far.

Have you heard of the Merryall mine/Quarry? I am trying to pin point it, so far I have the general area within a square mile. They mined books of mica, and gem quality beryl.

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If exploring mines is wrong, then baby... I don't want to be right.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:54 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Fairfield, CT
Merryall Quarry, also known as the Roebling Gem Mine is one of the great CT localities in my opinion! I have 2 very high quality beryl crystals from there- they are huge (one is about 7cm across!) and yes, quite gemmy. I would like to know if you find it; As far as I know, it's been completely lost to collectors. Oh minerals found there that I have seen are Beryl- both heliodor and aquamarine, autunite, hyalite, morganite, and I think I saw a pollucite and a columbite from there.

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OK kids, let's get this straight, When I talk about rocks, I'm not talking about THOSE types of rocks....


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