Posted in abandoned, abandoned mines, abandoned mines in Ontario, adventure in Ontario, Adventures, Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, bizzare, Buy The Book, collecting rocks near Bancroft, crazy things, exploration, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, geology, history, industrial archeology, Interesting, Life, mine, mines in northern Ontario, My Book, my life, Nature/Outdoors, ontario, Ontario geography, Ontario Underground, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, Personal, Photography, photos, picture of, rock collecting, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, sapphires, strange places, Travel, tunnels, Uncategorized, underground, underground Ontario, urban exploration, tagged abandoned mines in Northern Ontario, Boulter road near Bancroft, collecting minerals near Bancroft, collecting minerals near Craigmont, corundum, corundum in Northern Ontario, Corundum in Ontario, corundum near bancroft, Craigmont, nepheline syenites, old mine tunnels, Ontario rockhound, rock Hounding, rockhound, rockhounding, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, sapphires in Ontario, Syenite, syenite in Ontario, Syenite under Robillard Mountain on January 29, 2011 |
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Beneath Robillard Mountain
Craigmont is about as distant from the reach of the modern world as you are likely to get in the “near north”. Indeed it appears on the map as a substantial settlement but as you cruise up Boulter road you become aware of how far you really are, both geographically and culturally from the bustle of Southern Ontario.
Coasting over hills that stretch off greenish-blue into the summer haze it seems as though you are crossing into a time warp. Meadows are saturated with intense colour and high pastoral fields line the road, strewn with orange and yellow flowers. Beyond this lies the valley of the “Little Mississippi River”. Spike-topped conifers wander unbroken to the horizon and in hillside fields lazy cows watch disinterestedly at the crumbling demise of old log barns.
As a collecting locale, Craigmont is remarkable. Not only is the beauty unsurpassed but its minerals are spectacular. Corundum here is found in large euhedral (perfectly formed) specimens; lapidaries have been known to cut them into cabochons. In their book, “Rocks and Minerals of Ontario” the Ontario Department of Mines say that there are unusual curved mica crystals. Garnets, molybdenite, allanite, uranite, euxenite, magnetite, pyrite and hornblende also appear from time to time.
Blink and you just might glide past Craigmont. The inhabited part is now a private town. It exists as a cluster of houses, barns and sheds and around it the vegetables flourish in earthy rows.
Robillard Mountain is situated within sight of the present habitation; an impressive upheaval of rugged red rock. Some twenty separate excavations scar its slopes.
As a general rule most corundum is found in pegmatites and structures associated with nepheline syenites. In this area north of Bancroft the most abundant deposits (corundum) are said to be sandwiched between scapolite, nepheline andesine and a band of alkaline syenite.
I took a hike beneath the mountain to see the syenite from below.
More on corundum in Craigmont here …
Check out this abandoned mine in Cobalt ... Here
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Posted in abandoned mines, abandoned mines in Ontario, adventure in Ontario, Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, books, Buy The Book, Canada, collecting rocks near Bancroft, corundum, crystals, environment, exploration, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, geology, Interesting, lapidary, Life, looking for gems, mine, My Book, my life, nature, Nature/Outdoors, ontario, Ontario's geology, Photography, photos, picture of, rock collecting, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, sapphires, strange places, Travel, tagged Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, corundum, crystal zoning, crystals, gems, minerals, ontario, rock and gems, rockhounding, rocks and minerals, rough sapphire on November 23, 2008 |
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finding sapphires in Ontario
I found the blackish crystal encased in calcite at the Faraday Hill road cut near Bancroft; only the tip was protruding from the rock and I roughly chipped it out and dissolved the calcite from it using Coca Cola.
The two rough reddish crystals are Mysore Rubies from India – not woth much at all and the cab is also from India, I bought it from Sahib for a couple of dollars – its way to opaque to be of much value but I liked the way it showed the zoning so clearly.
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