Loosen up that wrist and grab your mouse! We're joining the Yucaipa Valley Gem and Mineral Society on a field trip to the Omya Mine, a limestone mine south of Lucerne Valley in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. The quarries there produce ultra-pure calcium carbonate that is used in a variety of applications such as pharmaceuticals, plastics, paint and food. However, associated with the limestone are numerous other minerals to make a rockhound's heart beat faster. These include chrysocolla, malachite, azurite, rhodocrhosite, garnet, pyrite, sphalerite, galena, magnetite, and epidote. As if that weren't enough, there are also numerous brilliant fluorescent minerals that come from the White Knob Quarry! The Omya Mine not only provided hard hats and protective goggles, but they also prepared a wonderful introductory lecture and video to explain the mining process. Samples of the various minerals found at the quarries were passed around and a demonstration of the fluorescent properties of the various minerals was given. The lead geologist, Howard Brown, joined the group and provided answers to all our questions. His pride and passion for the quarry was easily seen in his dynamic and helpful manner. Well, what are we waiting for, let's get going by clicking on the photo link below.
You can view these rocks fluorescing on our return trip in the dark with our black lights in hand.