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Author Topic: Heading to the Harts Ranges  (Read 2878 times)

darttrev68

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Re: Heading to the Harts Ranges
« Reply #75 on: July 17, 2017, 08:45:18 AM »
Day 10 - Our second day at Mud Tank and our last day of the fossicking trip. We headed from Gemtree to the zircon field, continued to dig out our hole and process the wash. The morning sun showed up the zircons really well and we managed to continue to find a number of small crystals. 

The area where our hole was located - at the western end of "The Flats", closer to "Specimen Hill" - is where nicely formed crystals are known to exist. As a result, a number of the samples found had natural faces on them. At one point I removed a 3 cm crystal straight out of the wall of the hole, then a second 3 cm crystal fell out while I was digging. This was really good as it meant that both myself and my fossicking partner had a good one to take home.

We washed another 12 buckets of oversize and as the sun passed 3 o'clock the angle made it harder to pick the zircons out of the wash. We also noticed that our wash water was getting too muddy to properly clean the zircons and as a result we probably missed some of the smaller pieces when picking through the sieves. This is a lesson to be learnt when fossicking at Mud Tank, replace the wash water regularly, otherwise the zircons are too easily missed.

The good thing about staying at Gemtree - apart from the showers - is that there is water available for washing. Remember to bring the following if you ever decide to go to Mud Tank - 15L buckets x 6, washing tubs x 2, white topped table (or a sheet of flat iron), 20L water drums x 3, sieves - for both screening and washing.

The soil is hard clay and needs a good pick and shovel to get to the zircon layer. After that a small sharp pick and a scoop to fill the buckets with dirt is needed. Claw tools are also handy when digging.

The last tool needed is a magnet. This is used to identify the magnetite from the zircon, as when they are both covered in mud they are easily confused. Both are distinctly heavier than the quartz, but the zircon is not affected by the magnet.

As the sun headed down, we washed our last bucket of oversize and then went back to camp. The final pack up was done in readiness for our departure back to home in the morning... and so ends the fossicking trip to the Harts Ranges.
Cheers, from my little piece of the Australian Outback...
For mineral samples from the Broken Hill, Olary and Mount Painter districts checkout my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/curnamonaminerals

MrSydney

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Re: Heading to the Harts Ranges
« Reply #76 on: July 17, 2017, 10:10:42 AM »
Awesome reports!  What can I say.... just sounds amazing!

MakkyBrown

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Re: Heading to the Harts Ranges
« Reply #77 on: July 17, 2017, 10:19:54 AM »
Sounds like you had a great trip, thanks for the reports  :) Pity you couldn't find the sunstone spot, we got a bit lost aswell but after a good bit of xcountry driving found it. Track out of the river bed is real hard to locate.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 01:58:55 PM by MakkyBrown »
We are a family of 4 from Southern Tasmania.

Jamo

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Re: Heading to the Harts Ranges
« Reply #78 on: July 17, 2017, 12:43:00 PM »
darttrev a great report. Thanks. I dream of one day getting there and am hoping maybe 2018.
I hope as you go over your zircons collected you find some real stunners.
Baaa humbug, not enough fossicking time!

Gemster

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Re: Heading to the Harts Ranges
« Reply #79 on: July 17, 2017, 04:16:54 PM »
 ;) Sounds good... I hope the road is sealed soon...  The Sunstone spot is now under or about to be under Lease by a 'well' known Crystal Collector ::)

  Gemster beers

 

I swing a 12-pound hammer,smash gibbers by the ton
I used to think it convict work,but now i think it's FUN

Jimnyjerry

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Re: Heading to the Harts Ranges
« Reply #80 on: July 18, 2017, 07:56:11 AM »
Excellent report darttrev.  beers

Been to NT three times as a tourist and it is still on my wish list for fossicking.
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.

MrSydney

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Re: Heading to the Harts Ranges
« Reply #81 on: July 18, 2017, 12:41:41 PM »
Yes - I'd be really keen to hear / see how good the zircons are especially given the size of some of the stones you are picking up!  Also are they all clear of some colour through them?

I love the brilliance of the zircons - I think they are very underrated.

darttrev68

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Re: Heading to the Harts Ranges
« Reply #82 on: July 18, 2017, 09:45:40 PM »
Added some photos to the gallery including these Mud Tank Zircons

« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 07:43:43 AM by Aussie Sapphire »
Cheers, from my little piece of the Australian Outback...
For mineral samples from the Broken Hill, Olary and Mount Painter districts checkout my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/curnamonaminerals

Lapis Lupinus

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Re: Heading to the Harts Ranges
« Reply #83 on: July 18, 2017, 10:38:08 PM »
There's a good range of interesting stones there. Wouldn't mind some myself.

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