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Zeb Camper

Limonite and cuprite?

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Posted (edited)

Hey guys!

I went looking for the perfect tree to cut for an arched doorway to someday use in the building of a new shop. Instead I found myself on the creek looking for ore lol. 

I was wondering if I might have found limonite (pretty sure it is). Rusty rock that is pretty crumbly. I also (though unknowingly at the time) may have found cuprite. It's the red rock in the picture if you can see it. 

I also found pottery. Not sure how old. Prolly an old flower pot. 20190405_183659.jpg20190405_183707.jpg20190405_183818.jpg20190405_183627.jpg20190405_183633.jpg20190405_183636.jpg

What do you think? Worth the return journey? 

 

Edited by Zeb Camper
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Might be worth adding this. Lots of green color in this rock/sediment. Indication of copper? 

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Iron looks like maybe copper as well?

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The rusty crumbly stuff looks like low grade iron ore, which is not surprising given your location.  Lots of ore in the area.  The pottery is lead-glazed redware, dates (in your area) from 1760-ish to around 1840-ish.  Dunno about the other stuff, but copper ore is not common around here.

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Green colours could also be Nickel or even some iron complexes :)

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32 minutes ago, Troels Saabye said:

Green colours could also be Nickel or even some iron complexes :)

I did find more rocks that resemble what looks to match "nickle ore" in a Google image search... 

I imagine it is some form of different metal oxides. 

Also found rocks that may be described best as "molten" and bubbly, though not necessarily very irony/rusty or black looking. 

I need to go back today. 

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This has gotta be copper! 20190406_111709.jpg20190406_111723.jpg20190406_111637.jpg20190406_111730.jpg20190406_111739.jpg

also, look what I found on some quartz that had been fractured apart by ice! Looks like gold to me! 20190406_104848.jpg20190406_104948.jpg

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Well, I've been sick since Friday, so I've had plenty time to research. 

What I thought was copper (and looks just like it) is nothing more than a highly polished form of iron ore. I confirmed this by grinding into it on a wheel. It was reduced to a rust red powder and sparked some on hard spots, so I think it had magnetite in it. 

I'm not sure if I should go after the rusty limonite, or to go collect hematite. I know my buddy's house has tons of it. I think I have some around my shop too. 

 

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Get some of each and do this: http://www.leesauder.com/pdfs/dumplings.pdf

That will tell you which one has a higher yield.  I'm inclined to say the hematite will, just based on the color of the sandy stuff.  But that's not a real test, yellow iron oxide is just as good as red. The sandy stuff will be easier to crush after roasting, which is something to consider.

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Thanks Alan! I managed to sniffle and snot my way to the hill above my shop. I've got more of this stuff than I know what to do with.... Well I've got some ideas ;).

There are old iron mines just a couple miles from my shop. You can still see dinky tracks are still zig-zaged along a bank right before you get into "the holler" where my shop is. 

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Lucky!  All my local sources are pretty well played out.  Mined for iron from 1775-1935, then manganese from 1925-1960.  If you can find more of the brownish stuff on the right in that pic above, that looks like the good stuff.  

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Thanks!

Yeah, my shop is on "PICO" road. It got its name from the "Pulaski Iron Co." Operated sometime before and up till 1920. It got its name from the furnace that was located in pulaski county (to which the iron was sent by rail) Not many folks know about that particular mine. 

The other is not far from it. a buddy of mine lives near it. An old civil war smelter is not far from his house. I'd rather not say where. 

Knowing all this and I still had no idea all these red rocks were specular and sedimentary hemetite! 

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Mwah-ha-ha-hahaha!!! 

Got a lot more where this came from! I think the blue/black stuff is magnetite. Not sure how it'll bust up. Those 2 giant brown rocks may be limonite idk. But! I'm pretty sure Its all iron! And I know where a mountain of it is!

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If it's magnetic it's magnetite or maghemite.  If it's not magnetic, roast it up and see if it has become magnetic.  If it won't stick to a magnet after roasting it's not ore, at least not for our purposes.  Manganese is purple-black and often occurs as the bottom layer of limonite/goethite orebanks in the Appalachians.  

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Thanks! Yeah I wasn't sure what to grab. There's black ore, black with rust, brown with white specs, solid rust looking stuff like the ones In the pic (they're much redder in person). Purple ones too. 

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Ok, so I'm putting 2 and 2 together. This hill (pictured above) is at the old collapsed mine shaft (below)...

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a dump pile? I noted the presence of old knocked over smelters. 20190409_140501.jpg20190409_144652.jpg

Too small for commercial purposes... Test smelters? I also saw a very pretty piece of broken glass. Purple or magenta in color. Manganese oxide has been used as a pigment in glass making. Guess what color? I think this stuff may be manganese ore! I wonder if that's why they shut it down?

I gotta roast this junk! 

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Those foundations are probably for the boilers that powered the pumps to drain the mine.  No slag = no smelting.

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That one may have been a foundation, but you could see slag all over the second location (where the glass was found) , and in other areas as well. Coal too. See the big pile o' brick? And they said "special furnace" on them and evidence of slag stuck to them. 

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Posted (edited)

Sorry for the double pic.

But! Coulda been an old powerhouse location. 

Still doesn't explain the slag. They were melting something somewhere Cuz it was in areas on the trails too.

And I mean like glassy shiny bubbly slag. One spot was full of it and coal as well as bricks. I was wondering if the mine location at least had been used a lot earlier than the 20th century and later being mined because it was already a known location. Now I wonder if it was to test the ore. 

Edited by Zeb Camper

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Bubbly?  Not massive chunks? That spells bloomery.  I suspect, if there is a source of water power nearby (like that creek), that there was a bloomery there well before they started supplying the blast furnaces they were hauling it to later.  Bloomeries don't typically leave much trace on the surface.  And they may have kept it up for mining needs, not just assays.  Cool stuff!  I need (or you do) to look at Leslie...

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And Leslie is this: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Iron_Manufacturer_s_Guide_to_the_Fur.html?id=g94LAwAAQBAJ

Somewhere there was a free PDF of it, because I have a copy.  And here it is! https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006563140

Deadly dull, but you might be able to find the history of your little patch of the iron range...

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Posted (edited)

Also, even after roasting, it may still be non-magnetic yet still good to smelt. There may be some reduction during the roast and therefor some change in color.

Edited by Eric Dennis
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Posted (edited)

Thanks guys!

And there is a creek nearby. It begins and now runs over the entrance of the mine (pictured above) and floods the interior and all the way down the valley and infront of my property. The creek was near that site with the brick pile but also further up on the trails going up the mountain IIRC.

It's all puzzling to me. 

I'll try my best to figure out more. 

Edited by Zeb Camper

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Posted (edited)

Im sure I'm boring people to death, but I figured I would add today's discovery for the benefit of the next dummy that drags a useless rock out of the woods.

Guess what? This red rock is chert. Don't get it twisted, this junk might make you a blade, but your gonna have to knap it. Not enough fire involved in it for my taste though. The fact that I thought it was ore; was it irony, ore is this a bad pun? 20190413_112508.jpg

But on the bright side, I've got plenty more hematite just laying around in the driveway. It ever so slightly pulls a magnet already. 20190413_120412.jpg20190413_120954.jpg

I guess I gotta figure out how to roast this stuff. Another thing I'd like to do is find some limonite as I hear it naturally has more phosphorus in it. The two might make for some nice torsion bars. 

 

Edited by Zeb Camper
Misspelled my bad joke

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