Rivista Italiana di Gemmologia #2: Available NOW in English - September 2017; See Gemological Articles below for full details!
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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:01 am 
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Guess what just for the fun of it.
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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:03 am 
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Corrundum, Leydsdorp South Africa.
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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:13 am 
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Beryl, Aquamarine, Angola.
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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:34 am 
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Well the green bits on the white plate are Emerald.

Is anything going on in Leydsdorp, last visit the steaks were enormous and cheap, all the trophies on the wall in the bar were full of bullet holes, as was the ceiling, all round a very unusual visit, spent only 1 night and moved on to Selati.

Nice Corundum specimens.


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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:25 am 
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Hey Sean. Leydsdorp one of those magical little places. I was hoping to find gem quality at the time 1991 but came across a few of these specimens, gave them way at the time. there is also beryl in that area but did not find any. Spent 6 months in Gravellot on assignment from the JCI mining group at the time I was there. Looking at going up to DRC with Anglogold Ashanti in the next couple of weeks. I would however like to do some prospecting in South Sudan, very new territory and I have some governmental contacts there. Just have to observe my financial situation over the next couple of months. My partner was up there six months ago and found platinum reef at a 38gr/ton grade. Problem is that our finances are tied up in South African Platinum Mine that has been severely crippled by the strikes in the first half of the year and seems as if tensions towards strikes are rising again.


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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:29 am 
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Sean Lines wrote:
Well the green bits on the white plate are Emerald.

Is anything going on in Leydsdorp, last visit the steaks were enormous and cheap, all the trophies on the wall in the bar were full of bullet holes, as was the ceiling, all round a very unusual visit, spent only 1 night and moved on to Selati.

Nice Corundum specimens.

Yep at the time offered to me at $5 /ct. Will look at it next time I go to Zambia, but I am a little afraid of the implications that could result from such a deal.


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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:25 am 
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Well the trick is to let the sellers take the risk, agree on a price and let them travel to Messina, no crime is commited, pay for transport and all is good, stops them from trying to push you to buy junk as you can back out by paying for transport back.

Yep in the good old 90's I just took the risk, came back with kilo's of amethyst from Sinazongwe, heaps of emerald and being fearless declared nothing. I would not do the same today, that's why the sellers must come to the market, it's cheap enough for the miners and middlemen to get around and Zambian fuel is the most expensive I've come across on the continent. Tequila and beer were best bought in advance, which we did, made us bullet proof too.

Good luck with the ventures in Sudan, beer is expensive but cheaper than water unless you go for river water, the trick is to find one.

Cheers,
Sean.


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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:16 pm 
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White and the Blue Nile run through South Sudan, its just the water is not drinkable without treatment. Base for exploration in South Sudan is Aweil. Lots of alluvial gold deposits there.
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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:35 am 
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ImageMalacite from Tsumeb, Namibia


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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:28 am 
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Pictures a little blurry but I'd guess Phrenite from Namibia.

Nice looking gold samples. I found the place(Southern Sudan) either very hot and dry with a lot of dust when the wind blew, or very hot and humid when it rained, at which point the dust turned to mud, and rain it certainly can, in fact keeping a camp above water is not easy.

The Blue connects the white Nile at Khartoum, effectively a different country now, it's a big country so you can't just stroll over for a sip and when it's not raining water is a big problem. Beer is much easier, the alcohol kills some of the bugs. I was once stuck for 2 days with my wife, a bottle of multivitamins and a case of beer, thinking we'd be at our camp in an hour or 2, one downpour and we were driving in a sea of septic water before we got stuck. Luckily our camp staff had had enough as the camp was under water as well and we met on foot, us walking towards them and them trying to get away from the camp, unplanned but happy reunion. Freed the vehicle with the extra manpower and got all to dry ground. We did have nothing but beer and Multivitamins for 2 days though.

I digress to often. Exciting looking venture on the cards for you, ah then to digress a bit further, be very careful of the concession rights of the original concession holder before going in too deep.
When the civil war broke out most of the prospectors simply declared Force Majeur, be it timber, gold or oil concessions and those agreements are still valid to this day. I'm not talking about the recent war, no the original one 35 years ago. Ask White Nile and Tusk energy how it turned out when they drilled in Total's concession, heads up, a 70 m$ hole in the pocket. It should be available on a web search.

Good luck though,

Sean.


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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:53 am 
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as far as i know there are no mineral cons-sessions in the area we are speaking about. that is as far as the province governor is concerned.


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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:15 am 
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I worked for Medecins Sans Frontiers/Doctors Without Borders in Wau, Sudan back in 2000-2001. It was not a nice place to be - it was a garrison town held by the North but surrounded on all sides by rebel-held territory.

Aweil was known to us because of the rail line. Once a year or so a train filled with supplies was escorted southward to Way by the Murahalleen (a tribe of mounted raiders, armed by Khartoum). These ruthless killers would rape and pillage its way southward from Khartoum to Wau, with Aweil being the closest town on the line to the north. Most of our radio status reports concerned the movement of this train and whether we needed to evacuate to safety, because even in town the Murahalleen were wild and would even kill the Northern soldiers.

When the train neared Aweil we would get an influx of internally-displaced flooding into Wau, as well as an increase in patients at the hospital we were running. And bodies arriving, too. These were put in the "morgue" - a tiny cinder-block hut with tin roof and a few shelves sticking out of the walls where the bodies were put. No refrigeration and only wire mesh on the windows. Ambient temperature was 40C-45C. I can't describe how bad it would smell some days.

I had a friend working with another chapter of MSF (the Belgians) who were in rebel territory just outside of Aweil at the same time I was in Wau. Every so often I'd get a message from her telling me about how they were being bombed by the North and having to rush to lie down in little trenches they dug for shelter. She eventually returned home, unable to stand the stress. And shortly after that, the Murahaleen arrived in Wau bearing all sorts of western equipment - coolers, blankets, HF radios, CDs, and laptops, all emblazoned with the MSF logo. Looted from our Belgian colleagues just 20-30 km north of us. It made us sick to our stomachs worrying about what happened to our colleagues. (They all escaped by running into the forest and abandoning everything. They were evacuated shortly afterwards.)

Even where we were, every night we'd hear gunfire and heavy machine guns - as the rebels tested and harried the Northern forces around the town. One memorable night there was an intense firefight just a dozen metres away from our residences - we cowered down on the floor while muzzle flashes lit the inside of the buildings, bullets bounced off the outside stone walls, and the whoosh-BLAM of RPGs shook the place. It was madness.

Now for the interesting stuff. In order to get gravel to build anything, we had to buy it from people who would stand in the river and sieve it out from the sandy bottom. It cost a fortune (relatively speaking). So we had a small pile of it against the wall of a building we were repairing, and every day I walked past it I would be pulling small transparent stones from it that caught my eye as the sun hit them. I have no idea what happened to them, and no idea what they were, but to this day I'm convinced there are gemstones in that river. I never mentioned this to anyone as that would have brought even more trouble to an already troubled region.

When I see that sack of gold and hear of minerals discovered in the area, I have two conflicting thoughts - I'd love to go back and poke around and see what I could find. And also that I hope no one ever finds any valuable minerals there, as it will just re-ignite the tensions and war that have ravaged the place for decades.

Loads of memories that I haven't thought of for years have just come flooding back...

-Allan

PS - a few years ago, when the South gained independence my replacement (a British police officer) went back to Wau to observe the elections. He told me that the Chief of Police was our head logistics staff we fired for theft. Almost all the high-ranking officials were former employees who I can recall were involved in some sort of theft, abuse of position, using our facilities/equipment for personal gain and so on. I wonder how I'd be received if I ever returned there.

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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:05 am 
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Macvan that's a really good one, cons-sessions, have to remember it for future reference. It is a very apt description of the eternal game played out.

Alan your recollections of those years are very thought provoking, I never went so far north, nevertheless the memory of the Antonovs flying over and barrel bombs rolling out the loading ramp seems to stick. I also remember the guys working the timber plantations having a hard time just getting it cut, so much shrapnel in the logs the blades would get damaged all the time.

I think it has vast mineral wealth, I hope it works out for the people there and have no desire to ever visit again.

I would not discourage others though, nothing ventured nothing gained.


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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:17 am 
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check this:

http://gemologyonline.com/Forum/phpBB2/ ... php?t=9218


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 Post subject: Re: Crystals.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:20 am 
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Location: The frozen north prairie :-/
I had forgotten those! Thanks for bringing them back around, Cascaillou! =D>

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