Monday, November 15, 2010

Report on the 31st Annual New Mexico Mineral Symposium

by Lee Stockman

The 31st Annual New Mexico Mineral Symposium drew a record number of geologist, mineralogists and rock hounds to Socorro for the two day meeting. Sixteen speakers presented discussions ranging from mining artifacts and papers to discussions of mineral collecting and history in various localities from Quebec to the Kearney Mine at Hanover. Mineral and mining knowledge was interspersed with humor, beverages and good food making the Symposium a worthy event.

Some of the presentations dealt with mineral collecting sites in Quebec, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado and Utah. Other parts of New Mexico were discussed in three reports and Grant and Hidalgo Counties in southwestern New Mexico was more than adequately represented with reports on four localities.

Ron Gibbs reported in a short talk about some rare and only recently identified minerals collected at Granite Gap. Robert Walstrom reported on mineral collecting in the Apache Hills, east of Hatchita, Travis Cato told about collecting at Mt. Watson, in what we call the Turkey Creek Fluorite area, and Jack Burgess reported on the fabulously rich zinc ores and the operation of the Kearney (pronounced Karney) Mine at Hanover. Talks were illustrated with numerous photos of mineral specimens, a significant number of them, micro minerals.

If you are particularly interested in minerals you may wish to check this web site for an organization, Friends of Mineralogy, at:

For the last two years, several of the presenters talked about mining artifacts and memorabilia including carbide lamps and blasting supplies and containers. Ross Arrington reported on the paper documentation of mining operations, and how he found some reports from the old mine of Carlisle signed by a young mining engineer, Herbert Hoover. Those interested in mining artifacts should check the internet magazine at:

Abstracts of the talks at last year’s symposium are available at:
Abstracts of this year’s Symposium will be published in the quarterly New Mexico Geology later in the year.

I came away from the Symposium with two major impressions. One, there sure is a lot more I need to learn about nomenclature and crystal structure of minerals, and Two, the quality of the presentations that we, the Rolling Stones, have at our meetings, while maybe not as deep technically as those at the symposium, are professionally presented and we should be proud of the fine job our speakers do.

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