St Andrews visit Mountain Pass Rare Earth Deposit

Adrian Finch and Nicky Horsburgh took part in the SEG sponsored field course to the Mojave Block, examining the geology of commercially significant rocks in the Mojave region. The trip was run by Bill Chavez and Erich Petersen as part of the field excursions associated with the Society of Economic Geology SEG2018 conference programme. In addition to Mountain Pass, we visited active gold prospects at North Bullfrog (Corvus Gold), Moss Mine (Northern Vertex Mining) and Castle Mountain (Equinox Gold).

The trip to Mountain Pass allowed us to make contact with the new owners, take samples and explore the potential for future collaboration. Mountain Pass is one of the world’s primary Rare Earth deposits, but it has a chequered history and has found it difficult in recent years to compete in the global market. Very few academics have been allowed to visit the mine in the last decades. We were pleased to be granted access to the famous ‘Birthday Vein’ locality, and to have the opportunity to collect material for future research.

We’d like to extend our thanks to everyone at all of the mine locations visited, but especially to Bill and Erich for a well-organised trip.

Group 2
The Group in the heat of the Mojave Desert.

 

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