Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Horse -- A Piece

Gene has struck gold -- well, pink and orange plume, anyway. "The rock in this area is pretty good," Gene muses, "some -- excellent." However, the hand chiseling in this area is not easy. The picture above shows what is known to miners who work load veins as a horse. A horse is a piece of host rock in the middle of the vein formation. This term generally  refers to a much larger geological formation: a large rock between stretches of the vein material. When such a rock is removed, two sections of the vein are exposed and can be easily appraised and removed. The chiseling around this horse in this case was especially difficult for two reasons: first, because there was agate all around it -- not just on two sides; and secondly, because the agate veins at Graveyard Point form in triangles. The agate here is not like a "straight" vein which will peel off of the wall. Gene must do much more careful hand work in this case. The picture below shows the horse removed and the additional handwork possible in two hours. The quality of the rock is better than expected, so Gene will be extending his mining venture until this agate is extracted.

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