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Wollastonite, Calcite, Willemite, Fluorite - Garpenberg, Sweden

The Garpenberg mine is a currently very active zinc mine and is one of Europe's most progressive underground mining operations. Collecting is not possible, and the few specimens that reach collector's hands are highly prized. The mineralogy is quite similar to that of Franklin NJ. I find the “layering” of the minerals quite attractive - and different from the Franklin area minerals. This combination is apparently quite rare and comes from an old collection (no ore of this type is presently being mined). The yellow fluorescing wollastonite is bright and showy, on a background of red/org calcite intersected by veins of bright green willemite and blue fluorite (best LW). The first pic was taken with both longwave and shortwave lighting. Click any of the four pics below for larger views under each wavelength.

The mines are located in the Bergslagen mining district, a very old mining area in the southern part of Sweden. As early as 800 AD iron, silver and copper were mined. Today zinc, lead and silver ores are mined with copper and gold as by-products. The sulphide deposits at Garpenberg are distributed over 4 km, in several ore bodies found in complexly folded and faulted limestone, within an Early Proterozoic felsic volcanic succession. The stratigraphic succession is attributed to the volcanic cycle of a felsic caldera complex. The limestone hosting the ore is a stromatolitic carbonate, formed in a shallow, marine environment during a lull in volcanism. The ores formed by replacing the limestone and impregnating in veins of the volcanic rocks.

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