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100 Queens Park Circle
Toronto, Ontario

A club for people interested in collecting and learning about the science of minerals. 

Past Talks

March 2013: Members' Night

Len Buchanan

We had three speakers at the March meeting: Tony Steede, Bob Beckett, and Jim Haase.

Tony Steede and Mineral Chemistry made Easy. Tony provided a definition of a mineral that included “natural, without any involvement by man”.
He touched on fluoro-richterite and that the name has been modified over time to arrive at the current spelling, together with minor formula changes.
Tony used amphiboles to show that minerals have general formulas which show the number of sites in each mineral and how many atoms per formula unit (APFU) of specific elements reside in each site. He then demonstrated how complicated amphiboles can be by showing which elements can fit into each of the five amphibole sites, some of which can fit into more than one.

Using fluoro-richterite as an example, he showed the differences between its actual chemistry in weight percent, its empirical formula, the formula based on actual chemistry, and the end member formula; explaining that they all showed much the same thing.

Bob Beckett gave a brief update on the new Bancroft Gem & Mineral Club Museum being installed in the newly refurbished Train Station along with the Bancroft Chamber of Commerce. The Station restoration project has been moving along slowly as funds have been available with a lot of work still needing to be completed. However the Chamber of Commerce will be moving into the building within the next few weeks and the Club is planning on opening the Museum in mid to late June of this year. Donation of cash, specimens or local mining related artifacts would be most welcome by the Club.

Bob then discussed the status of approximately a dozen collecting sites that have been newly found, several hundred acres of staked and/or rehabilitated localities for the purpose of hobby mineral collecting. With financial aid from the Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization through the Recreational Geology Project this work has been managed by Michael Bainbridge and his team over the past year.

Bob suggested these "new localities" should provide interesting and productive destinations for our 2013 season. A formal presentation to CCFMS member Clubs will be made once the package is released.

Looking back on our 2012 Field Trip Season with Jim Haase was fun and informative. Starting off with the Trip to Hidden Glen, vesuvianite xls were abundant and specimens of molybdenite, and garnet were found by some. Bruce happened upon the largest xls.

Nova Scotia was planned for collecting in late May for the best tides we could hope for, for the summer. Jim came upon a magical vug of chabasite and other fine specimens in the cliff wall, claiming they were the best crystals he ever saw there, but he could not get them out…

Next, the Rose Quartz location and Beryl Pit had a lot of participants finding quality material and participating in a BBQ at a local collector's home. Fun was had by all.

Evan’s Lou Quarry garnered a lot of interest.  More than 50 people participated. Unfortunately, the digging did not produce as much of the variety of minerals available as one might have hoped. But the dumps in the forest revealed some beautiful showy quartz xls and clusters among other things.

As always, the Miller property produced outstanding specimens of tintanite, feldspar, and large apatites.  This August trip had great weather and about 60 participants. There were some very happy collectors at the end of those two days.

Unfortunately the Cobalt trip did not proceed last September but is back on the slate for this September