Thursday, May 03, 2012

Geology of Industrial Minerals forum underway

We're immersed in the Forum on Geology of Industrial Minerals here in Scottsdale for the second day of the 48th annual meeting of this group.

The pre-meeting field trip on Monday-Tuesday toured the Plateau region with stops at two limestone (cement) quarries [right, photo credit Stan Krukowski], a hectorite mines, Montezuma's Well and Jerome.    Prescott-based geologist Paul Lindbergh provided sweeping stories of the regional geology and mining history of Jerome.     John Bezy described the geology of the Sedona area using his newly published guidebook (AZGS released it on Monday in time for the trip).   Well-known Arizona mining geologist Ted Eyde showed people probably the first hectorite mine that any of them had seen.

The technical program ran all day Wednesday and resumes this morning.   SME President Drew Meyer provoked a lot of discussion about the role of professional societies and trade groups, with his opening keynote address.

The first sessions focused on carbonates, sand and gravel, rare earth elements (REEs) and a scattering of talks on geothermal and groundwater issues in industrial minerals and brilliant talk on lithium by Tucson consultant Ihor Kunesz.

Today we have a full session on Arizona topics followed by an afternoon trip to look at a variety of industrial mineral operations in the Phoenix valley.   On Friday, there is a big session on potash.

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