David K. Joyce

Recent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

After the Keweenaw Week copper collecting activities, Dr. Chris Stefano was kind enough to escort members of the Walker Mineralogical Club to the old Manganese Mine near Copper Harbour, MI. Back 150 years or so ago, about 1200 tons of iron/manganese mineralization was mined from surface and underground workings to be used for iron production. Unfortunately, the mineralization was not suitable for iron production. Interesting mineralization there, if you look closely. Check out the locality in mindat.org, if you'd like to see excellent photo's of all of the minerals. Here are pics of the trip plus an ancillary geological trip. I'll post pics of minerals that I've found when I clean them up!

 

View of Copper HarbourRecent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

View of Copper Harbour
Copper Harbour was the site of the first copper mining operation back in 1844 or so. In addition, in the early 1880s, this old port was also the site of an attempted iron mining operation, which we visited to collect rare iron-manganese minerals from the old dumps. Today, Copper Harbour is a tourist town with artsy-crafty stores and lots of boating activities.

Rock Dump CollectingRecent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

Rock Dump Collecting
This is how you collect at the Copper Harbour Manganese Mine. It is all about looking for iron/manganese rich chunks and looking for traces of the rare minerals. The mcfallite is readily visible as radiating, lustrous brown aggregates in the black manganese oxides with calcite.

MacfalliteRecent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

Macfallite
Here is an example of macfallite, 3mm across. This one has had the calcite etched out from around it with weak acid. Nice crystals! Haven't found any orientite, yet.

MacfalliteRecent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

Macfallite
Here is another example of a nice 3mm spray of macfallite crystals but this time embedded in calcite, as they are found. This is one of the rare manganese minerals we were searching for at Copper Harbour.

Dr. Chris StefanoRecent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

Dr. Chris Stefano
Chris Stefano lead us to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula to a little bay that was a wonderful geological excursion. The various, steeply dipping sediments are well exposed there, showing differential weathering. Great place for swimming and kayaking!

Handfulls of BerriesRecent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

Handfulls of Berries
I think the best part about this mine visit was the multitude of raspberry plants laden with raspberries. The berries were exactly ripe and just fell off of the branches to the ground, if you weren't careful. It was easy to eat many handfuls! I ate lots of these! :)

Knows His RocksRecent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

Knows His Rocks
Dr. Stephano exhibited a deep knowledge of rocks, particularly water-skipping stones, as he demonstrates here.

BlueberriesRecent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

Blueberries
It is the peak of berry time in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with an abundance of Blueberries, raspberries, huckleberries and saskatoon berries. Had a good number of blueberries for my snack.

StromatolitesRecent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

Stromatolites
This little cove had an excellent exposure of stromatolite fossils exposed at the interface of the conglomerate and underlying shales. The stromatolites are interpreted by some as being of freshwater origin, forming in lakes close to a billion years ago and then during changes in climate/elevation, etc., were inundated andcovered by sediments, in this case the Copper Harbour Conglomerate. These are some of the oldest fossils in the world, close to a billion years old. Pretty cool!

Stromatolites FossilRecent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

Stromatolites Fossil
Here is a picture of some of the stromatolites up close.

Swedes MineralsRecent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

Swedes Minerals
If you are a mineral collector and happen to be in Copper Harbour, you have to drop into Swede's. He has a very large array of copper and related mineral specimens, some pretty good! I found his prices kind of high but there is no doubt he has good mineral specimens.

Swede's Copper Specimens DisplayRecent Activities -Keweenaw, Copper Harbour Iron Manganese Mine

Swede's Copper Specimens Display
Here is a look at Swede's coppers specimens for sale display. Lots of 'em!