Dundas: Quarry

Visiting the LaFarge Quarry in Dundas is quite an experience. The quarry opens it’s gates twice a year to rock-hounders and, because I’m a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Gem and Mineral Club, I was able to attend. Everyone met on a side road, and when I arrived and saw the seventy odd cars already there I was worried about all of us being crammed into the quarry. But after the safety talk we drove convoy-style into the quarry and that worry vanished. The quarry is huge! During the rest of the day I only saw five or so cars

The LaFarge Quarry produces the most rock annually out of any mine in Canada. I really wanted to try and get across the scale of this place and the best thing I could come up with is the image above. I hope you’ll take the time to play with it. If you need an incentive to do so you can play a fun game called, “Find Symeon’s Car in the Quarry”. I drive a green VW Golf, and it is in the photo above (somewhere …).

In a pit as large as the Dundas Quarry I quickly realised that finding any rocks of interest was going to be like looking for a needle in a hay-stack; that is unless you have a very knowledgeable rock-hounder with you!

Thankfully Reiner and Maggie were also visiting the quarry and they invited me to come along with them. Reiner has been coming to this mine for many, many years and it was wonderful to have him point out in the distance where a vein might exist. But, even with this help, the galena was pretty scarce this year. After visiting a couple of different locations in the mind we found a location that produced a small bag of pretty pure galena.

This wasn’t the only mineral we found. Maggie found some gypsum and Reiner found some marcasite (iron sulfide). There was also lots of sphalerite and celestite – in a greater quantity than the rest – and I’ll be experimenting with that once I’m back in the studio.

All these samples are wonderful, but it is really the galena that I’m most excited about. Now that I have a larger sample to work with I’ll have to get to work smelting!

4 thoughts on “Dundas: Quarry”

  1. I found it! Its a bit tricky to make out if its really a VW or not, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got the right one. 🙂

  2. I’ve received a report that my explore-able photograph above will only work if you have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed on your computer. I hope that too many visitors haven’t been bothered with this! I have done what I can to try and make this load correctly, but if you are having trouble please make sure that you have Flash Player 9 installed.

  3. I’m glad you liked it. I created the photograph by taking a series of shots along the same horizontal line and then stitching them together using Adobe’s Photoshop program.


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