Saturday, February 1, 2014

Geo 730: Feb. 1, Day 397: Green Diamond

Despite yesterday's jokey title, "Prospecting Lot," I'd like to make a point very clearly: this is private property. As I mentioned in that post, I've stopped here several times now, and no one has made an issue of it. But industrial rock companies/mines such as this are quite rightfully worried about liabilities with respect to people who do dumb things on their property. You'll notice beyond the sign, there's a security checkpoint. I have not pestered those folks, just pulled out in the flat area closest to the main road, and picked around in the spoil piles for a while, then left. Certainly, if someone approached and asked what I was up to, I could give a true and well-spoken explanation of why I find this spot of interest, but if they asked  me to leave, I would do so without a fuss. Visiting sites like this is a privilege, not a right. I do think if I was planning on visiting this site with a group I might use the contact information above to get an ahead-of-time okay. Who knows? They might actually like to show off their work to a bunch of aspiring geologists- though I make no promises.

I should point out that operations like this, supplying sand and other aggregate, are largely off of geologists' radar in terms of geologic resources: we tend to think of fossil fuels and metals. However, the net expenditures on "mundane" resources such as this probably approach those of everything else combined. By their nature, bulk resources like aggregate tend to be localized: they aren't amenable to transport over large distances. Thus they tend to be dispersed in smaller businesses in smaller markets. There will never be an "Exxon" of sand and gravel, but that doesn't mean that these innumerable smaller businesses are insignificant or unimportant. They're just smaller and don't pick at the consciousness in the way larger companies do.

I was browsing around yesterday, and found an interesting article on the resource being acquired here: apparently, Green Diamond is processing the Hanna Nickle Mine's slag- waste from smelting- into commercial sand products. I find great satisfaction in the idea that one operation's garbage has become another's bread and butter.

Photo unmodified. May 9, 2013. FlashEarth Location. Indexed.

Followup: I've been meaning to mention for a couple days, Ron Schott has updated the Geo 365 Map with this years' posts- up through yesterday (at 2 PM PST).

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