Geology journey to Finland, summer -97

This is the story of my first mineral tour with the Västerbottens amateur geological society.
The journey was planned and organised by Antti Hulterström with the help of Markku Lehtinen. Markku made reservations in the campings, arranged permits to visit some of the mines and told us a lot about the geology of many places we visited.
I wish to thank them for the wonderful trip, and obviously everybody else that joined our journey across Finland.


The first mine visited was the lithium pegmatite of Haapaluoma. Here we were met by Markku Lehtinen, since it was a condition for visiting the mine that an employee of Partek should accompany us.
The weather was great and we were eager to get to the stones after the trip from Sweden.
Before we went in to the dump pile, Markku held a little lecture on the geology of the pegmatite.
Two hours later we all gathered around the cars for a quick bite of food and then we went to the other target for the day .....
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.... which was the lithium pegmatite of Kaatiala.
This mine had a lot of interesting minerals, not least the gemmy tourmalines that have been found in previous years.
Whit so high expectations as we all got when we saw a picture of some cut gemstones from this mine together with the vast dump piles, it's no surprise that it was a dissapointment for many of us.
As I realized how hard it would be to find something of the rarer minerals and that I am still in the beginning of my collection, I started to analyse what minerals there was.
It was easy to find nice schoerl crystals, terminated also, and biotite. I also found a columbite crystal, but that was sheer luck.
As I think back to it, the mine was worth the visit and I would like to take some more times at this locality sometime in the future.
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The third mine we visited was also a lithium pegmatite, the Viitaniemi pegmatite. It is famous for a number of secondary phosphate minerals, and even a mineral named after the mine, viitaniemiite.
It costed 50 FIM per day to collect minerals there, but it was still easy to find rare minerals in the dump pile.
Noteworthy was the blue topaz crystals which we all found very easy.
At the little rarer side was the herderite and väyrynenite phosphates.
The weather started bad with heavy raining in the morning, but as the rain stopped about lunch and the sun started to shine, we all decided to go here. This was a perfect decision, since the sun broke through and started to shine, and everything were perfect.
Six hours later, and with a backpack that I was just able to lift, I turned my back to this fantastic place, surten to come back some day, hopefully not too far away.

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The single mineral that I wanted to have with me from finland was the uvarovite, chromium garnet. I talked about it, and some of the more experienced rockhounds sad to me that I shouldn't have too high expectations about it.
It proved that he was very pessimistic, and most of us could find it in the Mokkivaara mine. It depended a lot on the finnish owner, that blasted up some new material just before we arrived, and was very helpful in the search of minerals.
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The visit to Telkkälä nickel mine was in the evening, so the time to collect wasn't so long. It was hard to find any nice crystallised minerals or the nickel mineral. Especially for me, since I never seen any of the nickel minerals before.
A special feature of the ore was that it was extremely magnetic pyrrhotine.
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The dump pile of the Horsmanaho talc mine was one of the biggest I've see, ... but then I haven't seen so many yet :-).
The weather was good but I manage to trip and hurt one of my fingers so bad that I sat this one out on the top. That didn't stopped me to collect loose pieces of dolomite, fuchsite, serpentine, calcite .... so It was a good trip anyhow.
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The feeling of looking down into the open mine was overwhelming.
A hole in the ground 1300x600m, 100 meters deep and everything white in the blazing sun.
When we got down into the mine, the scenery was fantastic. Everywhere those white to blue limestone cliffs with veins of blue and pink talc running down the sides.
The thing that almost broke us what the heat from the sun down in the mine and especially when we took the long walk up from the bottom of the mine to the elevators. But it was worth it.
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The spectrolite quarry was a very small quarry, but the rocks in it was something special.
Everywhere in the walls of the quarry was big spectrolites in all colors, teasing us. When the sun shined on it, and with some water thrown on the side, it was a sight for gods.
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Ylämaa fair

The journey ended in Ylämaa just in time to visit the mineral fair. Ot the fair it was many Russian dealers, selling nice minerals from Russia and other places with very good prices. There were also many Finnish dealers with minerals from Finland.
Since this was my first mineral fair i ever visited, I walked around all stands looking and dreaming, and finally I bought some minerals to bring back home.
The following minerals is a list of my purchases :
Sulphur, copper, goetite, dumortierite, uvarovites, heulandite, stilbite, purpurite.
I also bought a diamond saw blade from a russian for 30 FIM. It is now mounted on a motor that I've found, so I have built me a stone saw for under 50 SKR (about 6 USD).
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Last changed : 1998-03-04