Penny Williamson after a hard day of mud wrestling for fluorite.

Penny's Pocket Zone – 2011 to 2013

After driving about 50 meters of mostly barren tunnel north from the Crushed zone, a few small pockets were found at the southern edge of what became known as the Penny’s Pocket zone late in the 2010 season. Returning the next spring, production from the zone picked up and continued for the better part of two mining seasons. The pocket zone was named for Penny Williamson, a long-time supporter of the project, who was visiting shortly after its discovery. It was also the first pocket zone to be worked without our star collector Byron.

Ian Jones digging at pocket-filling mud in the Penny's Pocket Zone, 2011.

Ian posing with the fruits of his labor. Large specimens such as this were typical of what was recovered from the pocket zone.

The pocket zone was unusual in that it produced almost exclusively large plates of fluorite. It’s no small exaggeration to say that, through much of 2011 and 2012, the zone would yield one specimen per day of work, as the plates often took quite a while to extract due to their size. The largest single specimen, named “The Weardale Giant” was found in July 2012. The specimen measured roughly a square meter and took over two weeks to extract from the mine.

The "Weardale Giant" partially exposed from the encasing mud, July 13, 2012.

Visiting friend Jurgen Margraf posing with the Giant after removal from the mine, July 17, 2012.

Early the following season we found that the fluorite seam past the location of The Giant had moved into the ceiling of the tunnel, and soon pinched out. The final collecting in the zone, done in June 2013, was accomplished on a scaffold working through lagging boards and timber supports in the center of the tunnel.

Cal and Ian trying to collect from the pocket zone as it heads upward toward the tunnel ceiling.

Cal with his hard-won specimen.

Specimens from the Penny's Pocket Zone

A group of specimens collected from the the Penny's Pocket Zone on July 27, 2012.

A cluster of twinned fluorite crystals with galena on limestone matrix, 7 cm across. Collected from the Penny's Pocket Zone, July, 2011.

A large, well-formed fluorite twin, 3.8 cm on edge surrounded by smaller fluorites on ironstone matrix. Collected from the Penny's Pocket Zone, July 2, 2012.

One of the last specimens to come from the Penny's Pocket Zone, May 31, 2013.

A sketch map of the underground workings in the northern portion of the Rogerley, showing locations of major pocket finds, 2010 through 2016.

Major Rogerley Pockets The Rogerley Archieves Bibliography and References The Bonny Bits