Miner Byron Weege with a small specimen in the West Crosscut, June, 2003.





The West Crosscut Pocket Zone 2001 to 2010

Late in the 2001 season an exploratory tunnel heading west from the old tunnel opposite the Black Sheep pocket was started to see if flats existed to the west of the main vein as well as the east. A new section of flats were soon found, which became known as the West Cross Cut. This area proved to be the most productive area of flats we found in the mine, and produced specimens for us up to the summer of 2010. Some areas of the pocket zone produced specimens of green fluorite on a crust of white crystalline quartz. This so far has been unique to the West Crosscut. Unfortunately, the quartz crust was quite friable and many did not survive extraction from the enclosing mud.


Fluorite with galena on ironstone matrix. One of the first specimens recovered from the West Crosscut in August, 2001. A good example of the blue coloration caused by the strong "daylight fluorescence" of most Rogerley fluorite.


In the summer of 2002 a second entrance to the West Crosscut area was driven, just north of the 2001 tunnel. Collecting was done from both tunnels and during 2003 the two areas joined up, eventually creating a fairly large chamber that required timber support to keep the roof in place. Production of specimens from the center of the West Cross-Cut zone continued through the summer of 2004, and during that year an area known as the Corner Pocket was discovered at the northern edge of this zone. The Corner Pocket, though not large, produced a number of fairly unique specimens for the mine. Most of the fluorite crystals were small and fairly light green color, but the specimens had a late coating of fine-grained quartz that looked like a sparkling sugar crust on the fluorite.


Collecting in the Dodgy Bugger section of West Crosscut in August 2006. Pockets were usually filled with a thick sticky mud, much of which ended up coating the collector.


During 2006 work focused on the southern area of the zone in an area known as the Dodgy Bugger Pocket. The name comes from the fact that most of the good specimens in the pocket were on large, loose rocks in the roof of the pocket, making them difficult and dangerous to collect. One remarkable specimen recovered from the Dodgy Bugger was a large block of limestone, overgrown with white quartz and green fluorite crystals, weighing over 100 kg.


A rather large specimen recovered from the Dodgy Bugger section of West Crosscut in August 2006.


In June 2007, while digging at what looked like the back end of the Dodgy Bugger pocket, we broke into another pocket zone, which became known as the Rat Hole Pocket because of its narrow, tube-like shape. The Rat Hole was very productive, and was worked through the summer of 2008. Specimens were quite distinctive, being mostly clusters of untwinned, bright green crystals, often larger than other areas of the mine, and often on a layer of white quartz. Galena was largely absent in this area.


The interior of the Rat Hole in July, 2007. Numerous specimens waiting to be wrapped can be seen on the floor of the cavity.


During 2009 a westward extension of the Rat Hole was encountered. This pocket, named the Rat Tail Pocket was similar in form to the Rat Hole, but smaller. The form of the fluorite was also similar, but often with better luster and brighter color. Unfortunately, the Rat Tail pocket was very near surface at the face of the quarry and by July of 2010 it began to collapse and had to be back-filled for safety.


The interior of the Rat Tail in May, 2010. Excavation of the pocket zone had gotten close to the outside quarry face and the pocket was full of plant roots from surface.







Specimens from the West Crosscut Pocket Zone



Fluorite with galena on ironstone matrix. One of the first specimens recovered from the West Crosscut in August, 2001.


A cluster of gemmy fluorite crystals on ironstone matrix, 25 cm across. Recovered from the West Crosscut in 2002.


A plate of fluorite crystals with a coating of fine-grained quartz, 10 cm across. From the Corner Pocket, West Crosscut, 2003.


A group of twinned fluorite crystals on silicified limestone, 10 cm across. Collected in 2004 from the center of the West Crosscut Pocket Zone.


A stalactite-like specimen of quartz covering an ironstone core with a partial overgrowth of fluorite and galena. 11 cm tall. From the Dodgy Bugger Pocket, West Crosscut, 2006.


A cluster of untwinned fluorite crystals on quartz, 15 cm across, recovered from the Rat Hole Pocket in July 2007.


A cluster of untwinned fluorite crystals with minor amounts of galena on quartz, 15 cm across. Collected from the Rat Tail Pocket, May 25, 2010.


A cluster of untwinned fluorite crystals, 10 cm across, recovered from the Rat Tail Pocket in August 2009.







A sketch map of the underground workings at the southern portion of the Rogerley workings showing locations of major pocket finds, 1999 through 2007.







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