Calcite

Calcite CaC03 from the Macy Mine, Hillsboro Mining District, Sierra County
 Mineral Museum New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Socorro, New Mexico.
Photo taken April 6, 2016

If you are prowling around mine sites in the Black Range or walking down washes, Calcite, CaCO3, will be one of the most common of the rocks and minerals which you come across.  The specimen shown above was mined at the Vanadinite (J. C. Macy) Mine and is on display at the Mineral Museum, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, in Socorro, New Mexico.

As minerals go, Calcite is a wimp, it is not very hard (3 on the Mohs scale) and it reacts with almost anything acidic.  It has a distinctive, perfectly rhombohedral, cleavage.  More than 800 different crystal forms have been described for this mineral.  Clear specimens will refract light, a strong double refraction.  Its chemical composition shows it to be a Carbonate (in Dana an Anhydrous Normal Carbonate).

Although I often think of Calcite as clear or white, that is incorrect.  It can also be pink, red, purple, blue, yellow brown, orange, green, gray, or black.

Calcite will often form coatings on other minerals, like this Vanadinite specimen, mined in the Hillsboro Mining District.  It to is on display at the Mineral Museum, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, in Socorro, New Mexico.

The following is a partial listing of mines where Calcite was found in the Black Range:

HILLSBORO DISTRICT: 85 Mine - Bonanza Mine - Copper Flat (Sternberg Shaft) - Big Chief Mine in Percha Creek - Macy Mine - Mary Richmond Mine - Petroglyph Mine

GEORGETOWN DISTRICT: Copper Rose Mine

KINGSTON DISTRICT: Ladrone Gulch Camp (Brush Heap Mine & Black Colt Mine) - Tall Pine Mine

CHLORIDE DISTRICT: - Midnight Mine - St. Cloud Mine - US Treasury Mine - Little Granite Mine - Bald Eagle Mine

CHISE DISTRICT: Concordant Fluorspar Mine - Unnamed Prospect

CUCHILLO NEGRO DISTRICT: Dictator Mine

HERMOSA DISTRICT: Wolford Mine

MACHO DISTRICT: Anniversary Shaft - Old Dude Shaft -Victory Claims

COOKE’S RANGE: Cooke’s Range Manganese District - Starkey Group

COOKE’S PEAK DISTRICT: Cooke’s Peak Area - Kieft Cave

FLUORITE RIDGE DISTRICT: White Bluff Prospect

Calcite on Vanadinite CaCO3
 Hillsboro Mining District, Sierra County, NM
Specimen at Mineral Museum New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Socorro, New Mexico
Photo taken April 6, 2016.

Calcite (plus Quartz)
From the Black Knife Mine, Cuchillo Negro Mining District, Sierra County, New Mexico 
Specimen at the Mineral Museum New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Socorro, New Mexico
Photograph taken April 6, 2016


From the Black Knife Mine, Cuchillo Negro Mining District, Sierra County, New Mexico 
Mineral Museum New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Socorro, New Mexico
Photograph taken December 17, 2016

© Robert Barnes 2017