Redmond Mine (Prospect) Pyromorphite
Haywood County, North Carolina
January 16, 2006
By Mike Streeter

Redmond Mine Adit

I was off on Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, so I decided to head out to the Redmond Mine (Prospect) in the Fines Creek area of Haywood County.

Fines Creek, just off I-40
This is one of the sites listed in my book. Even though this collecting locality is only about 30 miles from our house, I hadn't been there for quite some time.

The several mile long dirt/gravel forest road leading to the prospect was very sloppy with thick red mud. The area received a bit of snow in preceding couple days that left behind a slippery mess upon its melting. Had it not been for 4-wheel drive and decent tires, no way would I have been able to make the last couple miles.

The most sought after minerals at the Redmond are micro to thumbnail in size

Opal at Collecting Spot
and include cerussite, azurite, malachite, galena, pyromorphite, sphalerite, pyrite and chalcopyrite. Other mostly massive minerals in the vein rock matrix include cuprite, chalcocite, chrysocolla, covellite, chlorite, fluorite and limonite. Although inside the adit is perhaps the best place to recover most Redmond minerals, the finest pyromorphite can best be found by breaking apart milky quartz rocks in the spoil piles from a series of old prospect cuts on the slope above the mine. Since Chrissy had to work and she doesn't like me going inside the adit by myself, it was just Opal and me in the forest hunting pyromorphite this day.

It is a good thing that the pyromorphite collecting area is on a southeastward-facing slope so that the snow had melted on the forest floor. I spent several hours hiking up, down and around about an approximate 2-acre area busting up every white quartz float rock that I came across. I figure that you have to bust open about 100 rocks before you finally find one that contains pyromorphite - you micro guys would have been proud of me! Since busting up rocks doesn't exactly make for the most exciting tale, I'll simply finish up this report by presenting the following pictures showing some of my day's finds.

Click on each specimen picture to enlarge

Click on each specimen picture to enlarge

By the way, there are pictures of some of the other minerals to be found at the Redmond on the Haywood County page of