Nantahala Talc & Limestone Quarry
Swain County, North Carolina
November 10, 2007
Report by Mike Streeter
Quarry Pictures by
Chrissy Streeter & Judy Presnell

Page 2

As the day progressed, Jeff and I continued to poke and prod the calcite-rich area looking for more goodies that may have been hidden amidst the dirt and rock.

Much like a squirrel finding a nut that it buried in the lawn, I managed to uncover a thick white calcite vein and adjacent rock that contained pockets and voids lined with massive calcite and ornate crystals. I would later determine from looking at the rocks that we brought home, that the calcite is contained in a solution collapse breccia. A solution or collapse breccia is a type of non tectonic gravitational rock that can form as a result of groundwater disolution (dissolving) of unsupported rock so that it collapses under its own weight to form a mass of angular rock fragments. Crystallization from mineral-rich solutions can occur after the collapse to cement together the rock fragments to form a breccia. Crystals may sometimes form in a breccia's remaining voids and pockets if there is enough room for them to grow and the conditions are right.

With Jeff's help and the encouragement from a small crowd of exuberant rockhounds who had gathered to watch us work and cheer us on, we recovered enough specimens to make everyone's day.

Part of the Nantahala crew

The following pictures show the types of specimens that we recovered from the big white vein and adjacent solution collapse breccia.

Click on each specimen picture to enlarge

Click on each specimen picture to enlarge

Click on each specimen picture to enlarge

Click on each specimen picture to enlarge

Before the day ended and while loading the back of our truck with our booty, Chrissy and I were fortunate to be able to spend some quality alone-time with Jack and had a great discussion about an assortment of topics. At the risk of giving Jack more ammunition to tease me about sucking up, he is a good man.

Many thanks from me, Chrissy and everyone else goes to Jack and the new owner for their incredible generosity. We and all the others who made the right decision to go to Nantahala that day could not have asked for a better time.

Please bear in mind that prior arrangements must be made in order to collect at the busy quarry so that you should absolutely not show up unannounced on any given day expecting to rockhound. Your best bet for access would be to stay tuned for a possible future field trip by SAMS and associated clubs that may be announced on the message board.