Molybdaenite from Chile

16 | 10 | 2012

Quartz  |  Americas

The Confianza Mine near Tilama in Chile in the sport for fantastic molybdaenite inclusions in quartz crystals

Attracted by some nice images of Quartz crystals in a tourist guide, we started an exploration tour from Santiago north to the small village of Tilama in the Coquimbo region in Chile. Tilama is dominated by a quite big quartz mine. The vein is getting excavated in a vertical open pit mine. Cavities inside the vein contained sometimes huge quartz crystals up to more than one meter. Unfortunately most of the crystals have a very bad quality. Only some smaller specimens up to 20cm have a perfect quality. Very interesting are the inclusions of Molybdenite crystals in the quartz. They occur as small metallic reflective crystals up to 1-2 mm. Some of them are orientated as phantoms. The metallic reflections are leading into a wonderful visual effect. The owner of the mine sells pieces. The whole garden is covered with quartz crystals.

During some trips in the surrounding of Tilama we had the chance to visit some small mines and exploration spots on copper. As usual for these typical chilenian deposits there was not too much to find. Chalkopyrite as non-crystalized masses and some secondary minerals, such as Malachite and Chrysokoll.
A valley north of Tilama had a very interesting location: In small cavities we could find slightly green Phrenite crytsals as balls up to 1cm. They were accompanied by Epidote in small crystals.
Summarizing this region could come up with some interesting discoveries. Especially the intense mining activities in this area could bring some nice specimen in the future!

Fotos / Credits
Matthias Benz / Germany

Autor / Author
Matthias Benz / Germany