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Doc Day

November 11, 2011 in Esmeralda Mine, Mountain Lily Mine, Uncategorized

It’s official. Our limited liability company, RPL Mining Limited, is now open for business.

LLC Binder Spine photo image
Minute/Certificate Book Title Page photo image
Certificate Specimen photo image

First Esmeralda Mine Tourmaline

November 11, 2011 in Esmeralda Mine

We’ve all seen it: a crisp $1 bill framed on a shopkeeper’s wall—the first dollar to come through the door.

We recently framed the first tourmaline specimen found at the Esmeralda Mine, following the purchase of the property by Pala International.

Tourmaline in Frame photo image
For another image of the specimen, see On the Road to the Esmeralda Mine.

On the Road to the Esmeralda Mine

August 24, 2011 in Esmeralda Mine

In late August, the staff of Pala International visited the newly acquired Esmeralda Mine in the Mesa Grande District of San Diego County. John McLean, Jason Stephenson, and Bill and Will Larson (who all contributed to this report) drove to the U.S. Forestry Service gate about a mile and a half from the mine, only to find they’d been given the wrong key. In 95-degree heat in the middle of the day, they trudged uphill, arriving at the mine an hour later. After recovering from the heat, they started to inspect the pegmatite and surrounding area, seeking shade at every opportunity.

The pictures below tell the story, but for a written description, be sure to see the Sinkankas Notebook from 1956. And check back for more information as progress begins on opening the mine.

Driving to Esmeralda Mine photo image

In the SUV on the road to the Esmeralda Mine.


SUV At Gate photo image

At the forestry service gate.


Jason & John photo image

Jason, left, and John require provender for strength to open the gate.


Forest Path photo image

Walking in the valley below the mine, Bill points the way.


Sign photo image

“All hope abandon, ye high graders who enter in.”


John photo image

John walking on the mine property.


Jason On Earth Mover photo image

Jason mows the lawn.


Will photo image

Will stands in an old main drift (tunnel). This is said to be the main “glory hole,” or series of pockets from the original discovery. To Will’s right is the continuation of the tunnel.


Pegmatite photo image

This shows the strike and dip at the hanging wall of the pegmatite. Overburden (lighter material) can be seen on the left; pegmatite (orangey-red material) is on the right.


Jason, Will, John Digging photo image

Jason, Will and John uncovering specimens.


Will photo image

Will reaches into a small tourmaline pocket, or tourmaline vug.


Crystal photo image

Will holds a schorl crystal that displays a deep purple skin under intense light.


Schorls photo image

Two fine schorls; the best of our first day out at the Esmeralda Mine. A promising sign at the surface of what lies beneath. Larger crystal on the left is about 6 cm. (Photo: Jason Stephenson)


Sinkankas Notebook

August 23, 2011 in Esmeralda Mine

Sinkankas diagram image

Pocket at the Esmeralda Mine, North Main Workings, September 22–23, 1956. Click to enlarge. From the collection of Bill Larson.

In 95-degree heat in August, the Pala staff experienced more than they might have cared to of the terrain leading to the Esmeralda Mine in the Mesa Grande district. Forty-five years ago, John Sinkankas traveled the same terrain—but got the right keys to the forestry service gate!

Following two visits in March and September of 1956, Sinkankas wrote up informal reports, complete with hand-sketched maps. See them in Sinkankas Notebook, the first of a series of stand-alone articles you can access from the horizontal menu at the top of each page on the blog.