Bentley Lake Magnetite/Ilmenite


A year and a half ago (hard to believe!), Chris, Matt and I visited the famous ilmenite and magnetite location that is located adjacent to the old Faraday/Madawaska Mine property. The mine manager used to give us permission to access the location through the Mine property but that has not been possible for many years. So we went in the back way via the Bentley Lake Road area. From the end of the road it is only a 15 minute, or so, hike.

Year ago, it was relatively easy to work hard and collect excellent ilmenite crystals. This time, we didn't find too many ilmenite crystals. We DID collect a number of magnetite crystal specimens, some very large. Pictures below.

This is one of the larger dug-out calcite vein-dykes that host the magnetite and ilmenite crystals. Someone worked this hard in the past! There is very little to be found in the "trench" as far as we could tell.
Your truly, examining some pieces that I found laying around.
We ended up digging along the side of the old trench and, truth be known, I think we were digging up the leavings from collectors that originally dug out the vein-dyke 50 or 60 years ago! They left a few good ones for us.
We did not find much ilmenite on this trip but Matt collected a nice one. 4.0cm across. M. Courville photo and collection.
These specimens always look intriguing when they are dirty.
Here is the same specimen, 16.0cm, of magnetite and phlogopite as above but cleaned up.
Here is a monster octahedron of magnetite with some fluorapatite crystals attached. 16.0cm.
A fairly sharp, 5.0cm magnetite octahedron. Chris Rayburn photo and collection.
A very large magnetite crystal with a HUGE, partial ilmenite crystal attached to it. Imagine what is possible at this location!?
Here is an ilmenite crystal that I collected many years ago at the same place. 6.5cm across. None like this, this time! It was etched out of massive calcite.
This cluster of phlogopite crystals with some very large, rounded ilmenite crystals near the bottom was collected about 25 years ago and etched out of massive calcite.
A very sharp cluster of ilmenite crystals, 6.5cm, collected in the 1950's by P. Von Bitter

I'd like to go back sometime and see if there is an extension to any of the previously worked vein-dykes or if, perhaps it is possible to locate a new calcite vein-dyke with excellent ilmenite and magnetite crystals.

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