The March Monthly Meeting was our Club’s Annual General Meeting, and, as proof that our present Committee is doing a great job of work, they found themselves unanimously voted into office again. Thus our Committee again consists of Malcolm Jackson, Ken Coleman, Jo Wicht, Carol Coleman and Tracy Hannath. Congratulations folks! Keep up the good work. 

Then Richard Harrison gave a talk on Tsumeb minerals. He recently graduated with a degree in geology, and we are proud of our new whizz-kid. He began with a few facts, like the mine is situated in 530 myr Pre-Cambrian rock in the Otavi Mountainland. The mine has three zones, the uppermost at 350 m below the surface, the second at between 800–1150 m, and the third at 1350 m. The mine is flooded, which is a pity because workable amounts of silver, germanium and mercury are to be found at the lowest levels. Tthese zones have different rock types, producing different kinds of matrix, on which crystals grow, and the matrix interests the true blue Tsumeb buffs as much as the minerals. For, if you know the matrix, you can more or less trace the specimen to such-and-such a level, mined in the year so-and-so. Which is a bit above this correspondent’s head – he’s one of those happy chappies only too pleased to own a specimen from Tsumeb at all.

Richard then talked about Tsumeb’s “missed minerals”, overlooked in the past in favour of more colourful species. For instance when everybody was collecting smithsonites and azurites, nobody gave minerals like galena a second glance. But since then all kinds of overlooked minerals are being eagerly collected like gypsum, barite, quartz rhodochrosite(!), fluorite and sphalerite. Pseudomorphs (replacements of one kind of a mineral by another and keeping the original’s shape) and perimorphs (minerals completely covered by another mineral) are also popular collectors’ items. 

Examples of Tsumeb minerals were brought along and proudly displayed, and it looks like our club can show us some pretty good specimens. If anybody thought that the days of collecting Tsumeb minerals is history, they can think again………..or better still, attend the next Tsumeb talk and see what members bring along then. Thanks Richard, I think we all enjoyed your talk. TVJ  (34 members attended)