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Slyudyanka, Transbaikalia, CIR (Siberia, Russia)

Abandoned open pit phlogopite mica mine near Slyudyanka


Slyudyanka is a small town located near the southern end of Lake Baikal. In the nearby hills are huge deposits of marble and griesen formations that have been mined for many years for phlogopite mica (See photo to left). The open pit and underground workings produce attractive apatite crystals encased in honey-colored calcite. Occasionally these crystals produce gemmy fragments suitable for faceting. This material is strongly dichroic (displays different colors depending upon the crystal orientation). When properly faceted this material displays blue flashes over an olive-green body color.