SlovakiaSlovakia, an independent state since 1993, looks back on a long mining tradition, which has in part been influenced by Germans for a period of 800 years. The advanced level of mining technology becomes apparent when you know, for example, that gunpowder was used in the mines of Banska Stiavnica for the very first time and also that the first school of mining was established here. The fall of the Iron Curtain made it possible for the dedicated mineral collector to go and visit the numerous localities, where he may find not only a great variety of interesting minerals, but also some that are rather rare in Germany. While the number of mineral-rich sites is decreasing in Germany, partially because of ever-stricter environmental restrictions, the respective development in Slovakia is only just beginning, so that a visit should prove rewarding to the collector. We have two articles, one on West- and one on East Slovakia, following the natural division based on the geographic position of quarries and mine dumps.
NamibiaNamibia enjoys a steadily growing popularity among mineral collectors. Numerous books on the subject and specialist journals deal with sites and finds, indicating the increasing interest in the country's geology and mineralogy. Additionally, the breathtaking beauty and the fascinating variety of landscapes contribute considerably to Namibia's appeal, attracting collectors and tourists alike. The Earth's history can be studied here like the pages of an open book, Namibia's landscapes offering a better insight into the geomorphology of the past two billion years than anywhere else in the world. Evidence of the creation and rifting of the super continent Gondwana, the impact of plate tectonics, as well as traces of glaciation, sedimentation of unbelievable proportions, enormous volcanic eruptions and lava flows, - all this and more can be detected and marvelled at on a journey through the country. At the same time, looking at the geological evolution explains why Namibia is so rich in minerals. We have listed mineralogical sites following a natural division based on their geographic position and infrastructural factors.
Great BritainGreat Britain is amongst the European countries richest in raw materials.
Not only gold and silver but, over centuries and with varying intensity, copper, tin, zinc, arsenic, salt, china clay, calcium sulphate (gypsum) and wolframite (tungsten) too, were mined. Substantial deposits of iron ore and coal (that no longer play a significant role today) were fundamentally important in the Industrial Revolution in England. We picked five regions of interest for those that are fascinated by geology and mineralogy.
Wales is attractive for its Central Wales Mining District, the north with the Isle of Anglesey, and the south around Merthyr Tydfil.
In Scotland, the area around the twin villages of Wanlockhead and Leadhills is of interest for the collector. About 60 secondary minerals are attested. It is the locality from which Lanarkite, Leadhillite and Caledonite were first described. Another important Scottish locality is Strontian, where galena, silver, lead and zinc were mined until the beginning of the 20th century. Today, baryte is produced here for the oil industry.
The Caldbeck Fells Mining District lies in the north-east of the Lake District in Cumbria and attracts mineral collectors, too. The origins of mining in this area date back to the Romans, but it was the 19th century that saw the most profitable mining here. Among others, the mines produced copper, zinc, manganese, lead and antimony.
The Weardale, east of Cumbria, was famous during the past centuries for its production of great amounts of lead and fluorite, but iron also was mined here.
Cornwall is among the best-known mining districts in the world. Until the end of the 19th century, more than half of the world’s tin supplies came from here, but copper was also produced on a large scale. However, here, as elsewhere, the mines were exhausted to a considerable extent and went into decline. Additionally, production became less and less profitable.