Mining Mookaite

Mining Mookaite in Western Australia at Mooka Springs

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Mining Mookaite in Western Australia at Mooka Springs 

Tom Kapitany owns the mine

Mining Mookaite in Western Australia at Mooka Springs 

A lot has changed since the early days of mining

Mining Mookaite in Western Australia at Mooka Springs 

Heavy machinery is a huge force multiplier, and makes it easier to restore the ground to original condition when mining is completed.

Mookaite Mine

Mining is a team effort in this remote wilderness country

Tom Kapitany

It is important to maintain communications with the outside world for reasons of safety

mookaite mining

There is nothing quite like the feeling of extracting gem material. Highly addictive! No known cure!

mookaite mining

Gem material is often large and spectacular.

mookaite mining

mookaite mining

mookaite mining

mookaite mining

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A  hard day’s work means a big appetite! Chef  and Master gem cutter Mick prepares a meal.

mooka mine camp

We always remember the blokes from earlier days with respect and fondness.

mooka mine camp

Traditional Owners

We are very fortunate to have the friendship and cooperation of the traditional landowners.

Traditional Owners

Mookaite has been a valued commodity for tool making and projectile points here for more than 40,000 years.

Traditional Owners

Mooka

After extraction, quite a bit of transportation is required

Mooka

Mooka

The bush does not release the treasure readily. Bogging of vehicles is frequent.

Mooka

Mookaite

Back at the main road the depot is prepared for load out to Melbourne.

Mookaite

Once the rough  material arrives at the Crystal World Lapidary factory in Melbourne, the processing starts.

Mookaite

Some is sent to Bali for carving.

Mookaite

We have a massive amount of material slabbed or completely rough for lapidarists.

Mookaite is a silicified porcellanite or Jasper formed in the sedimentary environment of the ocean floor.

Siliceous ooze is a siliceous pelagic sediment that covers large areas of the deep ocean floor. Siliceous oozes consist predominantly of the remains of microscopic sea creatures, mostly those of diatoms and radiolarians.

The silica material from which it is derived comes from the abundant zooplankton of the Radiolaria family.

Radiolarians have a highly geometric skeleton made of very fine silica, this is what forms Mookaite.

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