Huya W-Sn-Be deposit, Huya township, Mt Xuebaoding, Pingwu Co., Mianyang Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China
One of the foundations of modern industry is the essential metal Tungsten. No machining of steel into finished parts is possible without Tungsten Carbide cutting tools. It is a strategic commodity in every sense of the phrase. The vast majority of the Tungsten produced around the globe is derived from Scheelite. The Huya deposit is located on the edge of Huya Xuebaoding National Park - protected home of a sizable herd of Pandas. The primitive and remote workings are in the steep terrain extending from 13,450 -14,100 feet (4100 to 4300 meters) in altitude, above an equally primitive seasonal (May-October) camp at 3900 meters ASL where around 100 people make their seasonal home. Given the remote and primitive nature of the "mine", it is astonishing that a specimen like this could escape to the outside world in as fine a condition as it has. Two dark orange pyramids of Scheelite rise from a virtual sea of silvery, bladed Muscovite mica crystals. The larger of the Scheelites measures some 3.13 inches (8.0 cm) across and the second is almost as large. The tips of the pyramids are transparent, deep golden orange in color and could be faceted. How the Muscovite blades escaped crushing and breakage is truly a tribute to the care devoted by the miners, because there are no bent or bruised Muscovites and the only area of 'contact' on the whole piece is the backside of one of the Scheelites where another Scheelite grew. The matrix is a gray material of indeterminate composition.
Overall measurements: 7 x 5.5 x 3 inches (17.8 x 14 x 7.6 cm).
Provenance: Keith Proctor [Hoppel # D1264]
Condition report available upon request.
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