Kentucky Society of Professional Geologists
Fall Field Trip
October 23, 2010

Selected Areas Within the Western Kentucky Fluorspar District and the Illinois Fluorspar District and a Tour of the Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum

Photographs contributed by Patrick Gooding, Richard Smath, Bart Davidson, Dale Burton, and Roy Vanhoozer

Click on the thumbnails below to view a larger picture.

Generalized map of the Western Kentucky Fluorspar District. Our gathering point was the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park. The sunrise over Kentucky Lake on the day of the field trip was a good sign that we were in for a great day! We met in the lobby to take care of registration and listened to Warren Anderson give a quick overview of the economics and geology of the Western Kentucky Fluorspar District.
Warren Anderson, geologist, Kentucky Geological Survey, field trip leader (speaking), Alan Goldstein, naturalist, Falls of the Ohio, field trip leader (to Warren’s right, holding poster), and Richard A. Smath, geologist, Kentucky Geological Survey, president, Kentucky Society of Professional Geologists (to Warren‘s left, holding poster). Stop 1 had to be cancelled because of an unstable slope. We proceeded to stop 2, the new Klondike II Mine. China and Mexico’s high prices, partly the result of tariffs, can restart the fluorspar industry. Western Kentucky was the prime producer during the first half of the 20th century. The United States began importing cheaper fluorspar from China and Mexico, which caused the Western Kentucky Fluorspar District to shut down operations. Now, high prices and tariffs, and less exporting, has sparked an interest in mining fluorspar in the Western Kentucky Fluorspar District. The Klondike II Mine will be the first fluorspar mine in western Kentucky in over 30 years.

Stop 1: View of the fluorite vein-type ore deposit occurring along a northeast-trending fault.

We proceeded directly to stop 2, Hastie’s Quarry in Cave-in-Rock, Ill., to view horizontal bedding-replacement type deposits. We had to cross the Ohio River and the shortest way to get there was to use the ferry.

Sometimes barge traffic on the Ohio River can lengthen the time you have to wait before the ferry can start across. Once all the vehicles exited the ferry, we loaded up. The trip one-way takes about 15 minutes and we managed to get our caravan across in two trips.
Our group enjoying the ride across. The tug boat that powers the ferry. Another view of the tug boat that powers the ferry.
Ray Daniel, Alan Goldstein, ?, and Dale Burton. The group gathering in the Hastie’s Quarry parking lot. Dr. Potter, Dr. Ettensohn, ?, at Hastie’s Quarry.
Alan Goldstein, field trip leader, at stop 2 going over some of the geology of the area. Hastie’s Quarry is a series of open-pit limestone and sandstone quarries mixed in with old fluorite mines located on Spar Mountain. Quarry operation exposing some of the early (started around the 1900’s) fluorspar mines in the Ste. Genevieve Limestone. Bedded-type fluorspar ore was mined along the length of the deposit by modified room-and-pillar methods.

The group among the rubble. Nice pieces of yellow and purple fluorite were found, but not many crystals.

Ray Daniel ready to haul away a find. Purple bedding-type fluorite.

Group photo at Hastie’s Quarry:

1. Bart Davidson, KGS 2. Michelle Perez, EKU student 3. Alan Goldstein, naturalist, Falls of the Ohio 4. Clark Gordon, MSU student 5. Kris Carroll, EKU student 6. Kyra Soto, EKU student 7. Ray Daniel, Kentucky Geological Survey 8. Patrick Gooding, KGS 9. Katy Dickerson, EKU student 10. Charlie Mason, MSU professor 11. Jerry McIntosh, USDA 12. Richard Smath, KGS 13. Roy Vanhoozer, Kentucky Department of Natural Resources 14. Oops, no 14! 15. Ann Vickery, WKU student 16. Jordan Danridge, WKU student 17. Martha Tallent, WKU student 18. Stacy Lyvers, WKU student 19. Nancy Toney, WKU student 20. Jeffery Molloy, WKU student 21. Frank Ettensohn, UK professor 22. Darlene Smith, WKU student 23. Mark Carew 24. Bryant Sheridan 25. Donnie Lumm, geologist, Marshall Miller & Associates 26. Thomas Nelson, MSU student 27. Dr. Paul Potter, professor emeritus, UC 28. Tom Learman, EKU professor 29. Nick Price, WKU student 30. Heather Keith, EKU student 31. Ann Harris UK Ph.D. student and part-time EKU professor 32. Faith Fiene, geologist, National Guard 33. Ryan Frank, EKU student 34. Melanie Newton, WKU student 35. Ken Kuehn, WKU professor 36. Cassie Hornback, WKU student 37. Melinda Rucks, WKU student 38. Brent Eberhard, WKU student 39. Scott Waninger, geologist, KGS 40. ? 41. ? 42. Bill Galloway, University of Texas professor 43. Dale Burton, geologist, Kentucky Department of Surface Mining 44. Larry Tackett, MSU student 45. Jason Sheridan 46. Justin Spears, EKU student 47. Kevin Sheridan 48. Alex May, MSU student 49. Luke Schwab, MSU student 50. Jordan Cottingham 51. Randy Shields, independent oil and gas consultant 52. Thomas Brackman, NKU professor 53. ? 54. ? 55. Austin Moyers, WKU student 56. Michael May, WKU professor 57. Paul Shively 58. ? 59. Josh Wiiloughby, WKU student 60. Kyle Hollander, WKU student 61. Jared Midgett, WKU student 62. Vidal Dias, WKU student 63. Greg Cornett, geologist, Kentucky River Properties 64. Gil Cumbee, geologist, GeoScience Consultants 65. Larry Peterson, Kentucky Department of Surface Mining 66. Aaron Holland, WKU graduate student
From EKU, left to right: Katy Dickerson (sitting), Ryan Frank, Heather Keith, Ann Harris, Kyra Soto, Michelle Perez, and Kris Carroll. Stop 2 was lunch at the Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum in Marion, Ky. Dave Williams, Tina Walker, and the staff at the museum had everything ready for us when we arrived. Stop 2: Lunch continues.
The field trip group enjoying barbecue from the Marion BBQ, Marion, Ky. Dr. Paul Potter holding the poster and Ed Clement making a short presentation on the history of the museum. Dr. Paul Potter, left (professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati) and Ed Clement, right (son of Ben Clement). Museum in background.
Dr. Paul Potter speaking on the importance of the museum. Richard Smath (president, KSPG) presenting a plaque to Ed Clement (Dr. Potter on right). The plaque was presented to the museum, Ed Clement, and all the people behind the establishment of the museum to promoting the awareness of the Western Kentucky Fluorspar District to the public. Plaque (plaque was made at Western Kentucky University, Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences).
Back of the Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum. Calcite pseudomorph on remnant fluorite. Inside the Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum (gift shop area).
One of the many mineral display rooms. Fluorspar mineral specimen. Acicular ball calcite on fluorite.
Blue fluorite. Fluorite (floater). Etched purple on amber fluorite.
Large galena cubes with smaller galena octahedrons and pyrite. Artificially cleaved fluorite octahedrons. Polished fluorite gemstones.
Carved fluorite. Backlit fluorite octahedrons. Backlit zoned fluorite.
Backlit zoned fluorite. Backlit fluorite. Fluorescent mineral display in regular light (Mr. Clement was good friends with the foreman of the Sterling Hill zinc mine in New Jersey and was sent numerous specimens by rail).
Fluorescent minerals in short wavelength UV light. A reproduction of Ben E. Clement’s office. Vintage miner’s leather hat and tallow oil lamp.
Vintage mining tools. Cross-section diorama of a fluorspar mining operation. Surveyor’s transit and photo of Ben E. Clement and his wife.
Field trip group at stop 4, Bill Frazer’s property. Warren Anderson (black baseball cap with orange visor, and Mr. Frazer to his right) giving a geologic overview of the area. Western Kentucky University professor Michael May (left) and student Austin Moyers talk about mineral composition of the dike found on the property.
Lamprophyre dike. Site of the first mine in the Western Kentucky Fluorspar District (Columbia Mine). Field trip group going through some of the mine spoil.
Scenic view looking from the Columbia Mine site (flat area is the graben and the tree line is the horst). Dave Williams taking strike on the fault at stop 4. Alan Goldstein talking about the microminerals associated with the Western Kentucky Fluorspar District at the banquet at the conclusion of the field trip.