The Tanco pegmatite deposit is located approximately 180 kilometres east-northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is situated near the Manitoba-Ontario border on the northwestern shore of Bernic Lake. Argyle’s Outdoor Educational Classroom has a series of samples that it obtained from a geologist who works at the Tanco pegmatite deposit.
What is a pegmatite?: A pegmatite is a very coarse grained igneous rock.
Sample No. 1: Minerals present: Beryl, Quartz, Albite
Beryl is used in jewelry, art, production of wire, and in the space shuttle.
Quartz is used in sandpaper, optics, glass, computer components, circuit boards, watches, etc.
Albite is used in the manufacture of ceramics.
No.2: Minerals Present: Spodumene-Quartz intergrowth with Apatite crystals (some Pollucite)
Spodumene is a major source of lithium (lithium is used to make lubricants, welding supplies, batteries and anti-depressant drugs).
Apatite is used in making fertilizer (contains phosphorus).
Pollucite is mined for cesium (cesium is used in drilling fluids).
No. 3: Minerals Present: Spodumene-Quartz intergrowth
No. 4: Description: Albite with black Tantalum flecks with smokey Quartz and white Feldspar flecks
Tantalum (used in Tantalum capacitors in electronic equipment).
No. 5: Minerals Present: Feldspar (Microcline)
No. 6: Minerals Present: Albite with Quartz
No. 7: Minerals Present: Spodumene with Spodumene-Quartz intergrowth
No. 8: Minerals Present: Amblygonite
Amblygonite can be mined as an ore of lithium.
No. 9: Minerals Present: Amblygonite with Quartz
No. 10: Gabbro (Host Rock)
Gabbro can be used as graveyard headstones, paving stones, and facing stone.
No. 11: Minerals Present: Lepidolite
Lepidolite is an ore of lithium.
No. 12: Minerals Present: Pollucite
No. 13: Minerals Present: Quartz and Feldspar with Cookeite (green Mica)
No. 14: Wall Zone with Muscovite
No. 15: Wall Zone with Microcline Feldspar with black Tourmaline lathes (schorl)