Zultanite/CSARITE® Mining in Turkey

By Mehmet Altingoz

August 16, 2017

There is a diaspore mine (10,000 sq. km area) on Ilbira Mountains located in Mugla in southwestern Turkey.

 

The location of the Diaspore mine (map Source: Googlemaps.com)

The location of the Diaspore mine (map Source: Googlemaps.com)

In a very minor portion of this mine, about a few kilometer long, gem-quality material is extracted.

 

Photo provided by Murat Akgun

Photo provided by Murat Akgun

 

Murat Akgun bought the entire mine from ETI Bank in 2005, a government organization that previously mined in the area. Then, he founded ‘the Milenyum Mining’ to operate this mine. He named the gems found in his mine ‘Sultanite’. After two different partnerships, Mr. Akgun lost the name rights of ‘Sultanite’ while he still holds the ownership of the mine. Then, he named the gem stones as CSARITE®. Due to financial issues, Mr. Akgun stopped mining on July 2016. He has been actively seeking a partner to reopen the mine.

 

Photo taken by Mehmet Altingoz during the field visit on July, 2017

Photo taken by Mehmet Altingoz during the field visit on July, 2017

 

 

 

Featured Project: Golden Rutilated Quartz Artisanal Mining Community

Figure 1. The remote Brazilian mining community of Remedios is the site of the Bahia golden rutilated quartz mines. The town is developing a sustainable collective of artisanal miners. Photo by Brian Cook.

Figure 1. The remote Brazilian mining community of Remedios is the site of the Bahia golden rutilated quartz mines. The town is developing a sustainable collective of artisanal miners. Photo by Brian Cook.

At the January 2017 Jewelry Industry Summit held in Tucson, Brian and Kendra Cook (Nature’s Geometry) discussed their efforts to promote sustainable mining in Brazil’s Bahia State. In cooperation with 2,500 miners from the region, the Cooks are developing a collective in Remedios, Novo Horizonte (figure 1). Plans to brand the region’s unique golden rutilated quartz will be supported by a warehouse and cutting facilities, as well as a visitor center. To provide food security for the population, the Cooks also intend to bring organic community farming to the area.

Brian Cook first visited the remote site, located in Chapada Diamantina bordering the Atlantic Rain Forest and the Serrado and Caatinga ecological communities, in 1983 as a geology student. The trip from Salvador, Bahia’s capital, took 2½ days, and he was shown an example of golden rutilated quartz (figure 2), which was relatively rare on the gem market at the time. He later became an exporter of the quartz and helped raise its profile. The Cooks have since become landowners in Remedios, and their property includes a successful golden rutilated quartz mine. Over the years they have visited with their children from their home in Salvador (now a ten-hour journey thanks to improved infrastructure) and become trusted members of the community.

Figure 2. A local miner holds up an example of the golden rutilated quartz found in the Remedios area. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA.

Figure 2. A local miner holds up an example of the golden rutilated quartz found in the Remedios area. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA.

The Cooks have already helped locals formalize their land and mining rights, and now they are turning their attention to other initiatives. Their agenda includes mine safety, certificates of origin to ensure transparency and consumer satisfaction, and teaching cutting and polishing gemstones. They especially seek to empower local women, who already sell rough gems at the local markets, through lapidary and beadmaking training. The community’s proximity to the Atlantic Rain Forest makes it an ideal location for ecotourism, a concept that can be combined with gemological study and buying expeditions.

Brian and Kendra Cook are seeking investors and corporate sponsorship for their community. Learn more about their work at bahiainitiative.com.

Masterclass in Gemology at University of Delaware (May 29-31 2017)

3 Day Master Class in Gemology
Taught by Dr. Laurent Cartier

Sponsored by the Mineralogical Museum, the Department of Geological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, and GEMHUB.


May 29-­‐31, 2017
9:00am – 5:00 pm
-­‐
Free for University of Delaware (UD) students
-­‐
Registration fee for non-­‐UD participants:
$250
-­‐
Limited class size
-­‐
Register Early!
To register, please contact
Prof. Neil Sturchio
e-­‐mail:
Sturchio@udel.edu

FLYER (PDF)

 

GEMHUB

The GEMHUB project launched in 2017 seeks to improve knowledge of coloured gemstones and sustainability issues linked to the mining, processing and trading of these precious resources.