Agua Nueva Agate Mining Operation - April 2018

This mining operation was planned for over 1 year; cancelled once and finally started on March 26th 2018. MAQSA, now MADISA, the caterpillar dealer in Chihuahua City, had promised us a 320 excavator with a hydraulic ram, small bucket, and a quick-change system. Three days before we started I found out the quick-change system would not be included. This was the first of many problems that followed this operation around like a contagious virus. Every mining operation has problems and never proceeds exactly as planned, but this one had more than its share.

Josh VonLoh accompanied me on this trip. He is an avid rock climber and took many of the pictures presented in this report. The picture showing the entire mine’s workings was taken from the top of the ridge, north of the claim. This is the sixth time this claim was mined with equipment. The claim, called Mi Sueño, is owned by the Mexican company Agata Exploraciones SA de CV, owned by The Gem Shop, Inc.

The more the deposit is mined the more interesting the deposit becomes. Most of the work has been done on the right side or lower part of the hill. This area was where the old hand diggings were done. This work followed the Moss Agate veins that contain banding pockets and sometimes wonderful tube agate formations. To the left of the main pit, on up the hill, are several areas that contain veins but will also produce an occasional nodule. Where the two roads end up the hill, are the areas that produce only nodules. The host rock here is very hard.

During the last mining operation in 2016 some very nice deep purple agate was found in the right corner of the main pit. This area was worked again, and a lot of purple agate was recovered; although it is quite small. More interesting, is the shape and form of the agate from this part of the mine. It appears to be formed in the cavities between other rocks and has unusual triangular shapes, with indentations and protrusions. These agates can be entirely banded, entirely Moss Agate, or any combination. A few are pictured below. This was a month-long operation and the pictures below, with their captions, provide a pictorial overview of this mining venture.