© 2012 Oceanview Mines, LLC
History of the Oceanview Mine

Work began around September of 2000 developing the main adit that now serves as the lowest underground haulage way for mechanized mining, which runs east for approximately 60 feet, then follows the Oceanview pegmatite[1] laterally along strike, as it meanders south to southwestward for a distance of over 400 feet.

Underground work progressed until a large pocket was discovered September 22, 2007, located up-dip about mid way along the haulage drift. Over several months, this zone of mineralization produced several notable specimens of fine pastel pink, blue and bicolor beryl crystals; primarily occurring as tea-cup sized singles and smaller clusters, in association with darkly colored tourmaline, and some attractively arranged on matrices of cleavelandite. This pocket was referred to by the miners as the "49'er pocket", in homage of the mine owner Jeffrey Swanger's coinciding 49th birthday.

The beryl recovered from this zone were typical in form and color as those recovered further up-dip in the same pegmatite by Roland Reed. Other minerals found in these workings included small amounts of pale blue and dark purple to black tourmalines or schorl, spodumene, microcline, muscovite, montmorillonite and quartz. Some large gem-quality smoky citrine quartz crystal points and clusters were produced, many weighing up to several hundred pounds each.

Around November of 2009, a new adit was completed approximately 200 feet south of the first adit driven by Swanger in 2000. This new portal intersected the existing underground haulage way, facilitating improved removal of waste rock generated during mining operations, and increased underground ventilation control.

A crew of 5 or so miners continued to work intermittently, concentrating efforts to extend the underground workings into the paystreak discovered earlier by Reed, located approximately 100 feet up-dip from Swanger's adits, ultimately developing a series of drifts, declines and stopes along the trend of lithia mineralization. The upper zone of lithia mineralization exploited by Reed is characterized as massive purple lepidolite, sometimes associated with sprays of pink tourmaline and anhedral spodumene.

On December 3rd, 2009, another bonanza pocket was discovered, with extraction work performed by Jeffrey Swanger, Steve Carter and Mark Mauthner. This basketball-sized pocket produced several deep purple and lavender kunzite crystals, the largest measuring approximately 7.4cm wide, being doubly terminated, along with many fine gem-quality green and bicolored spodumene crystal lathes and shards. Nearly all of the kunzite recovered exhibited strong green to purple trichroism. Other accessory minerals recovered adjacent to this pocket included several small pale blue to dark blue-capped tourmaline crystals, lepidolite and cleavelandite.

Underground work continued along the zone of lithia mineralization, which led to the discovery of additional kunzite pockets in the spring of 2010. In this area, dubbed the "Big Kahuna" zone in honor of Swanger's father, hundreds of kilograms of gem spodumene were produced, including one large crystal lathe measuring approximately 21cm tall, and weighing nearly one kilogram. Minor amounts of green, blue and pink tourmaline were also discovered, including some fine bicolor pink and green pencils. The largest reported tourmaline found measured approximately 15cm tall and 3-4cm wide. Additionally, several beryl specimens were also discovered, although beryl was notably rare in this zone. One tabular morganite crystal recovered measured 7cm across, associated with a small "blue-cap" pink tourmaline.

In December of 2010, another large kunzite pocket was discovered down dip from the Big Kahuna zone, and thus named the "Big Kahuna II". Although not as productive in comparison to the sheer volume of material produced from the first pocket, the color of this spodumene was generally a more deeply saturated hue, and exhibited strong pleochroism. Several deep colored pink and cranberry red color-zoned tourmaline specimens were also found, some associated with a matrix of albite and lepidolite. Adjacent satellite pockets produced specimens of citrine and smoky quartz, some so deeply colored that they appeared black or otherwise opaque.

(This description comes from the Mindat website at: http://www.mindat.org/loc-171343.html and is unattributed there.)