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November-December 2016

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Selected Finds from the Highway 5 Extension: Wakefield Area, Outaouais, Québec, Canada

Skarns and calcite veins of the Central Metasedimentary Belt, Grenville Geological Province, are famous for their abundance of interesting and well-formed minerals, often occurring in large crystals (some more than 1 meter in maximum dimension). Most mineral collecting localities in this region consist of old mines, mine tailings, weathered outcrops, and diggings. In the Wakefield, Québec, area, an outstanding opportunity was available to collectors: the extension of Highway 5 resulted in the excavation of many road cuts over a distance of 9 kilometers from 2007 to 2014. Almost every road cut contained mineral specimens of interest to collectors including impressive specimens of molybdenite, tourmaline, ilmenite, calcite, wollastonite, and zeolites. The Highway 5 road construction attracted many field collectors from Ontario, Québec, and even the United States. We visited the locality on a weekly to monthly basis for the duration of the construction project. This article documents our best finds.

Philippe M. Belley is a PhD student in gem deposit geology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Michel Picard is assistant collection manager of the Mineralogy Section at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Aylmer, Québec, Canada.

Ralph Rowe is a senior research assistant in charge of the X-ray diffraction lab at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Glenn Poirier is a senior research assistant at the Canadian Museum of Nature. He manages the joint University of Ottawa–Canadian Museum of Nature microanalysis facility.       

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