Collecting trip to LCT-NYF pegmatite in Høydalen, Norway

Author: Zbyněk Buřival
Published: 07.12.2018 12:35
Last updated: 06.02.2019 10:02

Høydalen is a very interesting hybrid LCT-NYF pegmatite in southern Norway, about 40 km NW from Kragerø. It is famous for it's amazonite and lepidolite, as well as many REE minerals. It still provides excellent collecting opportunity.

Høydalen pegmatite is located on private property and also the road to the quarry is private. You need to ask for keys and later pay for the specimens when you leave, the price is per kilo.

There are several other pegmatite veins located in this area, some of these with very interesting minerals. However, it is not easy to find the spots in the hilly terrain with wild vegetation and abundant swamps. And many are on the private property of course.

Mixed LCT-NYF pegmatite quarry in Høydalen, Norway Overview of the small Høydalen pegmatite quarry with gabbro host rocks and clearly visible pegmatite instrusion.

The pegmatite vein is located within gabbro massif and pegmatite has obviously very strange chemical composition. You will immediatelly spot big flakes of pink lepidolite inside huge chunks of amazonite. This is a very unusual combination, as lepidolite is typical for lithium-rich LCT pegmatites, while amazonite is common in lithium-depleted NYF pegmatites. Also abundant REE-minerals are typical for NYF-pegmatites.

Blocky unit of mixed LCT-NYF pegmatite from Høydalen, Norway with huge blocks of amazonite Huge blocks of gray-brown K-feldspars and amazonite feldspars in pegmatite blocky unit.

The quarry is quite small but there is quite sufficient dump full of pegmatite material. Finding decent blue-green amazonite or big flakes of lepidolite is not a problem. You can also notice dark black grains, which are usually gadolinite-(Y). Less common are dark purple fluorite and rare yellow fluocerite-(Ce). Topaz and beryl grains can be found too, but it is very hard to recognize them because of their pale color. Spotting topaz grain among crushed feldspars is very difficult. There is plenty of common minerals of course – white microcline, muscovite, and quartz.

Blocky unit of mixed LCT-NYF pegmatite from Høydalen, Norway with huge blocks of microcline and big flakes of pink lepidolite Big flakes of lepidolite forming layer inside the pegmatite blocky unit.

We have visited the site in the august 2017, unfortunately our time was quite limited and the rainy weather did not help. But considering the bad conditions, our finds were quite good: Good quality amazonite, couple good lepidolites, plenty of gadolinite-(Y), couple of fluocerites-(Ce), garnets with muscovite rims, one decent grain of fluorite and some topaz grains. Detailed inspection later also revealed some unidentified REE minerals and probably apatite.

Graphic pegmatite unit with amazonite and quartz from Høydalen, Norway Amazonite graphic unit, size 8 x 6 cm. Blue-green amazonite feldspar specimen from Høydalen, Norway Nicely colored amazonite specimen, size 9 x 5,5 cm. Lepidolite flake on amazonite feldspar from Høydalen, Norway Very unusual combination of big lepidolite flake on amazonite feldspar, size 7 x 4,5 cm. Orange fluocerite-(Ce) and purple fluorite from Høydalen pegmatite , Norway Rare orange fluocerite-(Ce) with purple fluorite and pale feldspar, FOV 1 cm. Purple fluorite with REE-minerals from Høydalen pegmatite , Norway Purple fluorite with pale feldspar and some REE minerals, size 4,5 x 3,5 cm. Gadolinite-(Y) from Høydalen pegmatite , Norway Dark grain of gadolinite-(Y) in feldspar, FOV 2 cm. Gadolinite-(Y) from Høydalen pegmatite , Norway Altered grain of gadolinite-(Y) with some other unidentified REE minerals, FOV 2 cm. Pink lepidolite from Høydalen pegmatite , Norway Medium sized lepidolite flakes forming massive aggregate, size 10 x 6,5 cm. Pink lepidolite from Høydalen pegmatite , Norway Huge pink flakes of lepidolite are quite typical for this locality, size 6,5 x 3,5 cm. Pink lepidolite from Høydalen pegmatite , Norway Genetic specimen with medium sized lepidolite flakes in albite, size 8 x 5,5 cm. Topaz in quartz from Høydalen pegmatite , Norway Topaz is quite ugly and easily overlooked, size 5,5 x 3,5 cm. Edible Boletus mushrooms And do not forget to look for some mushrooms, they are delicious!