Home Shop  Forum Adventure Diary  Rock Hound Education  Rock Hound Videos  Gallery  Articles  Links 
August 2, 2009 The Ray Mica Mine (aka Wray mine) located roughly 3 miles SSE of Burnsville in Yancey Co., NC.
The Wray mining company stopped mining in 1944 as it became unprofitable.
  It was originally mined for the mica, however, beryl is also found within the mica-rich pegmatite they were mining.  So today
Dave Hart and myself hiked the trail up the mountain where we tried our luck at finding the beryls hidden among the tailings.
It is almost difficult to take a bad picture in the mountains as all the scenery is beautiful.
A quarter mile hike up the trail and pieces of pegmatite can already be seen scattered all around.
A small mountain stream flows through the middle of it all.  It's perfect for screening the material for beryl.
Does this rock have beryl in it?  Nope, just a rock.
This is one of the adits of the Ray mine.
This is a sample of some tailings in my 1/4 in. screen I washed off in the stream.  Can you find the beryl?
Dave told me that this dog has greeted him for the several years he has gone to the Ray mine.  And now he's licking his
lips because he smells the beef jerky I'm eating.  He then explained to us that the admission fee was one piece of beef jerky.  We were happy to oblige.
Here is a nice garnet I found surface hunting the tailings next to the stream..
This is a piece of quartz with gemmy garnet running through it.  The sun is reflecting off of mica.
This is two pieces of beryl I found on this trip.  I found them by screening the tailings using the 1/4 in. screen.
Given that this was once an active mica mine, mica can be found everywhere.  A large piece of mica like this is not uncommon.
   Back to Adventures page