The 1003rd meeting of 

The Mineralogical Society


Southern California




Mine Adit Reclamation and

Mineral Specimen Recovery at the Blanchard mine,

Socorro County, New Mexico, July 2013

Mike Sanders, one of the owners of the mining claims for the Blanchard mines in New Mexico  


Presented by Mike Sanders

Friday, July 8, 2022 at  7:30.

See program notes below

Visitors are always welcome

About us…

The MSSC is a member of the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies and is dedicated to the dissemination of general knowledge of the mineralogical and related earth sciences through the study of mineral specimens.  We are a scientific non-profit organization that actively supports those endeavors through public outreach, field study and related programs.

For more information

Program Notes: Join us: Friday, July 8, 2022 at 7:30. “Mine Adit Reclamation and Mineral Specimen Recovery at the Blanchard mine, Socorro County, New Mexico, July 2013” presented by Mike Sanders

This was a reclamation and mineral specimen recovery project completed at the Blanchard mine in July 2013. It was a three-week project. We found a lot of material (primarily Fluorite) and made more than enough to pay for the adventure.  Myself and my two claim partners Ray DeMark and Brian Huntsman, and two mineral dealers from Arizona participated in the project.

 We had two excavators on the property and used them to mine mineral specimens in front of a dangerous underground mine working that was actively caving in, and that people were illegally sneaking into. The mine adit was backfilled and sealed at the conclusion of the work.

I’ve spent most of my life in New Mexico, and with so much empty country, dramatic scenery and bare rocks to see, becoming interested in rocks and geology in general as a kid was a natural. I began mineral collecting as a geology student at the University of New Mexico about 1971, where I met Tony Potucek who introduced me to the mineral world. Tony and I made multiple field collecting trips in New Mexico and Arizona during that time and I was hooked for life!

As a geologist my professional career included jobs in the exploration and mining industries for about 12 years and then environmental assessment and cleanup work for the remaining 25 years, ending in 2013. My primary focus has been field collecting at numerous localities in New Mexico. In 1990 I had the good fortune to join Ray Demark and Brian Huntsman as a claim owner at the famous Blanchard mine, and needless to say I have many fine specimens (primarily fluorite) from that location. The mineral hunt has taken me to many marvelous remote places (some also in adjoining states) that I never would have gone to otherwise. I also have developed a fine circle of long-time mineral friends. Although wife Linda Nelson does not have a high level of interest in minerals, she understands and accepts my passion for mineral collecting.  She is very supportive unless I’m gone too frequently or take over too much space in and around our house with minerals and mineral stuff!


Effective April, 21, 2021

Paid MSSC members will be automatically on the invite list each month.

For Non Members:

You must request to attend the MSSC zoom meeting every month. See below for details.

Participants who want to do this must respond to our Programs chair, Rudy Lopez at  no later than Tuesday, July 5, 2022.  Please include “July  ZOOM Meeting” in the subject line of your response. This response date will allow time for us to send you the information needed to participate in the ZOOM meeting.

Upcoming Events (all events, except field trips are via ZOOM until further notice)

  • August 12, 2022: Scott Braley: Collecting at the Red Cloud Mine in Lincoln County, New Mexico
  • September 9, 2022: Wes Andree; “JMDC: A gem of the Inland Empire
  • October 14, 2022: Leyla Namazie: The structural deformation and evolution of Terranes in the North American Western Cordillera using Paleomagnetism. Undergraduate Geophysics major at UC Berkeley
  • November 11,2022: Aaron Celestian: TBD
  • Board Meeting: July 10, 2022, 1:00 PM via zoom 

The MSSC is pleased to offer the new 2021 edition of Bob Pedersen’s X- Dana 

X-Dana Mineral Spreadsheet