First Annual Central US Micromount Symposium

July 27-29, 2017


In order to continue with a micromount symposium in Summer, replacing the gatherings at Troy University, the Central US Micromount Symposium was started. The first symposium was held in Little Rock, Arkansas. The 2018 symposium will be in Kentucky, and they will alternate between Arkansas and Kentucky in subsequent years.


This first symposium was hosted by Mike Howard at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. It started on Thursday, July 27, 2017 with field trips to Granite Mountain.

All the attendees stayed at the Best Western South, on I-30. Mike Howard met us there for breakfast, and led us to the 3M Quarry. There were six vehicles in the convoy, and, curiously, license plates from six states: Mike Howard from Arkansas, Steve Stuart from Pennsylvania, Jim Stoops from Georgia, Tim Barnes and Steve Bonney from Kentucky, Pat Gould from Florida and Jim Daly from Indiana.


We arrived at the 3M Quarry at about 8:20 AM, signed the required papers, and headed into the quarry. We had been told that Henry Barwood had had some good material set aside, but we were unable to find it. We did find some good material, including some of the roof pendant material collected previously by Jim Stoops. At about 11:15 the Plant Superintendent came for us to guide us to the observation platform to watch a blast. They were removing overburden, as the first step in enlarging the quarry. After the blast we broke for lunch, then proceeded to the Granite Mountain #1 Quarry.


At Granite Mountain #1 we again went through the process of signing in, and were then led into the quarry. The afternoon had turned quite hot, as the morning overcast had dissipated and with the sun overhead there was no shade. We found some good material, but we can't be sure what until it's examined microscopically. By 3:30 we'd had all we could handle of the heat, so we left the quarry. Mike led us back to the motel, where we got cleaned up and then went out to dinner. We were joined at dinner by John Whatley, who hadn't gone on the field trips.


After dinner we went to the University to unload our equipment and get set up in the room. There was a slight delay in getting in to the room due to a miscommunication, so by the time we were set up, we were ready to pack in in for the night.


The actual symposium started on Friday morning. Mike met us for breakfast and led us to the University. The room was a bit crowded, with two tables of giveaway material, three trimmers, and a table of snacks.  During the morning Mike Howard gave a presentation on the Wilson Springs Vanadium Mine at Potash Sulfur Springs, Garland Co., AR, which is now gone. The rest of the day was spent looking at the giveaway material and helping each other with identifications.

We broke for lunch, with the participants going to various places near the campus, and for dinner at a steakhouse. We returned to the meeting room for a short time after dinner.


Saturday we again met for breakfast at the motel, then reconvened in the meeting room at the University. John Whatley gave an excellent presentation on Graves Mountain, Georgia which will eventually be published on line. We broke for lunch, with people going to various places, and finally started packing up around 2:30 PM. We vacated the room well before the 5:00 deadline, loaded our gear and headed for our respective homes.