The mining operation is simple. The miners dig the garnet-rich sand out of the dunes with excavators and using trucks transport it to the processing plants, where the garnets are extracted and the waste sand returned to the mine. In early 2010 a deposit of garnet, was found in Harts Ranges, Northern Territory.
Only a few types of garnet are gem quality, however. Other types of garnets are used as industrial abrasives to sand and polish. Garnet has been used as a gemstone from early Greek, Roman and Egyptian times and can come in red, green, yellow and orange hues. Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January.
Heavy mineral sands are a class of ore deposit which is an important source of zirconium, titanium, thorium, tungsten, rare-earth elements, the industrial minerals diamond, sapphire, garnet, and occasionally precious metals or gemstones.
The beaches of Nome are also very rich in grains of gold, and you can bet that if you pan some of the red garnet sand along the Nome beaches, you will find dozens of small flakes of gold. If you pan some of the more gravely beach material, you may even find yourself a gold nugget!
Garnet sand is a good abrasive, and a common replacement for silica sand in sand blasting. Alluvial garnet grains which are rounder are more suitable for such blasting treatments. Mixed with very high pressure water, garnet is used to cut steel and other materials in water jets. For water jet cutting, garnet extracted from hard rock is suitable .
Less than four miles northwest of the preserved and celebrated ghost town of Garnet, Sand Park primarily served Coloma – one of the region’s latest and most enduring mining camps. Five weathered.