Thursday, December 8, 2011

Brazil Agate Mining Information

Yesterday I decided to stay home all day and work on a gift for my niece who is getting married this weekend. It was cold yesterday with temperatures in the upper teens and low 20s. We had an inch or two of snow and are expecting more today.

I have been wanting to research and learn about agate mining in Brazil. Brazil is a major player in the world of rocks and minerals. In fact, Brazil is the world’s fifth largest mineral producer. In addition to agate, Brazil is the world's largest producer (22% of world production) of iron ore. Other minerals from Brazil include: bauxite, gold, manganese, copper, zinc, nickel, tin, coal, and even diamonds. Mining has been one of the top performing sectors of the Brazilian economy.   Just for reference, the size of Brazil is slightly smaller than the size of the United States.

Precious and semi precious stones come from all over Brazil, with major production in the states of Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Goias, Para, Tocantins, Paraiba and Piaui. Most of the agate mines are in the southern part of the country (Rio Grande de Sul).

Brazil has the most massive deposits of agate in the world. Brazil is also the primary source for quartz crystals and their many varieties: Amethyst, Rose Quartz, Rutilated Quartz, Citrine and Smoky Quartz. Brazil traditionally has been a source for very large Quartz crystals, but changes in mining production have reduced the output. Most of the beautiful purple cathedrals of Amethyst crystals come from Brazil. Other stones from Brazil include Sodalite, Topaz, Tourmaline, Aquamarine, Aventurine and Alexandrite.

Pictures from Brazil, including some of the mining areas are below.

Here is an amethyst cathedral specimen still embedded in matrix.

Here are a couple of large citrine and amethyst towers.  The second below is the "specimen" that was at the Tucson show a few years ago.

And then the Brazilian agates.  A picture of one of the agate mines is the second below.


  1. Replies
    1. I have never heard of any gold associated with Brazilian agate.