THE MINE | CRYSTALS | TESTIMONIALS | NEWSROOM
An extraordinary discovery
In 1989 Gaudry and Pauline Normand founded Mine Crystal and began exploratory mining in Bonsecours, Quebec. The Normands discovered a rich mineral deposit of giant veins containing magnificent quartz crystals. Research indicated that this was the only mining region in Canada able to produce commercial quantities of first-quality quartz crystals.
Five vocations to preserve and protect the mine
From that point on, several objectives were established: to extract the rock crystals on a small scale with respect for environmental concerns; to create an interpretation center which would present the mine to visitors; to offer courses on subjects related to quartz crystals. In 1994, a cultural aspect was created, with the addition of live concerts on musical instruments made of crystalline materials. And in 1999 we began producing our own crystal musical instruments in our Crystal Workshop.
Thus there are five vocations that happily coexist at Mine Cristal: mining, tourist, educational, cultural and artisanal.
Many different ways to enjoy the site
Mine Cristal is located in the Appalachian Mountains at an altitude of 400 meters (1,300 feet), in a pine tree forest with a beautiful view over distant mountains. Since 1989, over 300,000 visitors have discovered us and participated in our activities. A seasonal business open June through September, we offer guided mine tours, a store, a museum, courses, concerts on crystal musical instruments as well as a showcase of the production of crystal instruments.
The mine: locating treasures hidden underground for millions of years
Our mine is located in the same spot where many years ago, a company founded by Mr. Joseph-Armand Bombardier explored the possibility of mining quartz rock for industrial uses (1959 – 1963).
These days, the open-pit mine produces splendid quartz crystals with exceptional clarity. The largest single crystals measure 60 cm (24 inches) in length. Since we first began mining in 1989, 32 types, or morphologies of quartz crystals have been catalogued. Geological research into the origins of our quartz crystals has revealed that they formed at this location some 300 million years ago under extreme conditions of heat and pressure.
We are currently extracting crystals from the mine. Each summer, we mine a sufficient quantity of quartz crystals to supply our store. Exceptionally (for a mine), we harvest the crystals by hand. It is a privilege for us to participate in the discovery and extraction of these true gems of nature. The extraction process is done in a manner which respects both the environment and the crystals: we endeavor to keep the crystals whole and in a pristine state. In the museum and the store, our crystals are presented in an untouched, natural state. Amazingly, each crystal is an intricate work of art made by Nature; no two are alike and this makes them even more fascinating!
Quartz crystals are rare and beautiful
Even though quartz makes up a third of the earth’s crust, there are only ten regions where top quality crystals justify extraction: the Himalayas, Madagascar, Brazil, Columbia, the United States (Arkansas), Africa, Russia, Burma, China and Canada (Bonsecours, Quebec).
An interpretation centre worth visiting
Mine Cristal, considered by experts to be a “geological gem,” is classed as one of Canada’s great natural sites, due to it’s unique and abundant mineralogical deposits. Visitors return again and again to enjoy the powerful vortex of pure energy at our site, where the giant quartz vein overflows with it’s ‘fruit,’ the sparkling quartz crystals.
See photos of us mining the crystals.
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