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News from the quarry.

Bart

Well-Known Member
A while ago, I received an e-mail from Jarrod, known to most of our US based members as the fine gentlemen who runs
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. If I would be prepared to meet up with him at Ardennes during his business trip to Europe? He didn't have to ask me twice. :)

It's starting to become a habit to give you all a little update on the situation at Ardennes, after each visit, so here goes.
There's always something exciting going on at the worlds last Coticule quarry, and this time was no exception. That is an understatement actually.
The quarry of Ol'Preu, that they've been exploiting since so long has been terminated. There is still a last 3 meters of Coticule to dig out, but with large rocks constantly fall down from the aft wall, it is life threatening activity to work in the pit. So they had to abandon that scene. Where the Coticule Pilgrims of last September stood and made pictures, is now a small lake. Maybe one day someone will pump it dry, and extract the Coticule left, but it won't be anytime soon, I think.

In the mean time, Ardennes Coticule is recommencing extraction on the piece of land directly to the East of the former quarry. While we were there a contractor was digging the top soil of the area to expose the first part of solid rock, all the way on top of the hill, some 40 to 50 meters higher (by my estimate) than the adjacent abandoned abyss. I was granted the honor to collect the first new samples of raw Coticule, and upon our return to the workshop, Maurice picked one of the samples and turned in into a hone. And a damn fine one I might add. On the fast side of the spectrum, feeling a bit like a very fine La Dressante, although we did not determine the layer with certainty.

They hope to bring extraction up to speed as soon as possible. I hope they'll encounter some of the layers that were mentioned by Dumont, but apparently already depleted at the old quarrying site by the time Ardennes took over the business. I'm talking about La Gros Jaune, of which we've seen a few rare specimen, but also about La Vaine aux Poissons, La Petite Veinette, and Le Filet. Maurice said I should get my hopes up to high though. :rolleyes:

I'll close this small report with a picture of the stones I brought home with me. Several of them are 40mm X 100mm, which is, with proper technique, a perfect size for sharpening razors. And highly affordable.
Aren't they beauties?

 

Loric

Active Member
WOW :w00t: You sure picked up some lovely stones! I dont even know where to start with them all :lol: I'm assuming there are all from Ol'Preu?

The new sight is very nerve racking and very exiting at the same time. This is the cliff hanger ending for this chapter of the Coticule story. Will your favorite layers be back??? Will we all like the new ones???

So is this news a good reason to start a third go round of the Vault with stones from the new sight? It sounds like we all have some learning to do.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
It's the same Coticule deposit. The layers in that deposit are running from SalmChateau in Western direction, all the way to Sart. That's a couple of kilometers. Tier d'ol Preu is a hill at the Western end of this deposit and the quarry of Ol Preu extracts a part of that hill. (E.g. Old Rock, used to be located at the Eastern end of this same deposit) What they are doing right now, is basically expanding the quarry about 30m to the East. They will find the same layers, but with the chance to encounter a few extra ones that were already depleted at the former spot. So we will still see La Petite Blanche, Les Latneuses, and all the others, with a remote chance to get one or two that weren't available before. It is likely that there will be better availability of now hard to come by layers, as La Grosse Blanche and La Grosse Jaune.

Ardennes also owns a mine in Regné. That one taps into an entirely different deposit, with different layers. They are planning to reopen that mine as well, but due to the huge investments involved, it is a long term plan, at best.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

whitebar

Active Member
Bart, Nice stones! One of those looks just like a stone I ordered directly from Ardennes a few days ago. According to Maurice it is a 10x4cm stone from the layer "La Dressante upper layer." Are these the same stone or do they just look really similar?



I'm excited to hear this news about old layers possibly becoming available again. It will be fun watching for them.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
:D
Yes 100mmX40mm

I had to check my drawer, but it is still there.

I don't know where you got the picture, but that picture was taken while I was there. That paint can was put on that table by myself. It had some water in the lid, for dipping my finger while honing. I've put the can back on its shelve when I left, so the picture must be taken while I was present. The hone with the arrow is the one I brought home, but there was another one just like it. Only the stripes were in a slightly different direction. They were both equally beautiful and hard to discern form another.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

whitebar

Active Member
Jarrod posted the picture on Facebook. I added the arrow and emailed Maurice about the stone the instant I saw it. Sounds like I'm getting the other one just like yours which is fine with me. As I'm sure you can imagine, my heart sunk for a minute when I saw your photo because it looked like my stone was in your picture. This has a happy ending because we are both going to end up with one of these beautiful coticules. There is something about those stripes that really appeal to me.

I look forward to your comments on the stone and am envious of all the other fine specimens you showed us in the above photo. They are really something special. Have fun playing with them!

Sincerely,
Stephen
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Yes, those are among the most aesthetically appealing stones I've seen.

Very interesting news, too by the way :)
 

whavens

Member
What great news. Those are some beautiful stones. I'd love to come across one of the Tiger Stripe stones sometime. Please post comments once you have a chance to work with it for a bit.
 

geruchtemoaker

Well-Known Member
I think I had one those stones(or similar) in my hands on the coticule weekend and every one thought wim bought it but when it came to it he apparently didn't and it was a very nice stone

kind regards
Stijn
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
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Hell, they are!:love:

Now that's funny, I saw the picture on facebook too, and I was convinced Jarred took it, so they are in US. The fingery combo has caught my attention, I even asked him about exact dimensions. I kind of "localized" it in my head and now it turns out that this was taken in Belgium, Bart was there (actually, whose leg is there on the very right hand side of the picture, with table casting its shadow onto the trousers?) and all. Interesting.

Shite, the vertical 2[sup]nd[/sup], 3[sup]rd[/sup] and 5[sup]th[/sup] from the left are real killers! Or, 'most aesthetically appealing' as some would say. ;)

regards,
Matt
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
BTW, thanks for sharing information on Ardennes, Bart. Though I've never been there (yet, I hope), it's always a pleasure to read those stories. People who follow their passion always earn my respect.

regards,
Matt
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
whitebar said:
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The stones in the picture aren't mine. After testing, they return to Ardennes. I'll put them up for reservation through the Vault when I'm done playing.;)
I'm fairly sure you'll receive the twin of the pictured one, but should haplessly yours not turn out what you expected, I'll gladly offer you a trade. Ardennes does not care if I return this one or another 40X100. So, you have absolutely nothing to worry about...:)

Kind regards
Bart.

PS. Matt, it is indeed most likely my legg. All pictures were shot by Jarrod, and Maurice was in his office while we were examining the available stock.
 

Basil

Well-Known Member
its exciting to see the new stones.

That being said i might have to stop visiting here or else ill end up with more stones than i need :p
 

geruchtemoaker

Well-Known Member
håkan said:
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yes and no they are not site specific but more area specific(don't know how to explain it otherwise)see a piece of paper before you with lines on it. if you draw a square or rectangle or ect you will have certain lines does that mean if you put a square somewhere else you can't have the same layers? no it doesn't it depend how you orient it from the first if you just move it left or right with the lines you will have the same layers but if you move it forward or backward you'll have different. it' the same with the layers of coticule the only difference is that the layers I took to explain are straight but coticule layers aren't but you get the idea.

hope this helps
kind regards
Stijn
 

håkan

Active Member
Your explanation is what I would have thought if there were two mines in different parts of the same deposit but here it states "an entirely different deposit" which made me think that those layers would be given "deposit-specific", arbitrary, names in contrast to what I would have guessed before I had this thought; that layer-names were "geological" aka due to "mineral-composition" (or similar. What exactly "is" a "deposit"?)

Im really out of my depth with all these conjectures. Im not even used to discussing layers so... :D

Maybe I should spend an evening searching the forum for this. :blush:
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
To my knowledge there are 3 Coticule "banks" (could be 4, I don't have the time to check my sources right now). One of these "banks" or "deposits" (I don't know which word fits best), extends from Salmchateau to the West. The quarry of Ol' Preu, but also the former Old Rock mine are located along that "bank". Also the former Coticule pits on Tier Du Mont are located on the same "bank".

There is a second large "bank" located more to the South, running from Ottré to Regné (again, I should check my sources) This "bank" harbors the Regné mine, currently no under exploitation, but the plan is to reopen it.

The third bank is smaller and located right under the village Sart.

There are a few additional finding spots, such as the three layers of Recht, but that is probably an outlier of one of these three banks.

Anyway: each "bank" exist of a number of Coticule veins, called "layers". The layer names were probably given by yesteryears miners, and seem to be mostly inspired by certain aspects of their natural appearance, and not by the properties of the resulting hones. To make matters complicated, some names are unique to one bank, such as "La Vielle Rouge" from Regné. But other names are used at different banks, eg. there is a La Dressante at Ol' Preu and there is a La Dressante at Regné. Both are not related. We have to realize that the layer names were originally just used by the miners, in their daily jargon on the field. The names were never intended for use among end users, but that was before the Internet came along, and some idiot started mapping the various Coticule layers and their distinct properties...;)

I hope that explains the situation a bit better,

Bart.
 

håkan

Active Member
Bart said:
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Thank you Stijn and Bart for your explanations.

The example about La Dressante is exactly what i thought. This would also mean that if a new bank/deposit is opened for mining one could name the layers after anything. Like Le Bart or La coticule.be for example? ;)

And damn that silly "internet" thing. Personally, I never use it. I hate those internet-morons. :love: :sleep: ;)
 
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