The search for monazite (a radioactive thorium crystal) led us to North Carolina. The first stop was the town of "Norlina" in Warren County.

This specimen was found on the abandoned railroad bed about 3/4 mile east of the center of Norlina. It gave a respectable count of
.15 mR/hr with the geiger counter. It is not clear if this piece of banded gneiss was brought in during the track construction or blasted
from the cuts at the side of the track. This location yielded only one rock for about a half hour of searching.
It is recommended for determined prospectors only!

Falls Lake Area

The next stop along the way was the dam at "Falls Lake" in Wake County. This area is immediately north of
Raleigh. We had success searching for monazite here. There are a LOT of medium to large granite rocks
on both sides of the dam to choose from. Our team surveyed only a small percentage of them.

This large piece of granite was found on the south side of the
spillway area. The granite was obviously quarried somewhere
and piled up there to prevent erosion. A vein (circled in red)
of mica with occasional monazite crystals was present on the
surface of this 41 pound rock. Efforts to reduce this rock to a
manageable size for easy transport were futile. This was one
of the hardest rocks our team has ever encountered! Notice
the white area around the red circle. This is evidence of an
hour's worth of pounding with a rock hammer and chisel.

The only thing to do was get it home in one
piece and let the "Chris Cutter" do the work!
This machine is owned by a local lanscaping
stone company.

Crunch! Crunch!

A nice, manageable piece...

Another collecting location close to Falls Lake is "Garnet Hill". This outcrop of igneous rock
is about 1 mile west of HWY 1 on HWY 98. The garnets are everywhere!

Return to Uranium Minerals

Return to Main