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Geodes from Ikiss in the High Atlas

Guides to Morocco
I was lucky to meet up with the right team for a day of geode hunting in the village of Ikiss.


A 40 minute walk from the village of Ikiss up into the High Atlas Mountains, was just what I needed after a few days in Marrakech.

The steep sides of the valley got my heart racing as I climbed from the village to the "Geode Zone", where for generations the village people have been mining these beautiful crystals. The red rock bands of the valley floor changed to a mustard yellow as we gained height before topping out on the plateau. Here scattered across the ground, pieces of shattered quarts reflected in the morning sun...

TECHNIQUE

Guides to Morocco

Stage 1 : Find the mines entrance hole. These mines are situated on the sides of the mountain and can only be reached by foot.

Stage 2: Darkness ..bring a lamp. The hole will drop down into the earth. You will have to crawl on your stomach through certain sections. Last views of day light. Check that you know the way back. Some shafts will be over 250m long, cutting into the rock at angles of up to 30'.

Stage 3: Find your Geode. Hammer carefully the surrounding rock to release the crystal. A prime Geode can take 1-2 days to recover. This is done by candle light as there is no electricity down here.Once on the surface the geode will be hand carried down to the village, where it will be cleaned before being put on sale.

OTHER MINERALS

Guides to Morocco

With the industrial revolution missing the country the natural resources found under ground have not yet been eaten by the industrial machine..

Phosphates, which account for 75% of world reserves, are the main mining resource. Annual output is 22.2 million tons. Other minerals include lead, copper, barytes, zinc, manganese and fluorine which are found in abundance through Morocco's mountainous regions.

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