GMS     The Georgia Mineral Society, Inc.
4138 Steve Reynolds Boulevard
Norcross, GA 30093-3059

Graves Mountain,
Lincolnton, GA

Collecting Rutile, Kyanite, Lazulite, Iridescent Hematite, Pyrophyllite, Pyrite, Ilmenite, Fuchsite, Barite, Sulfur, variscite, woodhouseite, crandallite, strengite, phosphosiderite, cacoxenite, blue quartz, quartz crystals, etc.

Graves Mountain is a unique geological formation located in Lincoln County, Georgia.

Beginning in the 1920's, Tiffany’s mined the site for rutile, a substance used for polishing diamonds. At some point thereafter, Aluminum Silicates, Inc. began mining the site for kyanite, a mineral used to make heat-resistant products.

Some time in the mid-1960's, Combustion Chemicals, Inc.was formed to purchase the site and conduct kyanite mining operations. Combustion Chemicals was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Combustion Engineering Inc. Combustion Chemicals conducted mining operations until 1984, when it sold the property to Pasco Mining Company.

Pasco operated the mine site until November 1, 1986, at which time the facility and all environmental responsibilities reverted back to Combustion Chemicals by their previous purchase agreement. Combustion Chemicals never resumed mining operations. In 1990, it was merged into Combustion Engineering Inc.

In 1990, C-E became a wholly owned subsidiary of Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), a Swiss-Swedish multinational conglomerate based in Zurich and one of the largest electrical engineering companies in the world. The merged company spent 1.6+ million dollars in reclamation costs through the late 1990's. Combustion Engineering was also sued by 16 surrounding property owners for acid run off in 1991.


Rock Swap & Dig

2024 Spring

Friday, Saturday, Sunday
April 26, 27, 28
8 am to 6 pm

2024 Fall

Friday, Saturday, Sunday
October 4, 5, 6
8 am to 6 pm

"You are invited to field collect minerals at Georgia's premiere mineral location!"

The caretaker in charge of Graves Mountain, Clarence Norman Jr., has announced plans to hold a three day dig and rock swap on the Mountain during May and October. He will have the mountain open to collecting from 8 am to 6 pm each day. All participants must stop at the welcome table in the Hospitality tent to sign a liability release. There will be several golf cart type, four wheeled vehicles available to transport those participants who have trouble walking long distances. The dig will cease and everyone is expected to be off the mountain by around 6 pm each day. Participants will be allowed to park in a designated area on the mountain.

Rock Swap and Hot Food/Drinks:
Junior will set aside an area in the upper parking lot for tables to be setup for daily rock swaps. Anyone who would like to setup a table(s), please contact Junior at the phone numbers listed below. Hot food cooked on the grill, cold drinks and chips will be available for purchase on the mountain during all three days of these events.

Contact Information:
Clarence Norman Jr. (Junior) - 706-359-1544 (his business) or 706-401-3173 (his cell)

Mark your calendar and tell all your friends about these two great events!

DIRECTIONS: From Atlanta's I-285, take I-20 east to the exit for Washington, GA SR 78 (SR 10, SR 17) and turn left.

Travel north to Washington, turn right onto SR 378 and drive 11 miles to the Graves Mountain area. The entrance to Graves Mountain is on your right about 8/10 mile past the Lincoln county line sign.
Just after you exit onto SR 78, turn right onto GA 43 and drive towards Lincolnton about 13 miles. Take a left onto GA 220 going Northwest for about 3 miles to SR 378. Take a left on SR 378 and go about 2 miles. The entrance will be on your left.

The entrance is a paved road that goes through a gate and up a hill. Please park along the access road and then proceed to the "Welcome Tent" at the end of the pavement to fill out a liability release form.
Graves mountain is accessible and open for mineral collecting by colleges, universities, and gem and mineral societies. Groups as small as two INDIVIDUAL mineral collectors can now reserve the mountain!

In order to gain access, (except for the two yearly "Rock Swaps and Digs") you will need to contact the caretaker, Clarence Norman, Jr (Junior) at 706-401-3173 (his business) or 706-401-3173 (his cell). Give him a call and he can reserve the mountain exclusively for your group. All of the mineral societies that come here to collect sincerely appreciate being able to do so!

Graves Mountain code of conduct!

  • Park your vehicle in the designated area(at the end of the paved access road but not much beyond the woods to the right of this road).
  • NO child under the age of 12 years old is to be allowed on the mountain because of all the dangers involved.
  • ALL pets must be kept under control and on a leash.
  • The caretaker, Junior Norman, has final and absolute say as to where you may safely work.
  • Ladders or power tools of any kind will not be allowed. (HAND TOOLS ONLY!)
    (The caretaker must accompany anyone driving beyond the parking area!)
  • EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE OFF THE MOUNTAIN BY DUSK. (Absolutely no one is allowed on Graves Mountain after dark.)

Please protect our ability to field collect at Graves Mountain!
Report violations to:

Clarence Norman, Jr
Norman C E Wrecking Co
3333 C E Norman Rd
Lincolnton, GA 30817-3110
706-359-1544 (his business)
706-401-3173 (his cell)

All reported violations will be held in strict confidence.

The Georgia Mineral Society has been going on field trips to this location since 1935.

You should not miss any opportunity to collect here because the rutile, lazulite, and pyrophyllite are said to be some of the finest in the world. The collecting area at Graves is huge! There are three main rock types here: quartz-sericite schist, sericite-kyanite-quartz rock (quartzite) and quartz conglomerate. You may still be able to collect rutile, kyanite, lazulite, iridescent hematite, pyrophyllite, pyrite, ilmenite, muscovite, fuchsite, barite, sulfur, blue quartz and quartz crystals with a hematite coating. Don't forget the micro phosphate and phosphosulfate minerals that can be collected here. Woodhouseite, variscite, strengite, phosphosiderite, cacoxenite, crandallite along with accessory quartz, pyrite, pyrophylite, dickite, jarosite and sulfur crystals.

You should bring a hand truck to move your buckets and tools to the collecting areas. Don't forget to include a backpack. You can bring scratching tools to surface collect and a rocker screen to sift for rutile at the top of the mountain. Gloves, safety glasses, sledge-hammer and chisels will be needed to break the quartzite boulders for the lazulite and kyanite. You might also want a shovel and pry bar. Don't forget the sunscreen, Gator Aid, appropriate clothing and something to eat.


WEATHER: This location can become an unbearably hot place during summer months in Georgia. Most local mineral societies restrict their collecting trips here to September through May. If you decide to venture here during the hotter months, take precautions to avoid heat stroke. Enough said!

QUARRY SAFETY: This quarry contains very high and unstable walls. Loose rocks can and will be dislodged by someone from above or even by the wind. It is suggested that you wear a hard hat and that you stay away from the pit walls. Proper footwear with good ankle support is a must when climbing around the rock piles. Always examine the area above you for loose rocks and boulders. Move the small stuff and avoid the larger ones. Check for anyone working below you and be careful not to dislodge any loose rock. Warn people below by yelling "ROCK", if anything starts going their way. Ladders or power tools of any kind are not allowed.

Children younger than 12 are discouraged because of all the dangers involved at this quarry.

DIRECTIONS: From Atlanta's I-285, take I-20 east to the exit for Washington, GA SR 78 (SR 10, SR 17) and turn left. Travel north to Washington, turn right onto SR 378 and drive 11 miles to the Graves Mountain area. From the Athens area , take US 78 east to Washington and take SR 378 11 miles to Graves Mountain. When coming from Washington, you will turn left at the first road (Norman Road) on your left past the Lincoln county line sign. From Lincolnton drive 6 miles west on SR 378, past Graves Mountain, and turn right onto Norman Road. Drive about 1/2 mile to C E Norman Wrecking Co (3333 C E Norman Rd) to sign liability releases.

Graves Mountain Articles


Let's Dig!

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