RO3 - Neogene volcanics in the Apuseni Mts.: Historical mines and gold deposits

Leaders: Marcel Benea (Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, marcel.benea@ubbcluj.ro), Călin G. Tămaş (Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca)

Practical information:

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Pre-conference: 16.08. 2010 Budapest (HU) - 20.08. 2010 Budapest (HU)
  • Length: 1300 km
  • Min. number of participants: 5
  • Max. number of participants: 25
  • Field trip registration fee
    • Student/young scientist: EUR 70
    • Normal: EUR 140
  • Accommodation and meals cost: EUR 100
  • Demands: Physical demands are low to moderate (visits to the narrow Roman workings is not recommended to claustrophobic people). Normal field trip equipment is recommended.
  • Means of transport: bus / van
  • Accommodation: Double room
    (for single possibilities contact Robert Hohol)
Full technical details in PDF format
Detailed itinerary in PDF format
Photo: Native gold, Brad, Gold Museum (RO)
Native gold, Brad, Gold Museum (RO)


Scientific focus (keywords): volcanic petrology; ore deposits; Metaliferi Mts.; Neogene volcanics; gold deposits; base metal deposits; porphyry copper deposits; Roman mining works; mining heritage; mineralogical exhibitions; Gold Museum; medieval monuments

Photo: Roşia Montană (Cetate open pit): Mn-gangue minerals veins,  with tellurides (RO) The Neogene magmatics in the Metaliferi Mts. (Southern Apuseni Mts.) range from basaltic andesites to dacites and exhibit rich, partly unique mineral associations. The pyroxene andesite quarry at Uroi Hill (near Deva), type locality of pseudobrookite and fluoromagnesiohastingsite will be visited. The Valea Arsului quarry (near Brad) is mined for Sarmatian andesites with hornblende and hypersthene. The presence of stilbite, chabazite, natrolite, gyrolite, okenite, apophyllite etc. should also be mentioned.

The Roşia Montana ore deposit provides a travel through geology and history. Spectacular breccia structures, quartz-adularia veins and telluride veins will be presented, as well as the remnants of the Roman mining workings. At Roşia Poieni the largest porphyry copper open pit of Romania will be visited. The trip will stop at Baia de Arieş, type locality of sylvanite. This complex ore deposit contains (1) low sulfidation Au-Ag breccia-hosted ore bodies, overprinted by telluride veins, and (2) Pb-Zn replacement ores.

The trip will visit one of the "most precious museums" in Romania, i.e. the "Gold Museum" in the small town of Brad, in the heart of the "Golden Quadrangle". The underground Mining Museum in Roşia Montană and the Mineralogical Museum of the Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca will give further insights into the mining history and mineral wealth of the area. From the rich cultural heritage of the country the 15th century Lupşa Monastery, and the medieval monuments of Cluj-Napoca will be visited.

Roşia Montană (Cetate open pit): Mn-gangue minerals veins, with tellurides


Daily programme:

Day 1 (16 Aug): Budapest - Simeria - Uroi, Uroi Hill: type locality of pseudobrookite, fluoromagnesiohastingsite and "szabóite" (discredited hypersthene variety) - Deva: accommodation

Day 2 (17 Aug): Deva - Brad: Gold Museum (unique collection with native gold and telluride specimens of the Apuseni Mts.) - Crişcior: Arsului Valley Quarry (andesite with zeolites stilbite, chabasite, gyrolite, natrolite - Roşia Montană: Mining Museum (underground - Roman trapezoidal adits); accommodation

Day 3 (18 Aug): Roşia Montană - Roşia Montană mining area: Ancient (Roman) mining works at surface and underground: trapezoidal adits, Găuri mining field (Roman fire-setting), Cetate open pit (dacite, phreatomagmatic breccias, gangue and ore minerals: quartz amethyst, Mn-gangue minerals, adularia, sulphides, tellurides; open pit and underground), Cârnic massif (underground): huge chambers ("coranda") room and pillars - Roşia Montană: return to the accommodation

Day 4 (19 Aug): Roşia Montană - Roşia Poieni: open pit in porphyry copper ore deposit - Baia de Arieş: waste dumps of the hydrothermal Pb-Zn deposit - Lupşa: Lupşa Monastery (15th century) - Cluj-Napoca: accommodation

Day 5 (20 Aug): Cluj-Napoca: mineralogical museum of the Babeş-Bolyai University (over 20,000 samples; Au, meteorite and gemstone collections), Museum of Etnography, Medieval monuments etc. - Oradea - Budapest

On-line registration >>

Photo: Native gold, Brad, Gold Museum (RO)
Native gold, Brad, Gold Museum (RO)


Map of the field trip with the key locations (or download Kml file for Google Earth):


View RO3: Neogene volcanics in the Apuseni Mountains: historical mining and ore deposits in a larger map