On a recent vacation, I had the opportunity to visit a mine that produces scoria. Scoria is the proper name for lava rock. The locals, however, refer to it as “cinder” – an older name for the substrate.
Unsurprisingly, the mine itself is a big hole in the ground.
The scoria is scooped up in the pit and dropped in a hopper that feeds a conveyer belt.
The belt leads to machinery that crushes and sifts the scoria into commercially useful sizes.
Crushers and sifters
The final product of this mine happens to be a useful size for bonsai – around 1/4″, give or take.
I’ve been visiting volcanic mines around California for fun and to investigate potential suppliers. The present mine is located in the Owens Valley.
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