BRC club day in Ariège – Le Petit Journal

The BRC at the talc quarry Credits:

On May 21, the BRC benefited from unexpected weather conditions with just a small shower at the end of the day.Departure at 7 a.m. sharp and drive to Luzenac to visit the talc quarry. With a production of 400 million tonnes of talc in 2023, or 10% of world production, and knowing that it is only exploited from April to November each year, it is the largest open-air talc quarry in the world. ‘Europe. With surprise we discovered that talc was used in almost all branches of industry, agricultural, food, pharmaceutical etc. It is transported from the place of extraction to the factory over 17 km by an electrically autonomous cable car. At the quarry, everything is tailor-made: just one of the 4 tires on the transport vehicles weighs 1,300 kilos! The green terraces on the mountainside bear witness to the rehabilitation of the site after exploitation. The reserves are currently envisaged for 30 years. In the afternoon we went from 1850 m altitude under generous sunshine, to immersion in the bowels of the mountain in the Lombrives cave, which we left later in the rain. It communicates with the Niaux cave. Both are known and have been occupied since prehistoric times. Various objects found despite the looting bear witness to this. The continuous work of water on the rock has left concretions of remarkable variety and finesse, revealing immense rooms called cathedrals with astonishing acoustics. The walls have preserved the charcoal inscriptions of the first occupants’ passage. A legend says that during the capture of Montségur, Cathars who had taken refuge there were walled up alive. For esoteric societies their souls would have remained prisoners of the place. After this busy day, at the beginning of June the club prepares for other discoveries during its stay in Les Angles.

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