Our dramatic landscapes and interesting geology has many a story to tell. We have several different rock types including one fascinating component within the rocks here; the sheet-like, multi-layered “books” of mica. There is a small village close-by named Mica where they have for many years mined this mineral.
Mica is essentially a phyllosilicate – meaning sheet silicates in layers and it is found in all three of the major groups of rocks.
Mica has a myriad of wide-ranging uses from insulators in missiles to the sheen in eye shadow cosmetics.
Many years ago, large sheets of transparent mica were used as early window panes in the area around Moscow, giving this type of mica the tag “muscovite”. Sheet mica is used in insulation of aerospace components, for “windows” of furnaces and ovens, optical instruments and electrical condensers.
Ground mica is a filler and stabiliser for asphalt road surfaces, for rubber products and drywall. It is added to the plastic components of automobiles where it adds strength and flexibility. It gives the pearlescent quality to automobile paints and the sheen to wallpaper.
On our evening drives when the moon is full, mica can be seen glittering on our roads and hillsides giving the bush a magic quality.