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Bentonite #5


water.  Curiously, the common name of this silica as a mineral, is opal.    Diatoms are perhaps the most abundant aquatic creatures and provide food for a multitude of lake creatures and sea life.
     When diatoms die, their silica shells accumulate by the billions as sediment. Thick layers of these diatom shells have become fossilized in rock or left more loosely packed in shales and clays.  While their remains also may make up diatomaceous earth, or diatomite, more importantly they also help to make-up vast amounts of various different minerals when their silicon combines with other elements.

How this is done is extremely important.  If ingested by an algae-eating tadpole that is in turn fed upon by a fish that is later injured and dies and then eaten by crayfish, several opportunities for chelation have taken place.  Each life form has become a part of the food chain and been recycled before and after becoming sediment.  Certain elements are bonded to proteins thereby, and/or are suspended between amino acids.  The molecules they form may either become colloids in association with Aluminum, as they form clay, or even smaller particles absorbed by the clay.  The clay can also become absorbed in fulvic acid coming from the run-off over composted vegetable matter, or absorb certain organic matter independently.  Evidence of these processes are visible in sedimentary layers.

     Certain deposits of Montmorillonite, like the one in Panaca, Nevada, rich in humates, not only make an ideal fertilizer additive as a result, but the resultant fulvic and humic acids in mild doses are also very beneficial to higher life forms.   Thus, the clay Montmorillonite not only has absorbed other elements, and was absorbed by once-living organisms, the matrix occurs in a natural state, as formulated by Mother Nature.  Artificial chelation can be synthesized using factory chemistry, but minerals cannot.   Silicon harvesting algae/diatoms and partially decomposed algae observed as lignitic silts enrich some deposits of Montmorillonite and have had eons of time to ionize and mineralize into forms more readily assimilatable by other organisms.  These living clays are not overburdened with high amounts of Calcium or Sodium, nor withuseless or toxic free elements in their metallic state, nor certain heavy metals because of the aforesaid process.   Ideally, their pH will be close to neutral and they can be used as soil balancers to boot.  

         More than just another Bentonite
     The particular Montmorillonite quarried by Window Peak Trace Minerals requires no blasting, tunneling, grinding or hammer milling to prepare.  It does not come from strip mining because overburden was already removed during the last several thousand years by weathering after seismic activity exposed the desert deposit.  The characteristically light rainfall patterns have further left the basic mineral pattern intact with virtually no leaching having taken place, leaving a uniform concentration of trace minerals throughout.
     It was obviously formed in a fresh water environment because no Sodium chloride, or halite (sea salt/table salt) is detectable in its composition.  In fact its low- Sodium, low-Calcium confirm that it is not classically, a Bentonite.   Successive studies from various scattered test samples consistently evidence fulvic acid and humic acid contents in the 9% and 1% ranges, respectively, with pH always falling within 6.7 –7.3.  If it were Sodium-based or Calcium-based the pH would be much more alkaline and therefore inappropriate for most western soils.  On the other hand, as a soil amendment it is a relatively simple matter to add rock gypsum to acidic soils, but this measure alone does not constitute a conscientious soil amendment program.  One must think about the health of the soil and all of the factors that must be synergistically involved to create good humus.

“Manufacturing” methods
     The loosely compacted sedimentary state of the Montmorillonite from Panaca is merely freed up by use of traditional farm implements and screened at low temperature to preserve its integrity.   
Chelated, colloidal, ionic Montmorillonite with organic matter in Lincoln County, Nevada showing plowed (left) and rotovated (right) surface-exposed material.  Notice the basaltic formations in the background giving rise to many of the other important trace elements appearing within the Montmorillonite.

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     The Window Peak monument sitting atop the central point of the Panaca Montmorillonite deposit provides a “rock record” of the formation.  The harder material that has withstood the rigors of centuries of weathering is obviously of inferior quality for nutritional purposes.   Some twenty feet below the bottom of the monument is the finer, softer material, richer in humates and fulvates called Montmorillonite.  What remains visible, is essentially the overburden that is no longer found covering the areas of interest for present and future excavation.

     The old warm spring and swimming hole outside the city limits of Panaca, is still assisting the growth of some of the same rushes and lush pond grasses whose ancestors may have provided much of the organic material, interbedded in the silts now being harvested along with the Montmorillonite.