Sometimes you go where life takes you. That's certainly been the case for the second career of Floyd Anderson, the 94-year-old owner and general manager of Shamrock Mining LLC, based in Hanna, Utah.
After a career in higher education, Anderson, who holds a PhD in family relations and psychology, received an invitation to search for emeralds in eastern Utah with a group that included a gemologist, the head of the BYU Geology department and several graduate students. Although the search party didn't find any emeralds, they did stumble across a plethora of translucent yellow rocks. One of the searchers said he knew of a place with plenty more of the stones, on a plateau about 10,000 feet in elevation north of Tabiona in the Uintah Mountains.
Using a track hoe, Anderson exposed deep veins of the stone, which he named honeycomb calcite because of its amber color and white calcite lines. That was about 20 years ago, says Anderson, who went on to help form Shamrock Mining LLC to mine and market the stone, which is called "honeycomb onyx." Today, the company markets the onyx stone across the globe, custom-cutting each stone to the exact specifications of its private and trade customers.
"Our translucent amber onyx is widely used for countertops, backsplashes, reception desks, bar tops, book shelves, bookends, translucent onyx walls, art décor and much more," he adds. "And Shamrock Mining has the experience and expertise to complete each order and guarantee the quality of our work."
In November, World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) presented Shamrock Mining with the "Vanguard in International Business Award" during WTC Utah's Business Innovation Summit of Eastern Utah, which it held in Vernal. The company was honored with the award because it has grown the international share of its company to 35 percent of its total business in 2016.
Anderson says the company sells its translucent honeycomb onyx to markets in Italy, India, China, Pakistan, Germany and Mexico, although markets in Asia have been the company's strongest export destinations. He notes that various other mining locations across the globe produce similar stone, but none has the unique, translucent quality found in Shamrock's honeycomb onyx.
At age 94, Anderson says he's ready to take a break so he is putting the company up for sale, and while he didn't find emeralds in that search so long ago, he is grateful he found something just as interesting and unique that has global appeal. To learn more about Shamrock Mining LLC and its honeycomb onyx, visit honeycomb-onyx.com or call 435-848-5045.