Jim Clanin has always had an interest in collecting gems and minerals. While attending San Diego State University studying Geology in the mid 1970s, he began his apprenticeship at the Ocean View Mine, the Elizabeth R tunnel, in the Pala District, San Diego County, California, learning how to drill and blast in a gemstone environment under the tutelage of Roland Reed.
His career now spans nearly 40 years working on three continents in nine countries, mining in many different rock types of many different ages. He has had as many as 72 miners and logistic personnel working under him in some mines and in others worked successfully with a two-man crew, himself and another person.
He spent nearly 10 years in East Africa living in Kenya and Tanzania working mines like The John Saul Ruby Mine, now called Rockland Kenya, Ltd., Landaban Garnet mines as well as the alluvial deposits in Southern Tanzania near the town of Tunduru. There were many other deposits prospected for and mined by Jim Clanin in Africa - in countries like Madagascar and Nigeria.
Since his African days, he has spent time in the Himalayan Mountains in the Northern Areas of Pakistan, bringing the standard of mining up for the many artinsal mines found through the Himalayan Mountain Chain. He also gave an eight-day short course on the Fundamentals of Mining for Gemstones and Minerals Specimens to 77 miners and mine owners in Nigeria, in January of 2010.
Jim has always been a hands-on miner so he could learn to read the rock and make intelligent decisions on where to drill next and how much explosives it should take to break the rock gently and not obliterate the minerals he was looking for.