Tuesday, 14 March 2017

New minerals in the FT

More About New Minerals

The Financial Times is the latest to comment on the emergence of new minerals due to the efforts of humans. Read it HERE.

My favourite is Tinnunculite, found in Russia and formed as hot gases from a burning coal mine dump react with the droppings of the Eurasian kestrel. So biology, economic geology, environmental degradation and chemistry combine - amazing!

Tinnunculite is described HERE as:

Tinnunculite [C5H4N4O3·2H2O]

This mineral was discovered by  Igor V. Pekov, Inna S. Lykova, Vasiliy O. Yapaskurt, Natalia V. Zubkova (Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia), Nikita V. Chukanov (Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, Moscow, Russia), Dmitry I. Belakovskiy (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia), Elena P. Shcherbakova (Institute of Mineralogy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Miass, Russia), and Sergey N. Britvin (Institute of Earth Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, Russia) on Mt Rasvumchorr, Kola peninsula, Russia. This mineral was not specifically predicted in the Hazen et al (2015) paper, but was found near Kukisvumchorr Mountain, a location predicted to harbor undiscovered carbon minerals. Mineralogists have described 91 minerals on Mt Rasvumchorr, but only 6 of the known minerals contain carbon. This mineral is an example of a rare mineral species that only exists under very specific conditions. In this case, tinnunculite forms when hot gases from a burning coal dump react with excrement from the European Falcon (Falco tinnunculus).  This makes tinnunculite a very rare and fragile mineral species. The mineral was named in honor of the species of falcon whose excrement is needed to crystallize it [3].

Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). Credit Andreas Trept

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