New Mineral Discovered in Western Australia

Posted on April 23, 2014

Research have discovered a new mineral, called putnisite, in Western Australia. The mineral was found in a surface outcrop at Lake Cowan by Dr. Peter Elliott, a University of Adelaide mineralogy researcher and Research Associate with the South Australian Museum. The mineral is found on volcanic rock and occurs as tiny pseudocubic crystals. The crystals are less than 0.5 mm in diameter.

Dr. Elliott says in the announcement, "What defines a mineral is its chemistry and crystallography. By x-raying a single crystal of mineral you are able to determine its crystal structure and this, in conjunction with chemical analysis, tells you everything you need to know about the mineral. Most minerals belong to a family or small group of related minerals, or if they aren't related to other minerals they often are to a synthetic compound - but putnisite is completely unique and unrelated to anything. Nature seems to be far cleverer at dreaming up new chemicals than any researcher in a laboratory."

The mineral combines the elements strontium, calcium, chromium, sulphur, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen.

Another photo of the mineral can be seen on A research paper on the new mineral was published here in Mineralogical Magazine.

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