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Latest Mineral Stories

2012-06-26 10:26:11

Mineral evolution posits that Earth's near-surface mineral diversity gradually increased through an array of chemical and biological processes. A dozen different species in interstellar dust particles that formed the solar system have evolved to more than 4500 species today. Previous work from Carnegie's Bob Hazen demonstrated that up to two thirds of the known types of minerals on Earth can be directly or indirectly linked to biological activity. Now Hazen has turned his focus specifically...

2012-05-02 20:58:52

Blood diamonds may get the most attention. But they are not the only minerals sold on the world market to finance wars and other conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa, according to an article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The story, by C&EN Senior Editor Celia Henry Arnaud, focuses on minerals being mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and...

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2012-03-14 06:20:25

A battle is brewing over the global supply of 17 rare earth minerals reports the Associated Press this week. The United States, the European Union and Japan filed complaints on Tuesday with the World Trade Organization claiming that China has set limits on the export of rare earth minerals. “China´s restrictions on rare earths and other products violate international trade rules and must be removed,” Karel De Gucht, EU trade commissioner, said in a statement. “These...

Structure Of Tough Sea Urchin Spines May Inspire Engineers
2012-02-16 14:10:27

A team of German scientists recently decoded the molecular structure of the unusually sturdy spines of sea urchins, a discovery that they believe could eventually prove useful in helping engineers construct stronger, more stable buildings. Biologists have long known that the spines of the globular little marine animals are made of the compound calcium carbonate, a chemical commonly found in the shells of various invertebrates, not to mention egg shells, calcium supplements and the antacids...

2012-01-24 11:02:03

By using a novel technique to better understand mineral growth and dissolution, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are improving predictions of mineral reactions and laying the groundwork for applications ranging from keeping oil pipes clear to sequestering radium. The mineral barite was examined to understand mineral growth and dissolution generally, but also because it is the dominant scale-forming mineral that precipitates in oil pipelines and...


Latest Mineral Reference Libraries

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2005-05-26 12:17:18

Aragonite is a polymorph of the mineral calcite, both having the chemical composition CaCO3. Its structure differs from calcite and leads to a different crystal shape, an orthorhombic system with acicular crystals. By repeated twinning pseudo-hexagonal forms result. It may be columnar or fibrous, occasionally in branching stalactitic forms called flos-ferri (flowers of iron) from their association with the ores at the Carthinian iron mines. The type location for aragonite is Molina de...

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2005-05-26 12:13:03

Augite is a mafic mineral described chemically as (Ca, Na)(Mg, Fe, Al)(Al, Si)2O6 or calcium sodium magnesium iron aluminium silicate. Structurally, it is a solid solution of the pyroxene group which also contains diopside and hedenbergite. The crystals are monoclinic and prismatic. It is found in igneous rocks such as gabbros and basalts, and in metamorphic rocks from hydrothermal vents. Occasional specimens have a shiny appearance that give rise to the mineral's name, which is from the...

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2005-05-26 11:56:59

Celestite (SrSO4) is a mineral consisting of strontium sulfate. The mineral is also known as celestine and is named for its occasional delicate blue color. Celestite occurs as crystals, and also in compact massive and fibrous forms. It is mostly found in sedimentary rocks, often associated with the minerals gypsum, anhydrite, and halite. The mineral is found worldwide, usually in small quantities. Pale blue crystal specimens are found in Madagascar.

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2005-05-26 11:13:48

Colemanite (Ca2B6O11·5H2O) is a borate mineral found in evaporite deposits. Colemanite is a secondary mineral that forms when borax is deposited, and then regularly covered with boron containing water. The boron remains after the water evaporates, and the boron and borax eventually form other minerals as for example Colemanite. It was named after William T. Coleman (1824-1893), owner of the mine where it was first found.

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2005-05-26 10:59:49

Galena is a lead ore. This article describes Galena's mineral properties. In its chemically purified form, Galena is known as Lead Sulfide; refer to that article for chemical and industrial uses. Galena is one of the most abundant and widely distributed sulfide minerals, and is the most common ore of lead. Crystals are usually cubic, sometimes octahedral. It is often associated with the minerals sphalerite and fluorite. Galena deposits sometimes contain significant amounts of silver as an...

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Word of the Day
cruet
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.
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