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    New Kind of Mineral Found in Australia

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    A newly identified mineral called putnisite has been analyzed by scientists after being found near Lake Cowan, north of Norseman in remote Western Australia. The most recent addition to the estimated 4 thousand known minerals was found on volcanic rock, formed into small, brittle cubic crystals.

    A newly identified mineral called putnisite has been analyzed by scientists after being found near Lake Cowan, north of Norseman in remote Western Australia.

    The most recent addition to the estimated 4 thousand known minerals was found on volcanic rock, formed into small, brittle cubic crystals.

    Although dozens of new minerals are identified every year, the purple colored putnisite is made up of an unusual combination of elements including strontium, chromium, sulphur, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and calcium.

    It was discovered while prospecting for a mining company and given to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, which then sent the mineral to Peter Elliott, a researcher at the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide, for further study.

    Elliott, co-author of the study describing the new mineral is quoted in a statement saying: “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.”

    Minerals are usually named after the person who discovers them, including this one named after mineralogists Andrew and Christine Putnis, but every name has to be authorized by the International Mineralogical Association.