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Merelaniite - a new mineral from the famous tanzanite deposit
  
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John Jaszczak




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PostPosted: Nov 05, 2016 13:03    Post subject: Merelaniite - a new mineral from the famous tanzanite deposit  

Following keen observations by Jessica Simonoff, Robert Simonoff, and Mike Wise of unusual black whiskers associated with other minerals from the tanzanite mines near Merelani, Tanzania, Jessica and Mike published their observations in Mineral News in 2012, with a preliminary identification of the whiskers as molybdenite. Subsequent investigations of these whiskers, which form scroll-like structures similar to cylindrite, showed that they were indeed a cylindrite-group mineral with alternating layers of MoS2 and PbS rich chemistry. The new mineral (IMA 2016-042) is called merelaniite, after the locality and in honor of the miners who work there. For more information see the open access article in Minerals:
http://www.mdpi.com/2075-163X/6/4/115



705-10_med.jpg
 Mineral: Merelaniite
 Locality:
Merelani mines, Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania
 Dimensions: 0.73 mm
 Description:
0.73-mm cylindrical whisker associated with Tremolite and Prehnite.http://www.mdpi.com/2075-163X/6/4/115
 Viewed:  3648 Time(s)

705-10_med.jpg



711-05.jpg
 Mineral: Merelaniite in Quartz
 Locality:
Merelani mines, Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania
 Dimensions: 2.8 cm tall
 Description:
Merelaniite whiskers in quartz, associated with chabazite. A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum specimen. ex Simon Harrison. http://www.mdpi.com/2075-163X/6/4/115
 Viewed:  3647 Time(s)

711-05.jpg



Fig.13.jpg
 Mineral: Merelaniite
 Locality:
Merelani mines, Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania
 Dimensions: ~5 nm scale bar
 Description:
High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope image of a fragment of merelaniite showing the alternating layers (along the radial direction of the cylindrical whisker).http(:)//www(.)mdpi(.)com/2075-163X/6/4/115
 Viewed:  3640 Time(s)

Fig.13.jpg



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PostPosted: Nov 05, 2016 13:21    Post subject: Re: Merelaniite - a new mineral from the famous tanzanite deposit  

Warmest congratulations John!
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John Jaszczak




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PostPosted: Nov 05, 2016 21:34    Post subject: Re: Merelaniite - a new mineral from the famous tanzanite deposit  

Scanning electron microscope image of a merelaniite whisker showing the termination and also some variation in the diameter (about 24 microns maximum). (Piece of the holotype specimen.)


624c-05.jpg
 Mineral: Merelaniite
 Locality:
Merelani mines, Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania
 Dimensions: 24 microns max diameter
 Description:
Merelaniite whisker found in a crevice of a large alabandite crystal.
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624c-05.jpg



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PostPosted: Nov 07, 2016 16:03    Post subject: Re: Merelaniite - a new mineral from the famous tanzanite deposit  

SEM image of a 12-micron diameter broken whisker revealing the coiled nature of its layered structure.


622-10.jpg
 Mineral: Merelaniite
 Locality:
Merelani mines, Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania
 Dimensions: 12-micron diameter
 Description:
Broken merelaniite structure showing its layered texture.
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622-10.jpg



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PostPosted: Nov 10, 2016 14:51    Post subject: Re: Merelaniite - a new mineral from the famous tanzanite deposit  

Very interesting and unusually large merelaniite whisker that has some layers naturally unwound and encased in calcite (white). The overall whisker is about 5 mm long.


705-07_med.jpg
 Mineral: Merelaniite
 Locality:
Merelani mines, Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania
 Dimensions: 5 mm (largest whisker)
 Description:
Merelaniite with calcite and prehnite.
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705-07_med.jpg



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Roger Warin




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PostPosted: Nov 11, 2016 05:47    Post subject: Re: Merelaniite - a new mineral from the famous tanzanite deposit  

Merelianiite
Thank you for this beautiful info. There are no limits to the mineral world.
Just open the eyes of the new machines.
The Malagasy deposits are also full of hope.
Roger.
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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2016 17:02    Post subject: Re: Merelaniite - a new mineral from the famous tanzanite deposit  

Close up of the above specimen showing the partly-exposed whisker of merelaniite.


705-04_HFB.jpg
 Mineral: Merelaniite
 Locality:
Merelani mines, Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania
 Dimensions: 1.43-mm wide field of view
 Description:
close up showing naturally "unwound" layers partly encased in clear calcite.
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705-04_HFB.jpg



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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2016 20:58    Post subject: Re: Merelaniite - a new mineral from the famous tanzanite deposit  

So what is the composition of merelaniite?
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John Jaszczak




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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2016 22:42    Post subject: Re: Merelaniite - a new mineral from the famous tanzanite deposit  

Hi John
The microprobe analyses give
Mo4.33 Pb4.00 As0.10 V0.86 Sb0.43 Bi0.33 Mn0.05 W0.05 Cu0.03 (S14.70 Se0.30)_Sum=15

or more simply, Mo4 Pb4 V Sb S15
but it is an incommensurate structure so this is just approximate. There is also an As rich variety that at least for now, we don't believe is a new species, but more work needs to be done.

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PostPosted: Nov 26, 2016 13:30    Post subject: Re: Merelaniite - a new mineral from the famous tanzanite deposit  

Merelaniite whisker showing pronounced variation along its axis of its diameter. Partially protruding from calcite.


705-03_med.jpg
 Mineral: Merelaniite
 Locality:
Merelani mines, Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania
 Dimensions: 0.9 mm
 Description:
whisker of merelaniite with calcite (and prehnite, not shown)
 Viewed:  2640 Time(s)

705-03_med.jpg



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