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Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile
  
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Kevin Conroy




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PostPosted: May 30, 2019 12:27    Post subject: Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile  

Recently there has been a discussion on Mindat regarding lecontite and salammoniac from a pond near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine. It was revealed that these specimens are not natural, and they actually formed as a result from toxic chemical waste. To read the complete discussion please see: https://www.mindat.org/forum.php?read,105,464001,464001#msg-464001
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Kevin Schofield




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PostPosted: May 31, 2019 09:56    Post subject: Re: Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile  

Kevin Conroy wrote:
Recently there has been a discussion on Mindat regarding lecontite and salammoniac from a pond near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine. It was revealed that these specimens are not natural, and they actually formed as a result from toxic chemical waste. To read the complete discussion please see: https://www.mindat.org/forum.php?read,105,464001,464001#msg-464001


I would argue that if they are growing "in the wild", then they are entirely "natural" in as much as chemicals dissolved in groundwaters came to/near the surface, and as a result of evaporative concentration, minerals formed. Quite a few "post mining" specimens are held in very respectable collections without a murmur, so it's not clear to me that these fill any different niche so long as (as is emphasized in the other Mindat thread) they are not represented as anything other than post-mining "modern" deposits.

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PostPosted: May 31, 2019 12:48    Post subject: Re: Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile  

Hi everyone.

A professor from a mining school in northern Chile has told us this:

“I will tell you what I know about that.
First they were sold as Kronkite and Bloodite, but what I know is that they come from an illegal dumping of a mining area (I think it is material discarded from the solvent extraction stage), and due to the desert conditions they finally crystallized…
In fact, the leak is not close to Mejillones, which explains why there are people from Antofagasta who have some of these with insects inside which were trapped during the crystallization process.

In the local craft stalls and common minerals from Antofagasta it is possible to find many of them proposed as "Chalcantite.”
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: May 31, 2019 13:55    Post subject: Re: Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile  

Kevin Schofield wrote:
Kevin Conroy wrote:
Recently there has been a discussion on Mindat regarding lecontite and salammoniac from a pond near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine. It was revealed that these specimens are not natural, and they actually formed as a result from toxic chemical waste. To read the complete discussion please see: https://www.mindat.org/forum.php?read,105,464001,464001#msg-464001


I would argue that if they are growing "in the wild", then they are entirely "natural" in as much as chemicals dissolved in groundwaters came to/near the surface, and as a result of evaporative concentration, minerals formed. Quite a few "post mining" specimens are held in very respectable collections without a murmur, so it's not clear to me that these fill any different niche so long as (as is emphasized in the other Mindat thread) they are not represented as anything other than post-mining "modern" deposits.


True that many minerals considered as 'standard' are fairly young compared to most minerals. Take for example many from Laurion - and one could name many other places. Secondary minerals in old mines and even not so old mining areas are sometimes highly sought. I think as long as the labeling is clear, it is generally OK. Everyone will have a different 'red line'. For me, the dumping of some waste chemicals does sound a bit strange - even if they form nice xx, but again, as long as it is properly put on a label, I think it is acceptable if strange and [to me] not the same as Laurion secondary minerals or, for example, Libethenite - but as I said, everyone has their own comfort zone and red lines. I'm always put off at mineral shows when people are selling artificially grown xx as if they were natural and found 'in Nature'. As I child I grew some crystals in my basement laboratory, but never put them in my mineral collection.....
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Kevin Conroy




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PostPosted: May 31, 2019 19:07    Post subject: Re: Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile  

To me, the distinction for the minerals found at the "pond" is that they would not have naturally formed there if not for the introduction of a solution carrying concentrations of elements/compounds much higher than what would have been at that location without human actions.

For an example let's consider chalcanthite. There are many chalcanthite specimens that formed as a result of human action. If it weren't for a mine adit, there wouldn't have been a void for the chalcanthite to crystallize in. However, the chalcanthite formed from natural solutions in the rocks, not from a hydrated copper sulfate solution introduced by the mining.

The minerals at the "pond" formed from an introduced solution with abnormally high (for that location) concentrations of ammonia. If you think of the "pond" as a giant outdoor container for a crystal-growing solution that you mixed at home, this is the point of view that I have for minerals from this locality.
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David Flynn




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PostPosted: Jun 01, 2019 14:23    Post subject: Re: Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile  

To me, I think we can't just conclude this is a toxic dump. I spoke with a friend at the Tourmaline King mine and he had this to say:

"I don't see the tell tail signs of tunneling or quarrying. Almost looks like they cut in and found it. There's the possibility that it could be a spring that allowed the material to percolate out of the ore body and ended up in the bottom of the valley. That's how calcites form in pegmatites at the King mine. They gather up all the calcium in or around the peg body and recrystallize in pocket."

The other argument I'm hearing is the large concentration of Ammonium, but this could be explained by volcanic or cryo-volcanic activity in the are.

Chile is home over 500 active volcanos which makes this at least possible.

I've attached a photo of the location, that matches up with the photos from the e-rocks article's photos.



Screen Shot 2019-06-01 at 1.02.23 PM.jpg
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Screen Shot 2019-06-01 at 1.02.23 PM.jpg


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David Flynn




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PostPosted: Jun 01, 2019 14:25    Post subject: Re: Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile  

Another close up shot.

Kevin Conroy, do you have the location of any mining operations nearby that would support your theory?



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Kevin Conroy




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PostPosted: Jun 01, 2019 16:32    Post subject: Re: Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile  

Hi David,

I must admit that I've never been to this locality, so I don't have any first-hand knowledge to share. I would suggest following two discussions that are currently on Mindat: https://www.mindat.org/forum.php?read,105,464001,page=1 and https://www.mindat.org/forum.php?read,106,437964,page=1

You did get me thinking though, so I went to the USGS site, downloaded the MRDS data for Chile, then imported it into Google Earth. The shot below shows the mines in the area of the pond. All of them list copper as a commodity. The one that I've arrowed caught my interest. I followed a road from the "pond", and it lead directly to here. I'm not saying that this mine is the one dumping anything into the pond, but it is quite a coincidence that a road directly connects the two.

I also didn't know anything about the locations of volcanoes in Chile, so I did a search and found the following:
http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1PQCZ_enUS797US797&q=volcanoes+in+chile+map&npsic=0&rflfq=1&rlha=0&tbm=lcl&ved=2ahUKEwjLh5_cm8niAhVMnKwKHTWVDo0QtgN6BAhjEAQ&tbs=lrf:,lf:1,lf_ui:1&rldoc=1#rldoc=1&rlfi=hd:;si:;mv:!1m2!1d-22.62511296858863!2d-67.58171169534467!2m2!1d-24.84750990786538!2d-71.70158474221967!4m2!1d-23.741050454012377!2d-69.64164821878217!5i9

As far as I can tell there aren't any volcanoes near the "pond".

Having stated all of this, I would yield to anyone who has local first-hand information about this deposit.



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David Flynn




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PostPosted: Jun 01, 2019 19:22    Post subject: Re: Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile  

Kevin,

Thank you so much for your research. This definitely seems like a possibility. I just think it's funny everyone made up their mind on this mineral while there is still new information coming out hourly!

I just want to get this right!

Everything is pointing to this being a man-made pond, I just to eliminate other possibilities with facts, instead of jumping to conclusions based on assumptions!

I've been following both of the Mindat threads thoroughly!
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Jun 02, 2019 07:54    Post subject: Re: Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile  

It is in the Antofagasta Desert! The driest place on Earth other than one valley in Antarctica. In most places in this desert it has not rained since the 1500's when records began and only a few places have shown some 'hundred year or thousand year event of a single atypical rain'. Some dry river beds show no running water in hundreds of millions of years. Water bodies of any kind are either artificial or transient [days in the South, when a freak brief rain rarely occurs]. So, to me there seem to be two 'artificial/anthropogenic' features - some chemicals that don't normally reside there, and water. However, if properly labeled and if desired, it is for each person to 'call' for themselves if this is admissible in their collection or not. IMHO. I don't see it in the same way as Laurion minerals, which formed because of empty spaces and the seepage of naturally occurring water over a few thousand years. Each to his own.
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Jun 02, 2019 12:28    Post subject: Re: Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile  

Peter Lemkin wrote:
It is in the Antofagasta Desert! The driest place on Earth other than one valley in Antarctica. In most places in this desert it has not rained since the 1500's when records began and only a few places have shown some 'hundred year or thousand year event of a single atypical rain'. Some dry river beds show no running water in a few million years. Water bodies of any kind are either artificial or transient [days in the South, when a freak brief rain rarely occurs]. So, to me there seem to be two 'artificial/anthropogenic' features - some chemicals that don't normally reside there, and water. However, if properly labeled and if desired, it is for each person to 'call' for themselves if this is admissible in their collection or not. IMHO. I don't see it in the same way as Laurion minerals, which formed because of empty spaces and the seepage of naturally occurring water over a few thousand years. Each to his own.


Just wanted to correct myself - those dry river beds show no real flow of water in them for about the last 3 million years - making this the oldest desert, as well as the driest.
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Kevin Conroy




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PostPosted: Jun 02, 2019 16:55    Post subject: Re: Specimens from near the Coronel Manuel Rodriguez Mine, Chile  

David, you're welcome! I enjoy looking into things, I always learn something.
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