AUSTRALIA – The opportunity to name a previously unknown mineral is a rare honour, and it recently went to Dr. Kirsten Rempel, a geochemist from Curtin University. She calls it “kalgoorlieite” after the iconic Australian mining town.
The International Mineralogical Association declared Kalgoorlieite a new mineral after a year-long verification and classification process.
The new mineral was discovered in the Kalgoorlie Super Pit, the largest open pit gold mine in Australia. The pit is operated by a joint venture of Barrick Australia Pacific and Newmont Asia Pacific (www.SuperPit.com.au).
Kalgoorlieite is a telluride mineral chemically related to the gold and silver telluride ores in the pit, but it contains only trace amounts of precious metals. The original sample was taken by the owner of the mine that eventually became the Super Pit. It sat for several years in a museum and was described as “gold ore showing tellurides”.
Click here to see an image of the mineral on a microscopic slide.