Pyrosmalite-(Mn) is a very rare mineral, even rarer in large crystals. In this specimen it is accompanied by calcite and galena. Its chemical composition - manganese, iron, chlorine silicate - is very unusual, as chlorine isn’t usually included in silicate crystal structures. Pyrosmalite can be manganese-rich and iron-rich species, but because the Broken Hill orebody has abundant manganese, this species formed. Its pink colour is due to this manganese content.
1900 ft (579 m) level, Zinc Corporation Mine, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
5 x 4 x 3 cm
This magnificent crystal group is intriguing due to its pairing with a unique ‘butterfly’ twinned crystal of white calcite. It was purchased by Albert Chapman at the National Gemboree in 1978 in Gympie, Queensland.
The pyrosmalite-(Mn) specimen featured left is accompanied by axinite-(Mn) and quartz. It was acquired by Albert Chapman in the mid-1950s as a gift from legendary Broken Hill mineral collector and former Broken Hill miner Arthur ‘Floss’ Campbell, who had become a firm friend of Albert’s. Arthur became an Inspector of Mine Safety Conditions with the Barrier Industrial Council at Broken Hill. His position gave him many opportunities to collect specimens from the Broken Hill mines and his many contacts provided him with superb, crystallised minerals.
South Mine, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia. 5.5 x 7 x 5 cm, (crystals to 2.5 cm). D.49977. Albert Chapman Collection.
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