After dobšináit, Slovakia has another new mineral
Slovakia has given the world another new mineral - argentopolybasite. It typically occurs in Kremnica. It produces black tabular crystals up to 5 mm in size. The Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification of the International Mineralogical Association unanimously approved it on April 2, 2022.
Argentopolybasite is a new member of the polybasite group. It is extremely interesting for geologists and mineralogists due to its structure and composition, as it significantly shifts current knowledge within this whole group of minerals.
"We first discovered samples with argentopolybasite in Kremnica in 2008, but we only recently found out that it is a new mineral. It was also found in Nová Baňa and Arykevaam in the Russian Federation. These are areas specific to the occurrence of minerals containing silver and gold, the formation of which is related to volcanic activity,” says Martin Števko from the Earth Science Institute of the SAS. He collaborated on research into the new mineral together with colleagues from the Institute's detached workplace in Banská Bystrica. Mineralogists from the Czech Republic, Denmark and Russia were also part of the international scientific team.
The occurrence of argentopolybasite is also expected in other localities of the world, especially in areas with high silver activity and, at the same time, the absence of copper in solutions. In addition to argentopolybasite, geologists have discovered and described another new mineral, argentotetraedrite- (Zn), in Kremnica in recent months. The number of new minerals described for the first time in the territory of Slovakia thus increased to a total of 25.
Edited by Katarína Gáliková
Photo: Martin Števko, Luboš Hrdlovič, Pavel Škácha