Australian Miners Unearth New Mineral, Putnisite, at Lake Cowan Area in WA

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By Vittorio Hernandez | April 29, 2014 9:25 AM EST

A junior miner deployed at the Lake Cowan region in Western Australia had discovered an unknown mineral. It has been named putnisite after minearologists Andrew and Christine Putnis.

REUTERS/Stringer China
Labourers work to drain sewage water from a leaked sewage tank at a copper mine in Shanghang, Fujian province, July 13, 2010. The sewage leak from the copper mine owned by Zijin Mining Group Co., has polluted a river and reservoir in Fujian province, Xinhua news agency reported.

The mineral is translucent and brittle, although there is no known practical uses yet of putnisite. Among its elements are carbon, calcium, chromium and strontium.

The discovers brought the newly discovered mineral to Dr Peter Elliott, a researcher at the University of Adelaide, for analysis. Elliott said, quoted by Mining.com, "Most minerals belong to a family or small group of related minerals, or if they aren't related to other minerals they often are to a synthetic compound - but putnisite is completely unique and unrelated to anything."

For putnisite to be official, it needs to be approved by the International Mineralogical Association.

Elliott published his findings about putnisite in Mineralogical Magazine.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Stringer China / )
Labourers work to drain sewage water from a leaked sewage tank at a copper mine in Shanghang, Fujian province, July 13, 2010. The sewage leak from the copper mine owned by Zijin Mining Group Co., has polluted a river and reservoir in Fujian province, Xinhua news agency reported.
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