Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Eight New Minerals Discovered by Pat Haynes

Renowned geologist Pat Haynes wears his cowboy hat in trademark fashion at shows, even since moving from Nevada to Northern Virginia. I didn't ask what was in his left hand when shooting the above picture at the East Coast Gem and Mineral Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts, this past August. However, he usually has with him a directory of approximately 4350 mineral species known to exist. Listings of the approximately 2300 of them in his personal species collection bear checkmarks. Eight of them he discovered himself, nine if you count squawcreekite, which he's quick to inform you that the IMA (International Mineralogical Association) discredited in 2003. He's vocal about his penchant for accurate identification, which can be tricky with the kinds of minerals he's uncovered. Seven have been secondary uranium or vanadium minerals from Colorado and Utah, one an arsenate from New Mexico.

An earlier post at Mineral Bliss featured a title shot of the mineral haynesite. In today's post is an image of a more aesthetically pleasing haynesite specimen, perhaps the best in existence. I had never heard of haynesite until months after meeting Pat at John Veevaert's open house last February in Tucson. He was there hawking micromounts and thumbnail specimens, one of which I recall being plumbophyllite, an IMA approved but yet to published new mineral that someone else discovered. Only months later, enticed to undertake some research after observing a haynesite micromount for sale on eBay, did I learn that Pat Haynes discovered not only haynesite, but seven other new minerals as well.

Beginning with haynesite, they are as follows:

Haynesite: I suspect this could be the best specimen of haynesite ever collected. Pat discovered this uranyl selenite in December of 1986 at the Repete Mine in San Juan County, Utah. Now closed and sealed, the Repete Mine is both the type locality for haynesite and the only locality from which haynesite has ever been reported.

Orthominasragrite: This extremely rare vanadium sulfate accompanied by acicular white rozenite was discovered by Pat in a silicified tree fossil at the North Mesa 5 Mine, Temple Mt., Emery County, Utah. It is the orthorhombic polymorph of minasragrite for which the type locality is the Ragra Mine (minasragra) in Peru. It occurs only in crystalline microscopic crusts.
Anorthominasragrite: Also discovered in a silicified tree fossil at the North Mesa 5 Mine, Temple Mt., Emery County, Utah, anorthominasragrite has mever been reported from any other locality. Anorthominasragrite is the triclinic polymorph of minasragrite. In addition to crystalline microscopic crusts similar to orthominasragrite, anorthominasragrite is also known to form lath-like crystals.
Bobjonesite: Pat insisted that this third vanadium sulfate he discovered at the North Mesa 5 Mine remain in its container to be photographed. Named by Pat to honore the eminent mineralogical speaker and writer, and editor of Rocks and Gems, Bobjonesite is stable only in extremely dry atmosphere and quickly hydrates when exposed to air. Because it has only three waters in its structure as opposed to five waters in the other vanadium sulfates, a synthetic equivalent was used during analysis to determine the x-ray powder diffraction pattern.

Blatonite: One of two minerals Pat Haynes discovered in the mid 1990's at the Jomac Uranium Mine, Brown's Rim, San Juan County, Utah, the only locality from which blatonite has ever been reported. An uranyl carbonate (monohydrate), it occurs exclusively in acicular crystals as shown . The name blatonite honors the Belgian crystallographer Norbert Blaton.
Oswaldpeetersite: Another uranyl carbonate found exclusively at the Jomac Uranium Mine, it is named after Belgian crystallographer and uranium mineralogy researcher Maurice Oswald Peters. Oswaldpeetersite is the first known basic uranyl carbonate without additional cations (positive ions) in its structure.

Metamunirite: Discovered by Pat in 1986 at the Burro Mine, Slick Rock, San Miguel County Colorado, this anydrous sodium metavanadate is named for its relationship to munirite and is a product of munirite dehydration. Extremely rare, it most commonly occurs as post-mining efflorescent crusts.

Maxwellite: In 1983, thinking that he had been collecting durangite at the Squaw Creek Tin Mine in Catron County, New Mexico, Pat later learned that what he'd picked up was a new mineral species. The iron analog of durangite, this fluoro sodium iron arsenate, is named for the late Charles Henry Maxwell, a U.S. Geological Survey geologist renowned for his work in New Mexico.

Squawcreekite: Pat uncovered this iron antimony oxide in 1983 at the Squaw Creek Tin Mine at about the same time he discovered maxwellite. In 1991 the IMA approved it as the new mineral squawcreekite. They later discredited it in 2003 as a tin-rich triphuyite. MINDAT refers to squawcreekite as a synonym of triphuyite.

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