Some 150 years ago Russian mineralogist, Member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, Nikolai Koksharov, made an interesting discovery while visiting a small village, Slyudyanka, on the shore of Lake Baikal in Siberia. What he found was a mineral of an unusual salad color which belonged to the pyroxene group. He named his find "lavrovite" in honor of the then President of the All- Russia Imperial Society of Mineralogy Lavrov 20 years later the find was studied for the first time by a team of German chemists. During the more than one hundred years since Koksharov's discovery none of the mineralogists who studied the mineral has confirmed the "vanadium-related" color of lavrovite, although the fact that it contains vanadium was common knowledge among experts. Quite recently a team of German chemists have published an article under an intriguing title questioning the "authenticity" of lavrovite. This was followed by a report on a discredit of the very name "lavrovite".
The controversy has attracted the attention of Dr. Leonid Reznitsky, a research scientist of the Institute of the Earth Crust of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Irkutsk). He and his team visited the site of the original discovery - the village of Slyudyanka in Siberia. What they found there was not only the mineral in question, but five new ones as well.
The first of these turned out to be a very unusual one: it belonged to the spinel group which contains zink, chromium and sulphur - a very rare group earlier encountered only in meteorites. The mineral was given the name of "kalininite" in honor of a scholar who studied the Pribaikalye (near Baikal) region - Professor Pyotr Kali-nin of the Moscow Institute of Geological Prospecting.
The second mineral in the group - and contrary to the claims of the German scientists - was vanadium pyroxene. Dr. Reznitsky called it "nataliite" after a prominent Siberian geologist Dr. Na-talya Frolova.
The third of the newly discovered min ... Читать далее