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New unknown mineral on Earth discovered in Israel

Carmeltazite, found inside a sapphire in Israel, has just been added to the official list of known minerals. It would have formed during the Cretaceous, while the region was subject to intense volcanic eruptions.

A new special mineral has just been added to the official list of minerals on January 7, after approval by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA). The latter was discovered last month by the Shefa Yamim mining company in the form of inclusions inside a sapphire Carmel ™.

A specific type of sapphire was deposited by the company whose color varies from orange to blue and black. Carmeltazite owes its name to the place of its discovery (near the Kishon River under Mount Carmel in northern Israel) and the minerals it contains (titanium, aluminum, and zirconium, i.e. TAZ).

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Carmeltazite has a unique arrangement of titanium, aluminum and zirconium atoms.  © William L. Griffin et al, Minerals, 2018

Carmeltazite has a unique arrangement of titanium, aluminum and zirconium atoms. 

A mineral formed at the time of the dinosaurs


Of composition ZrAl2Ti4O11 , its crystalline structure was described in the newspaper Minerals, December 19 last Year.

After chemical analysis and X-rays, it was added in the list of rare unknown minerals. Carmeltazite, slightly pleochroic (with different colors depending on the orientation of the body) with a color ranging from dark brown to dark green, was formed during a volcanic eruption during the Cretaceous.

” Corundum aggregates in which carmeltazite is present appear to have formed near the crust-mantle boundary at about 30 km depth, ”




the study authors report.


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The carmeltazite crystals measure a few tens of microns.  © Shefa Yamim

The carmeltazite crystals measure a few tens of microns

About 100 new minerals are added to the IMA list every year, most of which are not of significant scientific or economic interest. Carmeltazite is particularly rare and is particularly valuable to Carmel ™ sapphires and Shefa Yamim, which owns them. It estimates that new veins could be detected in the volcanic rocks of Mount Carmel.

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