14 Stories

You Could Find, Name a New Mineral

Scientists hope open challenge will reveal 145 unknown carbon minerals

(Newser) - Imagine flooring your friends with the line: "I discovered a carbon mineral." Scientists with the Deep Carbon Observatory hope that will one day be your fate. They've started the Carbon Mineral Challenge , which is urging professional and amateur mineral collectors to scour the planet for carbon-bearing minerals.... More »

Wisconsin Crater Yields One of the Rarest Minerals

450M-year-old reidite find is most ancient yet

(Newser) - Reidite is one of the rarest minerals on earth—it's been found in only four places. The most recent is Rock Elm, Wisconsin, where scientists discovered the material in a crater, Phys.org reports. The crater has been around since the geologic period known as the Middle Ordovician, and... More »

Introducing the Earth's Most Abundant Mineral

It's called bridgmanite, and it just received its name

(Newser) - Quick, name the Earth's most abundant mineral. If you uttered "bridgmanite," that means you're clearly up on your geologic news because the mineral just got its name this month. In fact, that's because scientists finally saw it for the first time. As LiveScience explains, the... More »

Gold Miners Discover 'Unique' Mineral

Putnisite has a unique composition and structure, study says

(Newser) - Miners prospecting for nickel and gold in Western Australia have stumbled on a rare find: a mineral that's unique among the world's 4,000 discovered mineral species, LiveScience reports. Called putnisite, it ranges from dark to light purple, has a pink streak, and is found on volcanic rock,... More »

Aging Mars Rover May Have Made Its Best Find

Rocks full of likely clay minerals point to water

(Newser) - It's been more than nine years, but the Mars rover Opportunity just made a discovery that ranks among its biggest. The rover has discovered rock in the Endeavour Crater that's full of what appear to be clay minerals—suggesting it had extended contact with water, the BBC reports.... More »

Meteorite Yields New Ancient Mineral

Panguite found inside 1969 fireball

(Newser) - A mineral new to science but older than our planet has been found in fragments of a meteorite that smashed into northern Mexico in 1969. Panguite was found in bits of the Allende meteorite by Caltech researchers who used an electron-scanning microscope to study minerals that were trapped inside the... More »

Moon Mineral Found in Ancient Rock ... on Earth

Last 'unique' lunar mineral was in Australia all along

(Newser) - A mineral brought back from the moon by astronauts in 1969 has been found on Earth for the first time, buried in billion-year-old rocks in Australia. Tranquillityite, named after the moon's Sea of Tranquility, had long been considered "the moon's own mineral." Two other previously unknown... More »

China Needs to Grow Up, US Needs to Wise Up

The story of rare earth minerals has many lessons, writes Paul Krugman

(Newser) - When Japan detained a Chinese fishing boat captain whose vessel had collided with two of its Coast Guard ships, China cut off its access to rare earths, the essential minerals on which China has a near-monopoly. For Paul Krugman, this highlights two concerns: First, that the US let “unreliable”... More »

Did Pentagon Use the Times to Hype its Afghan Auction?

Timing of miracle minerals story fishy

(Newser) - There has been much grousing about the New York Times’ non-scoop on Afghanistan’s trillion-dollar mineral deposits. Most people figured the Pentagon spoon-fed the paper the story to drum up public support for the war. But now it looks like it may have been trying to drum up customers, says... More »

Times 'Scoop' on Afghan Minerals Less Than Meets the Eye

Administration using carrot of mineral wealth to drum up war support

(Newser) - The New York Times reports today that the government has discovered billions in mineral reserves in Afghanistan—"far beyond any previously known reserves." But is it true? In fact, Afghanistan's mineral wealth seems to be well known—Paul Jay, writing for the Huffington Post , points to a 2007... More »

War in Congo Is Over Profit—From Us

Westerners fund violence over control of minerals

(Newser) - We’re told that the renewed bloodshed in Congo is spurred by tribal conflict and payback for the Rwandan genocide, but that’s not true, writes Johann Hari in the Independent. In fact, the war starting again there—"the deadliest war since Adolf Hitler"—is over Congo’s... More »

Arctic Boom Awash in Green Risk

Rush to tap vast mineral riches will tax area dearly without needed infrastructure

(Newser) - As the Arctic sea ice melts, it’s uncovering vast resources, leading to an international energy and mining rush. Companies are lining up to explore the region, and nations are reviving Arctic border disputes in hopes of tapping its wealth. But the exploitation of the area’s resources could have... More »

Resource-Rich Greenland Looks to Break Free

Another consequence of climate change may be independence

(Newser) - Global warming has put Greenland’s mineral and oil deposits within reach, raising the volume on long-simmering chatter about independence. Denmark supplies much of the island's budget—including a substantial welfare system—but the self-sufficiency offered by melting ice means Greenlanders may no longer need the Danes at all, reports... More »

The Arctic Is Ours: Kremlin

Russia claims polar mineral wealth

(Newser) - In the latest audacious claim by Russia, the nation is insisting that rock samples taken 13,000 feet beneath the North Pole prove that a large part of the Arctic seabed is rightfully Russian territory. The US, Canada, Norway and Denmark also have territorial claims to the mineral-rich area that's... More »

14 Stories