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Posted by Rock Currier  
Rock Currier May 27, 2009 10:53AM
Construction site sign5

Click here for a list of articles that are not under construction but have had at least their first drafts finished.

This article is a place holder and needs someone to take it in hand and finish the first draft. If you would like to take this article in hand, leave a reply message below or contact Rock Currier via private message by clicking on the PM button next to my name at the top of the article.

Click here to view Best Minerals A and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?

Below are some preliminary notes I have made about Austinite. This entry and thread has been made as a place holder for information that you will hopefully contribute about Austinite. It should be in no way be thought of as a claim I have staked out to write about this mineral, and in fact is an invitation for someone to step forward and create the article about this mineral. If you are so inclined and have questions about the format that such an article should have, go the The welcome topic at the top of the Best Minerals forum and read what has been posted there. Also take a look at some of the more mature articles that have already been written like Rhodochrosite, Adamite, Millerite etc. You will need also to pick out other images of Austinite that will go into the article.

AustiniteCaZn4> Orthorhombic
Austinite, Ojuela Mine, Mapimí, Mun. de Mapimí, Durango, Mexico 9.1cm wide

Austinite Display collections?
Austinite is a rare secondary mineral that is found in the oxidized portions of some arsenic rich base metal deposits. Found at about ten localities.

Beltana Mine (E.Z. Mine; Beltana deposit; Beltana-Aroona deposit; Puttapa mine), Puttapa, North Flinders Ranges, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, Australia
Austinite on adamite FOV ~25mm

Drusy yellow austinite on grey-white adamite, in cavities in botryoidal white to pink willemite with fine red to black hematite. FOV ~25mm.

Kamariza Mines, Agios Konstantinos (Kamariza), Lavrion District Mines, Lavrion (Laurion; Laurium) District, Attikí (Attica; Attika) Prefecture, Greece
Green crystal aggregates of cuproaustinite to 5mm, with pale blue cuprian adamite.

Attica, Laurium, Kamaréza Mine. The “…cuprian variety occurs in the Kamaréza mine as colloform aggregates of dark green intergrown drusy micro crystals in small cavities in limonite. Crystals are sharp and smooth-faced but most faces are obscured because of penetration into each other.”1
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 7, 1976, p123.

Durango, Mapimi, Ojuela Mine. In the Romero collection at the University of Arizona in Tucson is a small hand specimen of small green micro crystals on limonite labeled barthite. Barthite is the variety of austinite that is copper rich. At one time specimens with bright green drusy crystals encrusting rock were fairly abundant. Austinite is saved from being adamite because of some calcium in its structure along with zinc, or perhaps it is the other way around?

Tsumeb. “Austinite has been frequently found in the second oxidation zone, but was not recognized. A few specimens of corroded tennantite contain lustrous, yellow-brown crystals up to 3 mm crystals, which appear to be the finest of the species.”1
1 Tsumeb, Georg Gebhard, 1999, p289.

United States
Utah, Tooele County, Gold Hill, Western U.S. Mine. Austinite is mostly in the domain of micromounters because of the small size of the crystals found so far. The best and most abundant locality in the USA is Gold Hill. They actually produce specimens that you can see without a microscope and with enough coverage to make attractive hand specimens. Even then, not many collectors have or would want them in their collections. All the austinite crystals I have seen have been smaller than 5 mm. Specimens of austinite at Gold Hill are fairly abundant. Most of the austinite from Gold Hill has white micro crystals rather than the green, copper-rich variety.

Click here to view Best Minerals A and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.

Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 12/25/2012 11:37PM by Rock Currier.
Paul De Bondt May 29, 2009 08:53AM
Hi Rock,

Yesterday I posted a Tsumeb Austinite.

If you can use it, please go ahead.

Thank you in advance.

Take care and best regards.

Brent Thorne May 30, 2009 04:57PM
The locality for Gold Hill in Tooele County is Utah not Nevada.
Rock Currier May 31, 2009 06:23AM
Right you are. Now I remember driving by it on my way to Majuba Hill. Most of us felt that you stood a much better chance of getting good specimens at Majuba Hill rather than all that micro crap at Gold Hill and that is probably the reason I always sort of ignore it. In the year since, I sort of wished I had spent some time at Gold Hill. But after Majuba I went and collected at other more prolific localities and then got into international travel to many other countries, and after Tsumeb and Brazil the thought of pounding around in a poverty stricken place like Gold Hill was not worth the effort. But thanks for the correction, it has been fixed.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Malcolm Southwood May 31, 2009 10:40AM

A little off-thread (please forgive me Rock), but just wanted to complement you on a really excellent Tsumeb austinte.
I don't recall seeing better,

Paul De Bondt May 31, 2009 12:11PM
Thank you Malcolm.

Uwe Kolitsch June 01, 2009 08:29PM
Beltana mine in South Australia ( has good austinites.
Ralph Bottrill June 02, 2009 01:12PM
Uwe, I have added one, but there should be better about

Uwe Kolitsch June 02, 2009 08:30PM
Thanks, Ralph. I recently had one of my micromounts from there kindly photographed by Fritz Schreiber - will upload it.
Uwe Kolitsch June 04, 2009 07:01AM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/05/2009 04:50PM by Uwe Kolitsch.
Rick Dalrymple April 28, 2011 02:08PM
I am a little surprised by your attitude/attack on micor's. Sure they are not for everyone but that is a valid and prolific aspect of mineral collecting, and not just because they are less expensive. Under the microscope is a whole world that doesn't compare with the macro world.

More often that not the micro crystals are much more abundant and in perfect form in comparison to the macro world. I collect both micro and macro minerals with about 1500 micros and 3500 macro's.

For those micro collectors out there, Gold Hill still produces fine and abundant specimens from the Glory Hole. The underground adits were closed by the state a couple of years ago but reopened by collectors. In March their was chain link fencing over the adits again with no trespassing signs. The chain link had been pulled up for access. But now it is posted No Trespassing at the openings.

Much of the Gold Hill austinites are found associated with adamite. More rarely cuprian austinite (green in color) can be found.

I know I am in my own little world, but everyone knows me here.
Rock Currier April 28, 2011 11:40PM
I am not sure what you think my attitude toward micros is and it may be incorrect. I have a collection of perhaps 7K micros of relative high quality and add to it as time permits. So in many of the points you make above you are preaching to the choir. I do feel that most of the problem with micros is that most of the pictures taken of them are out of focus or poorly lit, and that showing these images will not promote micromounting. We do include a few images of micro minerals in the best minerals articles and almost all of those have been done with relative new image "stacking" software that is finally starting to produce relatively in focus high quality images that show micros as they should be showed. These, I fee, will go a long way toward attracting people to this type of collecting.

Any normal person who has to sit through a lecture with lots of blurry micro images, like Lew Perlof used to give, will look around them and wonder what kind of crazy people are in the room with him. Even when you try and get people to look through a microscope, you have to sit with them one on one and make sure that the scope is adjusted properly for them so that it can resolve a clean three dimensional image for them. And then you have to encourage them to learn how to get the thing in focus and hold it by hand so that they can cruse around on the specimen. So often they will just close one eye and try and resolve an in-focus image with just one eye. I am sure you know what I am talking about.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Rick Dalrymple April 29, 2011 03:26AM

"good specimens at Majuba Hill rather than all that micro crap at Gold Hill"

Maybe I misunderstood your statement. Maybe you were referring to Gold Hill and not micro minerals.

7k micros is impressive. When do you have time to look at them all:S

I understand about the quality of pictures of micros, that is why I don't try to take them. I just don't have the equipment or skills. Someday?! I do live seeing the good ones though. You are right that most micro images & specimens are not going to make the Best of Species list.

Are there guidelines for writing Best Mineral articles. You suggested I do one some time ago but I didn't feel comfortable enough with Mindat to do so then. I think I would enjoy doing some now.

I know I am in my own little world, but everyone knows me here.
Rock Currier April 29, 2011 10:46AM

"good specimens at Majuba Hill rather than all that micro crap at Gold Hill". I suspect that I may have just cleaned out some old collection out of a garage or looked as someone else's garage and seen a big accumulation of micro rough that some enthusiast had picked up on the dumps at Gold Hill, cherry picked out the few good things and then put the rest aside for "later processing" which of course never came nor never wood and took up long term residence in the garage till they died and who ever had to clean out the garage, myself included, would just throw it in the trash. At least I usually take a quick look at such stuff, but realize that life is too short to spend the many hours necessary to munch up such stuff and spend the hours necessary to carefully check it all out.

Mike New eventually threw out pallets of Mapimi micro material in the form of low grade specimens because the cost of preparing the stuff for sale would be greater than the cost of the boxes and labels and marketing that it would take to sell it and there was no interested micro person available or willing to haul off that much mine dump material. Milton Speckles had a garage full of basalt from Oregon full of little vesicles full of such things as Paulingite etc. And I did look that over a bit more than I usually do before putting it in the barrel for kids or whoever wants to haul it off. Fred Devito died with a thousand or more flats of micro stuff that he had inherited from collecting and others and I quite honestly did not have the heart to try and sort that mess out. I don't know what happened to it. It may still be there in his companies warehouse. It was so much that I have often wondered what would happen at a micro conference if a truck pulled up and dumped it out on the table for freebies. Would it all go away and if so what percentage of it would sit in another garage till they died.

OK, so you would like to take a crack at a best minerals article? I'm here to encourage and help you. I would suggest that to start you pick a mineral that doesn't have a large number of localities that you know a little about. When you decide what it is, tell me and Ill open the thread in best minerals for you and then you can have at it. Don't be afraid to ask for help, I and the other best mineral guys are here to help you. If you are lucky you will also after you get started have others chime in with suggestions and comments, which are almost always productive in ways that make the articles better.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Brent Thorne April 29, 2011 06:12PM
Hello Rock,

Fred Devito's micros were given the NCMA and we have been putting them on the give away table for at least 5 years. His material was full of wonderful things and all of us who are members of NCMA are greatful to his wife for donating it to us. There are a lot of micro collectors out there and all the clubs are always grateful when things are donated. If you run across a lot of micros that you "do not have the heart to sort the mess out", let one of the California micro clubs know. You can either contact Northern California Micromounters or Southern California Micromounters or you can contact me and I will make sure that the clubs are notified.

Brent Thorne
Rock Currier April 29, 2011 08:45PM
Yes, I would certainly do that. I only heard about the pallets of micro stuff that Mike threw out after the fact. If I had heard about it before it was done I would certainly have tried to rescue some of the material. Dick Thomssen is a good friend and lives in Tucson and could have certainly done something.


Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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