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Aris Quarries (Ariskop Quarry; Railway Quarry), Aris, Windhoek District, Khomas Region, Namibia

This page kindly sponsored by Joachim Esche
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 22° 46' 7'' South , 17° 7' 52'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -22.7686111111, 17.1311111111
Two phonolite quarries, the Railway Quarry and the Ariskop Quarry, are located 25 km S of Windhoek, on the road to Rehoboth. The two open pits are less than 1 km apart. The Railway Quarry (West side of the road) has been inactive [in 2011] for the last 10-15 year, whereas the Ariskop Quarry (East side of the road) has been active in at least the last decade and was active in 2011. Most of the minerals, including the type minerals, collected in recent years came from the workings of the Ariskop Quarry.

Mineralogy is somewhat similar to that of the Saint-Amable sill (Demix-Varennes quarry), Québec, Canada, the Point of Rocks phonolite in New Mexico, USA and, in part, to that of Mont Saint-Hilaire. The most notable difference between these localities is the extreme scarcity of eudialyte-group minerals at Aris.

IMPORTANT NOTES on the mineral list (updated/cleaned up in May, June and July 2006, September & December 2007, August 2008, August 2009, May 2011, October 2011 by Uwe Kolitsch):

1) Several other species were reportedly found and/or sold by dealers, but have never been confirmed. They are, in alphabetical order:
- canasite
- gyrolite (confused with globular fluorite? there is also an apparently new mineral with an appearance similar to that of gyrolite)
- hiorthdalite II (confused with nenadkevichite or other labuntsovite-group mineral?)
- hisingerite
- iraqite-(La) (confused with sazhinite, probably because the powder diffraction patterns are similar)
- isokite (a sample labeled as "isokite" contained no isokite at all)
- sepiolite-Fe
- tetranatrolite (a sample labeled as "tetranatrolite" turned out to be makatite)
- zakharovite (in fact, the mineral is the unnamed Fe-analogue of zakharovite)

2) Eudialyte, originally mentioned in von Knorring & Franke (1987) and von Knorring et al. (1992) has been confirmed - as an eudialyte-group mineral - for the first time only in 2008 (a single specimen) and then again in 2009 (another single specimen). Most "eudialytes" in collections are probably villiaumite.

A larger number of presently unidentified minerals, some of them certainly new to science, are under study in various laboratories, partly in collaborative efforts (Vienna, Tempe, Copenhagen, Oslo, Ottawa, Moscow).

Mineral List

Aenigmatite ?
Aragonite ?
Arisite-(Ce) (TL)
Arisite-(La) (TL)
'Britholite-(La)' ?
Canasite ?
Cancrinite ?
Ellingsenite (TL)
Epidote ?
Eudialyte Group
Ferro-pargasite ?
'Ferro-tschermakite' ?
Fluorapophyllite-(Na) ?
Hematite ?
Hydroxyapophyllite-(K) ?
Hydroxylapatite ?
Katophorite ?
'Labuntsovite Supergroup'
Lovozerite Group
Montmorillonite ?
Polylithionite ?
Pyrite ?
'Rosenbuschite Group'
Sazhinite-(La) (TL)
'Steacyite Group'
Turkestanite ?
'Unnamed (Ca-Na-ordered analogue of Korobitsynite)'
'Unnamed (Fe-analogue of Zakharovite)'
'Unnamed (Na-Ca-Fe-Silicate-Hydrate)'
'Unnamed (Na-Ca-silicate)'
'Unnamed (Na-Mg-Mn Oxide)'
'Unnamed (Sazhinite-related mineral I)'
'Unnamed (Sazhinite-related mineral II)'
Wairakite ?
Windhoekite (TL)
Yofortierite ?
var: Ferroan Zakharovite
'Zinnwaldite' ?

117 entries listed. 92 valid minerals. 5 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals. 4 erroneous literature entries.

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


(in chronological order)

Von Knorring, O. and Franke, W. (1987): A preliminary note on the mineralogy and geochemistry of the Aris phonolite, SWA/Namibia. Communications of the Geological Survey of South West Africa / Namibia, 3, 61.

Von Knorring O., Petersen O. V., Karup-Moller S., Leonardsen E. S., Condliffe E. (1992): Tuperssuatsiaite from Aris phonolite. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte, 1992, 145-152.

Niku-Paavola, V. (1997): Alkaline rocks in the Aris area, Central Namibia. Ph. D. Thesis Department of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Helsinky, 71 pp.

Petersen O.V., Fockenberg P.C., Toft P.C., Rattay M. (1997): Natrophosphate from Aris phonolite. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte, 1997, 511-517.

Garvie L.A.J., Devouard B., Groy T.L., Càmara F., Buseck P.R. (1999): Crystal structure of kanemite, NaHSi2O5·3H2O, from the Aris phonolite, Namibia. American Mineralogist, 87, 1170-1175.

Wartha, R., Palfi, A., Niedermayr, G., Brandstätter, F. and Petersen, O. V. (2001): Der Aris-Phonolith-Komplex und seine Mineralien. In Bahmann, U. and A. (Eds.), Namibia – Zauberwelt edler Steine und Kristalle, Bode-Verlag, Haltern, Germany, pp. 172-179. (in German)

Niedermayr, G., Gault, R.A., Petersen, O.V., Brandstätter, F. (2002): Korobitsynite from the Aris phonolites, Windhoek, Namibia. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte, 2002, 42-48.

Petersen, O.V., Niedermayr, G., Pekov, I.V., Balić Žunić, T. and Brandstätter, F. (2004): Tsepinit-Na und Labuntsovit-Mn, seltene Mineralien aus dem Phonolith von Aris, Namibia. Mineralien-Welt, 15 (2), 44-48 (in German).

Sturla, M., Yakovenchuk, V. N. and Bonacina, E. (2005): Aris, Namibia: geo-paragenesi et minerali. Micro, no. 1, 55-80.

Wartha, R., Palfi, A., Niedermayr, G., Brandstätter, F. and Petersen, O. V. (2006): Der Aris-Phonolith-Komplex und seine Mineralien. In: Jahn, S., Medenbach, O., Niedermayr, G. & Schneider, G., Eds. (2006): Namibia – Zauberwelt edler Steine und Kristalle. 2nd ed., Bode-Verlag, Haltern, Germany, pp. 228-239 (in German).

Cámara, F., Ottolini, L., Devouard, B., Garvie, L.A.J. and Hawthorne, F.C. (2006): Sazhinite-(La), Na3LaSi6O15(H2O)2, a new mineral from the Aris phonolite, Namibia: Description and crystal structure. Mineralogical Magazine 70, 405-418.

Ellingsen, H.V. (2006): Sérandit aus Aris, Namibia. Mineralien-Welt 17 (3), 51 (in German).

Piilonen, P.C., Rowe, R., Grice, J.D., Gault, R.A., Cooper, M., Kolitsch, U., and Lechner, W. (2005): Two new sodium rare-earth fluorcarbonates from the Aris phonolite, Namibia. Oral presentation, 32nd Rochester Mineralogical Symposium, Rochester, NY, USA, April 14-17, 2005; abstract in Program and Abstracts, 27-28 and in Rocks & Minerals 82 (2007) 243-244.

Piilonen, P.C., McDonald, A.M., Grice, J.D., Rowe, R., Gault, R.A., Poirier, G., Cooper, M.A., Kolitsch, U., Roberts, A.C., Lechner, W. & Palfi, A. (2010): Arisite-(Ce), a new rare-earth fluorcarbonate from the Aris phonolite, Namibia, Mont Saint-Hilaire and the Saint-Amable sill, Quebec, Canada. Canadian Mineralogist 48, 661-671.

Piilonen, P.C., McDonald, A.M., Grice, J.D., Cooper, M.A., Kolitsch, U., Rowe, R., Gault, R.A. and Poirier, G. (2010): Arisite-(La), a new REE-fluorocarbonate mineral from the Aris phonolite (Namibia) with descriptions of the crystal structures of arisite-(La) and arisite-(Ce). Mineralogical Magazine, 74, 257-268.

Marsh, J.S. (2010): The geochemistry and evolution of Palaeogene phonolites, central Namibia. Lithos 117, 149-160.

Yakovenchuk, V.N., Ivanyuk, G.Yu., Pakhomovsky, Y.A., Selivanova, E.A., Mikhailova, J.A., Krivovichev, S.V., Zolotarev, A.A. and Zalkind, O.A. (2011): Ellingsenite, Na5Ca6Si18O38(OH)13·6H2O, a new martinite-related mineral from phonolite of the Aris alkaline complex (Namibia). Canadian Mineralogist, 49, 1165-1173.

Horváth, L. & Horváth, E. (2011): Hilairite from the Ariskop quarry, Aris, Namibia. Aris Group Bulletin #16 (2011 11 28).

Horváth, L. & Horváth, E. (2011): Pectolite from the Ariskop quarry. Aris Group Bulletin #17 (2011).

Chukanov, N.V., Britvin, S.N., Blass, G., Belakovskiy, D.I., Van, K.V. (2012): Windhoekite, Ca2Fe3+3-x(Si8O20)(OH)4·10H2O, a new palygorskite-group mineral from the Aris phonolite, Namibia. European Journal of Mineralogy, 24, 171-179.

Jost, B.M. (2012): Origin of water in miarolitic cavities of the Ariskop phonolite, Namibia. Master’s Thesis, ETH Zürich, Switzerland, 64 pp.

Rastsvetaeva, R.K., Aksenov, S.M., Verin, I.A. (2012): Crystal structure of the NaCa(Fe2+,Al,Mn)5[Si8O19(OH)](OH)7·5H2O mineral: A new representative of the palygorskite group. Crystallography Reports, 57, 43-48.

Koller, F., Škoda, R., Palfi, A.G. and Popp, F. (2013): Phonolites of the Aris and Rehoboth areas, central Namibia, Africa. Mineralogical and Petrological Conference MinPet 2013, Bratislava, Czech Republic, May 23-24, abstracts volume, p. 40.

Rastsvetaeva, R.K., Aksenov, S.M., Chukanov, N.V. and Tremmel, G. (2013): Crystal structure of a new mineral of the labuntsovite group: Ca, Na-ordered analogue of korobitsynite. Doklady Physical Chemistry, 452, Part 2, 239-242.

Blass, G. & Tremmel, G. (2014): Neptunit und weitere neue Mineralien aus den Phonolith-Steinbrüchen von Aris, Windhoek. Mineralien-Welt 25 (1), 76-83 (in German).

Jahn, S., von Bezing, L. and Wartha, R. (2014): Aris bei Windhoek in Namibia. Mineralien-Welt 25 (1), 84-110 (in German).

Bezing, L. von, Bode, R. and Jahn, S. (2014): Namibia. Minerals and localities. Edition Schloss Freudenstein, Bode Verlag, Salzhemmendorf, 608 pp. (in German). [section on Aris: pp. 12-35]

Jost, B.M., Koller, F., Vogel, N., Ulmer, P. & Driesner, T. (2014): Origin of water in miarolitic cavities of the Ariskop phonolite, Namibia. Goldschmidt2014, 8-13 June, Sacramento, California USA, Abstracts, 1177. []

Haugen, A. (2015). Mineraler fra Aris-steinbruddene i Namibia. Norsk Mineralsymposium 2015, 71-77.

- Uwe Kolitsch, 2000-2015, unpublished results (see also - thread on new finds from Aris)

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