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Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland, Scotland, UKi
Regional Level Types
Whitesmith MineMine
Strontian- not defined -
HighlandCouncil Area
ScotlandCountry
UKCountry

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):
56° 44' 2'' North , 5° 33' 33'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal):
UK National Grid Reference:
NM823659
Locality type:
Köppen climate type:
Nearest Settlements:
PlacePopulationDistance
Ballachulish650 (2017)26.5km
Fort William5,830 (2017)28.7km
Caol3,220 (2017)30.2km
Dunbeg610 (2017)32.9km
Mallaig780 (2017)34.1km
Other/historical names associated with this locality:
Argyllshire


An open-cut barite-lead-zinc-silver mine owned by Minworth Ltd.'s subsidiary Strontian Minerals.

At Whitesmith Mine, the Strontian Main Vein is developed within an east-west trending 'crush zone' in the Ardgour Granite Gneiss. The crush zone also hosts a suite of metasomatised Permo-Carboniferous dykes which predate the mineral veins. These altered dykes and the veins are cut, often at a high angle, by a suite of later mafic dykes of early Tertiary age.

Whitesmith Mine is named for John Whitesmith, who worked at Strontian in the first half of the eighteenth century. The mine is wrongly identified on Ordnance Survey maps, which position it near to the ruined baryte mine processing plant. A review of eighteenth and nineteenth-century plans and surveys of the area shows that this is not the case.

Whitesmith Mine worked the Strontian Main Vein via a shallow adit driven from the east (the entrance, now obliterated, was at ca. NM 8287 6588) and a series of shafts. The deepest of these, Whim Shaft (NM 8231 6595) at the west end of the sett, is in excess of 100 fathoms according to Russell (1919). The eastern workings of Whitesmith Mine were obliterated in the 1980s by the baryte mining operation, but the western workings remain much as they were abandoned in the nineteenth century. The position of the Old Sump Crosscut (NM 8249 6593), Whin Dyke Shaft (NM 8251 6593) and Hugh's Shaft (NM 8239 6594), which are marked on Ball's (1807) estate plan can still be identified along an opencut that runs east-west for about 300 m.

The mineralisation comprises major calcite and baryte with significant quantities of the base metal sulphides galena and sphalerite. These are typically deposited in a rhythmic sequence parallel to the vein walls, often producing a well defined symmetrical filling where the veins are narrow (where the veins are wider the textures are often much more complex). In some areas, the north wall of the vein is made up of brecciated clasts of gneiss, the interstices of which are coated in drusy brown brewsterite. Brewsterite also occurs in cavities and fractures in the vein, where it is sometimes associated with radiating groups of crystalline strontianite. Harmotome is relatively rare, although it occasionally occurs as characteristic white blocky crystals in cavities and fractures. The zeolite group minerals and most of the strontianite are part of a late-stage fracture assemblage that post-dates the major vein mineralisation. At Whitesmith Mine, this assemblage also includes ancylite-(Ce), chamosite, minor calcite and kainosite-(Y)
(described recently by Green and McCallum, 2005) and heulandite.

Regions containing this locality

Eurasian PlateTectonic Plate
EuropeContinent
British IslesGroup of Islands

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List


17 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

Ancylite-(Ce)
Formula: CeSr(CO3)2(OH) · H2O
Reference: Green, D.I. and McCallum, D. (2005) Kainosite-(Y) from the Strontian Mines, Highland Region, Scotland. UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 26, 23-26.; Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Baryte
Formula: BaSO4
Reference: Mining Annual Review (1985) 484.; Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
'Brewsterite'
Habit: drusy
Reference: Green, D.I. and McCallum, D. (2005) Kainosite-(Y) from the Strontian Mines, Highland Region, Scotland. UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 26, 23-26.; UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 29, 15.; Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Brewsterite-Sr
Formula: (Sr,Ba,Ca)[Al2Si6O16] · 5H2O
Reference: No reference listed
Calcite
Formula: CaCO3
Habit: hexagonal 'nailheads'
Reference: Green, D.I. and McCallum, D. (2005) Kainosite-(Y) from the Strontian Mines, Highland Region, Scotland. UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 26, 23-26.; UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 29, 15.; Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Chamosite
Formula: (Fe2+,Mg,Al,Fe3+)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH,O)8
Reference: Green, D.I. and McCallum, D. (2005) Kainosite-(Y) from the Strontian Mines, Highland Region, Scotland. UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 26, 23-26.; Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Erythrite
Formula: Co3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
Reference: No reference listed
Galena
Formula: PbS
Reference: Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Harmotome
Formula: (Ba0.5,Ca0.5,K,Na)5[Al5Si11O32] · 12H2O
Reference: Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Hemimorphite
Formula: Zn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
Reference: Green, D.I. and McCallum, D. (2005) Kainosite-(Y) from the Strontian Mines, Highland Region, Scotland. UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 26, 23-26.
Heulandite-Ba
Formula: (Ba,Ca,K)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 22H2O
Reference: Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Heulandite-Sr
Formula: (Sr,Na,Ca)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 24H2O
Reference: UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 29, p. 15.; Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
'Heulandite subgroup'
Habit: blocky; coffin-shaped
Colour: colourless
Description: Heulandite was first found at Whitesmith Mine by the well-known mineral dealer Richard Barstow (1947 - 1982), who made his one and only trip to the locality with his long-standing collecting partner David Lloyd late in 1979 (David Lloyd, personal communication). Barstow and Lloyd collected 'brewsterite' specimens along the length of the old open cut, but when they were unwrapped and examined, a few looked a little different. They were identified as heulandite, a mineral not previously known from Strontian. Most of the specimens were sold, but Barstow and Lloyd retained the two best for their personal collections. They display blocky colourless crystals up to about 8 mm in length, with a slightly pearly lustre, in cavities with hexagonal 'nailhead' calcite, cubooctahedral pyrite and occasional brewsterite.
Reference: National Museum of Scotland collection.; Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Kainosite-(Y)
Formula: Ca2(Y,Ce)2(Si4O12)(CO3) · H2O
Reference: Green, D.I. and McCallum, D. (2005) Kainosite-(Y) from the Strontian Mines, Highland Region, Scotland. UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 26, 23-26.; Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Pyrite
Formula: FeS2
Habit: cubooctahedra
Reference: UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 29, 15.; Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Reference: No reference listed
Sphalerite
Formula: ZnS
Reference: Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Strontianite
Formula: SrCO3
Habit: acicular
Colour: brown
Reference: UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 29, 15.; Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Titanite
Formula: CaTi(SiO4)O
Reference: No reference listed

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Galena2.CD.10PbS
Pyrite2.EB.05aFeS2
Sphalerite2.CB.05aZnS
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Ancylite-(Ce)5.DC.05CeSr(CO3)2(OH) · H2O
Calcite5.AB.05CaCO3
Strontianite5.AB.15SrCO3
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Baryte7.AD.35BaSO4
Group 8 - Phosphates, Arsenates and Vanadates
Erythrite8.CE.40Co3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
Group 9 - Silicates
Brewsterite-Sr9.GE.20(Sr,Ba,Ca)[Al2Si6O16] · 5H2O
Chamosite9.EC.55(Fe2+,Mg,Al,Fe3+)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH,O)8
Harmotome9.GC.10(Ba0.5,Ca0.5,K,Na)5[Al5Si11O32] · 12H2O
Hemimorphite9.BD.10Zn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
Heulandite-Ba9.GE.05(Ba,Ca,K)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 22H2O
Heulandite-Sr9.GE.05(Sr,Na,Ca)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 24H2O
Kainosite-(Y)9.CF.10Ca2(Y,Ce)2(Si4O12)(CO3) · H2O
Titanite9.AG.15CaTi(SiO4)O
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Brewsterite'-
'Heulandite subgroup'-

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
Galena2.8.1.1PbS
Sphalerite2.8.2.1ZnS
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Pyrite2.12.1.1FeS2
Group 14 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
A(XO3)
Calcite14.1.1.1CaCO3
Strontianite14.1.3.3SrCO3
Group 16b - HYDRATED CARBONATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
Ancylite-(Ce)16b.1.1.1CeSr(CO3)2(OH) · H2O
Group 28 - ANHYDROUS ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
AXO4
Baryte28.3.1.1BaSO4
Group 40 - HYDRATED NORMAL PHOSPHATES,ARSENATES AND VANADATES
A3(XO4)2·xH2O
Erythrite40.3.6.3Co3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
Group 52 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups and O,OH,F,H2O
Insular SiO4 Groups and O, OH, F, and H2O with cations in [6] and/or >[6] coordination
Titanite52.4.3.1CaTi(SiO4)O
Group 56 - SOROSILICATES Si2O7 Groups, With Additional O, OH, F and H2O
Si2O7 Groups and O, OH, F, and H2O with cations in [4] coordination
Hemimorphite56.1.2.1Zn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
Group 60 - CYCLOSILICATES Four-Membered Rings
Four-Membered Rings with other anion groups
Kainosite-(Y)60.2.1.1Ca2(Y,Ce)2(Si4O12)(CO3) · H2O
Group 71 - PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
Sheets of 6-membered rings interlayered 1:1, 2:1, and octahedra
Chamosite71.4.1.7(Fe2+,Mg,Al,Fe3+)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH,O)8
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Quartz75.1.3.1SiO2
Group 77 - TECTOSILICATES Zeolites
Zeolite group - True zeolites
'Brewsterite'77.1.7.1
Harmotome77.1.3.5(Ba0.5,Ca0.5,K,Na)5[Al5Si11O32] · 12H2O
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
Brewsterite-Sr-(Sr,Ba,Ca)[Al2Si6O16] · 5H2O
'Heulandite subgroup'-
Heulandite-Ba-(Ba,Ca,K)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 22H2O
Heulandite-Sr-(Sr,Na,Ca)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 24H2O

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H Brewsterite-Sr(Sr,Ba,Ca)[Al2Si6O16] · 5H2O
H ErythriteCo3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
H Harmotome(Ba0.5,Ca0.5,K,Na)5[Al5Si11O32] · 12H2O
H Kainosite-(Y)Ca2(Y,Ce)2(Si4O12)(CO3) · H2O
H Chamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Al,Fe3+)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH,O)8
H Ancylite-(Ce)CeSr(CO3)2(OH) · H2O
H HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
H Heulandite-Sr(Sr,Na,Ca)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 24H2O
H Heulandite-Ba(Ba,Ca,K)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 22H2O
CCarbon
C CalciteCaCO3
C StrontianiteSrCO3
C Kainosite-(Y)Ca2(Y,Ce)2(Si4O12)(CO3) · H2O
C Ancylite-(Ce)CeSr(CO3)2(OH) · H2O
OOxygen
O Brewsterite-Sr(Sr,Ba,Ca)[Al2Si6O16] · 5H2O
O CalciteCaCO3
O ErythriteCo3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
O Harmotome(Ba0.5,Ca0.5,K,Na)5[Al5Si11O32] · 12H2O
O StrontianiteSrCO3
O TitaniteCaTi(SiO4)O
O QuartzSiO2
O BaryteBaSO4
O Kainosite-(Y)Ca2(Y,Ce)2(Si4O12)(CO3) · H2O
O Chamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Al,Fe3+)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH,O)8
O Ancylite-(Ce)CeSr(CO3)2(OH) · H2O
O HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
O Heulandite-Sr(Sr,Na,Ca)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 24H2O
O Heulandite-Ba(Ba,Ca,K)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 22H2O
NaSodium
Na Harmotome(Ba0.5,Ca0.5,K,Na)5[Al5Si11O32] · 12H2O
Na Heulandite-Sr(Sr,Na,Ca)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 24H2O
MgMagnesium
Mg Chamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Al,Fe3+)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH,O)8
AlAluminium
Al Brewsterite-Sr(Sr,Ba,Ca)[Al2Si6O16] · 5H2O
Al Harmotome(Ba0.5,Ca0.5,K,Na)5[Al5Si11O32] · 12H2O
Al Chamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Al,Fe3+)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH,O)8
Al Heulandite-Sr(Sr,Na,Ca)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 24H2O
Al Heulandite-Ba(Ba,Ca,K)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 22H2O
SiSilicon
Si Brewsterite-Sr(Sr,Ba,Ca)[Al2Si6O16] · 5H2O
Si Harmotome(Ba0.5,Ca0.5,K,Na)5[Al5Si11O32] · 12H2O
Si TitaniteCaTi(SiO4)O
Si QuartzSiO2
Si Kainosite-(Y)Ca2(Y,Ce)2(Si4O12)(CO3) · H2O
Si Chamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Al,Fe3+)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH,O)8
Si HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
Si Heulandite-Sr(Sr,Na,Ca)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 24H2O
Si Heulandite-Ba(Ba,Ca,K)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 22H2O
SSulfur
S GalenaPbS
S BaryteBaSO4
S PyriteFeS2
S SphaleriteZnS
KPotassium
K Harmotome(Ba0.5,Ca0.5,K,Na)5[Al5Si11O32] · 12H2O
K Heulandite-Ba(Ba,Ca,K)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 22H2O
CaCalcium
Ca CalciteCaCO3
Ca Harmotome(Ba0.5,Ca0.5,K,Na)5[Al5Si11O32] · 12H2O
Ca TitaniteCaTi(SiO4)O
Ca Kainosite-(Y)Ca2(Y,Ce)2(Si4O12)(CO3) · H2O
Ca Heulandite-Sr(Sr,Na,Ca)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 24H2O
Ca Heulandite-Ba(Ba,Ca,K)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 22H2O
TiTitanium
Ti TitaniteCaTi(SiO4)O
FeIron
Fe PyriteFeS2
Fe Chamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Al,Fe3+)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH,O)8
CoCobalt
Co ErythriteCo3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
ZnZinc
Zn SphaleriteZnS
Zn HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
AsArsenic
As ErythriteCo3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
SrStrontium
Sr Brewsterite-Sr(Sr,Ba,Ca)[Al2Si6O16] · 5H2O
Sr StrontianiteSrCO3
Sr Ancylite-(Ce)CeSr(CO3)2(OH) · H2O
Sr Heulandite-Sr(Sr,Na,Ca)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 24H2O
YYttrium
Y Kainosite-(Y)Ca2(Y,Ce)2(Si4O12)(CO3) · H2O
BaBarium
Ba Harmotome(Ba0.5,Ca0.5,K,Na)5[Al5Si11O32] · 12H2O
Ba BaryteBaSO4
Ba Heulandite-Ba(Ba,Ca,K)5(Si27Al9)O72 · 22H2O
CeCerium
Ce Ancylite-(Ce)CeSr(CO3)2(OH) · H2O
PbLead
Pb GalenaPbS

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

Paleozoic
251.902 - 541 Ma



ID: 3187787
Paleozoic intrusive rocks

Age: Phanerozoic (251.902 - 541 Ma)

Lithology: Intrusive igneous rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Early Devonian - Ludlow
393.3 - 427.4 Ma



ID: 2026854
Unnamed Igneous Intrusion, Late Silurian To Early Devonian

Age: Paleozoic (393.3 - 427.4 Ma)

Lithology: Felsic-rock

Reference: British Geological Survey. DiGMapGB-625. British Geological Survey ©NERC. [23]

Silurian - Cambrian
419.2 - 541 Ma



ID: 3143420
Cambrian granite

Age: Paleozoic (419.2 - 541 Ma)

Lithology: Granite group

Reference: Asch, K. The 1:5M International Geological Map of Europe and Adjacent Areas: Development and Implementation of a GIS-enabled Concept. Geologisches Jahrbuch, SA 3. [147]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

References

Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Ball (1807) Valuation of the Estate of Ardnamurchan and Sunart. Scottish Records Office, AF 49/2/1 (Estate plan: RHP72). (marks and names many of the shafts.)
Russell, A. (1919) Report on the Strontian mines, Sunart estate, Strontian, Argyllshire. British Geological Survey records.
Mining Annual Review (1985) 484.
Green, D.I. and McCallum, D. (2005) Kainosite-(Y) from the Strontian Mines, Highland Region, Scotland. UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 26, 23-26.
Green, D.I., Tindle, A.G., Hubbard, N., McCallum, D., and Jackson, B. (2008) Heulandite-Sr and heulandite-Ba, two zeolite group minerals new to Britain from Whitesmith Mine, Strontian, Highland Region, Scotland. Journal of the Russell Society, vol. 11, 80-86.
Wolfe, M., Oddy, M., and Starkey, R.E. (2008) Mineral News. UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, vol. 29, 4-22.


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