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Mirror for the Day

Mining areas above Niaslo village (courtesy Ikram Minerology) 















Recently reading about a new discovery of hematite from Morocco seen at Denver Show reminded me of the locality Niaslo, Basha Valley, Skardu, Pakistan.

The locality is high up in the Haramosh not far from Doko (emeralds) and is an alpine-type metamorphic deposit.

Niaslo came to early prominence through the discovery of exceptional gemmy pink apatite with crystals up to 10 cm in size.

More recently finds of very pure clear or white "gem" orthoclase started to show up from the early 2000's.

Back in 2010 I received a shipment from Pakistan that included a variety of minerals, there included was a lot of very fine hematite.

Characterised by very large flat and mirror bright crystals to 5cm across, usually with traces of their alpine context, ie with chlorite, muscovite and albite, these were pretty exceptional for this somewhat unloved species.

Hematite With Muscovite (& Chlorite) from Niaslo, crystal 4.1cm across


Also interesting and shown in the second photos are the isolated or irregular flat hexagonal growth patterns in the faces, and the healed/regrowth to breaks in the crystals.

On first inspection the latter led me to think these were just pieces, which they are, but also give interesting evidence of their tectonic past.

Discoveries have been a bit quiet recently from Niaslo, which is strange considering the diversity and wonderful crystallisation of the minerals found to date.

Minerals Listed at Niaslo (source e-Rocks database)





Some other minerals from Niaslo
Fluorite - Octahedrons to 5cm Apatite - Crystals 12mm


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