Some years ago, around 2010 news started to trickle out about spectacular finds of collectable mineral specimens in Inner Mongolia. The first deposits brought back memories of Dal'negorsk as the geology and minerals like Ilvaite showed similarities. However, the Huanggang mine(s) north of Beijing were not the only mines in the area producing interesting minerals for the collecting community.
Located NE of the city of Linxi we find the Shijiangshan Lead-Zinc Mine. A Skarn type mineralization rich in boron minerals where mining started in 2008. Some years ago specimens of olshanskyite, nifontovite and pentahydroborate in - for the species - impressive crystals started trickling out.
Olshanskyite, a white borate mineral was previously known as the matrix - not in crystals though - for the fantastic blue henmilite from the Fuka mine in Japan. So seeing crystals up to 1-2 cm was quite big news. Until 2017 however the quality was mediocre, this year that has all changed. An area in the mine has yielded spectacular museum sized clusters of olshanskyite - some 20-30 cm, with sharp bladed crystals up to 4 cm!
That was not all, a range of minerals is found on the combination specimens of the 2017 find and Pristine Minerals is commissioning some further analysis. One of the already confirmed minerals is roweite, a mineral again not previously known in crystals and now found in lamellar blades forming flower like groups with individual crystals up to 4-5 cm wide. For sure, like olshanskyite setting a new standard for the species.
Others not yet fully analysed and confirmed are johnbaumite - indicating arsenic added to the mix, wurtzite and magnetite as well as a range of white, colourless and grey microscopic material.
Starting this week e-rocks Pristine Minerals will present an auction with a range of olshanskyite and roweite specimens as well as some examples of johnbaumite.