A new mineral with a creamy white colour has been discovered on a mountain peak in northern Spain.
Dubbed ‘Ermeloita’ in honour of the lush natural space in which it was found, the mineral was discovered on Mount Ermelo (Monte Ermelo) in the province of Pontevedra in the autonomous community of Galicia in Spain.
Ermeloita is the fourth mineral to have ever been discovered in Galicia, according to a statement Newsflash obtained from the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) on Monday, 5th September.
The new discovery will form part of a temporary minerology exhibition organised by a primary school in the city of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in the Summer of 2023 before it becomes a permanent feature at the USC’s Natural History Museum.
This news came after it was revealed that the microgranular mineral was not registered on any international database after it underwent its first single crystal and polycrystal X-ray diffraction analysis, according to the USC’S statement.
This makes it a find of world class status while the never before seen mineral has now been officially recognised by the International Mineral Association (IMA).
The head of the Archaeometry and Materials Characterization Unit at the USC, Oscar Lantes Suarez, explained that the new finding will have significant historical repercussions as few minerals have been discovered in the region.
He added: “In Galicia, three minerals have been discovered throughout history.
“They are morenosite, cervantite and bolivarite, all of them found in the middle of the 19th century.
The new mineral was discovered during a field study conducted by three USC researchers known as Jose Carlos Rodriguez Vazquez, Moises Nunez y Manuel Cervino.
Suarez went on to emphasise the importance of these kinds of investigations and stated that the discovery come at a time when the need for “strategic raw materials” is of the utmost importance.
He added: “Scientifically, the appearance of this new mineral means increasing the list of minerals discovered in a planetary context and will help to better understand the paragenesis of secondary pegmatitic minerals and their formation conditions.”
Due to the small size of the newly discovered ermeloita fragment, it has yet to be determined what uses or industrial applications the mineral might have, according to the USC.
Despite this, it is believed that ermeloita could be found in other geological structures across the globe, while the mineral has already been classified as a monohydrate aluminium phosphate from the kieserite group, according to the European Journal of Mineralogy (EJM).