In the harshest of environments in far-east Russia, Monash scientists have played a leading role in the discovery of a new mineral, which could revolutionise the future of the mining industry.
The mineral – Nataliyamalikite – is new, and did not exist before, explains Professor Joël Brugger, the lead author in a recently published paper in American Mineralogist.
It contains thallium, a rare heavy metal most famous for its qualities as a poison.
“The discovery of this new mineral means we will be able to better understand how metals are extracted from deep-seated sources within our planet, and concentrated at shallow levels to form economic ore deposits,” Professor Brugger said.
“This will give us a unique insight into the processes responsible for the geochemical evolution of our planet.