New Mineral Nataliyamalikite Discovered


The new mineral discovered in the Kamchatka Peninsula one of the long-lived volcanically active areas on Earth. It occurs as pseudo-cubic nanocrystals at Kamchatka’s Avacha volcano known as Nataliyamalikite. In association with active high temperature up to 1,148-1,184 degrees Fahrenheit, or 620-640 degrees Celsius fumarolic vents.

Nataliyamalikite is the orthorhombic form of thallium iodide (TlI). The mineral Nataliyamalikite is new, and did not exist before. It contains thallium, a rare heavy metal most famous for its qualities as a poison.

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Nataliyamalikite named as Dr. Natalja Malik, a geoecology researcher at the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Kamchatka Peninsula. “This will give us a unique insight into the processes responsible for the geochemical evolution of our planet.”

It is also one of the few remaining wild oases on this planet, off-limit for a long time due to its military significance for the Soviets as well as geographical isolation no road connection to mainland Russia and harsh climate. Moreover, Understanding the crystal structure is akin to getting the full genome of the new mineral.

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One of the most active volcanic zones in the world, featuring 160 volcanoes including 29 that are active. Further, in the case of nataliyamalikite this was incredibly difficult as the grains are tiny and almost invisible.

“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,” Prof. Brugger said.

However, Monash University was key to making the naming of the new mineral possible. We combined state-of-the-art sample preparation at our Monash Centre for Electronic Microscopy facility.Finally, along with the unique capabilities of the Australian Synchrotron, to obtain the crystal structure of the mineral.

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Meanwhile, the mineral and its name were recently approved by the IMA Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names.