The Carbon Mineral Challenge

From December 2015 to September 2019 the Carbon Mineral Challenge set the stage for both professional and amateur mineral collectors to make their mark by discovering never-before described minerals. Researchers predicted at least 145 of Earth’s carbon-bearing minerals remained undiscovered. 31 new carbon minerals were verified over the course of the challenge.


The Carbon Mineral Challenge at GSA 2019

Planning to attend GSA in Phoenix, Arizona? Check out this session chaired by Grethe Hystad (Purdue University Northwest) and Daniel Hummer (Southern Illinois University). Talks will feature some of the recently verified carbon minerals, and Hummer will offer a summary of the Carbon Mineral Challenge. The Carbon Mineral Challenge formally ends its run at the […]

The Age

This meteorite came from the core of another planet. Inside it, a new mineral

Scientists have discovered a new mineral, one never before seen in nature, lodged inside a meteorite found near Wedderburn in central Victoria. They believe the mineral was likely forged in the molten core of an ancient planet long since destroyed. The meteorite is red and black and deeply scarred from its million-year-plus journey, and certainly […]

Deep Carbon Observatory

Goldschmidt 2019 Poster

We presented a poster of 31 new carbon-bearing minerals at the Deep Carbon Observatory booth at Goldschmidt 2019. You can download and print your own copy by clicking this link.                        


A geologist offers a melodic meditation on one of Earth’s most abundant elements

Although organic chemistry is often described as the science of carbon, Robert Hazen’s latest book, Symphony in C, makes clear that this vital element cannot be contained by such a disciplinary boundary. Despite its abundance and importance, the location and cycling of carbon on Earth are not yet well understood. Ever-increasing atmospheric concentrations of its […]


Carbon Mineral Challenge at GSA 2019

Planning to attend GSA 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona? Consider submitting an abstract to the session: T27. “The Carbon Mineral Challenge: Assessing Four Years of the First Targeted, Worldwide Search for New Mineral Species.”   Abstract deadline: 25 June.

Deep Carbon Observatory

Carbon Mineral Challenge Adds 30 New Carbon Minerals

The Carbon Mineral Challenge will officially end in September 2019, but this first-of-its-kind worldwide collaboration to identify new carbon minerals has seen an impressive haul. Since its launch in 2015, researchers and mineral collectors have identified 30 new carbon-containing minerals. This is an impressive accomplishment, and yet the diversity of new minerals discovered suggests that […]

wedderburn meteorite
An update from the Carbon Mineral Challenge

Of Meteorites and Mines: Recent Highlights from the Carbon Mineral Challenge

The Carbon Mineral Challenge has now documented 28 new carbon minerals since the program’s launch in December 2015. Project lead Daniel Hummer (Southern Illinois University, USA), is taking stock of the discoveries as the program enters its final six months, but in the meantime, here’s a survey of the latest 11 minerals. Each is packed […]

Fiemmeite crystals
An Update from the Carbon Mineral Challenge

Fiemmeite of the Dolomites: A story of disappointment and discovery

From a report by Francesco Demartin   The discovery of two unusual copper oxalates happened almost by accident during a trip to an old mining site near San Lugano, Italy in September 2013. The small mine located in the Val Gardena Sandstone is best known for its discrete micro-samples of malachite and azurite. To make […]

Mine Magazine

Discovering new mining deposits with big data

by Heidi Vella   Understanding more about mineral formations and physical properties has high value for academics, miners, material scientists and engineers alike. And while mineralogists and geologists have been studying the Earth’s crust for centuries, its sheer size and complexity means there is still much more to discover.   “Much of what we learn […]

Dolomiti Première

La Miniera del Taubenleck

  Ricerche: la rivelazione di un minerale organico   A queste mineralizzazioni è rivolta anche l’attenzione delle ricerche recenti, come quella promossa dal MUSE in collaborazione con l’Ecomuseo Argentario, finalizzata alla documentazione degli aspetti archeominerari, geologici e mineralogici della Miniera del Taubenleck. Il lavoro è ancora agli inizi, ma ha già portato un risultato molto […]


Data-driven discovery reveals Earth’s missing minerals

by Timothy Oleson Fueled by advances in computing power and analytical methods, researchers in a growing number of scientific fields have taken to mining large datasets to reveal big-picture insights. By tallying the words that appear in a sampling of a book’s pages, for example, lexicologists — interested in tracking trends over time in language or […]

Paddlewheelite photo by Travis Olds
Deep Carbon Observatory

One of Two New Carbon Minerals is First of Its Kind

Three years and 15 new minerals later, the Carbon Mineral Challenge continues to produce surprises. Launched in 2015, the Carbon Mineral Challenge is a quest to find 145 carbon minerals predicted to exist but yet to be discovered.   The latest entries are new carbon minerals ramazzoite and paddlewheelite. Both share copper origins, and both […]

National Geographic

Never-Before-Seen Mineral Found Inside a ‘Super Deep’ Diamond

Hidden inside a diamond forged deep within the belly of the Earth, scientists have found the first evidence of a mineral that’s never been seen before. It’s called calcium silicate perovskite, and without a hard casing like diamond, scientists have never been able to keep it stable at Earth’s surface. “We actually had no idea […]

Monte Cervandone

Marchettiite joins the New Carbon Mineral Roster as #13

Marchettiite is the latest in a series of new organic carbon minerals approved by the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification. It is the 13th and latest addition resulting from the Deep Carbon Observatory’s Carbon Mineral Challenge, a quest to find approximately 145 predicted missing carbon minerals.   The mineral is a “natural anhydrous […]