The Carbon Mineral Challenge

The Carbon Mineral Challenge sets the stage for both professional and amateur mineral collectors to make their mark by discovering never-before described minerals. Researchers predict at least 135 of Earth’s carbon-bearing minerals remain undiscovered. How many can collectors find by 2019?

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 […]

Deep Carbon Observatory

Flawed, Precious Stones Carry Clues From Deep in the Mantle

Earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere creates extremely oxidizing conditions at the surface. Anyone who has seen rusty metal has observed oxidation in action: the oxygen steals electrons from the metal, creating crusty, red, iron oxide. Within Earth’s core, however, low levels of oxygen create much more reduced conditions. Intuitively, many researchers have supposed that Earth’s layers become […]

Triazolite crystals
Carbon Mineral Challenge Update, October 2017

Intertwined Discovery

New carbon mineral #11 has strong family ties The newly discovered – and exquisitely beautiful – mineral triazolite is intricately linked to another mineral, chanabyaite. And, interestingly, like another recently discovered carbon mineral tinnuculite, triazolite was discovered in a guano deposit.   The path to formal acceptance of triazolite as a mineral began in 2008 […]

Big data points humanity to new minerals, new deposits (Update)

In a paper published by American Mineralogist, scientists report the first application to mineralogy of network theory (best known for analysis of e.g. the spread of disease, terrorist networks, or Facebook connections). The results, they say, pioneer a way to reveal mineral diversity and distribution worldwide, mineral evolution through deep time, new trends, and new […]

Smithsonian Magazine

Big Data (and You) Could Help Find 1,500 Undiscovered Minerals

Mineralogists have long studied how and why minerals occur where they do. Now, they’re applying big data to the question. The researchers are using network theory to understand the complex way different chemical, biological, physical and geographic parameters determine where minerals occur. Network theory – the idea that the relationships between things are governed by […]


Scientists turn to big data in hunt for minerals, oil and gas

OSLO (Reuters) – Scientists searching for everything from oil and gas to copper and gold are adopting techniques used by companies such as Netflix or Amazon to sift through vast amounts of data, a study showed on Tuesday. The method has already helped to discover 10 carbon-bearing minerals and could be widely applied to exploration, […]