The collection / Minerals from South Africa

Hydroxyaphophyllite

Size: 14cm

Location: Wessels mine, Hotazel, Kalahari Manganese Fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Apophyllite-(KOH) (formerly known as hydroxyapophyllite) is a relatively common mineral in the Kalahari Manganese Fields, in crystals up to 15 cm on an edge, particularly from the N’Chwaning I and II mines and from Wessels mine. It is typically colorless to pale tan in color, but rare a beautiful crystals of a pleasant pink color, like the ones shown here, were found at the Wessels mine.

Barite Crystals Coated By Rhodochrosite With

Size: 9 cm

Location:Wessels mine,Hotazel, Kalahari Manganese Fields,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Barite has been found in most of the mines of the Kalahari Manganese Field, generally as colorless and transparent to white crystals. Associated minerals can include gaudefroyite, calcite, hematite, hydroxyapophyllite and (as shown here) rhodochrosite. Rhodochrosite-coated crystals from the Wessels mine date from the 1980s.

Manganocalcite

Size: 21 cm

Location:N’Chwaning II mine,Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Calcite is among the most common of all minerals found in the mines of the Kalahari Manganese Field. It is typically colorless to white, but pink manganese-rich crystals (sometimes referred to as “manganocalcite”), like those shown here, are known as well. These latter crystals often show an intense red fluorescence under ultraviolet light.

Celestine

Size: 14 cm

Location:N’Chwaning II mine,Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description:Celestine in white to blue crystals is relatively common at the N’Chwaning I, N’Chwaning II and Wessels mines in the Kalahari Manganese Field. Fan-like sprays such as the one shown here are particularly distinctive of the N’Chwaning II min

Calcite Etiringite Hematite

Size: 14 cm

Location:N’Chwaning II mine,Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description:Clusters of transparent, prismatic calcite crystals looking very much like quartz crystals were found in 1998 at the N’Chwaning II mine, in a pocket discovered in the footwall. The crystals are associated with opaque yellow ettringite

Aragonite

Size: 22 cm

Location:Asbestos Mountains,Northern Cape Province,South Africa

Description:The Asbestos Mountains is a range of hills in the Province, stretching south-southwest from , where the range is known as the Kuruman Hills, to. Asbestos mines were opened there in 1893

Haematite With Andradite, Calcite On Strontia

Size: 12 cm

Location:Wessels mine,Hotazel, Kalahari Manganese Fields,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description:Hematite is common in the mines of the Kalahari Manganese Field, but in 2005 a pocket of very unusual hematite of a pseudohexagonal prismatic habit was found. The crystals, clustered together in semi-parallel bunches, are associated with andradite, strontianite and calcite.

Fluorite

Size: 8 cm

Location:Riemvasmaak fluorite workngs,Kakamas, Orange River Area,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description:Specimen mining by collectors has continued at the Riemvasmaak locality for the last several years, but the output has slowed considerably in the last year or two. It is possible that we have seen the best of the beautiful green Riemvasmaak fluorite.

Fluorite

Size: 6 cm

Location:Riemvasmaak fluorite workngs,Kakamas, Orange River Area,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description:Many fluorite specimens from Riemvasmaak were originally found to be coated by a layer of white drusy quartz. This layer was often picked off or dissolved away with hydrofluoric acid, but there was no predicting whether the underlying fluorite crystals would have retained their bright luster as well as the one shown here.

Fluorite

Size: 6 cm

Location:Riemvasmaak fluorite workings,Kakamas, Orange River Area,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description:The isolated village of Riemvasmaak is located 57 km northwest of Kakamas between the Orange River and the Molopo River. Around 2004 a few promising green fluorite crystals were found there, and in 2006 a spectacular lot of specimens appeared at the Munich Show. Chemical analysis has revealed the presence of rare earth elements that may be responsible for the bright color.

Rhodochrosite On Manganite

Size: 11cm

Location: N’Chwaning I mine,Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: In 1922 vast manganese deposits were discovered in northern Cape Province; the Kalahari Manganese Field was prospected in the early 1950s, and the Hotazel mine was opened around 1955. The Wessels mine followed in 1973 and the N’Chwaning (I) mine in 1974. Fine rhodochrosite was found at the N’Chwaning mine, where Desmond Sacco was serving as Mine Director, almost immediately, and specimens of major importance began to emerge in 1977.

Olmiite

Size: 4 cm

Location:N’Chwaning II mine,Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: In 2001 and 2002, the N’Chwaning II mine produced thousands of specimens of a spectacular-looking mineral assumed at the time to be poldervaartite. In 2008 even more specimens were found, in a variety of habits and colors, from nearly white to a rich red. It was determined to be a new species called olmiite.

Hematite

Size: 14 cm

Location:Wessels mine,Hotazel, Kalahari Manganese Fields,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Hematite crystals are frequently encountered in vugs and fractures in the Black Rock, N’Chwaning I and II, and Wessels mines. Discoveries of good hematite specimens date back to the early 1960s, about the time when rhodochrosite specimens were beginning to come out.

Rhodochrosite

Size: 7 cm

Location:N’Chwaning I mine,Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Deep red, gemmy, scalenohedral crystals of rhodochrosite with sharp terminations are probably the most highly valued of all N’Chwaning I mine rhodochrosite specimens. They were found around 1977-1978, in a now-disused area that could conceivably yield specimens again someday if the focus of mining returns there.

Rhodochrosite

Size: 9.1 cm

Location:N’Chwaning I mine,Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Deep red, gemmy crystals of rhodochrosite showing the scalenohedron form capped by a frosty flat pinacoid termination, like the specimen shown here, constituted one of the habits manifested by crystals found at the N’Chwaning I mine in the late 1970s.

Rhodochrosite

Size: 12 cm

Location:N’Chwaning I mine,Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Deep red, gemmy, scalenohedral crystals of rhodochrosite are the signature specimens that have made the N’Chwaning I mine famous among collectors. Around 1977 the shaft being sunk for the N’Chwaning I mine directly penetrated a zone of vugs, littering the floor of the shaft with broken single crystals. Many fine specimens were recovered, though many others were lost.

Ettringite And Calcite

Size: 6 cm

Location:Wessels mine,Hotazel, Kalahari Manganese Fields,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Ettringite is normally distinguished from sturmanite by its pale yellow (rather than amber) color, but this distinction is unreliable. The most important differences are that iron occurs only in sturmanite and, unlike sturmanite and charlesite, ettringite lacks boron in its composition.

Ettringite And Calcite

Size: 5 cm

Location:Wessels mine,Hotazel, Kalahari Manganese Fields,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: A striking contrast with brilliant black manganite is a common association of ettringite, but an occurrence of pale yellow crystals with brilliant white calcite at the Wessels mine is equally striking. Ettringite, sturmanite and charlesite all contain water in their formula, and some specimens have suffered some dehydration and resulting discoloration or cloudiness, whereas other specimens have remained stable.

Ettringite

Size: 7 cm

Location: Wessels mine,Hotazel, Kalahari Manganese Fields,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: The three hydrated sulfate minerals sturmanite, ettringite and charlesite often occur in mixed crystals at the N’Chwaning mines, and the Wessels mine. Although visual identification is unreliable, the amber-colored varieties are usually referred to as sturmanite by collectors. This example has been identified as ettringite, perhaps only in the basis of its pale lemon-yellow color.

Olmiite

Size: 15 cm

Location: N’Chwaning II mine,Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Olmiite specimens from the N’Chwaning II mine showing red spherical crystal aggregates are from the 2008 find by Paul Belayer.These are the best of a lot of about 250 beautiful olmiite specimens which had been dug from two large pockets located about 1 km away from the 2001-2002 bonanza zone.

Inesite

Size: 5.5 cm

Location: Wessels mine,Hotazel, Kalahari Manganese Fields,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: The most outstanding occurrence of inesite was found at the Wessels mine in 1992, embedded in a large lens of coarsely crystalline calcium and calcium-manganese silicates. Probably fewer than 30 high-quality specimens, including the one shown here, were recovered from this find. Other pockets were encountered as far back as the mid-1970s to the early 1980s at the Wessels mine.

Olmiite

Size: 5.5 cm

Location:N’Chwaning II mine,Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Olmiite occurs in a range of colors at the N’Chwaning II mine, from white to pale tan and pink to red. The crystals may be singles or may fan out into wheat-sheaf groups as on the specimen shown here, where both habits are visible.

Olmiite Ball

Size: 4 cm

Location: N’Chwaning II mine,Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Between October 2001 and late February 2002, the N’Chwaning II mine produced about 5,000 specimens of a spectacular-looking mineral assumed at the time to be poldervaartite. However, in 2008, when even more specimens were found, it was determined to be a new species, the manganese analog of poldervaartite, called olmiite.

Inesite

Size: 15cm

Location: Wessels mine, Hotazel, Kalahari Manganese Fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Inesite is known from the N’Chwaning mines as well as the Wessels  mine. A particularly fine occurence was found in 1992, embedded in a  large lens of coarsely crystalline calcium and calcium-manganese  silicates. Other pockets were encountered as far back as the mid-1970s  to the early 1980s at the Wessels mine.

Sturmanite

Size: 11cm

Location: N’Chwaning II mine, Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: The three hydrated sulfate minerals sturmanite, ettringite and charlesite often occur in mixed crystals at the N’Chwaning mines, but are usually referred to a sturmanite by collectors, since visual identification is impossible. Well-terminated crystals have been found at the N’Chwaning I and II mines, but a particularly fine batch (including the specimen shown here) was recovered from the N’Chwaning II mine in the 1980s.

Natrolite Inesite Datolite Torbermorite

Size: 11cm

Location: Wessels mine, Hotazel, Kalahari Manganese Fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: Massive natrolite was known from drill cores in the Kalahari Manganese Field for many years, but it was not until 1992 that superb, well-formed crystals were encountered in the Wessels mine. Associations include datolite, red inesite and white spherules of  tobermorite.

Haematite

Size: 12.8 cm

Location: Wessels mine,Hotazel, Kalahari Manganese Field,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description: A banded iron formation is one of the rock types hosting the deposits of the Kalahari Manganese Field, and secondary hematite crystals are commonly found in vugs and fractures at most of the mines. The most famous discovery took place at the Wessels mine in May 1988, when hundreds of superb mirror-lustered crystals were recovered, some with red andradite, lizardite and barite.

Shigaite On Rhodochrosite

Size: 9 cm

Location:Wessels mine,N’Chwaning mine, Kalahari Manganese Fields,Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Description:Although the first Kalahari shigaite crystals were found in the Wessels mine in 1993, fabulous, world-class specimens of shigaite with rhodochrosite were found by Paul Balayer in the N’Chwaning I mine in 2006 and again in 2008. The main crystal shown here measures 3.2 cm, and is accompanied by small pyrochroite crystals.