Elaliite is a mineral with formula Fe9PO12 (or Fe2+8Fe3+(PO4)O8) that was first synthesized in a laboratory in the 1980s and later identified in natural material in 2022 at which time the official mineral designation was given. The mineral is orthorhombic, with space group Cmmm (space group 65).[1]

Elaliite
General
CategoryMineral
Formula
(repeating unit)
Fe9PO12
Crystal systemOrthorhombic
Space groupCmmm (no. 65)

HistoryEdit

Elaliite was first identified in nature by scientists from the University of Alberta who were given a 70 gram piece of the 15-ton El Ali meteorite that came to the attention of the scientific community in 2020.[2] Elaliite was named after the El Ali district in Somalia where the meteorite was found.[2]

The mineral was identified by Andrew Locock who is employed by the university as the head of its electron microprobe laboratory,[3] and classified by geologist Chris Herd.[4] Locock also identified the first natural specimen of elkinstantonite in the same sample.[5]

Synthetic versions of elaliite were produced in a French laboratory in the 1980s but could not be categorised as a mineral until they were found in nature.[3] The future of the meteorite is uncertain as it has been shipped to China presumably for sale.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Chris Herd (Nov 21, 2022). "The El Ali Meteorite: Ancient History and New Minerals"., talk given at the Space Exploration Symposium 2022, University of Alberta.
  2. ^ a b "Somalia meteorite: Joy as scientists find two new minerals". BBC News. 2022-11-29. Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  3. ^ a b "In meteorite, Alberta researchers discover 2 minerals never before seen on Earth | Globalnews.ca". Global News. Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  4. ^ "U of A scientists help identify two new minerals found in 'curious' meteorite". edmontonjournal. Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  5. ^ "Researchers discover two new minerals on meteorite grounded in Somalia". the Guardian. 2022-11-29. Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  6. ^ MacPherson, Adrianna (2022-11-28). "New minerals discovered in massive meteorite may reveal clues to asteroid formation" (Press release). Alberta, Canada: University of Alberta. Retrieved 2022-11-30.