Malachite stalactite
description: <p style="text-align: justify;">LOCALITY: Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo <br /><br />12" tall <br /><br />This elite specimen is one of the best Katanga malachite stalactites in existence. I bought it during my December 2009 visit to Katanga province. I will probably not return to Katanga to buy mineral specimens because acquiring specimens and evacuating them from the Congo was difficult and expensive and the success of three weeks of work essentially hinged on two ultrafine pieces which were procured by chance. <br /><br />To export this piece to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia without breaking it, I hand carried it in my carry on luggage through airports in Lubumbashi, Johannesburg, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne and cautioned all airport security personnel who wished to look at it, test its surface for explosive residues or make sure it was not a sharp object when it was seen by the X-ray machine. I managed to steward it through the hands of all of the mineralogically naive airport security personnel to get it to its home in Melbourne in one piece and with absolutely no damage or need for repair. <br /><br />The artisan miners who extracted this piece from what must have been a very large malachite lined cavity evidently took great care to excavate it also. Other people native to the Congo who were involved in logistics of this piece within Katanga province also must have handled this piece with the utmost care. Most of them are unknown to me but should they see this piece on their nearest computer monitor, I salute them for their efforts.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Photo by Matthew Webb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia </p>
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