Cornetite, Star of Congo Mine, Katanga, DRC
description: 12" ac. Acquired from Robert Sielecki at the Denver Show in 2009. He bought it from the Chatah brothers of Lubumbashi. They wholesale unworked and processed malachite as well as other mineral specimens of Katanga province. Cornetite is a rare copper bearing phosphate that reaches its ultimate development at Star of Congo Mine. At most other copper mines, it may not even present as microcrystals let alone hand specimens or even giant museum sized pieces. This show stopping example of cornetite is the largest and best example that I have seen anywhere. It can only become less common since the present regime which controls this mine is against removal of mineral specimens from the mine more than any previous regime. The few mineral specimens that occasionally leave the mine are poached from it at night by enterprising artisan miners who throw them over the security fence erected to protect this mining property from their specimen preservation efforts.
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