Minerals Special to Arkansas
Photo: Leucite crystal from Magnet Cove
THERE ARE OVER 300 minerals known from Arkansas, 10 of which were first discovered and described scientifically from the state so their type localities are here. Of the 300 some-odd minerals, perhaps as many as 160 are associated with the few bodies of igneous rock present in central and southwest Arkansas. These areas are listed in the literature as Granite Mountain (sorry, it's not granite, it's syenite) in Pulaski County, Magnet Cove in Hot Spring County, Potash Sulphur Springs in Garland County, and the Prairie Creek pipe (Crater of Diamonds State Park) in Pike County.
Minerals associated with quartz
In the Ouachita Mountains, there are a variety of metal-bearing deposits associated with quartz veins, not those sites that produce the well known rock crystal specimens, but other now abandoned mines, worked from before the turn of the century up until the late 1980s to early 1990s. A variety of minerals are known from these deposits of antimony, mercury, zinc, lead, vanadium, silver, manganese, titanium, and aluminum. The vanadium, titanium, and aluminum ore (bauxite) deposits are all related to the presence of the previously mentioned igneous rock bodies, whereas the other metals, with the exception of manganese, are tied to hydrothermal solutions and the deposition of quartz. The manganese deposits are more related to weathering than any of the other metals.
Phosphates of iron and aluminum
The phosphates of iron and aluminum make up the most colorful group of minerals in Arkansas. Wavellite is well known, but other species also abound, including planerite, variscite, metastrengite, strengite, rockbridgeite, cacoxenite, and several others. They owe their origins to circulating ground water and the presence of phosphate pellets and nodules in the sedimentary rocks.
We can't provide you with detailed information of all of these minerals at our web site, but we can recommend the following references to start with:
1989 Rocks & Minerals Arkansas Issue, July/August. Many articles about various minerals and sites. Many references at the end of each article.
Howard, J. M., 1987, Mineral Species of Arkansas - a digest: Arkansas Geological Commission Bulletin 23, 187 p. The most extensive mineral reference list of any publication of this type on Arkansas.
McFarland, J. D., and Howard, J. M., 1996, Mineral Species of Arkansas, an electronic database: Arkansas Geological Commission Software Program No. 1. For IBM Compatible PC with 486 or faster processor and Windows 3.1 or higher(also, Win95). A modifiable database that you can run searches with for county locations, references (updated from Bulletin 23 in 1987), and various mineral properties. You can modify this program to suit your own needs.
Smith, A. E., Jr., 1996, Collecting Arkansas Minerals, a reference and a guide: L. R. Ream Publishing Co., 149 p. Status on many collecting sites and many references.
Howard, J. M., and Owens, D. R., 1995, Minerals of the Wilson Springs Vanadium Mines, Potash Sulphur Springs, Arkansas: Rocks & Minerals, v. 70, May/June 1995, p. 154-170.
New Minerals Unique to Arkansas
by J. Michael Howard
During the 1995 annual fall Coon Creek Association trip to Arkansas, the group visited the Funderburk prospect in the mercury district of Pike County. While collecting from the mine tailings, a single fist-sized specimen was recovered from a meter-size boulder by one of the members that contained several unidentified minerals. Art Smith of Houston, Texas furnished samples of the material to A. J. Nikischer of Excalibur Mineral Company of New York for identification. Nikischer recognized the potential of some white fibers as being a new mineral species and forwarded the material to several Canadian mineralogists for further work. The results of their work were published in 2003, in The Canadian Mineralogist, vol. 41, p. 721-725.
Artsmithite occurs as mattes of white needles in a vug and is associated with quartz, goethite, dickite, and cinnabar. It is a secondary mineral probably formed from the breakdown of primary cinnabar and apatite. Artsmithite is a mercury-aluminum phosphate hydroxide. Later diligent searches for additional mineralization turned up no samples, so this is truly a rare mineral species for Arkansas. Of further note, this is the first reported mercury aluminum phosphate (hydrated or otherwise) in either natural or synthetic form.
The mineral is truly a micromount as the nest of needles composing the studied specimen measures only 3 mm by 1 mm. Individual needles may be as long as 1 mm, but typically are 0.5 mm in length. Length to width ratios are greater than 100 to 1. Individual fibers of artsmithite are white to colorless, flexible, transparent with a vitreous luster. They possess an off white to cream colored streak. Artsmithite possesses no obvious cleavage, has an irregular fracture, and is non-fluorescent. Density was determined on the basis of the formula and the unit-cell parameters to be 6.40 gm/cm3. Hardness is undetermined.
Artsmithite was named in honor of Arthur (Art) E. Smith, Jr., a petroleum geologist from Houston, Texas. He has been an avid collector of both Arkansas and Texas minerals and a micromounter since 1956. Art is one of several members of the informal Coon Creek Association (CCA). If you want a sample of Artsmithite for your collection, I suggest you contact Meredith York of Stephens, Arkansas, as he has the bulk of the available samples available. Art is the 4th member of the CCA to have an Arkansas mineral named after him, Al Kidwell (kidwellite 1979), Henry de Linde (delindeite 1988), and Lourens Wals (lourenswalsite 1988) being the other members so honored.
Fredrich Lippmann of Germany was visiting the University of Illinois on a post doctoral fellowship during 1954-55 when he decided to visit the Magnet Cove area and adjacent barite mine over his Christmas vacation. While at National Lead's facility, Dr. Lippmann met Orlando J. Benston, an ore dressing metallurgist, who gave him specimens that turned out to be an undescribed mineral. The results of Lippmann's study were published in 1962 and the mineral was named benstonite, in honor of O.J. Benston (1901-1966) of Malvern.
Benstonite is a double carbonate of barium and calcium and has a rhombohedral cleavage like calcite, but less perfect. The original benstonite specimens were white cleavable masses up to 1 cm across that filled fractures in the massive barite ore body. It is associated with barite, milky quartz, and calcite, and fluoresces bright pink in both long and short wave ultraviolet light. Specimens from Magnet Cove, the type locality, have always been scarce. In the 1970's, Randy Weingart, then a mining engineer with National Lead, discovered a small stockpile of benstonite, apparently left by Mr. Benston. Mr. Weingart dispersed all of the remaining material out to the collecting community by selling and trading the material. Small pieces of benstonite were available for a short time. Some were as previously described, being white cleavable masses, whereas a few specimens were much finer grained than originally described.
No crystals of benstonite were ever recovered from the type locality, but good crystal specimens are known from Cave-in-Rock, Illinois and Langban, Sweden.
Refs: Lippman, Friedrich, 1962, Benstonite, Ca7Ba6(CO3)13, a new mineral from the barite deposit in Hot Spring County, Arkansas: American Mineralogist, v. 47, p. 585-598.
The Diamond Jo quarry has as many stories as it does minerals, but for now, we'll talk about the minerals. In the mid-1970's, Charles Stone and I (we both work for the Arkansas Geological Commission), along with Charles Milton, visited this quarry on the south rim of Magnet Cove for the purpose of collecting samples of rock containing the unusual mineral labuntsovite. Dr. Milton, a research professor at The George Washington University, had identified labuntsovite from specimens I collected as a budding rockhound and had managed to send him after some 20 years. The material we recovered consisted of a highly altered xenolith that contained a number of small gas cavities. Charles Milton planned to study the minerals associated with labuntsovite.
Upon detailed laboratory examination, two unidentified minerals were discovered in these gas cavities. Dr. Milton enlisted the aid of several USGS and Smithsonian co-workers to collect data on the two new minerals. The descriptions of deLindeite and lourenswalsite were published in 1987, 12 years after their original recognition as undescribed new species.
DeLindeite occurs as microscopic crystal aggregates, commonly sheave- or mushroom-like in habit. It is light pinkish gray and has a resinous to pearly luster. DeLindeite is an alkaline element titanosilicate and is associated with pyroxene, titanite, pectolite, barite, sphalerite, K-feldspar, labuntsovite, and lourenswalsite.
DeLindeite was named after Henry S. deLinde, owner of the Diamond Jo quarry and amateur mineralogist, who also happens to be our neighbor, close personal friend, and collecting buddy.
Appleman, D.E., Evans, H.T., Jr., Nord, G.L., Dwornik, E.J. and Milton, Charles, 1987, DeLindeite and lourenswalsite, two new titanosilicates from the Magnet Cove region, Hot Spring County, Arkansas: Mineralogical Magazine, v. 51, p. 417-425.
Smith, A. E., Jr., 1989, Minerals from the miarolitic cavities at the Diamond Jo quarry, Magnet Cove, Hot Spring County, Arkansas: Rocks and Minerals, v. 64, no. 4, p. 300-307.
Specimens of this mineral were collected from one of the active quarries of the Granite Mountain complex in Pulaski County by Cecil Cosse, a student at the University of New Orleans. The samples were sent to P.J. Dunn of the Smithsonian Institution, who enlisted the aid of researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of New Orleans in describing the mineral. Their work was published in 1984.
Interestingly, I had collected (before Cosse) a number of samples of this same species and sent them to Charles Milton. A preliminary letter from Dr. Milton indicated that this mineral might be a new species, but because he did not have time to work on it, he turned the specimens over to the Smithsonian. I suspect that some of my samples were also used to define the type material, but can not confirm it.
Eggletonite has a very complex chemical formula which consists of alkaline metals (sodium, potassium, calcium), and metal cations (manganese, zinc, magnesium, iron, aluminum) bound to a hydrous silicate framework. There is considerable bonded water. Eggletonite crystals are dark brown, very small, fibrous, and form radiating sea urchin-like masses to 3 mm across perched on feldspar or pyroxene crystals. When the radiating mass is broken, it is dark brown in the center grading to cinnamon-tan on the ends of the fibrous crystals. This mineral formed in very late stage, thin veinlets during degassing of the magmatic host rock - syenite. It may be associated with K-feldspar, sodic pyroxene (aegirine), titanite, and apophyllite. Eggletonite has not been reported from other localities.
The mineral was named after Dr. Richard A. Eggleton of the Australian National University.
Barwood, H.L., 1989, Mineralogy of the Granite Mountain syenite, Pulaski and Saline Counties, Arkansas: Rocks and Minerals, v. 64, no. 4, p. 314-322.
Peacor, D.R., Dunn, P.J., and Simmons, W.B., 1984, Eggletonite, the Na analogue of ganophyllite: Mineralogical Magazine, v. 48, p. 93-96.
Danielle Velde was kind enough to supply me with the historical information contained herein concerning the discovery of this new species.
Mrs. Velde collected samples of lamproite during the summer of 1995 while on a visit and tour around the central United States. She came to the Park because she has a strong and long lasting interest in lamproites, not simply to hunt diamonds as a tourist. In 1995 her husband, a US citizen living in France and also a geologist, had decided to sample soils during a summer trip based out of Chicago. Both of their sons live in the USA, so they had decided to spend a week together with them at a Montana dude ranch. Their trip took them from Chicago down to New Orleans and back north through Texas, Colorado, M ontana, and then back to Chicago. Because Danielle is not particularly interested in soils, when she realized that they would be near the Prairie Creek outcrop, she negotiated to stop in Arkansas and sample both it and at Magnet Cove. So this is what they did, despite some difficulties caused by a minor foot problem and the heat of Arkansas in August. While at the Park, she sampled the hard rock (magmatic lamproite ed.) and, after arriving back home in France, had thin sections made. The sections were quite lovely, and she was facinated by the small xenoliths with K-richterite. Since there are two electron microprobes in her department, it was easy enough to make a few analyses. This is when she discovered teh unusual composition of an oxide mineral. She then sent an email to Steve Haggerty in the fall of 1995. She did not know him personally, but naturally knew his work and his discovery of the family of Ti-K oxides. Dr. Haggerty, like Danielle and her husband, was a former postdoctoral fellow of the Geophysical Laboratory in Washington. This point might be one of the reasons he kindly answered right away -- telling her that it probably was new and that he did not know whether it was worth naming, but it could be. He finally mentioned that if she wanted to pursue the topic, Dr. Grey in Australia was the man to contact. So she sent a section containing the mineral to him; the section was later returned to England for the necessary optical properties measurements.
Her first idea was to name the mineral 'Hilaryclintonite', hoping this would result in an invitation for tea at the White House. But Dr. Grey did not like the idea and Steve Haggerty was appalled. Danielle had several other possible alternatives already in mind. They both liked her second proposition better!
The description of this new species was published in American Mineralogist in December, 1998. Haggertyite is present as microscopic hexagonal plates in the alteration zones of xenoliths at the Crater of Diamonds State Park (in the lithic tuff phase of the Prairie Creek lamproite). It is a magnetoplumbite-type titanate that is the metasomatic product of the reaction between the xenoliths and the lamproite, having formed in the mantle. The simplified formula is Ba[Ti5 (Fe2+)4 (Fe3+)2 Mg] O19. There are two Cr-rich members in this series -- yimengite and hawthornite.
The hexagonal platy crystals are exceedingly small and embedded in the matrix. The mineral is opaque, metallic in luster, with a pale gray reflected-light color. It is approximately 5 on the Moh's hardness scale.
Associated minerals, in decreasing abundance, include diopside, olivine, phlogopite, richterite, Cr-spinel, ilmenite, priderite, and jeppeite.
Grey, I. E., Danielle Velde, and A. J. Criddle, 1998, Haggertyite, a new magnetoplumbite-type titanate mineral from the Prairie Creek (Arkansas) lamproite: American Mineralogist, v. 83, p. 1323-1329.
The original material that was studied by Paul Moore and Jun Ito came from Fodderstack Mountain, southwest of Norman in Montgomery County. Albert Kidwell, after whom the mineral is named, collected this mineral along with other iron phosphates and furnished the material to researchers at the University of Chicago. Moore and Ito's study was published in 1978.
Kidwellite, as originally described, has three principal types of occurrence: interlayered with "laubmannite" and rockbridgeite; thin, isolated botryoidal masses; and sheaves of crystals and small spheres on goethite. Coatings of kidwellite on thick, vug-filling beraunite have also been collected. Dr. Kidwell (1977) gave several localities in Polk and Montgomery Counties, mostly associated with manganese mines and prospects.
Kidwellite is a hydrated sodic iron phosphate, varying in color from lively pale chartreuse to greenish-yellow, greenish white, pastel grayish-blue, and bright yellow. The mineral is moderately widespread as a replacement of rockbridgeite and beraunite and is also known from Indian Mountain, Alabama, Irish Creek, Virginia, and Waldgirmes, Germany. It is often associated with rockbridgeite, beraunite, strengite, and cacoxenite. In Arkansas, kidwellite appears to be restricted to the Arkansas Novaculite Formation.
Barwood, H.L. and deLinde, H.S., 1989, Arkansas Phosphate Minerals - a review and update: Rocks and Minerals, v. 64, no. 4, p. 294-299.
Kidwell, A.L., 1977, Iron phosphates of the Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas in Symposium on the geology of the Ouachita Mountains, V. II, Economic geology, mineralogy, and miscellaneous: Arkansas Geological Commission, p. 50-62.
Moore, P.B. and Ito, J., 1978, Kidwellite, NaFe3+9(OH)10 (PO4)6 . 5H2O, a new species: Mineralogical Magazine, v.42, p. 137-140.
In the late 1950's, crystals of an unknown mineral were given to Ralph Erickson, USGS geologist, by Joseph W. Kimzey of Magnet Cove, Hot Spring County. Dr. Erickson was operating a portable USGS chemical laboratory based in Little Rock. He discovered unusually high zirconium values in the unknown crystals. The samples were turned over to Charles Milton and L. V. Blade, who described and named the new zirconium garnet in 1958.
Kimzeyite occurs as small dark brown crystals in an igneous calcite rock (carbonatite) at Magnet Cove in Hot Spring County. The original crystals came from the Kimzey calcite pit near the west center of Magnet Cove. Crystals have been occasionally recovered loose in the weathered residuum and carbonatite outcrops adjacent to the quarry. Kimzeyite is often associated with montacellite, carbonate-fluorapatite, perovskite, and calcite. In 1996, Clyde Hardin of Malvern, AR, while collecting some residual minerals at Perovskite Hill, south of the calcite pit, noted an unusual mineral associated with magnetite and perovskite. Henry Barwood of the Indiana Geological Survey identified the mineral as baddeleyite, zirconium oxide, a pseudomorph of the weathering of kimzeyite.
It is interesting to note that, although kimzeyite has been reported from two locatities (Canada and Italy), the only well-formed euhedral crystals come from the original Arkansas locality.
The mineral was named for the Kimzey family, long time residents of the Magnet Cove area.
Milton, Charles and Blade, L.V., 1958, Preliminary note on kimzeyite, a new zirconium garnet (Ark.): Science, v. 127, no. 3310, p. 1343.
Milton, Charles, Ingram, B.L., and Blade, L.V., 1961, Kimzeyite, a zirconium garnet from Magnet Cove, Arkansas: American Mineralogist, v. 46, p. 533-548.
The discovery of this new mineral was made by Charles Milton conincidental with another new species, now named deLindeite, in the mid-1970's. The report of lourenswalsite, along with deLindeite, was published in 1987.
Lourenswalsite is a potassium barium titanosilicate. It occurs as very thin hexagonal plates forming rosettes, the edges of the plates are often curved like the edges of some book pages which have gotten wet and, while drying, wrinkled. The mineral is silver-gray to light brownish gray. Lourenwalsite formed in miarolitic (gas) cavities in reacted xenoliths and is commonly associated with deLindeite, barite, pyroxene, K-feldspar, titanite, sphalerite, pectolite, and labuntsovite. The gas cavities containing these minerals are usually no larger than the head of a pin, less than 1 mm.
It took 12 years from the time of discovery to publication due to difficulties encountered when working with small aggregates of the tiny crystals. Lourenswalsite has not been reported from any other locality.
The mineral was named after Dr. Lourens Wals, a Belgium citizen and well known mineral collector.
Appleman, D.E., Evan, H.T., Jr., Nord, G.L., Dwornik, E.J. and Milton, Charles, 1987, DeLindeite and lourenswalsite, two new titanosilicates from the Magnet Cove region, Arkansas: Mineralogical Magazine, v. 51, p. 417-425.
Smith, A.E., Jr., 1989, Minerals from the miarolitic cavities at the Diamond Jo quarry, Magnet Cove, Hot Spring County, Arkansas: Rocks and Minerals, v. 64, no. 4, p. 300-307. (the Arkansas issue)
Laubmannite was first described in 1949 by Clifford Frondel, noted mineralogist, from a specimen that came from near Shady in Polk County. It was described as a new species of hydrous iron phosphate. Type specimens were housed in the Harvard Mineralogical Museum and the US National Museum (Smithsonian) collections.
The mineral occurs as botryoidal (spherical) aggregates having a radial fibrous structure (similar to wavellite in habit and form). Laubmannite fills fractures in novaculite and is often associated with other iron phosphates, including rockbridgeite, beraunite, strengite, cacoxenite, and kidwellite. The mineral is often greenish brown to brown and exhibits zonal banding of various colors.
In 1990, Dr. P.J. Dunn of the Smithsonian published a critical reexamination of laubmannite using the type specimens. By modern X-ray diffraction and microprobe techniques, he showed that "laubmannite" consists of a variable mixture of other iron phosphate minerals, including dufrenite, kidwellite, beraunite, and an unidentified species. Therefore, the name is not valid and has been discredited. However, many specimens are still present in collections, purchased when the name was valid.
Laubmannite was named for Heinrich Laubmann (1865-1951), German mineralogist.
Dunn, P.J., 1990, Andrewsite and laubmannite formally discredited: American Mineralogist, v. 75, p. 1197-1199.
Frondel, Clifford, 1949, The dufrenite problem: American Mineralogist, v 34, p. 513-540.
This mineral was another one of those "unknowns" found in the central Arkansas area. During a mineral collecting field trip at the North Wilson pit at Potash Sulphur Springs in Garland County, Dr. Buford Nichols and Meredith York spotted some tiny white spheres in the pyroxenite vanadium ores. Again, samples were sent to Dr. Charles Milton, who did an enormous amount of research on these unusual Arkansas minerals, and he recognized these spheres to be a new species. M.H. Hey et.al. correctly identified the chemistry and published that information in 1982. Charles Milton, J.J. McGee, and H.T. Evans, Jr. published the mineralogical description of mahlmoodite in 1993.
Malhmoodite occurs as small creamy white spheres, usually perched on black sodic pyroxene. In this SEM (scanning electron micrograph, USGS), mahlmoodite is perched on bladed kolbeckite. It always appears to be the last mineral formed in the cavities. Malhmoodite is a ferrous zirconium phosphate. The spheres are composed of radiating fibers, much like wavellite. Several attempts to directly synthesize this mineral were unsuccessful, although cation base exchange produced this compound in the laboratory previously. Malhmoodite may be associated with kolbeckite, titanite, and strontiopyrochlore in the host pyroxenite. This mineral has not yet been reported from any other locality.
The mineral was named after Bertha K. Mahlmood, long-time secretary and administrative assistant of the Branch of Analytical Laboratories, US Geological Survey.
The spelling of the mineral name was changed from mahlmoodite to malhmoodite via IMA case No 02-D 2002.
Howard, J. M. and Owens, D. R., 1995, Minerals of the Wilson Springs vanadium mines, Potash Sulphur Springs, Arkansas: Rocks and Minerals, v. 70, no. 3, p. 154-170.
Milton, C., McGee, J. J., and Evans, H. T., Jr., 1993, Mahlmoodite, FeZr(PO4)2. 4H2O, a new iron zirconium phosphate mineral from Wilson Springs, Arkansas: American Mineralogist, v.78, p. 437-440.
Smith, A. E., Jr., 1993, Mahlmoodite - a new mineral from Wilson (Potash Sulphur) Springs, Arkansas: Mineral News, v.9, no. 6, p. 1-2.
A new mineral species named natroxonotlite was first described by J.F. Williams and R.N. Brackett in 1891 from samples collected in the contact metamorphic zone of the Potash Sulphur Springs intrusion in eastern Garland County, about 6 miles east of Hot Springs, Arkansas. In 1950, W.T. Schaller, mineralogist for the USGS, authored an article showing that the original chemical analysis by Brackett was incorrect. Schaller showed the mineral to be a hydrous potassium (not sodium) calcium silicate. He gave X-ray powder patterns and other mineralogical data that proved that miserite is not similar to xonotlite and was a new mineral species.
The mineral is pink to lavender, very fine-grained, and occurs as films and vein-like seams in wollastonite, along with fluorapatite and rare fluorapophyllite.
In 1984, the AGC published an article by Dr. Charles Milton, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, in which he reviewed the worldwide occurrence of miserite. Although the mineral had been identified from various localities (6 in Asiatic USSR and 3 sites in North America), distinct crystals, critical to a complete mineralogical description, were recovered only from Mont St. Hilaire, Quebec, Canada. When these crystals were examined, miserite was discovered to be the first known representative of a theoretical crystal structure known as Zoltai Type 5.
Miserite was named in honor of Hugh D. Miser (1884-1969) of the USGS and formerly of Pea Ridge, Arkansas.
Milton, Charles, 1984, Miserite, a review of world occurrences with a note on intergrown wollastonite in Arkansas Geological Commission Miscellaneous Publication 18-B, Contributions to the Geology of Arkansas, J.D. McFarland III, ed., p. 97-114.
Schaller, W.T., 1950, Miserite from Arkansas: a renaming of natroxontlite: American Mineralogist, v. 35, p. 911-921.
Williams, J.F., 1891, The igneous rocks of Arkansas: Arkansas Geological Survey Annual Report 1890, V. 2, 457 p.
Rectorite was first described by R.N. Brackett (chemist) and J. Francis Williams (geologist), both of the Arkansas Geological Survey in 1891. The original material came from Marble Township, about 24 miles north of Hot Springs, Garland County. Charles F. Brown of Hot Springs supplied the mineral to the Survey. His specimens had fine doubly terminated quartz crystals to 1.5 inchs in length embedded in the mineral, like at the well known Jeffrey quarry locality.
Rectorite has been shown to consist of interstratified pyrophyllite- vermiculite (mica minerals). The fresh material is pearly white, but iron oxide commonly causes a tan color. When dry, rectorite forms thin to thick leathery mattes, but when discovered in quartz veins, rectorite has a paste-like consistency, similar to petroleum jelly.
Rectorite occurs in quartz veins with cookeite (a lithium chlorite) and ankerite from a number of localities along a zone termed the Frontal Belt of teh Ouachita Mountains in Pulaski, Perry, Saline, Garland, and Montgomery Counties.
It is named after Arkansas Governor H. M. Rector (1816-1899).
Engel, A. E. J,, 1951, Quartz crystal deposits of western Arkansas: USGS Bulletin 973-E, p. 173-260.
Miser, H.D. and Milton, Charles, 1964, Quartz, rectorite, and cookeite from the Jeffrey quarry, near North Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas: AGC Bulletin 21, 29 p.
Newsom, Gene, 1978, The Jeffrey quarry: Mineralogical Record, v. 9, no. 2., p. 75-79.
Don R. Owens, Union Carbide mine geologist, submitted the original samples of this vanadium mineral to Charles Milton. Dr. Milton, along with mineralogists from the USGS, published their description of the new species in 1984. Paul Thompson, Mine Engineering Aid II for Union Carbide at that time and presently an active consulting geologist living in the Hot Springs area, discovered the original material in a recrystallized zone of the Arkansas Novaculite in the North Wilson pit, Potash Sulphur Springs, Garland County.
Strazcekite is a calcium barium potassium vanadate. Fibrous seams of this rare secondary mineral filled fractured novaculite. More commonly consisting as black coelescing aggregates of crystals, strazcekite sometimes forms single lathe-like crystals up to 0.5 mm long. Individual crystals are translucent to tranparent and dark greenish-black.The zone containing the concentration of this rare mineral was mined through shortly after the mineral was discovered, so few specimens exist. This is the only known occurrence of strazcekite.
The mineral conforms to a series of synthetic vanadium bronzes, the first of its kind to be discovered in nature. The mineral is named after John A. Straczek, Chief Geologist at Union Carbide during the 1970's and 1980"s.
Evans, H.T., Jr., Nord, Gordon, Marinenko, John, and Milton, Charles, 1984, Straczekite, a new calcium barium potassium vanadate mineral from Wilson Springs, Arkansas: Mineralogical Magazine, v. 48, p. 289-293.
Howard, J.M. and Owens, D.R., 1995, Minerals of the Wilson Springs vanadium mines, Potash Sulphur Springs, Arkansas: Rocks and Minerals, v. 70, no. 3, p. 154-170.
Note to Collectors: Please be aware that knowing about these minerals and where they can be found does not grant the right to trespass on private property or mining claims. Even if you consider taking some samples as "just collecting," property owners might consider your actions trespassing and theft. The status of mineral collecting on national forest and Corps of Engineers land is changing, and access is very restricted. Please check with the appropriate landowner, lease or claim holder, or district supervisor before attempting to enter a collecting locality.