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A new purple-pink mineral that has a chemical composition and crystalline structure unlike any of the known 4,000 minerals has been discovered at a mining site in Western Australia, researchers report.
Now called putnisite, the mineral was discovered in a surface outcrop of Polar Bear Peninsula, Southern Lake Cowan, north of Norseman. While workers with a mining company were prospecting for nickel and gold, one of them noticed the bright-pink grains and sent the mineral to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), and then it was sent to Peter Elliott, a research associate with the South Australian Museum, for examination.
And, sure enough, the crystal was novel.