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March-April 2010

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Who's Who in Mineral Names: Luiz Menezes (b. 1950)

Menezesite was named in honor of Luiz Alberto Dias Menezes Filho,* Brazilian mining engineer, mineral collector and well-known mineral dealer, who collected the type material. Remarkably, he is credited with the discovery of seven other new mineral species.

Menezes was born in São Paulo, Brazil, on 5 October 1950, to Luiz Alberto Dias Menezes and Thereza Leonor Maglioni Dias Menezes. He grew up in São Paulo where he received his early schooling. In 1973 he graduated from the Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo (Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo) with a degree in mining engineering. He then embarked on a career with Serrana S.A. de Mineração, operator of the Jacupiranga mine in Cajati, São Paulo State. At Jacupiranga, Menezes worked as mine engineer in the mining and crushing operations and as process engineer in the apatite flotation plant. In 1977 he was promoted to manager of the apatite production department with overall responsibility for mining and ore processing. He was later assigned to the head office of Serrana S.A. in São Paulo, first as superintendent of the apatite division, which included the operations at Jacupiranga and the sales of apatite concentrate, and then as director of the engineering and development division. Among his responsibilities in this division was the geology department. In 1988 he left Serrana S.A. to work full time as a mineral dealer. It was not an easy decision to abandon a successful professional career as a mining engineer, but the mineral business had always beckoned. The stage had been set many years earlier.

Peter Tarassoff is a mineral collector, specializing in the minerals of Mont Saint-Hilaire, and a regular contributor to mineral publications. He is honorary curator of mineralogy at the Redpath Museum, McGill University.

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