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November-December 2010

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Mineralogy of the Alpine-type Fissures and Talc Deposit at Saint-Pierre-de-Broughton Quebec, Canada

The existence of mineralized Alpine-type fissures and clefts in southern Quebec is not well known in the mineralogical community, due mainly to the absence of documentation and the scarcity of specimens reaching collectors, but also to a lack of familiarity with such Alpine-type occurrences. To date only one such occurrence has been fully documented in the region, near the town of Windsor (Chamberlain, Robinson, and Richards 1989). This article documents a second locality, an abandoned talc mine at Saint-Pierre-de-Broughton, and also gives a short summary of other Alpine-type occurrences in the region.

The mine at Saint-Pierre-de-Broughton has been known for many years as a soapstone and talc producer, with some accessory minerals, but it was hardly the kind of locality to generate more than minor interest for mineral collectors. About eight years ago, however, rumors of the discovery of fine brookite crystals to 3 cm and anatase crystals to 2 cm started percolating through the grapevine of the Quebec mineral collecting community, without specifics about the locality. Eventually, the locality was revealed as the Broughton talc mine, and we were given a much-appreciated opportunity to examine and photograph the best specimens that had been recovered from the locality and were in several private collections. Rumors about the quality and size of the crystals were certainly not exaggerations, as both the brookite and anatase crystals are undoubtedly the finest and largest known from Canadian and perhaps North American occurrences.

László Horváth have specialized in the study and documentation of the mineralogy of Quebec localities for the past forty years. They have discovered thirteen new mineral species and are authors and coauthors of numerous articles on Canadian localities published in mineral journals worldwide. László is the author of the book Minerals Discovered in Canada and Species Named after Canadians. They were awarded the Pinch Medal in 2007 by the Canadian Mineralogical Association, and the mineral species horváthite-(Y) is named for them.

Elsa Pfenninger-Horváth have specialized in the study and documentation of the mineralogy of Quebec localities for the past forty years. They have discovered thirteen new mineral species and are authors and coauthors of numerous articles on Canadian localities published in mineral journals worldwide. László is the author of the book Minerals Discovered in Canada and Species Named after Canadians. They were awarded the Pinch Medal in 2007 by the Canadian Mineralogical Association, and the mineral species horváthite-(Y) is named for them.

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