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May-June 2016

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A New Occurrence of Callaghanite from Michigan's Copper Country

The mineralogy of Michigan's world-class native copper district has been well studied, from the academic and economic viewpoints as well as collectible specimen mineralogy. In addition to native copper, the principal ore mineral, the district is home to forty-two copper species and is the type locality for three: anthonyite, calumetite, and the newly approved centennialite (Crichton and Müller 2014). However, the cessation of copper mining in the district in 1995 (closure date of the White Pine copper mine) coupled with the surprising rate at which old mine dumps are being crushed and hauled away as construction materials means that discoveries of copper species new to the district are rare. A review of the literature suggests that in the past decade, only four additional copper minerals have been found here (centennialite, rouaite, stromeyerite, and volborthite), and one (rouaite) is said to be known only on a single specimen (Robinson and Carlson 2013).

Cullen L. Laughlin-Yurs is an avid collector and specimen dealer in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Travis A. Olds is a PhD student researching environmental actinide chemistry and mineralogy at the University of Notre Dame.

Owen P. Mills is director of the Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory and a staff member in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Michigan Technological University.

Shawn M. Carlson is a 1991 graduate (geology) of Michigan Technological University and a consulting mineralogist.

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