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September-October 2016

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Exceptional Volkovskite Crystals from Zechstein Evaporites at the Boulby Mine, Cleveland, England

Volkovskite is reported from the Late Permian Boulby Halite Formation at Boulby mine on the northeast coast of England. It was first found in late 2009 as colorless to white highly reflective cleavage fragments in insoluble residues concentrated in filters at the mine's processing plant. These were traced to Panel 845 North 4, about 9 kilometers north of the shaft bottom, where volkovskite was found in situ as rosettiform platy aggregates. Further occurrences were subsequently identified in two exploratory boreholes and in Panels 848 and 887, in the Dirty Secondary Ore unit of the Boulby Potash in the northern part of the mine. Individual bladed crystals reach 7 cm in length and occur as large aggregates exceptionally reaching 20 cm across. This is the first record of volkovskite in the British Isles and appears to be the first report of the mineral from the marine evaporites of the Zechstein basin.

Jac Genis, formerly a South African gold mine geologist, works in the varied mineralogy of an evaporites mine in North Yorkshire.

Max Freier is a retired mining engineer with an interest in the history of metalliferous mining and worldwide minerals.

David Green is a retired curator and scientific editor with a strong interest in the minerals of the British Isles.

Tom Cotterell has worked as a curator of mineralogy at the National Museum of Wales for sixteen years, specializing in mineral identification and, in particular, British topographic mineralogy.       

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