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May-June 2017

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The Where of Mineral Names: Nchwaningite, N'Chwaning II Mine, Kalahari Manganese Field, South Africa

Nchwaningite, Mn22+SiO3(OH)2·H2O (fig. 2), is an orthorhombic chain silicate mineral named after its first occurrence at the N'Chwaning II mine (Nyfeler et al. 1995). Later specimens were also identified from the adjacent Wessels mine (von Bezing, pers. comm., cited in Nyfeler et al. [1995]). The type material occurs as brown acicular crystals to 1 mm clustered into “puff ball” circular aggregates, associated with calcite, bultfonteinite, and chlorite. At the Wessels mine, nchwaningite was associated with calcite and, more rarely, garnet (andradite?), bixbyite, and manganite (; accessed November 2016). 


Dr. Bruce Cairncross, a consulting editor of Rocks & Minerals, is a professor of geology at the University of Johannesburg

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