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September-October 2017

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Who's Who in Mineral Names: Bryan K. Lees (b. 1957)

Leesite, K(H2O)2[(UO2)4O2(OH)5]·3H2O, is an orthorhombic K-U oxide/hydroxide in the schoepite group of uranium minerals. It occurs sparingly as a secondary mineral in the abandoned Jomac uranium mine, White Canyon, White Canyon district, San Juan County, Utah. The mine is described in detail by Trites and Hadd (1958) who point out the presence of unidentified yellow secondary uranium minerals associated with sediments of the Chinle and Shinerump formations. One of these, leesite, which has only now been recently described (Olds et al. [2016]; Halenius et al. [2016]), occurs as small (to 1.0-mm) lemon-yellow radiating needlelike and stacked bladelike crystal aggregates associated with compreignacite, sklodowskite, gypsum, and two other new uranium minerals: redcanyonite and leoszilardite. Copper minerals, primarily azurite, malachite, and chalcanthite, occur locally within the mine. Leesite is named in honor of Bryan Lees, well-known president of Collector's Edge Minerals, Inc. and Colorado Calumet Company, Inc., sources of fine mineral specimens from worldwide localites and related specimen mining ventures. Cotype material is on deposit in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, California, and the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Socorro, New Mexico.

 

Dr. Robert B. Cook, an executive editor of Rocks & Minerals, is a professor emeritus in the Department of Geosciences at Auburn University.

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