A new discovery in the mountains of northern Israel has caused significant excitement for geologists around the world. While working in the Zevulun Valley, close to Mount Carmel, Israeli mining company Shefa Yamim found a new mineral never before discovered on earth.
The International Mineralogical Association regularly approves new minerals for its official list, with up to 100 new substances added to the register each year.
However, this latest discovery was hailed as a significant event, as it was previously believed that this type of mineral was only found on extraterrestrial material.
The new mineral loosely resembles allendeite, a mineral previously seen on the Allende meteorite that fell to earth in February of 1969. However, this is the first time that such a substance has been found to naturally occur in rock on Earth itself.
The CEO of Shefa Yamim, Abraham Taub, told Haaretz that the mineral had been named carmeltazite, after the place of its discovery and the minerals contained within its structure: titanium, aluminum and zirconium.
While the majority of the new minerals approved by the International Mineralogical Association are unspectacular in appearance, carmeltazite offers considerable commercial opportunities, as it resembles other gemstones used in the making of jewelry.
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