magnesite - teaching hand specimen of very light gray to white earthy magnesium carbonate
Magnesite - MgCO3
Magnesite, magnesium carbonate, can be earthy or crystalline. This earthy magnesite was formed through hydrothermal alteration of Miocene (?) lake beds, though it can also form in irregular veins and masses through the alteration of serpentine by water containing carbonic acid. Some of these specimens show faint bedding.
The Kramer Hills magnesite deposit was explored in the 1930s by the Ball (Red Seal) Chemical Company. A number of prospects have been opened since then, but it appears that commercial production was small. It has a commercial application in the manufacture of brick and furnace linings and as a source of magnesium. This magnesite occurs in association with a tan chert that we often have in stock.
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