Mineral Family: Carbonites

Chemical Composition: MgCO3
Cleavage: Perfect
Color: Typically colorless or white, but can be yellow or pink
Crystal System: Hexatonal/trigonal
Form/Habit: Massive
Fracture: Conchoidal, brittal
Gravity: 3.0
Hardness: 4
Luminescence: Yellowish-white (long wave) / Blueish-white (short wave)
Luster: Vitreous
Streak: White
Transparency: Opaque

Magnesite Placeholder

Where does Magnestite come from?

Magnesite deposits are found in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Italy and Zimbabwe. They have also been found in meteorites and on the planet Mars!  Sometimes Magnesite from Zimbabwe is sold as “Howlite” because the white massive minerals look so similar.  Howlite is found mainly in Canada.

What is Magnesite?

Magnesite is a Carbonate mineral. Carbonates are an important part of the Earth’s crust and are found in sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. Carbonates are minerals which contain the carbonate group CO3 as their basic structural unit. They form in a trigonal system with one carbon atom centrally located between 3 oxygen atoms. While there are over 70 types of Carbonate minerals, the most common are Dolomite, Siderite, and Calcite. Magnesite is a relatively rare stone, which usually forms in massive slabs, although occasional fine crystals have been found. It is closely related to Aragonite, Calcite, Malachite, and Rhodochrosite.

How is Magnesite formed?

Magnesite typically forms in magnesium-rich rocks such as peridotites (igneous) or Limestone (sedimentary). It can also form when a mineral solution containing Magnesium flows across Calcite.

How is Magnesite mined?

Magnesite is a very desirable mineral to mine because it is a rich source for Magnesium, an element that can only naturally occur in combination with other elements. Magnesite is used to produce Magnesium products (for example, epsom salts and synthetic rubber) and is combined with Aluminum or Zinc to give structural strength to aircrafts and spaceships.

Is Citron Chrysoprase a type of Magnesite?

Despite its name, Citron Chrysoprase is not a type of Chrysoprase! It’s actually a rare form of Magnesite that is found only in Western Australia.  Its color comes from a high concentration of nickel.

Magnesite Mine

Magnesite Mine, Brumado, Bahia, Brazil