Why in Ukraine there are no new minerals?


UDC 549.0 (477)

H.O. Kulchytska, http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7206-4797
O.M. Ponomarenko, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5179-6091
D.S. Chernysh https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5390-2591
M.P. Semenenko Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Ore Formation of the NAS of Ukraine. 34, Acad. Palladin Ave., Kyiv, Ukraine, 03142
E-mail: kulchechanna@gmail.com

Why in Ukraine there are no new minerals?

Language: Ukrainian
Mineralogical journal 2019, 41 (1): 15-22

Abstract: The Ukrainian mineralogists cannot be proud of new minerals discovery in their own country. Despite the published reports on the discovery of fifty new species only 12 of them are being registered by this time. This number is unjustifiably small considering the territory size of Ukraine and the wealth of its subsoil. Ukraine has no advantage in the number of discoveries compared to its all Western neighbouring countries and many republics of the former Soviet Union. The United States and the Russian Federation are the world leaders; each has the share of 15 % of all new discoveries. In the last century the isolation of the Soviet Union republics from the International Mineralogical Association that registers the new species was the main reason for this lagging. Since Ukraine gained independence, financial problems became the main cause. They led to the decline in geology, the reduction of scientists’ number, the catastrophic lagging in laboratory tools compared to the international standards. Japan and China are the cases in point. These countries made their way to the top ten leaders from scratch due to new analytical equipment. Despite pessimistic forecasts, some changes in the approval rules for new minerals as well as the capabilities of modern analytical instruments led to a new wave of minerals discovery. From 50 up to 100 new minerals are being discovered annually. The main feature of new minerals is the extremely small size of individuals, measured in micrometres. The formulas of new minerals usually contain variable charge cations: Mn, As, V, P, Sb and individual REE. The Ukrainian mineralogists will not be able to keep up with the world leaders without modern analytical equipment such as transmission electron microscopes, ion microprobes and Raman microspectrometers. At the same time, the available data prove a significant potential of the territory of Ukraine for the discovery of new minerals. Special attention should be paid to the solid phase inclusions in minerals.
Keywords: mineral species registration, new minerals discovery, subsoil of Ukraine, analytical equipment.


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