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Giant garnet crystals in the Harts Range

Australia : Northern Territory : Giant garnet crystals up to 30 (??) m in the Harts Range

Coordinates : 23°02'S , 134°90'E : Harts Range near Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia



This one is a bit like a rumour. It sounds pretty spectacular and indeed may well be so. But the truth can also be far less spectacular or it can even be a simple hoax. Here is what - according to the german LAPIS mineral magazine - is known about the giant garnet crystals :

Garnet crystals up to 30 m have been discovered by geology students mapping in the Northern Territory of Australia. The garnet crystals in question are badly weathered and form a ridge of small hills in a remote area of the Harts Range NE of Alice Springs. They are accompanied by green epidote crystals.

Thats about it. There is no independent confirmation to date and indeed it may prove very difficult to measure the exact size of 'badly weathered' garnet crystals. However a hill made up entirely out of single garnet crystals remains a scientific sensation, which should be investigated in further detail.

So if anybody knows more details about this deposit, please let us know !

Update : 25th Feburary 2005 :

Today we got an email from Peter. C. Rickwood - an authority in giant crystals, as you can see from his extremely informative publication - which reads :

I tried to follow that up some years ago and got nowhere. I suspect it is apocryphal and it being based on a student project makes me wonder whether they were making a joke. I have been in that area and was taken to the classic epidote site by an indigenous tracker who ran on foot whilst we followed in a Landrover! Where we went there was no sign of giant garnets - just some nicely formed epidote of no great size.

So it looks, as if the giant australian garnets can be finally dismissed as sheer legend.



Harts Range Garnet Essentials :

Mineralogy :

Garnet of unknown composition, epidote

Crystal Size :

Individual weathered crystals up to 30 m, unconfirmed and unlikely (?)

Geology & Origin :

metamorphic, no details known

Current status :    

unknown, apparently quite remote

Remarks :

More information needed
Ressources and relevant weblinks :

The only reference to this deposit up to date is a rather short notice
in the german mineral magazine LAPIS, No. 1/97, p. 40.



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