vanadinite Mexico, a very nice specimen from San Carlos mine, Chihuahua, with small pale orange crystals an uncommon mineral
|Origin||San Carlos mine, Chihuahua, Mexico|
First discovered by Señor A.M. del Rio (1764-1849), Professor, School of Mines of Mexico, Zimapan, before the element vanadium was discovered in 1830.
This can be one of the most striking minerals although it is an uncommon mineral, only occurring as the result of chemical alterations to a pre-existing material. It is therefore known as a secondary mineral.
Vanadinite was once an important ore of vanadium (it contains 19.4 per cent vanadium pentoxide). The alloy of vanadium and iron (ferro-vanadium) is used for the manufacture of special steels. Vanadium pentoxide is an important catalyst in the manufacture of sulphuric acid. Today, however, vanadium is gained mainly as a byproduct of the processing of some iron ores (Taberg in Sweden, the Urals) and is also recovered from bauxite-processing sediments.