The new mineral discovered on the Dolomites is called Fiemmeite
Fiemmeite belongs to the oxalates group and is found in extremely small quantities within carbonised tree trunks which abound in the basal part of the Val Gardena Sandstone.
The merit of the discovery of the new mineral, officially recognised by IMA, the commission responsible for the nomenclature and classification of new minerals, belongs to Francesco Demartin and Italo Campostrini of the University of Milan, to Paolo Ferretti and Ivano Rocchetti of MUSE, with the collaboration of Stefano Dallabona, a person passionate for searching for minerals of Gruppo Mineralogico Fassa e Fiemme.
The discovery was made after more than two centuries since a new mineral was found in the Dolomites, a natural paradise with geological, paleontological, geomorphological and landscape peculiarities which make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Today, there are just over 5,000 minerals known to science”, said Paolo Ferretti, “not many, compared to the millions of living species. This means that finding a new mineral species is much rarer than discovering a new living being”.
“From 100 to 200 new species are discovered each year. But it is important to consider that that scientists have been studying the Dolomites since the 18th century”, added Francesco Demartin. “The dolomite, the mineral after which the Dolomites were named, was dedicated to French geologist Deodat de Dolomieu in 1792. And it is since 1815, the year on which gehlenite was discovered at lake “Lago delle Selle”, that no new minerals have been discovered at the so-called “pale mountains”.