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Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

Aggregate with green crystals of the new mineral vargite, Cu2Mn3(AsO4)2(OH)4(H2O)4, which belongs to the newly approved akrochordite group of rare arsenates. From Långban, Värmland, Sweden. GEO-NRM #19370307. Image size 2 × 1.5 mm. Photo: Torbjörn Lorin.

Mineral systematics and new minerals

Approximately 6,000 different mineral species are known globally today and new ones are constantly being added through systematic research efforts. We investigate the properties of minerals, their conditions of formation and role in geological processes. The research is strongly linked to our vast mineral collection and the mission to investigate it scientifically.

Forskningsområden: Geovetenskap

Forskningsämnen: Mineralogi, Kristaller, Typsamling, Nya upptäckter

Project overview

Project period: 2018 – 2027

Participating departments from the museum: Department of Geosciences, GEO

Rare minerals reflect unusual conditions of formation and provide indirect information about important geological processes, such as ore genesis or weathering. Newly discovered minerals may possess special properties that are interesting from a materials research perspective. With the aim of documenting the diversity in mineral occurrences and mineralization processes, as well as to determine mineral properties, we investigate incompletely characterized minerals as well as previously unknown ones.

Project description

Mineral samples from our collections or newly collected material are examined under a microscope and analysed with a set of high-resolution methods. This includes, among others, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) as well as Mössbauer, infrared and Raman spectroscopy. These methods make it possible to determine the chemical composition and crystal structure, data that are crucial in defining a mineral species. New minerals and other changes to nomenclature must be approved by the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC) within the International Mineralogical Association (IMA) before publication of the results. Minerals are often named after the place of discovery or a famous mineralogist. The project runs on a long-term basis, with varying intensity over time. A notable result of the efforts is that the museum has one of Europe's largest collections of type mineral specimens.


The project is mainly funded by Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, with contributions from funds administered by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Selected publications

  • Holtstam, D., Cámara, F., Skogby, H., Karlsson, A. & Langhof, J. (2019). Recognition and approval of potassic-richerite, an amphibole supergroup mineral, from the Pajsberg mines, Filipstad, Sweden. Mineralogy and Petrology, 113, pp. 7–16. External link.
  • Bonazzi, P., Holtstam, D. & Bindi, L. (2019). Gatelite-supergroup minerals: recommended nomenclature and review. European Journal of Mineralogy, 31, pp. 173–181. External link.
  • Holtstam, D., Cámara, F., Skogby, H. & Karlsson, A. (2019). Hjalmarite, a new Na–Mn member of the amphibole supergroup, from Mn skarn in the Långban deposit, Värmland, Sweden. European Journal of Mineralogy, 31, pp. 565–574. External link.
  • Karlsson, A., Holtstam, D., Bindi, L., Bonazzi, P. & Konrad-Schmolke, M. (2020). Adding complexity to the garnet supergroup: Monteneveite, Ca3Sb5+2(Fe3+2Fe2+)O12, a new mineral from the Monteneve mine, Bolzano Province, Italy. European Journal of Mineralogy, 32, pp. 77–87. External link.
  • Holtstam, D. & Hålenius, U. (2020). Nomenclature of the magnetoplumbite group. Mineralogical Magazine, 84, pp. 376–380. External link.
  • Holtstam, D., Bindi, L., Karlsson, A., Langhof, J., Zack, T., Bonazzi, P. & Persson, A. (2020). Kesebolite-(Ce), CeCa2Mn(AsO4)[SiO3]3, a new REE–bearing arsenosilicate mineral from the Kesebol mine, Åmål, Västra Götaland, Sweden. Minerals 10(4), 385, pp. 1–14. External link.
  • Holtstam, D., Cámara, F. & Karlsson, A. (2020). Langhofite, Pb2(OH)[WO4(OH)], a new mineral from Långban, Sweden. Mineralogical Magazine, 84, pp. 381–389. External link.
  • Holtstam, D., Bindi, L., Karlsson, A., Söderhielm, J. & and Zetterqvist, A. (2021). Muonionalustaite, Ni3(OH)4Cl2·4H2O, a new mineral formed by terrestrial weathering of the Muonionalusta iron (IVA) meteorite, Pajala, Norrbotten, Sweden. GFF, 143, pp. 1–7. External link.
  • Holtstam, D., Cámara, F. & Karlsson, A. (2021). Instalment of the margarosanite group, and data on walstromite–margarosanite solid solutions from the Jakobsberg Mn–Fe deposit, Värmland, Sweden. Mineralogical Magazine, 85, pp. 224–232. External link.
  • Holtstam, D., Bindi, L., Bonazzi, P., Förster, H. J. & Andersson, U.B. (2021). Arrheniusite-(Ce), CaMg[(Ce7Y3)Ca5](SiO4)3(Si3B3O18)(AsO4)(BO3)F11, a new member of the vicanite group, from the Östanmossa mine, Norberg, Sweden. The Canadian Mineralogist, 59, pp. 177–189. External link.
  • Holtstam, D., Biagioni, C. & Hålenius, U. (2021). Brattforsite, Mn19(AsO3)12Cl2, a new arsenite mineral related to magnussonite, from Brattforsgruvan, Nordmark, Värmland, Sweden. Mineralogy and Petrology, 115, pp. 595–609. External link.
  • Cámara, F., Holtstam, D., Jansson, N., Jonsson, E., Karlsson, A., Langhof, J., Majka, J. & Zetterqvist, A. (2021). Zinkgruvanite, Ba4Mn2+4Fe3+2(Si2O7)2(SO4)2O2(OH)2, a new ericssonite-group mineral from the Zinkgruvan Zn–Pb–Ag–Cu deposit, Askersund, Örebro County, Sweden. European Journal of Mineralogy, 33, pp. 659673. External link.
  • Holtstam, D., Bindi, L., Förster, H. J., Karlsson, A. & Gatedal, K. (2022). Garpenbergite, Mn6□As5+Sb5+O10(OH)2, a new mineral related to manganostibite, from the Garpenberg Zn−Pb−Ag deposit, Sweden. Mineralogical Magazine, 86, pp. 1–8. External link.
  • Holtstam, D. & Bindi, L. (2022). Crystal structure and composition of hiärneite, Ca2Zr4Mn3+SbTiO16, and constitution of the calzirtite group. Mineralogical Magazine, 86, pp. 314–318. External link.
  • Holtstam, D., Cámara, F., Karlsson, A., Skogby, H. & Zack, T. (2022). Ferri-taramite, a new member of the amphibole supergroup, from the Jakobsberg Mn–Fe deposit, Värmland, Sweden. European Journal of Mineralogy, 34, pp. 451–462. External link.
  • Holtstam, D., Casey, P., Bindi, L., Förster, H.J., Karlsson, A. & Appelt, O., 2023. Fluorbritholite-(Nd), Ca2Nd3(SiO4)3F, a new and key mineral for neodymium sequestration in REE skarns. Mineralogical Magazine, 87, s.s. 731-737. External link.
  • Holtstam, D., Langhof, J., Friis, H., Karlsson, A. & Erambert, M., 2024. Igelströmite, Fe3+(Sb3+Pb2+)O4, and manganoschafarzikite, Mn2+Sb23+O4, two new members of the newly established minium group, from the Långban Mn–Fe deposit, Värmland, Sweden. European Journal of Mineralogy, 36, s.s..311-322. External link.


Andreas Karlsson | Intendent

Jörgen Langhof | Intendent

Ulf Hålenius | Emeritus

Enheten för geologi

External participants

In this project we are collaborating with:


Dan Holtstam

Förste intendent



Henrik Skogby

Professor emeritus


Resarch Areas: Geosciences

Research Subjects: Crystals, Discoveries, Mineralogi, Type collection