Chalconatronite [Na2Cu(CO3)2·3H2O], discovered in Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada. (RRUFF)

Chalconatronite [Na2Cu(CO3)2·3H2O], discovered in Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada. (RRUFF)

Human activity has been the cause of an immense number of changes on our planet; not the least of which is the development of new minerals, to which humans contributed more than any other event since the rise of oxygen on Earth over 2 billion years ago. A new study catalogs 208 minerals formed through human activity – that’s almost four percent of the total number of minerals officially recognized by international mineralogical authorities. Most of the new minerals originated through mining. Four of these anthropogenic minerals were discovered in Canada: hydromagnesite, lansfordite, nesquehonite were found in the Clinton Creek chrysotile deposit in the Yukon, and dtronite was found in Quebec. Researchers say these minerals bolster the argument for designation of a new geological time interval, the Anthropocene Epoch, characterized by changes brought about by humans.

Explore the map to find locations of 29 recently discovered minerals formed through human activity.


Robert M. Hazen, Edward S. Grew, Marcus J. Origlieri and Robert T. Downs

Corresponding author:

Robert Hazen, Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC, Email:

Abstract of the original paper, published in American Mineralogist on March 1, 2017. Associated media release on EurekAlert.