20RC03 Cerussite
Mfouati Area, Bouenza Dept., Republic of Congo
12.9x 6.7x 4.6 cm

An especially large cerussite crystal from Mfouati.  This piece hosts a single well formed, smoky colored crystal that shares its matrix with mimetite and minor smithsonite. I would argue that this is a significant piece for the locality, most of what is found is 1) smaller, 2) off matrix and 3) it just gets broken.  Cerussite is especially prone to chipping, and when you see the way that the local miners beat at the rock with pry bars and hammers, it is actually something of a miracle that anything of this size can survive intact.

This site sits atop a hill that was worked in the 70's and 80's by French and Soviet mining enterprises.  The mine has long since been abandoned, but local specimen miners continue to search for minerals.

I was not there when the piece was unearthed, but this image was captured minutes after it was extracted; a rare opportunity to see a specimen so soon after it was found.

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TNM62 Cerussite
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North America
South America
Inner Mongolia
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