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Chambersite from Barber's Hill Salt Dome, Mont Belvieu, Texas USA, the type locality. Size: 0.7 cm × 0.6 cm × 0.6 cm (0.28 in × 0.24 in × 0.24 in).
(repeating unit)
IMA symbolCbs[1]
Strunz classification6.GA.05
Crystal systemOrthorhombic
Crystal class
Space groupPca21
ColorColorless to deep purple
Crystal habitPseudocubic crystals
TwinningRare as interpenetration twins on [111]
FractureSubconchoidal to uneven
Mohs scale hardness7
DiaphaneityTransparent to opaque
Specific gravity3.49
Optical propertiesBiaxial (+)
Refractive indexnα = 1.732 nβ = 1.737 nγ = 1.744
Birefringenceδ = 0.012
2V angleMeasured: 83°
Dispersionr > v
Alters toColor darkens when exposed to sunlight

Chambersite is a manganese borate mineral with formula Mn3B7O13Cl. It is a member of the borate mineral series[5] that includes other minerals such as ericaite (Fe3B7O13Cl) and boracite (Mg3B7O13Cl).[6] When chambersite was first discovered, it was the second chemical analogue of boracite to be found in nature.[7] It was discovered as a mineral at Barber's Hill salt dome in Texas in 1957 and in 1971 at the Dongshuichang deposit in Jixian, Tianjin, China.[8] Chambersite occurs associated with the evaporite minerals halite, anhydrite, and gypsum.[7]

Chemical and physical properties[edit]

When chambersite was first discovered in Barber's Hill, the dominant form was the positive tetrahedron, but single morphological twinned crystal was found with interpenetrating tetrahedrons with the twinning axis.[7] The ore discovered in China had formed in high grades that are spindle and granular that form micritic aggregates because the boron present is very pure and in low grades that had formed spheroids that are radially oriented.[8] When chambersite in China was compared it had the same chemical oxide ratio as the samples found in Barber's Hill.[8]

Oxide Chemical composition of chambersite in oxide percent[7]
B2O3 49.50
MnO 41.87
Cl 6.34
FeO 1.28
MgO 0.05
CaO trace
Total % 99.04

Geologic occurrence[edit]

Chambersite minerals were first found in 1957 in brine returns from a gas storage well in the Barber's Hill salt dome. The age of the dome is not definitely known, but it is at least dates back to the Cretaceous and possibly upper Jurassic.[7] Other chambersite deposits with this similar geologic occurrence can be found in the area of the Gulf Coast of Mexico.[9] The Venice dome in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana is a site that has a shallow piercement salt dome, LPG storage and brine production.[9] Other chambersite deposits can be found in the Penobsquis deposit in Southern New Brunswick, Canada, which has high grade salt deposits as well as a significant borate mineral concentration, including chambersite.[5] Other chambersite deposits can be found as ores in Ji County, Tianjin, China, an area that is known to have had much magnetic activity and submarine volcanism in a subtidal lagoon.[8]

Special characteristics[edit]

Chambersite was named after the county where it was first discovered, Chambers County, Texas, US.[7] Optical examination and x-ray powder diffraction indicated the mineral to be related to boracite but different from any other published description.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Warr, L.N. (2021). "IMA–CNMNC approved mineral symbols". Mineralogical Magazine. 85 (3): 291–320. Bibcode:2021MinM...85..291W. doi:10.1180/mgm.2021.43. S2CID 235729616.
  2. ^ Mineralienatlas
  3. ^
  4. ^ Handbook of Mineralogy
  5. ^ a b Grice et al., 2005
  6. ^ Yawn et al., 1997
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Honea et al., 1962
  8. ^ a b c d Fan et al., 1999
  9. ^ a b Smith et al., 1994
  • Anthony, J.W., Bidideaux, R., Bladh, K. and Nicholas, M. (2003) Chambersite Mn3B7O13Cl. Handbook of Mineralogy. Mineral data publishing
  • Fan, DL, Yang, PJ, and Wang, R (1999) Characteristics and origin of the Middle Proterozoic Dongshuichang chambersite deposit, Jixan, Tixian, Tianjin, China. Ore Geology Reviews, 15, 15-29.]
  • Grice, J. D., Gault, R. A., van Velthuizen, J. (2005) Borate minerals of the Penobsquis and Millstream deposit, southern New Brunswick, Canada. Canadian Mineralogist, 43, 1469-1488.]
  • Honea, Russell M., Beck, Frank R. (1962) Chamersite, a new mineral. American Mineralogist, 47, 665-671.
  • Smith, Arthur E., Jr. (1994) Louisiana mineral locality index. Rock and Mineral, 69, 156-162.]
  • Yawn, B., Simmons, W. B., Falster, A. U. (1997) Chemical Zonation in Chambersite and Boraciate from salt domes in the Gulf Coast region. Rock and Minerals, 72, 192.