Djalma Guimarães

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Djalma Guimarães
Born (1894-11-05)November 5, 1894
Santa Luzia, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Died October 10, 1973(1973-10-10) (aged 78)
Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Residence Brazil
Fields Geology
Institutions Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Djalma Guimarães (November 5, 1894 – October 10, 1973), was a pioneer Brazilian geochemist. He was Professor Emeritus in the Escola de Minas de Ouro Preto and in the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais at Belo Horizonte. At both institutions, he taught geological sciences for more than 35 years.

He was a grandson of the Consellor Joaquim Caetano da Silva Guimarães and of the Senator Manoel Teixeira da Costa. Guimarães was brought up in a family which produced Brazilian writers such as Bernardo and Alphonsus Guimarães. He was also a nephew of scientists Pandiá Calógeras and Paul Ferrand.


Guimarães' interest in mineralogy, petrography and geology was inspired, during his student years, at the Escola de Minas de Ouro Preto by the lessons and assignments given by Professor Costa Sena. He graduated in 1919, at this school with the title of Civil, Mining and Metallurgical Engineer. His first prize was a study trip in Europe. His travel companion was the Engineer Israel Pinheiro; the latter was about 40 years later Governor of the State of Minas Gerais and who did the managerial work for the construction of Brasília from 1956 to 1960.

Guimarães' first professional assignment was not in the branch of geology but in the construction of the now Rui Barbosa Avenue through the old Morro da Viuva at the Botafogo in Rio de Janeiro, then the capital of Brazil. Guimarães published more than 200s papers, books and memoirs, and gave numerous conferences. About three books have been published in his homage by his former students and collaborators. One of these is Contributions to Geology and Petrology (1985). This book probably lists all works produced by Guimarães, as the only author or in collaboration with other professionals, from 1924 to 1978.

The book was financed by the CBMM (Companhia Brasileira de Mineração e Metalurgia) who owns the greatest niobium ore (pyrochlore) mine of the world in Barreiro, Araxá, Minas Gerais. This ore reserve was discovered by Guimarães and his team when he was the Head of Geology of the former Geological Survey of Minas Gerais (1931–1932). CBMM created the medal Djalma Guimarães to be granted to the best geologist graduated at the Escola de Minas de Ouro Preto or at the Instituto de Geociências of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais at Belo Horizonte.

Selected works[edit]

  • Uranium-bearing minerals of Brazil (14th International Geological Congress, Madrid, 1926, Comptes Rendus, vol., 4, p. 1789–1794).
  • Upland diamonds deposits, Diamantina District, Minas Gerais (Economic Geology, New Haven, 1929, vol., 24, p. 444-447).
  • Das Problem der Granitbildung (Chemie der Erde, Jena, 1938, vol. 12 p. 83-94).
  • Mineral Deposits of magmatic origin. (Economic Geology, Lancaster, 1947, vol. 42, p. 45-57).See: [1].
  • Age determination of quartz veins and pegmatites in Brazil.(Economic Geol., Lancaster, 1948, vol. 53, no. 2).
  • Report of niobium (columbium) ore deposit of Barreiro, Araxá, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Departamento Nacional da Produção Mineral, Open file report, 1955.
  • Geologia do Brasil. Brasil. Departamento Nacional da Produção Mineral, Rio de Janeiro,1964, Memória 1, 674 p.
  • Princípios de metalgonêse e geologia econômica do Brasil. Departamento Nacional da Produção Mineral, Rio de Janeiro, 1965, 625p.
  • Gênese da Bacia Amazônica. Revista da Escola de Minas, Ouro Preto, 1971, vol.29, no.1 p. 24-26.
  • Further he described the following new four minerals: eschwegite;[1] arrojadite;[2] pennaite[3][4] and giannettite.[5]


Guimarães was a member of the Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa do Brasil and of the Comissão de Energia Nuclear do Brasil. In his honor, a mineral composed of radioactive tantalate of uranium and calcium, was given the name djamaite (uranmicrolite, discredited 2010)[6] by the geologist Octavio Barbosa. Also in his honor, at the Praça da Liberdade (Liberty Square) in Belo Horizonte there is the Museum of Mineralogy Professor Djalma Guimarães.


  1. ^ Eschwegite, a doubtful species.
  2. ^ Arrojadite group (Miguel Arrojado Lisbôa, Brazilian geologist) IMA/CNMMN 05-D, October 2005.
  3. ^ Guimarãesite
  4. ^ Pennaite
  5. ^ Hainite
  6. ^ Djalmaite