Gove, Relict Iron

This mostly oxidized iron meteorite was found in a Cenozoic bauxite deposit during bauxite (aluminum) mining at the Nabalco Bauxite Mine in 1966.  It was distributed by a mineral dealer  at the time, and I was lucky to stumble across this 120 gram end-cut from an older mineral collection at a local show.  It’s mostly oxide with just a few fresh metal grains visible in the cut surface.  Characteristic concentrically-layered bauxite nodules are cemented to one side of the stone.

From the Meteoritical Bulletin:

About a year and a half after I found this specimen, Alex Bevan et al., published a paper on the find: The Gove relict iron meteorite from Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia.  The iron has a very roughly estimated terrestrial age of 2.5 – 23 Ma, making it one of the oldest terrestrial meteorite finds known.  The paper’s an interesting one worth reading.

Of note for this specimen:

…Which would make this 120 gram end-cut the only known specimen of the 1966 find.  That’s pretty cool.


A closer look at this specimen with UCLA EPSS’ SEM revealed a few areas of the Thomson structure were structurally preserved as oxides, and the preserved metal grains in the cut face are indeed nickel-rich metal.  A few small graphite inclusions were observed.

Quick metal analysis:
Thomson structures:


Bauxite nodules: