Siidraite is a name of the mineral discovered by the scientist from the Museum of Natural History in Australia in the Broken Hill Ore Deposit, which is one of the biggest polymetallic ore deposits.

This is a recognition of Oleg Siidra who is Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences at SPbU.

Nowadays, there are 5,000 minerals in nature we know, with the number of living organisms on the Earth is approximately millions. It means that the discovery of each mineral is a real breakthrough in science globally.

The name to the new mineral of lead and copper (Pb2Cu(OH)2I3) was given by the scientist from Great Britain to honour Oleg Siidra for his significant contribution in mineralogical science, geo-chemistry, and crystallography of minerals and heavy metals. Siidraite is not the first mineral to name after the outstanding scientists from SPbU.

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minerals named after SPbU’s graduates and academics.

For example, mendeleevite is named after D. Mendeleev, vernadite after V. Vernadsky,  vladkrivovichevite after V. Krivovichev, filatovite after S. Filatov, and krivovichevite after S. Krivovichev to name but a few. Three of them — vladkrivovichevite, puninite, and saranchianite that are named after the outstanding SPbU’s geologists  Vladimir Krivovichev, Iurii Punin, and Galina Saranchina, were discovered by Oleg Siidra. Currently, he is preparing an application form to register a new mineral — dokuchaevite discovered on the volcanoes in Kamchatka and named after V. Dokuchaev who is the father of the soil studies. 

How to use the new mineral in ecology

The crystal structure of the siidraite has lead complex clusters. If we gain deep understanding of these clusters, we can gain deeper understanding of the processes in the oxidation zones in the ore deposits and explain how the lead behaves in water where it comes from the waste dumps or old car batteries. 

SPbU’s scientist Oleg Siidra

“The scientists know how this heavy toxic metal can “pack” by adopting a specific structure with other minerals and can forecast what distances it can cover in solutions or what temperature other compounds are resistant to” — said Oleg Siidra.

The composition of the siidraite is unique: neither mineral nor synthetic material has similar structure. Most of the materials used in industry are analogues to their natural minerals, which means that we can produce a new synthetic material based on the structure of the siidraite. The mineral has unique optic properties, said Oleg Siidra.