Pyrolusites in Deleitosa

This is the name given to crystallizations of manganese oxides with black branching forms on rocks.

Although its beautiful and delicate silhouette reminds us of a fossil of vegetable or fern origin, pyrolusite is a mineral of the class of oxides and of the rutile group. Chemically it is manganese dioxide, which can present many forms of crystallization, although in general it is presented in this beautiful form of branches.

Their origin may be due to different processes; ours seem to have formed among the clays close to limestones existing in different parts of the municipality. The good ones are strange and those of Deleitosa are.

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These high quality pyrolusite specimens are rare. The best come from Bohemia (Czechoslovakia); Georgia, Minnesota (USA); and Brazil. In massive specimens it is very common. The countries with the highest production are the Republic of South Africa, Brazil, China and India. In Spain it is exploited in Teruel (Aliaya, Alcañiz), Asturias (Covadonga, Cangas de Onís) and Huelva (Almonaster).

In the area of the convent they are quite common, with high quality specimens.

Its uses are varied since manganese is present in the production of steel, copper, aluminum… it is used to obtain chlorine, oxygen… to give color to ceramics or to remove it from glass, also as a disinfectant and even as a drying agent in paints.

It is a geological heritage that we must protect, since time immemorial there is the custom of using the clay slate quarries to decorate the baseboards of houses. In many of them we find absolutely spectacular pyrolusite ramifications. Fortunately, we can observe them in urban tours that bring us closer to other values of the population.