Minerals of the Himalayan Mountains
The Himalayan mountains are not rich in economically valuable precious minerals. However, trapped within the earthly confines of pegmatites, marbles, and gneisses are minerals of low economic value. These minerals include: Garnets, kupfferite, tourmaline, spinels, chrysolite, euclase, kyanite, corundum, ruby, beryl, muscovite, jade, jasper and many others.
There are 2 minerals found in the Himalayan Mountains, specifically in Kashmir, of economic importance. They are Sapphires, and Aquamarines. These precious minerals, however, have not been found in Nepal.
The minerals found in Nepal’s Himalayan boundary are garnet, biotite, kyanite, chlorite, hematite, augen, mica, actinolite, hematite, tourmaline, ruby, and many others. These minerals are primarily found at the top of Lower Himalayan boundary and the bottom of High Himalaya boundary.
Pegmatites are igneous rocks similar to granite; however, they also occasionally have rare and unusual minerals. Pegmatites are characterized by the inclusion of large crystals (greater than 2 inches long) inside their matrix.
Marble is a metamorphic rock that was once limestone (a sedimentary rock). Limestone is changed into marble through the metamorphic processes using extreme pressure and temperature. The primary mineral in marble is calcite; it may also contain muscovite and hematite.
Gneiss forms at the boundaries of convergent plates. It is a high grade metamorphic rock that normally begins as shale. Under high temperature and intense pressure, the shale is transformed into slate, then phyllite, then schist, and finally gneiss. This is the most common process of how Gneiss is formed, but other pathways exist. Some common minerals that gneisses contain are biotite, kyanite, and garnet.
Minerals of the Himalayas
The following is an incomplete list of known minerals found in Nepal’s Himalayan mountains. These minerals are on display at the International Mountain Museum in Pokhara.
If you are interested in going on a geologic field trip to see these minerals, please contact Upper Himalayan Treks and Adventure.