Nkayi L6 Chondrite, Rare Zimbabwe 2009 Fall, Micromount


On March 01, 2009, a large fireball exploded over the countryside of Zimbabwe. After a search by locals, a single large mass of approx. 100kg was found and taken by the authorities. The government removed a portion to have it analyzed by scientists. A South African dealer acquired this specimen and it was then sold to meteorite hunter Michael Farmer. It was classified by ASU classified as a shocked L6 chondrite (S5, W0). There is not much of this meteorite in circulation. The majority of the original mass is held by the government of Zimbabwe and is off-limits to collectors. The majority of the remaining material is held by Mr. Farmer and one other collector.

A large rock, weighing about 100 kilos fell from the sky in Nkayi on March 01, 2009, shocking villagers while at the same time sending the whole district wild with excitement and speculation. The District Administrator for Nkayi, Ms. Nosizi Dube, and the Police Officer Commanding Crime in the district, Superintendent Chanetsa Maswi, confirmed the incident. The stone, many villagers now believe. is a gift from God, fell with a thunderous noise in Madlilika Village in the Mjena area of Lukampa under Chief Sikhobokhobo at about 5pm on 1 March.

It fell five metres from two villagers, Mr. Judia Sibanda and Mr. Mncedisi Ngwenya, who were herding cattle in the bush.In interviews on Tuesday, villagers from the area said they heard a thunderous sound coming from the sky, and another sound resembling a bomb exploding. “The noise later fizzled into a sound similar to one made by an aircaft on take-off before dying away,” said Mrs. Nomsa Ngwenya, a villager. On seeing the rock fall, Mr. Sibanda and Mr. Ngwenya rushed to their home where they told their father, Mr. Spempokuhle Ngwenya, of the incident. Mr. Ngwenya told other villagers and together they went to inspect the rock, after which it was agreed that he
would keep it since his children had found it. People from the area believe the rock could have been a special gift from God containing very precious minerals while others believe that it could have been sent by their ancestors in a bid to communicate something to them."

Nkayi has a light-grey, fine-grained matrix that is quite fresh and shows only minor oxidation spots. There are sparse scattered chondrules and chondrule fragments, along with glittering metal flecks.

Refer to the photo. The black centimeter cube is shown for scale and is not included. Your are purchasing a small fragment like the one shown. Your purchase will include a labeled gemjar.

 From the Meteoritical Bulletin entry on Nkayi :

Nkayi        18°56’S, 28°36’E

Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe

Confirmed fall: 1 Mar 2009

Classification: Ordinary chondrite (L6)

History: An approximately 100 kg meteorite fell at around 5 pm on the 1 March 2009 in the Nkayi District, at the eastern side of Matabeleland North province in Zimbabwe. According to an article in the 19 March 2009 edition of The Zimdiaspora, "The stone ... fell with a thunderous noise in Madlilika Village in the Mjena area of Lukampa..." An ~15 kg chunk was removed and taken by the government for testing. This piece was later acquired by Michael Farmer via a meteorite dealer in Pretoria, South Africa.

Physical characteristics: The description is based on the 15 kg chunk. Surface covered with broad shallow regmaglypts and thick matte black fusion crust. Interior is a uniform light gray.

Petrography: Stone is largely recrystallized with sparse chondrules. Probe section shows three BO chondrules, one to 2.5 mm. Plagioclase, to 100 μm, is abundant. Chromite irregularly shaped, to 500 μm. Scattered Ca-phosphate with up to 5 wt% Cl, relatively abundant, for example a 3 × 3 mm area contains five grains. Kamacite irregularly shaped to 1 mm, with a frosty etch. Rare, weakly developed Neumann bands. Some grains polycrystalline. Troilite exhibits mosaic texture - finely polycrystalline, typically 10 μm (crossed polars), with scattering of fine silicates giving the grains a dusty appearance. Many of the composite metal-sulfide grains show complex finely intergrown mixture of troilite and metal. Some metal grains show zoned tetratenite-taenite-kamacite/plessite textures. Opaque, fine-grained melt pockets adjacent to troilite rare. Native Cu not found.

Geochemistry: (L. Garvie, ASU) Olivine Fa24.5±0.3, FeO/MnO=49.4±3.5, n=12; low Ca pyroxene Fs20.7±0.2Wo1.5±0.3, FeO/MnO=29.5±2.1, Cr2O3 = 0.11±0.04wt%, n=10; high Ca pyroxene Fs8.3Wo44.5, Fs7.4Wo45.5; and feldspar An25.9Or14.2 and An20.8Or8.7.

Classification: Ordinary chondrite, L6, S5, W0.

Specimens: 85 g at ASU; MFarmer ~2 kg, and Boudreaux 8 kg.