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Australian Rock to be featured in London

Tuesday 18th of July 2017 07:11:35 AM



A 2.6 billion-year-old rock has traveled from the Pilbara region to go on display at a new exhibition at the Natural History Museum (NHM), opened by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.

2.5 tonne Banded Iron Formation

Sourced from Rio Tinto’s Mount Tom Price mine and selected with the assistance of Traditional Owners, the Eastern Guruma people, the rock was diamond-cut to shape before being shipped nearly 14,000 kilometres to London.

The 2.5 tonne rock is a piece of banded iron formation (BIF), and chosen by the NHM as part of a wider exhibition to celebrate the wonder and beauty of the natural world, from the origins of the universe, to the story of evolution and diversity in the world today.

BIFs were formed more than three billion years ago when bacteria in our planet’s young oceans began to produce oxygen through photosynthesis. This oxygen combined with dissolved iron in the sea to form insoluble iron oxide, which separated out of the water and sank to the seafloor.
As it settled, bands of red and grey iron-oxide developed between layers of silica-rich sediment. Without this process, there may never have been an oxygenated ocean to support the eventual evolution of more complex life on Earth.

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