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Leuvensesteenweg 13
3080 Tervuren - Belgium
Tel. (+32) 02 769 52 11
Fax (+32) 02 769 52 42



The service coordinates the management of the Earth Sciences collections: minerals, rocks, fossils, geological maps, and aerial photographs, in order to streamline collections management practices in the Earth Sciences Department.

It provides daily management of the mineralogy and paleontology collections.

Mineralogical Collection

The collection of mineral specimens includes over 17,000 specimens representing about 1,000 different mineral species. Most samples are from Central Africa, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Most of the deposits and minerals that are known for this region are represented in this collection.

The collection includes a large number of copper and cobalt mineral specimens (sulfides, carbonates, silicates, phosphates, etc.) from mining areas throughout the length of the Katanga Copperbelt, stretching from the Lubumbashi region to Kolwezi. An extensive reference collection is also available for the tin-tantalum-tungsten association from northern Katanga, Kivu and Rwanda, represented by specimens of cassiterite, columbite-tantalite and ferberite from various deposits. Other examples of extensive specimen series include: pegmatitic phosphates from Rwanda, rare earth minerals from Burundi, minerals from volcanic areas of Kivu and Rwanda and copper and vanadium minerals from Bas-Congo.

In the past, studies conducted on the museum’s collection focused on the mineralogy of copper silicates, cobalt oxides, and uranium minerals. More recent research activities have focused on the sulphide mineralization of the Copperbelt, the development of tin-tungsten-tantalum minerals, and the formation of secondary copper and cobalt minerals.

In all, the collection includes about 50 type specimens, the specimens used for the first formal description of a mineral species. New specimens are still frequently added to the collection from donations, exchanges and field sampling. The collection also expands regularly with the addition of specimens from the RMCA reserves.

A large selection of the mineral collections’ database can be viewed online.

Responsible: Florias Mees.

Paleontology Collection

The collection contains more than 18,000 specimens from Central Africa, collected during fieldwork or acquired through donations.

The collection is very diverse in terms of types of specimens (remains of large reptiles to microscopic skeletons of unicellular organisms) and in terms of age (from about 650 million years to a few thousands of years). Examples of large specimen series include: stromatolites of the Neoproterozoic (Bas-Congo, Katanga, Kasai), fossil plants of the Carboniferous-Permian (Katanga), fishes of the continental Jurassic-Cretaceous (Congo Basin) and diverse fauna from the Atlantic coastal area of the Cretaceous-Cenozoic (Bas-Congo, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon).

The collection contains several type specimens and continues to be regularly consulted by external researchers.

Responsible: Florias Mees.

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