Vol 62, Núm. 1, 2010, p. 199-205


Jadeitite jade occurrence from the Sierra del Convento mélange (eastern Cuba)

Depósitos de jade de jadeitita de la mélange de la Sierra del Convento (Cuba oriental)

Juan Cárdenas–Párraga1,*, Antonio García–Casco1,2, Kenya Núñez–Cambra3, Antonio Rodríguez–Vega4, Idael Francisco Blanco–Quintero1, George E. Harlow5, Concepción Lázaro1

1 Departamento de Mineralogía y Petrología, Universidad de Granada, Fuentenueva s/n, 18002, Granada, Spain.
2 Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC–UGR), Fuentenueva s/n 18002, Granada, Spain.
3 Instituto de Geología y Paleontología, Vía Blanca y Carretera Central, San Miguel del Padrón, 11000 Ciudad Habana, Cuba.
4 Departamento de Geología, Instituto Superior Minero–Metalúrgico, Las Coloradas s/n., Moa 83329, Holguín, Cuba.
5 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NewYork, 10024, USA.

* This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


A new jadeitite jade locality has been discovered in the serpentinite–matrix subduction mélange of the Sierra del Convento (eastern Cuba) in a context associated with tectonic blocks of garnet–epidote amphibolite, tonalitic–trondhjemitic epidote gneiss and blueschist. The jade outcrops occur as blocks surrounded by serpentinite, as late Miocene–early Pliocene detritic sedimentary deposits formed during erosion of the mélange, and as Recent river and beach deposits related to the Macambo and Guardarraya rivers and their mouths. Jade from these outcrops show gem–quality varieties with colours ranging from greenish white to dark green. Potentially, the deposits may be easily exploited. Former exploitation (probably of the beach deposits) by the pre–Columbian Taino inhabitants of Cuba is documented by a large number of jade artifacts (mostly, petaloid axes) found in eastern Cuba.

Keywords: Jadeitite, subduction mélange, Sierra del Convento, Cuba.