Monturaqui meteorites, or Monturaqui iron meteorite shale, and Monturaqui impactites could be found on the southern slope of the Monturaqui crater which is located in a very remote part of the Atacama desert in Chile.
This meteorite was first discovered in 1965 by scientists surveying the crater after discovering it on satellite images.
The main mass of the impacting huge meteorite most likely vaporized on impact, small iron pieces remained, sometimes even melted together with the native rock as you can see in several of our Monturaqui meteorites for sale.
Meteorite shale are highly weathered and oxidized fragments of meteorites.
The age of the crater is at least several 100.000 years, maybe even up to 1 million years. It measures 350 – 400m across, the wall height ranges from 16 to 48 m, and it still has a slightly eroded elevated rim. A part of the crater floor is covered with white lime.
The Monturaqui crater is located 40 Km south of the little town Peine close to the range of the Andes. The rough dirt track rises up to over 3000m of altitude, the surroundings are scenic with the large Salar de Atacama to the north and a chain of volcanos to the east.
According to the Meteoritical Bulletin the Monturaqui meteorite is classified as an iron meteorite, class IAB.
A very limited amount of shale material was found inside and around the crater, the Meteoritical Bulletin speaks of 2 Kg, we estimate that the total amount of Monturaqui shale found is around 5 Kg.
Apart from the iron shale, the impact produced nicely sculptured Monturaqui impactites which contain spherules of nickel iron of the original meteorite mixed together with pieces of molten rocks of different colors and impact glass. Due to the iron spherules within, the impactites are attracted to a strong magnet. Impactites were more abundant than shale, we estimate that about 30 – 50 Kg were recovered on various expeditions by meteorite hunters and scientists.
We were able to recover the last pieces of Monturaqui shale and Monturaqui impactites by combing every squaremeter of the crater, so there won’t be much more material of this rare meteorite available in the future.