Nice to meet you, Djalma

Excerpt from the professional history of Djalma Guimarães, one of the most important names in world's science and geology.

By MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Djalma Guimarães, the geologistMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Djalma Guimarães, the geologist.

Djalma Guimarães was born in  Santa Luzia, Minas Gerais, on November 5th, 1894. He was one of the main Brazilian geologists responsible for important discoveries.

"Djalma Guimarães during his undergraduate time in Escola de Minas de Ouro Preto."MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Djalma Guimarães during his undergraduate time

In 1913, he enrolled at Escola de Minas de Ouro Preto, one of the main geoscience learning centers in Brazil, founded by Henry Gorceix, in 1876, as mission requested by D. Pedro II.

University degree certificate of Mining and Civil EngineerMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

University degree certificate of Mining and Civil Engineer

Soon after his graduation, in 1919, he started his career in Rio de Janeiro working with hill destruction to build roads. In 2021, he entered to the previous Geological and Mineralogical Service of Brazil.

The scientist and the microscopyMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

The scientist and the microscopy

The microscopy was his main work tool, it helped him with important findings, including the discovery in Araxá, Minas Gerais, of one of the biggest Niobium deposits on earth. 

Djalma Guimarães in his officeMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Djalma Guimarães in his office

The geologist Djalma Guimarães using his microscopy, his main working tool.

Giannetite in rock thin sectionMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Giannetite in rock thin section

Among his findings using the microscopy, there are the identification and description of four new minerals: Arrojadite, Eschwegite, Pennaite and Giannetite. The rock thin section shown in this picture contains Giannetite.

Article: “The Granitization Problem”MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Article: “The Granitization Problem”, 1938

In 1938, his scientific researches reached international importance,  when he published a paper about the formation process of igneous rocks in a German journal. He became one of the most important researchers in this field.

Borehole drilling, in Araxá, Minas GeraisMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Borehole drilling, in Araxá, Minas Gerais

In the 1940’s, when he was already an experienced office geologist, Djalma performed analysis in apatite samples from Araxá, Minas Gerais, and requested some borehole research in the region.

“A NOITE” newspaper reportMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

“A NOITE” newspaper report

This research led to a strategic finding: a great phosphate deposit, minerals used in fertilizer applied in agriculture. The product offer raising contributed to the reduction of production costs. 

Borehole drilling in Araxá, Minas Gerais.MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Borehole drilling in Araxá, Minas Gerais

At that time, the apatite research data and an high tech aerial survey, 
indicated the presence of Niobium as well. The lab analysis confirmed the high concentration of this metal.

"Final report about Niobium occurrence research in Araxá, Minas Gerais"MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Final report about Niobium occurrence research in Araxá

The math used to establish the deposit dimensions reached a great internacional repercussion, because it presented one of the biggest Niobium reserves in the world, with over 185 tons, in Araxá, Minas Gerais.

Djalma Guimarães at a lectureMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Djalma Guimarães at a lecture

During many opportunities in which he was invited to give a speech, he used to show his passion about his work, especially when it was 
addressed to students or graduates. 

Speech given by Djalma GuimarãesMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Speech given by Djalma Guimarães in 1969

In one of his lectures, he discussed the political, economical and cultural dimensions of scientific work, showing his worries about the intensification of Military Dictatorship in Brazil, after 1964.

Djalma Guimarães’s last speechMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Djalma Guimarães’s last speech

Speech prepared by Djalma to receive the honoris causa title that would be awarded by University of Lisbon, in 1973.

Djalma Guimarães’s last speech

The last speech he wrote was meant to be spoken in a ceremony of the Professor honoris causa award, from University of Lisbon, that he was supposed to receive.

Djalma Guimarães’s last speech

In this speech he talks about his interdisciplinar comprehension, reaching literature, while he was making connections between geology and Eça de Queiroz and Júlio Verne books.

Djalma Guimarães’s last speech

This speech was not given on account of his death, on october 10th, 1973.

Guimarãesita mineral sampleMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Guimarãesita mineral sample

The Guimarãesita was named in honor of Djalma Guimarães. Chemical composition: Ca2Be4Zn5(PO4)6(OH)4·6H2O

Djalmaita (uranomicrolita) mineral sampleMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Djalmaita (uranomicrolita) mineral sample

This mineral was originally named Djalmaita by João Pandiá Calógeras. Later it was renamed as uranomicrolita.

Djalma Guimarães’s last notebookMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Djalma Guimarães’s last notebook

The Djalma Guimarães’s last notebook
contains several records about microscopy analysis, appointments and contacts.

Djalma Guimarães’s last notebook

His interests by innovation in methodologies and research equipment remained with him until the end of his life.

Djalma Guimarães’s last notebook

To open new pathways or explore barely known fields, Djalma Guimarães was, above all, a creator of new ideas.

Credits: Story

Realization: MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal
Sponsorhip: Gerdau
Support: CBMM
Direction: Márcia Guimarães
Communication Advisor: Paola Oliveira
Communication Assistant: Lucas D'Ambrosio
Educational Cordination: Suely Monteiro
Geosciences Cordination: Andrea Ferreira
Geosciences Assistant: Simone Silva
Geosciences / Research: David Silva
ICT Cordination: Alexandre Livino
Museology: Carlos Augusto Jotta
Museology Assistants: Adson Junior, Leonardo Miranda e Samara Asevedo
Photographs: Lucas D'Ambrosio and MM Gerdau Archive
Press Office: A Dupla Informação
Creation and Design: Sal Estúdio Criativo

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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