Bordj Badji Mokhtar is an unclassified iron from the Algeria – Mali border area. The compact yet heavily sculpted piece weighs 11.2 kg, with well preserved fusion crust on large parts of the surface and only minor surface oxidation. Large regmaglypts and heavy ablation of edges and protruding ridges bear witness to its fiery descent through Earth’s atmosphere.
The irregular shape of the iron and the disntinct regmaglypts indicate a chaotic spin of the meteoroid during its ablative flight. Since the resulting surface shows no traces of the initial fracture planes that separated the meteoroid from its larger mother body, we can assume that the mass separated early in flight and continued the atmospheric passage as an individual without further fragmentation.
The excellent degree of preservation of the meteorite, particularly on the S-surface, allows to observe the thin, magnetite-rich layers of fusion crust and solidified flow lines. Due to the matte olive-drab patina that has developed on the outer magnetite layer, we can assume that the S-surface represents the surface exposed in situ, while the N-surface appears to have been the contacting surface.
The iron meteorite was found by nomadic Berbers in 2001 and “probed” for a possible gold or silver content with negative results, then left at a camp site, remebered as a mere curiosity. Only 2015, when the finders made contact with Moroccan meteorite dealers, the iron was revisited, recognized as an iron meteorite, and recovered from its find location. Clampmarks (a) and a small corner chisseled from the mass (b), are evidence of the crude analytical approach of the local finders.