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Tetrahedrite



Tetrahedrite

A sample of grey tetrahedrite, with white quartz
General
CategoryMineral: sulfosalt
Chemical formulaCu12Sb4S13
Identification
Molecular Weight1,643.31 gm
ColorSteel gray to iron-gray
Crystal habitmassive to well formed crystals
Crystal systemCubic
CleavageNone
FractureUneven
Mohs Scale hardness3½ - 4
LusterMetallic
StreakBlack
DiaphaneityOpaque

Tetrahedrite is a copper antimony sulfosalt mineral with formula: Cu12Sb4S13. It is the antimony endmember of the continuous solid solution series with arsenic bearing tennantite. Pure endmembers of the series are seldom if ever seen in nature. Of the two, the antimony rich phase is more common. Other elements also substitute in the structure, most notably iron and zinc along with less common silver, mercury and lead. Bismuth also substitutes for the antimony site and bismuthian tetrahedrite or annivite is a recognized variety. The related, silver dominant, mineral species freibergite, although rare, is notable in that it can contain up to 18% silver.

Additional recommended knowledge

Tetrahedrite gets its name from the distinctive tetrahedron shaped cubic crystals. The mineral usually occurs in massive form, it is a steel grey to black metallic mineral with Mohs hardness of 3.5 to 4 and specific gravity of 4.6 to 5.2.

It occurs in low to moderate temperature hydrothermal veins and in some contact metamorphic deposits. It is a minor ore of copper and associated metals. It was first described in 1845 for occurrences in Freiberg, Saxony, Germany.

See also

References

  • Hurlbut, Cornelius S.; Klein, Cornelis, 1985, Manual of Mineralogy, 20th ed., Wiley, ISBN 0-471-80580-7
  • Mindat
  • Mineral galleries
  • Webmineral data
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tetrahedrite". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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