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Crocoite

Posted by Ralph Bottrill  
avatar Crocoite
March 17, 2009 06:25AM
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Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?


Crocoite
PbCrO4 monoclinic

Crocoite, about 12 cm across©


The world class crocoite specimen pictured above is from the collection of Albert Chapman who many feel assembled the best collection of Australian specimens, ever. It was collected from the Adelaide mine in the 1970's, and is one of the world's best.

Crocoite is a relatively rare, yellow - orange to deep red secondary lead chromate. It was first discovered near Beresov, in the Ural Mountains, in Russia in 1763, and has since been found in a number of other locations in the world. The metal chromium was first discovered in crocoite, in 1797 (by the French chemist Louis Vauquelin). It is sometimes used as a paint, being identical in composition with the artificial product chrome yellow; it is the only chromate of any importance found in nature.

It was first called “red lead ore” (Lomonosov, 1763) and later rotbleierz by Werner (1774); then named crocoise by F. S. Beudant in 1832, from the Greek κροκος, saffron, in allusion to its color. This name was first altered to crocoisite and afterwards to crocoite.

It is commonly found as crystals (usually as long prismatic crystals and more rarely as equant crystals, but are most often poorly terminated, and are usually of a bright hyacinth-red color, which are translucent and have an adamantine to vitreous lustre. When fine grained it can be bright yellow to orange, and some crystals are dark red. On exposure to sunlight some of the translucency and brilliancy can be lost.

Crocoite was found in Tasmania in about 1886, and ever since, Western Tasmania has been the most important source of specimens of this highly sought-after mineral. Other localities which have yielded good crystallized specimens are Congonhas do Campo in Brazil; Luzon in the Philippines [No Photos??], Argent, South Africa; Nontron, France;.and Callenberg, Germany. Crocoite is found in about a 70 localities around the world but the 11 mentioned here are the ones of most interest to collectors.

1. A System of Mineralogy, Dana, 7th edition, 1951, p.646-649.
2. Mineralogical Record, Australia Issue, Haupt, J., 1988: Minerals of Western Tasmania. 196, 381-388
3. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
4. Wikipedia
5. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey

[Ralph Bottrill, 16th Feb 2009]


Crocoite
Australia
Tasmania, Zeehan district, Dundas mineral field, Adelaide Mine (Adelaide Pty Mine; Adelaide Proprietary Mine)


Crocoite, Adelaide mine, about 50 mm across© Anton Watzl Sr.


This is the current logo specimen of The Adelaide Mining Company! (sold in a weak moment?). The piece is 5,2cm high and features several freestanding and fully terminated crystals up to 4cm in length. Fairly typical of the best of recent production.
Anton Watzl collection, Austria.

Crocoite, Adelaide mine, about 110 mm high©


This specimen in the Ed Swoboda collection was described by Bancroft as possibly the world's best crocoite. He labelled it as coming from the Adelaide mine in the 1920's, although it has been suggested by local mineral miners that it was probably found on the Red Lead mine lease, although in the early days the latter lease was actually a part of the Adelaide Mining Company leases, so it may be a moot point. An exceptional specimen.

A few other good specimens: one two three four five six

The best and most plentiful specimens are in the Dundas area, particularly in the Adelaide and Red Lead mines, on the flanks of Stichtite Hill. At both mines brilliant prismatic crystals occur, up to 100 mm or longer, commonly freely growing on the walls of cavities in decomposed carbonate veins and in the weathered argillaceous host rock. Most mineral collectors regard the resultant specimens as being amongst the most beautiful objects to originate underground, and to be amongst nature's most brilliant creations.

The Adelaide mine produced particularly large quantities, much of which originally went to the Zeehan smelter as a flux. Frank Mihajlowits was the major producer of fine crocoite specimens, from the Adelaide mine between 1973 and 2004. It is still being mined for crocoite by a small local consortium (The Adelaide Mining Company, mostly by Adam Wright).

Good hand specimens bring prices of $1,000 -$50,000 but some are reputed to bring prices many times higher.

The mine has produced crystals to at least 50mm. Specimens weighing in over 500kgs are known. Some of the best specimens from this locality are in the Zeehan Museum and Tasmanian Museum, Tasmania, and the Australian Museum, Sydney, but good specimens are distributed worldwide.

Most specimens show hollow, elongated prismatic crystals with poor to no terminations, but stubby prisms and blocky, terminated crystals are encountered somewhat rarely. Well terminated crystals are uncommon in this mine, but this specimen is typical of the best.

The crocoite mostly occurs on a limonitic gossan, sometimes being yellow-brown goethite pseudomorphous after siderite or ankerite. Gibbsite is also a common associate, and may cement crocoite crystals; it is usually a creamy colour but ranges from white to pale yellow, and is probably in large part pseudomorphous after dundasite. Specimens on a black goethite matrix are uncommon and may be very attractive. Some are associated with white to pale greenish dundasite, or rarely white to yellow cerussite.

Situated about two kilometres south-east of the site of the old Dundas township, this area was taken up by T. Anderson in 1890. The following year it was acquired by the Adelaide Proprietary Silver Mining Co., with the name being changed to the Adelaide Proprietary mine. By 1893 a good deal of tunnelling had been done without much success and in 1895 the mine closed down. After 1897, the mine passed through successive hands until, in 1908, a third level was opened. There was renewed silver-lead ore production until 1915, when the mine again closed (Fig. 7). Since 1957 the Adelaide mine has been worked primarily for specimen material, firstly by Arthur Smith, and later by a succession of operators, including William Wolnizer, Derek Murray and, most successfully, by Frank Mijhalowits between 1973 and 2004. The mine has recently been sold to a Tasmanian consortium (The Adelaide Mining Company Pty Ltd), including Richard Wolfe, Adam Wright and Robert Reid, and crocoite production has continued unabated. The Adelaide mine produced large quantities of crocoite, much of which went to the Zeehan smelter as a flux in the 1890s. Some of the major specimen finds were between 1971 - 1976 (Chapman, 1972) and 1992 - 2000 (Kissling, 1996), and another major pocket was found in 2005 (see below).

The Adelaide mine was worked for specimens as far back as 1899 (Foote mineral catalogue of 1899, vide Middleton, 1988), and is thus one of the world's earliest specimen mines. Foote described how the Foote Mineral Company drove an adit in the mine in search of crocoite specimens: “the most extensive mining ever done solely for scientific mineral specimens”. They made one good strike but after several months of fruitless tunnelling abandoned the mine at a depth of 232 feet (71m). The 1971 pocket produced exquisite sprays of crocoite and abundant dundasite, and the 1993 pocket produced large amounts of crocoite, largely covered with gibbsite and amorphous Mn oxides but with no dundasite. The latter vugh was up to 1 m wide, 14 m long and 10 m deep. In April 2006 the new consortium discovered its first major find, the small but rich Premierre pocket. This has now been mined out, but it produced many fine matrix specimens, usually with gibbsite-coated gossan. The crystals are commonly dendritic or of herringbone form, with well-formed secondary crystals growing on earlier, upstanding crocoite crystals, mostly hollow and poorly terminated (Fig. 8).

The Adelaide mine’s primary lodes occur in a listwanite host rock developed on the fault contact between serpentinite and Cambrian argillaceous sediments. The lodes strike about NNW, dip 50-60o E, and are up to 13 m wide and 130 m long, with prominent surface gossans and oxidation extending to more than one hundred metres below the surface. In the upper part of the ferro-manganese gossan, crocoite is the chief lead mineral, but cerussite, dundasite, mimetite, coronadite and bindheimite are locally abundant. Below the zone of oxidation, the ore consists of galena, sphalerite, pyrite and jamesonite in a gangue of Mn-siderite, dolomite and serpentine.

Crocoite is a rare mineral in general, but as this mine has produced possibly several tons of it, it can be said to be locally abundant, forming masses of several hundred kg in weight. Sadly, much of this went into the smelters as a flux in the early days!

The specimens are usually delicate and the matrix liable to disintegrate with excess handling, or sometimes sitting in a cabinet.

Some specimens are faked, with masses of crystals glued together, but this is rare. Sometimes the matrix is stabilised with glue; again rare.

1. Mineralogical Record, Australia Issue, Haupt, J., 1988: Minerals of Western Tasmania. 196, 381-388
2. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
3. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey
4. P. Bancroft Mineral Treasures

Crocoite
Australia
Tasmania, Zeehan district, Dundas mineral field, Dundas Extended Mine


Crocoite, Dundas Extended Mine , about 50 mm across© R. Bottrill


Not the most common crocoite habit at this mine, but specimens like this can be great and resemble the crocoites from the nearby Adelaide mine. Another nice one of this type: one

Another picture showing crocoite on yellow cerussite, making spectacular specimens.

This photo shows the typical "bipyramidal" morphology for crocoites in this mine.

At the Dundas Extended mine (northwest of the Adelaide mine) Mike and Eleanor Phelan have produced small quantities of small but beautifully terminated crocoite, in unusual bipyramidal forms reminiscent of some wulfenite, mostly associated with cerussite and quartz. Some larger prismatic crystals also occur. The geology is similar to the Adelaide mine.

The present Dundas Extended mine, about 1.5 km east of Dundas is presently worked for specimen material. It was probably originally part of the Central Dundas mine, adjacent to and west of the West Comet mine. It has been worked intermittently by Mike and Eleanor Phelan since about 1985. The present operations are based on an old adit driven to intersect the West Comet Fault. Originally, the adit continued past the fault for some distance (now partly inaccessible) and although mineralisation was intersected no stoping was carried out. Recent operations have concentrated on the fault with minor workings developed at a depth of 50 to 60 m below the surface.

The NNE-trending West Comet Fault separates folded Cambrian Dundas Group sediments comprising siltstones and shales of mid-Cambrian age, and early Cambrian serpentinite. Primary mineralisation consisting mainly of galena is most intense at the boundary, forming discontinuous pods, masses and stringers accompanied by intense silicification, with talc and porous to massive saccharoidal quartz development. Subsequent movement has shattered the primary quartzose rocks, forming a matrix for some of the secondary lead mineralisation. It is noted that, throughout the fault-hosted workings, small masses of incompletely decomposed galena are frequently encountered. .
Crocoite from the Dundas Extended has perhaps not achieved the renown of that from either the Red Lead or Adelaide deposits. However, handsome specimens of acicular crystals on manganese oxide-stained or ferruginous gossan, quartz breccia and decomposed serpentinite have been recovered throughout the workings. Doubly-terminated, elongated prisms to 20 mm were found in the No.1 raise. Of particular interest is crocoite on shattered quartz breccia exposed in the upper workings. Here, aside from acicular crystals and elongated prisms, coatings of isolated crocoite crystals to 5 mm possessing a distinctly flesh-pink tint are found. These “pseudo-bipyramids” are quite unlike other material from the Dundas field. Some good prismatic crystals have surfaced recently, resembling some Adelaide or Red Lead crocoite. The Dundas Extended specimens are characteristically associated with a whitish, granular quartz-rich matrix (sometimes including small quartz crystals).

1. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
2. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey


Crocoite
Australia
Tasmania, Zeehan district, Dundas mineral field, Platt Prospect


Crocoite, Platt Prospect , about 40 mm across© B Starke


Picture one, two three

At the Platt prospect, south of the West Comet mine and east of Stichtite Hill, small but well terminated crystals of crocoite mostly occur on bright, apple green pyromorphite or black crystalline pyrolusite, both making superb specimens, especially under the microscope. This mine, northeast of the Adelaide mine, was probably originally on the Kosminsky lease, but in 1925 it was held under a separate prospector’s license by Charles Platt. The lode was reopened by Mike Phelan and Joe Pringle in the 1970s, and was operated by Peter Olubas and Bruce Stark from the 1990s to ~2002, and solely by Bruce Stark since.

The lodes are near the contact of serpentinite and shale, the former providing chromium for crocoite and the latter phosphorus for pyromorphite. Similar material was reported at the nearby Kosminsky mine. There has been some production in recent years by Bruce Starke, with some exquisite crocoite-pyromorphite associations uncovered. There were two lodes striking NNE, 70 m apart and up to 28 m wide in a fault zone near a contact between serpentinite and Cambrian shales. The sulphide ores consisted mostly of galena, sphalerite and jamesonite, occurring in veins up to 1.3 m wide.

Weathered parts of the lodes contained crocoite, pyromorphite, mimetite and cerussite in ferro-manganese gossan and quartz. One lode contains a fair proportion of crocoite and some bindheimite, rich in silver. Well crystallised pyrolusite and chalcophanite are also present in the gossan. In recent years, small-scale specimen mining has produced attractive crocoite and pyromorphite associations, and good crystalline pyrolusite, rarely associated with crocoite, plus minor cerussite. Specimens typically exhibit small sharply terminated orange-red crocoite crystals on dark green pyromorphite , with a soft yellow-brown gossan or vein quartz matrix

1. Mineralogical Record, Australia Issue, Haupt, J., 1988: Minerals of Western Tasmania. 196, 381-388
2. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
3. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey

Crocoite
Australia
Tasmania, Zeehan district, Dundas mineral field, Red Lead Mine



Crocoite, Red Lead mine , about 90 mm across© R. Bottrill


Other pictures:
one , two

Shane Dohnt operates the Red Lead mine for crocoite specimens; here the mineral commonly occurs mostly scattered in gossan, and is sometimes also found in pods and vughs. It occurs mostly with yellow to black goethite, red-brown chalcophanite and grey-black coronadite, or rarely with grimaldiite, petterdite, philipsbornite, anglesite and cerussite. The mineral occurred as pure, solid masses replacing galena, or crystals lining vughs in ferro-manganese gossan and as scattered large crystals included in the gossan and also intermixed with white to green friable chromian clays. The geology is similar to the Adelaide mine.

The mine is perhaps best known for fine, sharp terminated crystals, eg.: one, two

1. Mineralogical Record, Australia Issue, Haupt, J., 1988: Minerals of Western Tasmania. 196, 381-388
2. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
3. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey

Crocoite
Australia
Tasmania, Zeehan district, Dundas mineral field, West Comet Mine


Crocoite, West Comet mine , about 60 mm long© R. Bottrill


Some of the most striking crocoite finds were made at the West Comet mine, to the northwest of Dundas, where both large amounts and exquisite examples of the mineral were obtained in the early days of mining, although little remains of the gossans now. Many crystals 100 to 150 mm in length and perfectly terminated are reported to have been obtained from this mine, and some small specimens have been produced recently by John Bishop. Some large specimens of yellow cerussite with scattered small crocoites have been found (add Link). The geology is similar to the Adelaide mine.

1. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
2. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey

Crocoite
Australia
Tasmania, Zeehan district, North Dundas mineral field, Kapi Mine


Crocoite, about 8 cm across© R. Bottrill


A druse of fine crocoite crystals to ~6mm long. Mined in about 1983.


The Kapi mine is a small silver-lead mine situated at the southern end of the North Dundas field, adjacent to a serpentinite body, and has been a source of secondary lead specimen minerals for many years. Rod Williams and Mike Phelan worked the mine for crocoite, cerussite, dundasite and other minerals in the 1970s, and it has more recently been mined on a small scale by Shane Dohnt, for specimens.

Most of the mines in this district are complex polymetallic (Pb-Ag-Cu-Sb-Bi sulphide) vein deposits; the difference in mineralogy to the South Dundas Field is probably a result of higher temperature origin in the north, due to a closer relationship to underlying granites than most of the South Dundas deposits. The deposits in this district mostly have little gossan development, excepting the Kapi mine.

Minerals produced in the past include abundant crocoite, cerussite (white and yellow), and dundasite, with minor pyromorphite (pale green) and traces of linarite. "Phosgenite", reported as abundant by Lancaster (2000), is probably cerussite. The first three minerals above are often intimately associated, and form attractive combinations. The matrix is characteristically a puggy to friable, yellow-brown gossan. The crocoite crystals are usually small drusy needles, more red-orange than deep red, with an etched appearance resulting in an overall semi-matte lustre. The association of crocoite with both dundasite and cerussite is quite characteristic of the Kapi mine, but has also been reported rarely from the Adelaide mine. Crocoite may form granular coatings over yellow cerussite or white dundasite, but may in turn be sprinkled with small yellow cerussite crystals or coated with dundasite.

1. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
2. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey


Crocoite
Brazil
Southeast Region, Minas Gerais, Congonhas do Campo

Crocoite on gneiss, Brazil , 5.7 x 2.7 x 2.3 cm©


Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: p.646-649.
[More info needed]

Crocoite
France,
Aquitaine, Dordogne, Nontron, Le Cantonnier vein

Crocoite on pyromorphite, Nontron,France , about 3 mm across© P.Queneau
[www.mindat.org]

Apparently found in a quartz vein in mylonitized and chloritized granite in a cutting on the road from Nontron to Saint Pardoux, near Moulin de Bord : old gallery on left bank of Brégout brook. [More info needed]
Y. Laurent, J. Lougnon, R. Pierrot, H.J. Schubnel : "La Crocoïte de Nontron (Dordogne) et les Minéraux Associés", Bull. Soc. Fr. Minéral. Cristallogr., 1967, XC, N°3, 377-382


Germany,
Saxony, Glauchau, Callenberg, Callenberg North (No. 1) open cut

Crocoite on pyromorphite and vauquelinite, Callenberg , about 140 mm across© Paul De Bondt


Callenberg lies within the southern rim zone of the Saxonian Granulitgebirge (Granulite Mts.) near the industrial town of Glauchau and the town of Hohenstein-Ernstthal (Birthplace of the famous German writer Karl May).

In the area serpentinite bodies are common. In the Callenberg area these have been weathered strongly, leading to the formation of Ni-bearing silicates. Chalcedony var. Chrysoprase, Serpentine, and Magnetite are common, too. As well as some chromite.

In the crocoite area in the Callenberg N I opencut a galena-bearing quartz vein outcrops. It provided the lead necessary to form crocoite, whereas the Cr is derived from the serpentinite body.

Crocoite forms very nice orangy red prismatic xls up to 1 cm +, but red to even reddish brown, more blocky to pyramidal xls can occur, too. The latter are often accompanied by botryoidal coronadite crusts. Other minerals typical for Callenberg are bright green Pyromorphite/Mimetesite (coloured by Cr), sometimes Cerussite, orangy embreyite crusts on crocoite, rather rarely phoenicocroite has been found.

Ref.:
[MinRec 33:166]
LEONHARDT, J. & LEONHARDT, W. (1991): Das berühmte deutsche Krokoitvorkommen von Callenberg/Sachsen. Lapis 16 (9), 13-26 (in German).

Crocoite
Russia, Urals Region, Middle Urals, Ekaterinburgskaya (Sverdlovskaya) Oblast'
Ekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk), Berezovskii (Berezovskii Zavod), Berezovskoe Au Deposit (Berezovsk Mines)

Crocoite on pyromorphite and vauquelinite, Berezovsk Mines , about 11 mm across©
[www.mindat.org]

This is the type locality and the first and oldest gold mining area on Urals and in Russia. . The crocoite is found in gold-bearing quartz veins traversing granite or gneiss.

Refs.:
1.Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 650; American Mineralogist: 73(11-12): 1493.
2. Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 650, 893, 897.
3. Polenov, J. A., Avdonin, V. N. & Burlakov, J. V. (1997): The golden giant of Russia: Beresovsk. - Lapis 22(7-8): 31-43; 90 (in German). [More info needed]


[Ralph Bottrill, 17th March 2009]


Whilst compiling some data for this I note the lack of photos of top quality crocoite specimens from the Urals, Phillipines and South Africa, which all produced good specimens - can anyone help?
Ralph



Click here to view Best Minerals C and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Regards,
Ralph



Edited 40 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/2012 08:08PM by Rock Currier.
avatar Re: Crocoite
March 18, 2009 01:13AM
Thats a start - I need some more good photos and more info (especially the non-Tasmanian sites).
Meanwhile I may start on a few Tasmanian type minerals (Dundasite, stichtite, philipsbornite, petterdite, hellyerite etc)

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Crocoite
March 18, 2009 09:30PM
Ralph, Thats a great start. Now comes the hard part. Are you ready for the red ink?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Crocoite
March 19, 2009 12:26AM
Rock
I am thick skinned and used to red ink so go for it - its usually for the best but if I have a disagreement I will let you know.
Ralph

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Crocoite
March 19, 2009 06:23AM
Ralph, Note that more red ink has been added.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Crocoite
March 25, 2009 02:42AM
Many thanks Sebastien
That is good info, and I have added it in. All I need now is some info on Beresovsk to round it all off.

I have long suspected that Cr colours the pyromorphite green, as it is the dominant colour with all these crocoite cccurences. I have tried to probe some, however, and it did not show. Interestingly too, mimetite in these mines is bright red and yellow - presumably different colours from the same chromophore? And as for the yellow cerussite always found with crocoite - that is still contentious, but the association cannot be denied.

Ralph

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Crocoite
March 25, 2012 08:06PM
Ralph Bottrill writs:

Crocoite
PbCrO4 Monoclinic.

This is a relatively rare, yellow - orange to deep red secondary lead chromate. It was first discovered near Beresov, in the Ural Mountains, in Russia in 1763, and has since been found in a number of other locations in the world. The metal chromium was first discovered in crocoite, in 1797 (by the French chemist Louis Vauquelin). It is sometimes used as a paint, being identical in composition with the artificial product chrome yellow; it is the only chromate of any importance found in nature.
It was first called “red lead ore” (Lomonosov, 1763) and later rotbleierz by Werner (1774); then named crocoise by F. S. Beudant in 1832, from the Greek κροκος, saffron, in allusion to its color. This name was first altered to crocoisite and afterwards to crocoite.

It is commonly found as crystals (usually as long prismatic crystals and more rarely as equant crystals, but are most often poorly terminated, and are usually of a bright hyacinth-red color, which are translucent and have an adamantine to vitreous lustre. When fine grained it can be bright yellow to orange, and some crystals are dark red. On exposure to sunlight some of the translucency and brilliancy can be lost.

Crocoite was found in Tasmania in about 1886, and ever since, Western Tasmania has been the most important source of specimens of this highly sought-after mineral. Other localities which have yielded good crystallized specimens are Congonhas do Campo in Brazil; Luzon in the Philippines [No Photos??], Argent, South Africa; Nontron, France;.and Callenberg, Germany. Crocoite is found in about a 70 localities around the world but the 11 mentioned here are the ones of most interest to collectors.

Good hand specimens bring prices of $1,000 -$50,000 but some are reputed to bring prices many times higher.

1. A System of Mineralogy, Dana, 7th edition, 1951, p.646-649.
2. Mineralogical Record, Australia Issue, Haupt, J., 1988: Minerals of Western Tasmania. 196, 381-388
3. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
4. Wikipedia
5. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey

[Ralph Bottrill, 16th Feb 2009]


Crocoite
Tasmania, Zeehan district, Dundas mineral field, Adelaide Mine (Adelaide Pty Mine; Adelaide Proprietary Mine)
The best and most plentiful specimens are in the Dundas area, particularly in the Adelaide and Red Lead mines, on the flanks of Stichtite Hill. At both mines brilliant prismatic crystals occur, up to 100 mm or longer, commonly freely growing on the walls of cavities in decomposed carbonate veins and in the weathered argillaceous host rock. Most mineral collectors regard the resultant specimens as being amongst the most beautiful objects to originate underground, and to be amongst nature's most brilliant creations.
The Adelaide mine produced particularly large quantities, much of which originally went to the Zeehan smelter as a flux. Frank Mihajlowits was the major producer of fine crocoite specimens, from the Adelaide mine between 1973 and 2004. It is still being mined for crocoite by a small local consortium (The Adelaide Mining Company, mostly by Adam Wright).

1. Mineralogical Record, Australia Issue, Haupt, J., 1988: Minerals of Western Tasmania. 196, 381-388
2. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
3. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey

Crocoite
Tasmania, Zeehan district, Dundas mineral field, Dundas Extended Mine
At the Dundas Extended mine (west of the West Comet mine) Mike and Eleanor Phelan have produced small quantities of small but beautifully terminated crocoite, in unusual bipyramidal forms reminiscent of some wulfenite, mostly associated with cerussite and quartz. Some larger5 prismatic crystals also occur.

1. Mineralogical Record, Australia Issue, Haupt, J., 1988: Minerals of Western Tasmania. 196, 381-388
2. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
3. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey

Crocoite
Tasmania, Zeehan district, Dundas mineral field, Platt Prospect
At the Platt prospect, south of the West Comet mine and east of Stichtite Hill, small but well terminated crystals of crocoite occur on bright, apple green pyromorphite or pyrolusite, making superb specimens, especially under the microscope. The lodes are near the contact of serpentinite and shale, the former providing chromium for crocoite and the latter phosphorus for pyromorphite. Similar material was reported at the nearby Kosminsky mine. There has been some production in recent years by Bruce Starke, with some exquisite crocoite-pyromorphite associations uncovered.

1. Mineralogical Record, Australia Issue, Haupt, J., 1988: Minerals of Western Tasmania. 196, 381-388
2. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
3. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey

Crocoite
Tasmania, Zeehan district, Dundas mineral field, Red Lead Mine
Shane Dohnt also operates the Red Lead mine for crocoite specimens; here the mineral commonly occurs with gibbsite and goethite, and is sometimes found with grimaldiite, petterdite, coronadite, philipsbornite and cerussite. The mineral occurred as pure masses, both lining vughs in ferro-manganese gossan and included in the gossan and also intermixed with white to green friable clays. Crocoite from the Red Lead mine can contain over 0.4 wt.% SO3 (Crane et al., 2001).
1. Mineralogical Record, Australia Issue, Haupt, J., 1988: Minerals of Western Tasmania. 196, 381-388
2. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
3. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey

# West Comet Mine
[Photos???}
Some of the most striking crocoite finds were made at the West Comet mine, to the northwest of Dundas, where both large amounts and exquisite examples of the mineral were obtained in the early days of mining, although little remains of the gossans now. Many specimens 100 to 120 mm in length and perfectly terminated are reported to have been obtained from this mine, and some small specimens have been produced recently by John Bishop.

Crocoite
Tasmania, Zeehan district, North Dundas, Kapi Mine
Some 10km north of Dundas the Kapi mine produced abundant crocoite, mostly as small or drusy crystals with dundasite and yellow cerussite, but there has been no production for some time.
1. Mineralogical Record, Australia Issue, Haupt, J., 1988: Minerals of Western Tasmania. 196, 381-388
2. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, (Dundas Issue) Bottrill, R.S., Williams, P., Dohnt, S., Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N.R. (2006). Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. 12, 59-90
3. A Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. Bottrill, R.S. & Baker, W.E. (2008) Bull. 73. Tasmanian Geological Survey

Brazil, Southeast Region, Minas Gerais, Congonhas do Campo

Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: p.646-649.


Crocoite
France,
Aquitaine, Dordogne, Nontron, Le Cantonnier vein

Y. Laurent, J. Lougnon, R. Pierrot, H.J. Schubnel : "La Crocoïte de Nontron (Dordogne) et les Minéraux Associés", Bull. Soc. Fr. Minéral. Cristallogr., 1967, XC, N°3, 377-382

Germany,
Saxony, Glauchau, Callenberg, Callenberg North (No. 1) open cut

[MinRec 33:166]


Crocoite
Russia, Urals Region, Middle Urals, Ekaterinburgskaya (Sverdlovskaya) Oblast'
Ekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk), Berezovskii (Berezovskii Zavod), Berezovskoe Au Deposit (Berezovsk Mines)

In the Urals the crystals are found in gold-bearing quartz veins traversing granite or gneiss.

Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 650; American Mineralogist: 73(11-12): 1493.

Crocoite,
South Africa, Gauteng Province, Argent, Argent mine

Minerals of South Africa


Hello,

Some Infos about the Callenberg Locality, Saxony, Germany:

Callenberg lies within the southern rim zone of the Saxonian Granulitgebirge (Granulite Mts.) near the industrial town of Glauchau and the town of Hohenstein-Ernstthal (Birthplace of the famous German writer Karl May).

In the area serpentinite bodies are common. In the Callenberg area these have been weathered strongly, leading to the formation of Ni-bearing silicates. Chalcedony var. Chrysoprase, Serpentine, and Magnetite are common, too. As well as some chromite.

In the crocoite area in the Callenberg N I opencut a galena-bearing quartz vein outcrops. It provided the lead necessary to form crocoite, whereas the Cr is derived from the serpentinite body.

Crocoite forms very nice orangy red prismatic xls up to 1 cm +, but red to even reddish brown, more blocky to pyramidal xls can occur, too. The latter are often accompanied by botryoidal coronadite crusts. Other minerals typical for Callenberg are bright green Pyromorphite/Mimetesite (coloured by Cr), sometimes Cerussite, orangy embreyite crusts on crocoite, rather rarely phoenicocroite has been found.

Regards,
Sebastian Möller

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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