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Altaite

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Formula:
PbTe
System:IsometricColour:Tin-white with a light ...
Hardness:2 - 3
Member of:Galena Group
Name:After the discovery locality: Zavodinsk, Rudny Altai, Kazakhstan.

Classification of Altaite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:2/C.15-60
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:2.CD.10

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
C : Metal Sulfides, M: S = 1: 1 (and similar)
D : With Sn, Pb, Hg, etc.
Dana 8th edition ID:2.8.1.3

2 : SULFIDES
8 : AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
Hey's CIM Ref.:3.6.7

3 : Sulphides, Selenides, Tellurides, Arsenides and Bismuthides (except the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au, which are included in Section 1)
6 : Sulphides etc. of Sb and Pb
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Type Occurrence of Altaite

Type Locality:Second Zavodinskii Mine (Second Sawodinsk Mine), Zyryanovsk Rayon, Altai Mts (Rudnyi Altai), Eastern Kazakhstan Province (Shyghys Qazaqstan Oblysy; Vostochno-Kazakhstanskaya Oblast'), Kazakhstan
Year of Discovery:1845

Occurrences of Altaite

Geological Setting:Typically in hydrothermal vein Au–Te-bearing deposits.

Physical Properties of Altaite

Lustre:Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Opaque
Colour:Tin-white with a light yellow tint; yellow-brown, blue (tarnished)
Comment:Handbook of Mineralogy: tarnishes bronze; in polished section, white with a delicate greenish hue
Streak:Black
Hardness (Mohs):2 - 3
Hardness (Vickers):VHN100=47 - 53
Tenacity:Sectile
Cleavage:Perfect
on {001}
Fracture:Sub-Conchoidal
Density (measured):8.19 g/cm3
Density (calculated):8.27 g/cm3

Crystallography of Altaite

Crystal System:Isometric
Class (H-M):m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:Fm3m
Space Group Setting:Fm3m
Cell Parameters:a = 6.439Å
Unit Cell Volume:V 266.97 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:4
Morphology:Rarely in very small cubes and octahedra; massive, as cleavages, to 1 cm; granular, myrmekitic in other sulfides.
Crystal Atlas:
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Altaite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Altaite no.2 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
3.23 (100)
2.29 (80)
1.859 (30)
1.610 (20)
1.443 (50)
1.314 (40)
1.074 (20)

Optical Data of Altaite

Type:Isotropic
Reflectivity:
400nmR=59.6%
420nmR=62.6%
440nmR=65.2%
460nmR=67.5%
480nmR=69.3%
500nmR=70.6%
520nmR=71.2%
540nmR=71.1%
560nmR=70.1%
580nmR=68.7%
600nmR=66.8%
620nmR=65.1%
640nmR=63.4%
660nmR=61.9%
680nmR=60.6%
700nmR=59.4%


Graph shows reflectance levels at different wavelengths (in nm). Peak reflectance is 71.2%.
Colour in reflected light:White with greenish hue

Chemical Properties of Altaite

Formula:
PbTe
Essential elements:Pb, Te
All elements listed in formula:Pb, Te
Analytical Data:Campbell mine, Bisbee, Arizona, USA.
Pb (62.4)
Cu (0.4)
Bi (0.2)
Te (37.2)
Total (100.2)
Common Impurities:Ag,Au,Cu,Fe,Se,S

Relationship of Altaite to other Species

Member of:Galena Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Alabandite
Mn
2+
 
S
Clausthalite
PbSe
Galena
PbS
Niningerite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Mn
2+
 
)S
Oldhamite
(Ca,Mg)S
Common Associates:
TetrahedriteTelluriumTellurantimonySylvaniteSphalerite
SilverSideriteQuartzPyrrhotitePyrite
PetziteNagyágiteJamesoniteHessiteHessite
GoldGalenaChalcopyriteCerussiteCalaverite
BournoniteBoulangeriteArsenopyriteAntimonyAguilarite
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
2.CD.05Herzenbergite
(Sn,Pb)SnS
 
2
2.CD.05Teallite
(Pb,Sn)SnS
 
2
2.CD.10Alabandite
Mn
2+
 
S
2.CD.10Clausthalite
PbSe
2.CD.10Galena
PbS
2.CD.10Niningerite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Mn
2+
 
)S
2.CD.10Oldhamite
(Ca,Mg)S
2.CD.10Keilite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg)S
2.CD.15aCinnabar
HgS
2.CD.15bHypercinnabar
HgS
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
3.6.1Herzenbergite
(Sn,Pb)SnS
 
2
3.6.2Ottemannite
beta Sn
 
2
S
 
3
3.6.3Berndtite
SnS
 
2
3.6.4Stistaite
SnSb
3.6.5Galena
PbS
3.6.6Clausthalite
PbSe
3.6.8Furutobeite
(Cu,Ag)
 
6
PbS
 
4
3.6.9Aschamalmite
Pb
 
6
Bi
 
2
S
 
9
3.6.10Betekhtinite
Pb
 
2
(Cu,Fe)
 
21
S
 
15
3.6.11Shadlunite
(Pb,Cd)(Fe,Cu)
 
8
S
 
8

Other Names for Altaite

Synonyms:
Elasmose (of d'Halloy)Lead telluride
Other Languages:
German:Altait
Tellurblei
Japanese:テルル鉛鉱
Russian:Алтаит
Simplified Chinese:碲铅矿
Spanish:Altaita

Other Information

Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Altaite

Reference List:

- +
Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834pp.: 205-206.

American Mineralogist (1949): 34: 342.

Internet Links for Altaite

Search Engines:
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  • External Links:
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  • Look for Altaite on Wikipedia
  • Look for Altaite on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Altaite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
  • Mineral Dealers:
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  • Specimens:The following Altaite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Altaite

    The map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
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