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Libethenite

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Formula:
Cu
 
2
(PO
 
4
)(OH)
System:OrthorhombicColour:Light to dark green, ...
Lustre:Sub-Vitreous, Resinous, Waxy, GreasyHardness:4
Member of:Olivenite Group
Name:
Named in 1823 by August Breithaupt after the type locality - Ľubietová (Libethen in German, Libetbánya in Hungarian), Slovak Republic. Prior to 1919, the locality was in the territory of Hungary.
Polymorph of:Paradamite, Tarbuttite
Isostructural with:Adamite, Eveite


Olivenite Group. Libethenite-Olivenite Series.
Compare zincolibethenite.

Libethenite is a secondary copper phosphate mineral found in the oxidized zone of copper ore deposits. The phosphate is often derived from the weathering of apatite and other rock-forming phosphates such as monazite and xenotime.
A rare case of probable primary libethenite from a greisen deposit is reported by Sejkora et al. (2006).

Classification of Libethenite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:7/B.06-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:8.BB.30

8 : PHOSPHATES, ARSENATES, VANADATES
B : Phosphates, etc., with additional anions, without H2O
B : With only medium-sized cations, (OH, etc.):RO4 about 1:1
Dana 7th edition ID:41.6.6.2
Dana 8th edition ID:41.6.6.2

41 : ANHYDROUS PHOSPHATES, ETC.CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
6 : A2(XO4)Zq
Hey's CIM Ref.:19.2.1

19 : Phosphates
2 : Phosphates of Cu
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Type Occurrence of Libethenite

Type Locality:Podlipa deposit, Ľubietová (Libetbánya; Libethen), Banská Bystrica Co., Banská Bystrica Region, Slovakia
Year of Discovery:1823
Geological Setting of type material:Polymetallic hydrothermal or deposit
Associated Minerals at type locality:
Malachite

Occurrences of Libethenite

Geological Setting:Oxidized zones of copper deposits.

Physical Properties of Libethenite

Lustre:Sub-Vitreous, Resinous, Waxy, Greasy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Comment:Somewhat greasy on fracture surfaces.
Colour:Light to dark green, blackish green, olive-green; bluish green to light green in transmitted light.
Streak:Light green
Hardness (Mohs):4
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Poor/Indistinct
Very indistinct on {100} and {010}.
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
Density (measured):3.97 g/cm3
Density (calculated):3.972 g/cm3

Crystallography of Libethenite

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:Pnnm
Cell Parameters:a = 8.062(5) Å, b = 8.384(4) Å, c = 5.881(2) Å
β = 90°
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.962 : 1 : 0.701
Unit Cell Volume:V 404.27 ų
Z:4
Morphology:Crystals short prismatic or slightly elongated [100] with wedge-shaped terminations; also equant. {110} vertically grooved or striated, and {011} striated parallel to the edge with {111}.
Twinning:None observed.
Crystal Atlas:
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Libethenite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Libethenite no.10 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Libethenite no.15 - 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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Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
5.807 (80)
4.820 (100)
4.756 (70)
3.720 (50)
2.644 (40)
2.627 (60)
2.412 (30)
Comments:ICDD 36-404

Optical Data of Libethenite

Type:Biaxial (-)
RI values: nα = 1.701 - 1.704 nβ = 1.743 - 1.747 nγ = 1.787 - 1.790
2V:Measured: 80° to 90°, Calculated: 88°
Birefringence:0.080
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.086

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:High
Dispersion:strong r > v
Optical Extinction:XYZ = bca
Pleochroism:Weak
Comments:X= Pale yellowish blue
Z= Pale greenish blue

Chemical Properties of Libethenite

Formula:
Cu
 
2
(PO
 
4
)(OH)
Simplified for copy/paste:Cu2(PO4)(OH)
Essential elements:Cu, H, O, P
All elements listed in formula:Cu, H, O, P
Common Impurities:As

Relationship of Libethenite to other Species

Series:Forms a series with Olivenite (see here)
Member of:Olivenite Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Adamite
Zn
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)(OH)
Auriacusite
Fe
3+
 
Cu
2+
 
(AsO
 
4
)O
Eveite
Mn
2+
2
(AsO
 
4
)(OH)
Olivenite
Cu
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)(OH)
Zincolibethenite
CuZn(PO
 
4
)(OH)
Zincolivenite
CuZn(AsO
 
4
)(OH)
Common Associates:
PyromorphitePseudomalachiteMalachiteLimoniteAzurite
Atacamite
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
8.BB.05Amblygonite
LiAl(PO
 
4
)F
8.BB.05Montebrasite
LiAl(PO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.05Tavorite
LiFe
3+
 
(PO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.10Triplite
(Mn
2+
 
,Fe
2+
 
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)(F,OH)
8.BB.10Zwieselite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mn
2+
 
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)F
8.BB.15Sarkinite
Mn
2+
2
(AsO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.15Triploidite
(Mn
2+
 
,Fe
2+
 
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.15Wagnerite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)F
8.BB.15Wolfeite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mn
2+
 
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.15Stanĕkite
(Mn
2+
 
,Fe
2+
 
,Mg)Fe
3+
 
(PO
 
4
)O
8.BB.15Joosteite
Mn
2+
 
(Mn
3+
 
,Fe
3+
 
)(PO
 
4
)O
8.BB.15Hydroxylwagnerite
Mg
 
2
(PO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.20Holtedahlite
Mg
 
2
(PO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.20Satterlyite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg,Fe
3+
 
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)(OH,O)
8.BB.25Althausite
Mg
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH,O)(F,☐)
8.BB.30Adamite
Zn
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.30Eveite
Mn
2+
2
(AsO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.30Olivenite
Cu
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.30Zincolibethenite
CuZn(PO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.30Zincolivenite
CuZn(AsO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.30Auriacusite
Fe
3+
 
Cu
2+
 
(AsO
 
4
)O
8.BB.35Paradamite
Zn
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.35Tarbuttite
Zn
 
2
(PO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.40Barbosalite
Fe
2+
 
Fe
3+
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
8.BB.40Hentschelite
CuFe
3+
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
8.BB.40Lazulite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Al
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
8.BB.40Scorzalite
Fe
2+
 
Al
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
8.BB.40Wilhelmkleinite
ZnFe
3+
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
8.BB.45Trolleite
Al
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH)
 
3
8.BB.50Namibite
Cu(BiO)
 
2
(VO
 
4
)(OH)
8.BB.55Phosphoellenbergerite
Mg
 
14
(PO
 
4
)
 
6
(HPO
 
4
,CO
 
3
)
 
2
(OH)
 
6
8.BB.60Urusovite
CuAl(AsO
 
4
)O
8.BB.65Theoparacelsite
Cu
 
3
(As
 
2
O
 
7
)(OH)
 
2
8.BB.70Turanite
Cu
 
5
(VO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
8.BB.75Stoiberite
Cu
 
5
(VO
 
4
)
 
2
O
 
2
8.BB.80Fingerite
Cu
 
11
(VO
 
4
)
 
6
O
 
2
8.BB.85Averievite
Cu
 
6
(VO
 
4
)
 
2
O
 
2
Cl
 
2
8.BB.90Lipscombite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mn
2+
 
)Fe
3+
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
8.BB.90Richellite
CaFe
3+
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH,F)
 
2
8.BB.90Zinclipscombite
ZnFe
3+
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
19.2.2Cornetite
Cu
 
3
(PO
 
4
)(OH)
 
3
19.2.3Reichenbachite
Cu
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
19.2.4Ludjibaite
Cu
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
19.2.5Pseudomalachite
Cu
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
19.2.6Nissonite
Cu
 
2
Mg
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
19.2.7Zapatalite
Cu
 
3
Al
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH)
 
9
· 4H
 
2
O
19.2.8Turquoise
Cu(Al,Fe
3+
 
)
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
8
· 4H
 
2
O
19.2.9Sieleckiite
Cu
 
3
Al
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
12
· 2H
 
2
O
19.2.10Planerite
Al
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(HPO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
8
· 4 H
 
2
O
19.2.11Hentschelite
CuFe
3+
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
19.2.13Chalcosiderite
Cu(Fe
3+
 
,Al)
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
8
· 4H
 
2
O
19.2.14Phosphofibrite
K
 
<0.5
(Fe
3+
 
,Cu)
 
8
(PO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
7
· 7H
 
2
O
Related Minerals - Dana Grouping):

- +
41.6.6.3Adamite
Zn
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)(OH)

Other Names for Libethenite

Synonyms:
Chinoite
Other Languages:
Dutch:Libetheniet
French:Libéthénite
Aphérèse (of Beudant)
Cuivre Phosphaté (of Haüy)
German:Libethenit
Blättricher Olivenmalachite
Octaedrisches Phosphorkupfer
Italian:Libethenite
Aferesa
Russian:Либетенит
Simplified Chinese:羟磷铜矿
Slovak:Libethenit
Spanish:Libethenita
Traditional Chinese:羥磷銅石
Varieties:
PseudolibetheniteZincian Libethenite

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:Not fluorescent in UV
Other Information:Readily soluble in acids and ammonia.
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 Libethenite

Reference List:

- +
Werner (1789) Bergmaennusches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmannische Journal): 382, 385 (as Olivenerz).

Hausmann, J.F.L. (1813) Handbuch der Mineralogie 3 volumes, Göttingen: 1036 (as Blättricher Olivenmalachite).

Leonhard, K.C. (1821) Handbuch der Oryktognosie. First edition, Heidelberg: 143 (as Octaedrisches Phosphorkupfer).

Breithaupt, A. (1823) Vollständige Characteristik etc., 1st. ed.: 267.

Beudant, F.S. (1832), Trailé élémentaire de Minéralogie, second edition, 2 volumes: 2: 569 (as Aphérèse).

Des Cloizeaux (1858) Annales des mines: 14: 343.

Mueller (1858) Journal of the Chemical Society, London: 11: 202.

Field (1859) Chemical Gazette or Journal of Practical Chemistry, London: 17: 400.

Debray (1861) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 52: 44.

Dana, J.D. (1868) System of Mineralogy, 5th. Edition, New York: 563.

Friedel and Sarasin (1879) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 2: 157.

Schrauf (1880) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 4: 19.

Bergemann (1890) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 104: 190.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 786.

Melczer (1904) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 39: 288.

Goldschmidt, V. (1918) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 5: 149.

Larsen, E.S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 100.

Strunz (1936) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 94: 60.

Heritsch (1939) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 102: 1.

Richmond (1940) American Mineralogist: 25: 452.

Guillemin, G. (1956b): Contribution à la minéralogie des arséniates, phosphates et vanadates de cuivre. II. Phosphates et vanadates. Bull. Soc. franç. Minéral. Cristallogr., 79: 219-275.

Rammelsberg, C.F. (1860) Handbuch der Mineralchemie. First edition, Leipzig: 344 (as Pseudo-libethenite).

Canadian Mineralogist (1995): 33: 885-888.

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (2000) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume IV. Arsenates, Phosphates, Vanadates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 680pp.: 313.

Sejkora, J., Ondruš, P., Fikar, M., Veselovský, F., Mach, Z., Gabašová, A., Skoda, R. & Beran, P. (2006): Supergene minerals at the Huber stock and Schnöd stock deposits, Krásno ore District, the Slavkovský les area, Czech Republic. Journal of the Czech Geological Society 51, 57-101.

Alexei A. Belik, Hyun-Joo Koo, Myung-Hwan Whangbo, Naohito Tsujii, Pan e Naumov, and Eiji Takayama-Muromachi (2007): Magnetic properties of synthetic libethenite Cu2PO4OH: a new spin-gap System. Inorg. Chem., 46, 8684-8689.

Internet Links for Libethenite

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

    Localities for Libethenite

    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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