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Malachite

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Formula:
Cu
 
2
(CO
 
3
)(OH)
 
2
System:MonoclinicColour:Bright green, with ...
Hardness:3½ - 4
Name:Named in antiquity (see Pliny the Elder, 79 CE) molochitus after the Greek μαλαχή, "mallows," in allusion to the green color of the leaves. Known in the new spelling, malachites, at least by 1661.


Malachite is a green, very common secondary copper mineral with a widely variable habit. Typically it is found as crystalline aggregates or crusts, often banded in appearence, like agates. It is also often found as botryoidal clusters of radiating crystals, and as mammillary aggregates as well. Single crystals and clusters of distinguishable crystals are uncommon, but when found they are typically acicular to prismatic. It is also frequently found as a pseudomorph after Azurite crystals, which are generally more tabular in shape.

Structurally related to the Rosasite Group.

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Classification of Malachite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:5/C.01-20
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:5.BA.10

5 : CARBONATES (NITRATES)
B : Carbonates with additional anions, without H2O
A : With Cu, Co, Ni, Zn, Mg, Mn
Dana 7th edition ID:16.3.2.1
Dana 8th edition ID:16a.3.1.1

16a : ANHYDROUS CARBONATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
3 : (AB)2(XO3)Zq
Hey's CIM Ref.:11.2.1

11 : Carbonates
2 : Carbonates of Cu
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Occurrences of Malachite

Geological Setting:It is the most common secondary mineral found in the oxidized zones of copper deposits.

Physical Properties of Malachite

Lustre:Adamantine, Vitreous, Silky, Dull, Earthy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:Bright green, with crystals deeper shades of green, even vary dark to nearly black; green to yellowish green in transmitted light.
Streak:Light green
Hardness (Mohs):3½ - 4
Hardness Data:Measured
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Perfect
Perfect on {201}, fair on {010}.
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal, Fibrous
Density (measured):3.6 - 4.05 g/cm3
Density (calculated):4 g/cm3

Crystallography of Malachite

Crystal System:Monoclinic
Class (H-M):2/m - Prismatic
Cell Parameters:a = 9.502Å, b = 11.974Å, c = 3.240Å
β = 98.75°
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.794 : 1 : 0.271
Unit Cell Volume:V 364.35 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:4
Morphology:Crystals uncommon, usually short or long prismatic or acicular, parallel to [001]; often grouped in rosettes, sprays, or tufts. Botryoidal to mammillary aggregates of radiating fibrous crystals more common. It may also be massive, compact, and stalactic.
Twinning:Untwinned crystals are extremely rare. Typically twinned on {100}, sometimes as penetration or polysynthetic twinning with the axis parallel to [201].
Comment:Space group P21/a.
Crystal Atlas:
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Malachite no.17 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Malachite no.20 - 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:
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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
5.99(60)
5.06(80)
3.69(90)
2.86(100)
2.82(40)
2.78(50)
2.52(60)
2.46(40)
Comments:Data given are for synthetic material.

Optical Data of Malachite

Type:Biaxial (-)
RI values: nα = 1.655 nβ = 1.875 nγ = 1.909
2V:Measured: 43° , Calculated: 38°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.254

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Very High
Dispersion:relatively weak
Pleochroism:Visible
Comments:X ^ c 23½° = nearly colourless
Y b = yellowish green
Z = Deep green

Chemical Properties of Malachite

Formula:
Cu
 
2
(CO
 
3
)(OH)
 
2
Simplified for copy/paste:Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Essential elements:C, Cu, H, O
All elements listed in formula:C, Cu, H, O
Common Impurities:Zn,Co,Ni

Relationship of Malachite to other Species

Common Associates:
WadTenoriteLimoniteCupriteChrysocolla
ChalcedonyCalciteBrochantiteAzuriteAurichalcite
Atacamite
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
5.BA.05Azurite
Cu
 
3
(CO
 
3
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
5.BA.10Georgeite
Cu
 
2
(CO
 
3
)(OH)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
5.BA.10Glaukosphaerite
(Cu,Ni)
 
2
(CO
 
3
)(OH)
 
2
5.BA.10Kolwezite
(Cu,Co)
 
2
(CO
 
3
)(OH)
 
2
5.BA.10Mcguinnessite
(Mg,Cu)
 
2
(CO
 
3
)(OH)
 
2
5.BA.10Nullaginite
Ni
 
2
(CO
 
3
)(OH)
 
2
5.BA.10Pokrovskite
Mg
 
2
(CO
 
3
)(OH)
 
2
5.BA.10Rosasite
(Cu,Zn)
 
2
(CO
 
3
)(OH)
 
2
5.BA.10Zincrosasite
(Zn,Cu)
 
2
(CO
 
3
)(OH)
 
2
5.BA.10Chukanovite
Fe
2+
2
(CO
 
3
)(OH)
 
2
5.BA.15Aurichalcite
(Zn,Cu)
 
5
(CO
 
3
)
 
2
(OH)
 
6
5.BA.15Hydrozincite
Zn
 
5
(CO
 
3
)
 
2
(OH)
 
6
5.BA.20Holdawayite
Mn
 
6
(CO
 
3
)
 
2
(OH)
 
7
(Cl,OH)
5.BA.25Defernite
Ca
 
6
(CO
 
3
)
 
2-x
(SiO
 
4
)
 
x
(OH)
 
7
(Cl,OH)
 
1-2x
(x<0.5)
5.BA.25UM1977-03-COSiO:CaClH
Ca
 
10
(SiO
 
4
)(CO
 
3
)
 
7
(Cl,OH)
 
2
5.BA.30Loseyite
(Mn
2+
 
,Zn,Mg)
 
4
Zn
 
3
(CO
 
3
)
 
2
(OH)
 
10
5.BA.30Sclarite
(Zn,Mg,Mn
2+
 
)
 
4
Zn
 
3
(CO
 
3
)
 
2
(OH)
 
10
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
11.2.2Azurite
Cu
 
3
(CO
 
3
)
 
2
(OH)
 
2
11.2.4Chalconatronite
Na
 
2
Cu(CO
 
3
)
 
2
· 3H
 
2
O
11.2.5Callaghanite
Cu
 
2
Mg
 
2
(CO
 
3
)(OH)
 
6
· 2H
 
2
O

Other Names for Malachite

Synonyms:
Atlas OreGreen Carbonate of CopperGreen CopperGreen MalachiteHemiprismatischer Habronnem-Malachit
MalakhiteMolochitesMountain Green
Other Languages:
Basque:Malakita
Bosnian (Latin Script):Malahit
Breton:Malakit
Catalan:Malaquita
Czech:Malachit
Dutch:Malachiet
Esperanto:Malakito
Estonian:Malahhiit
Finnish:Malakiitti
French:Malachite
Cuivre carbonaté vert
Galician:Malaquita
German:Malachit
Grünkupfer
Malakhit
Molochit
Greek:Χρυσοκόλλα
Ψευδής Σμάργδος
Hebrew:מלכיט
Hindi:ताप्रांगीयिज
Hungarian:Malachit
Italian:Malachite
Rame carbonato verde
Verdi di monte
Japanese:孔雀石
Korean:공작석
Latin:Malachites
Ærugo nativa
Lithuanian:Malachitas
Polish:Malachit
Portuguese:Malaquita
Romanian:Malachit
Russian:Малахит
Simplified Chinese:孔雀石
Slovak:Malachit
Slovenian:Malahit
Spanish:Malaquita
Malachita
Malakhita
Molochita
Swedish:Malakit
Bärggrönt
Koppargrön
Thai:มาลาไคต์
Traditional Chinese:孔雀石
Turkish:Malahit
Ukrainian:Малахіт
Vietnamese:Malachit
Varieties:
AtlaserzLime-MalachiteMysorinZincian Malachite

Other Information

Thermal Behaviour:Loses water at about 315°, leaving tenorite.
Other Information:Readily soluble in dilute acids. Very slightly soluble in water containing CO2.

Frequently found as pseudomorphs after azurite, or as alteration pseudomorphs after cuprite. Less frequently occurs as pseudomorphs after atacamite, brochantite, chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite, chalcophyllite, gypsum, libethenite, calcite, sphalerite, cerussite, and pyrite.

Rarely found altered to azurite or cuprite.
Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:A minor ore of copper when abundant enough in a copper deposit.

References for Malachite

Reference List:

- +
Wallerius, J.G (1747) Mineralogia, eller Mineralriket. Stockholm: 279 (as Malachit).

L' Abbé Fontana (1778) Le Journal de physique et le radium, Paris: 2: 509.

Thomson (1836): 1: 601 (as Mysorin).

Zincken (1842) Berg.- und hüttenmännisches Zeitung, Freiberg, Leipzig (merged into Glückauf): 1 (as Kalk-malachit).

Lang (1863) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 25: 432.

Lang (1864) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 28: 502.

Des Cloizeaux, A. (1874) Manuel de minéralogie. 2 volumes and Atlas, Paris. volume 2, 1 Fasc., 208pp.: 185.

Haege (1888) Inaugural Dissertation, Jena.

Gonnard (1906) Min. du Rhône et de la Loire, Paris: 82.

Galbraith (1914) Arizona Bureau of Mines, Geological Series Bulletin 149.

Schrader, et al (1917) USGS Bulletin 624.

Goldschmidt, V. (1918) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text, vol. 5: 187.

Perrier (1921) Reale accademia nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Att.: 30[5]: 309.

Shannon (1926) U.S. National Museum, Bulletin 131.

Hintze, Carl (1929) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3A]: 3368.

Guillot and Geneslay (1936) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 202: 136.

Binder (1937) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 204: 1200.

Pabst (1938) California Division of Mines Bulletin 113.

Northrop (1942) University of New Mexico Bulletin, Geology Series: 6, no. 1.

Ramsdell and Wolfe (1950) American Mineralogist: 35: 119.

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: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 252-255.

Acta Crystallographica: 4: 200-204.

Zeitschrift für Kristallographie (1977): 145: 412.

Gaines, Richard V., H. Catherine, W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, Abraham Rosenzweig (1997), Dana's New Mineralogy : The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana: 488.

F. Girgsdies and M. Behrens (2012): On the structural relations of malachite. II. The brochantite MDO polytypes. Acta Crystallogr. B68, 571-577.

Mindat.org articles about Malachite

Article entries:
The Demidoff Malachite Mine, Nizhne-Tagil'skoye, RussiaDaniel Russell

Internet Links for Malachite

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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Malachite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Specimens:The following Malachite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Malachite

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