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Pentlandite

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Formula:
(Fe,Ni)
 
9
S
 
8
Typical analyses:
(Ni4.60Fe4.30Co0.17)Σ=9.07S8.00
(Ni4.16Fe3.63Co1.48)Σ=9.27S8.00
(Ni5.89Fe2.51Co0.53)Σ=8.93S8.00
System:IsometricColour:Bronze or brown
Lustre:MetallicHardness:3½ - 4
Member of:Pentlandite Group
Name:After J. B. Pentland, who discovered the mineral at Sudbury, Ontario.


Pentlandite Group. Cobaltpentlandite-Pentlandite Series.

Pentlandite is usually found intergrown with pyrrhotite, from which it can be distinguished by its cubic crystal system and because it is non-magnetic.

Compare also the chemically similar godlevskite and horomanite.

Classification of Pentlandite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:2/B.16-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:2.BB.15

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
B : Metal Sulfides, M: S > 1: 1 (mainly 2: 1)
B : With Ni
Dana 8th edition ID:2.7.1.1

2 : SULFIDES
7 : AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 9:8
Hey's CIM Ref.:3.11.9

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

Co-type Localities:Espedalen mines, Gausdal, Oppland, Norway
Craignure Mine, Inveraray, Strathclyde (Argyllshire), Scotland, UK
Year of Discovery:1843

Physical Properties of Pentlandite

Lustre:Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Opaque
Colour:Bronze or brown
Streak:Light bronze-brown
Hardness (Mohs):3½ - 4
Hardness (Vickers):VHN100=268 - 285 kg/mm2
Tenacity:Brittle
Parting:On {111}
Fracture:Conchoidal
Density (measured):4.6 - 5 g/cm3
Density (calculated):4.956 g/cm3

Crystallography of Pentlandite

Crystal System:Isometric
Class (H-M):m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:Fm3m {F4/m 3 2/m}
Cell Parameters:a = 9.928(1) Å
Unit Cell Volume:V 978.56 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:4
Morphology:Massive

Optical Data of Pentlandite

Type:Isotropic

Chemical Properties of Pentlandite

Formula:
(Fe,Ni)
 
9
S
 
8


Typical analyses:
(Ni4.60Fe4.30Co0.17)Σ=9.07S8.00
(Ni4.16Fe3.63Co1.48)Σ=9.27S8.00
(Ni5.89Fe2.51Co0.53)Σ=8.93S8.00
Simplified for copy/paste:(Fe,Ni)9S8
Essential elements:Fe, S
All elements listed in formula:Fe, Ni, S
Common Impurities:Co,Ag,Cu

Relationship of Pentlandite to other Species

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

- +
Argentopentlandite
Ag(Fe,Ni)
 
8
S
 
8
Cobaltpentlandite
(Co,Ni,Fe)
 
9
S
 
8
Sugakiite
Cu(Fe,Ni)
 
8
S
 
8
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
2.BB.Horomanite
Fe
 
6
Ni
 
3
S
 
8
2.BB.Samaniite
Cu
 
2
Fe
 
5
Ni
 
2
S
 
8
2.BB.UM2007-27-S:CuFeIrNiRh
(Ni,Fe,Cu,Rh,Ir)
 
11
S
 
9
2.BB.05Heazlewoodite
Ni
 
3
S
 
2
2.BB.05Oregonite
Ni
 
2
FeAs
 
2
2.BB.05Vozhminite
(Ni,Co)
 
4
(As,Sb)S
 
2
2.BB.05UM2007-30-S:Fe
Fe
 
3
S
 
2
2.BB.10Arsenohauchecornite
Ni
 
18
Bi
 
3
AsS
 
16
2.BB.10Bismutohauchecornite
Ni
 
9
Bi
 
2
S
 
8
2.BB.10Hauchecornite
Ni
 
9
Bi(Sb,Bi)S
 
8
2.BB.10Tellurohauchecornite
Ni
 
9
Bi(Te,Bi)S
 
8
2.BB.10Tučekite
Ni
 
9
Sb
 
2
S
 
8
2.BB.15Argentopentlandite
Ag(Fe,Ni)
 
8
S
 
8
2.BB.15Cobaltpentlandite
(Co,Ni,Fe)
 
9
S
 
8
2.BB.15Geffroyite
(Cu,Fe,Ag)
 
9
(Se,S)
 
8
2.BB.15Godlevskite
(Ni,Fe)
 
9
S
 
8
2.BB.15Kharaelakhite
(Cu,Pt,Pb,Fe,Ni)
 
9
S
 
8
2.BB.15Manganoshadlunite
(Mn,Pb,Cd)(Cu,Fe)
 
8
S
 
8
2.BB.15Shadlunite
(Pb,Cd)(Fe,Cu)
 
8
S
 
8
2.BB.15Sugakiite
Cu(Fe,Ni)
 
8
S
 
8
2.BB.15UM2002-26-S:FeNi
(Ni,Fe)
 
9
S
 
8
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
3.11.1Heazlewoodite
Ni
 
3
S
 
2
3.11.2Godlevskite
(Ni,Fe)
 
9
S
 
8
3.11.3Millerite
NiS
3.11.4Polydymite
Ni
2+
 
Ni
3+
2
S
 
4
3.11.5Vaesite
NiS
 
2
3.11.6Shandite
Ni
 
3
Pb
 
2
S
 
2
3.11.7Donharrisite
Ni
 
8
Hg
 
3
S
 
9
3.11.8Violarite
Fe
2+
 
Ni
3+
2
S
 
4
3.11.10Bravoite
(Fe,Ni)S
 
2
3.11.11Siegenite
CoNi
 
2
S
 
4
-NiCo
 
2
S
 
4
3.11.12Fletcherite
Cu(Ni,Co)
 
2
S
 
4
3.11.13Villamaninite
(Cu,Ni,Co,Fe)S
 
2
3.11.14Mäkinenite
γ-NiSe
3.11.15Sederholmite
beta-NiSe
3.11.16Trüstedtite
Ni
 
3
Se
 
4
3.11.17Wilkmanite
Ni
 
3
Se
 
4
3.11.18Kullerudite
NiSe
 
2
3.11.19Penroseite
(Ni,Co,Cu)Se
 
2
3.11.20Tyrrellite
Cu(Co
3+
 
,Ni
3+
 
)
 
2
Se
 
4
3.11.21Imgreite
NiTe (?)
3.11.22Melonite
NiTe
 
2
3.11.23Kitkaite
NiTeSe
3.11.24Dienerite
3.11.25Orcelite
Ni
 
5-x
As
 
2
3.11.26Maucherite
Ni
 
11
As
 
8
3.11.27Nickeline
NiAs
3.11.28Rammelsbergite
NiAs
 
2
3.11.29Pararammelsbergite
NiAs
 
2
3.11.30Nickelskutterudite
NiAs
 
2-3
3.11.31Oregonite
Ni
 
2
FeAs
 
2
3.11.32Westerveldite
(Fe,Ni,Co)As
3.11.33Langisite
(Co,Ni)As
3.11.34Gersdorffite
NiAsS
3.11.35Jolliffeite
NiAsSe
3.11.36Breithauptite
NiSb
3.11.38Ullmannite
NiSbS
3.11.39Willyamite
(Co,Ni)SbS

Other Names for Pentlandite

Synonyms:
FolgeriteLillehammeriteLillhammeriteNicopyrite
Other Languages:
Basque:Pentlandita
Catalan:Pentlandita
Dutch:Pentlandiet
Finnish:Pentlandiitti
French:Pentlandite
German:Eisennickelkies
Folgerit
Lillehammerit
Lillhammerit
Nicopyrit
Pentlandit
Italian:Pentlandite
Lithuanian:Pentlanditas
Russian:Пентландит
Simplified Chinese:镍黄铁矿
Spanish:Folgerita
Lillehammerita
Lillhammerita
Nicopyrita
Pentlandita
Swedish:Pentlandit
Varieties:
Argentian Pentlandite

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 Pentlandite

Reference List:

- +
Scheerer,Th. (1843): Ueber ein neues Vorkommen des Nickels. Annalen der Physik und chemie (herausgegeben zu Berlin von J.C. Poggendorff). 58, 315-319 [as Eisen-Nickelkies]

Weisbach (1875): Synopsis Mineralogica. Systematische Übersich des Mineralreiches [Vierte Auflage],Verlag von Arthur Felix, Leipzig. 95pp. [as Lillehammerit]

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.: 242-243.

Kullerud, G. (1963): Thermal stability of pentlandite. Can. Mineral. 7, 353-366.

Misra, K.C. and Fleet, M.E. (1973) The chemical compositions of synthetic and natural pentlandite assemblages. Economic Ggeology: 8: 518-539.

Rajamani, V. and C.T. Prewitt (1973), Crystal chemistryof natural pentlandites. Canadian Mineralogist: 12: 178-187.

Francis, C.A., Fleet, M.E., Misra, K.C., and Craig, J.R. (1976) Orientation of exsolved pentlandite in natural and synthetic nickeliferous pyrrhotite. American Mineralogist: 61: 913-920.

Knop, O., Huang, C.-H., Reid, K.I.G., and CArlow, J.S. (1976) Chalcogenides of the transition elements. X. X-ray neutron, Mössbauer and magnetic studies of pentlandite and the π phases, π(Fe,Co,Ni,S), Co8MS8 and Fe4Ni4MS8 (M=Ru,Rh,Pd). Journal of Solid State Chemistry: 16: 97-116.

Mineralogical Magazine (1977): 41: 345.

Evans, H.T. & J.R. Clark (1981), The crystal structure of bartonite, a potassium iron sulfide and its relationship to pentlandite and djerfisherite: American Mineralogist: 66: 376-384.

Grguric, B.A. (2002), Hypogene violarite of exsolution origin from Mount Keith, Western Australia: field evidence for a stable pentlandite-violarite tie line: Mineralogical Magazine: 66: 313-326.

Tenailleau, Christophe, Allan Pring, Barbara tschmann, Joël Brugger, Ben Grguric, and Andrew Putnis (2006), Transformation of pentlandite to violarite under mild hydrothermal conditions: American Mineralogist: 91: 706-709.

Internet Links for Pentlandite

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

    Localities for Pentlandite

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