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Pentlandite

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Formula:
(Fe,Ni)9S8
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:
Isometric
Colour:
Bronze or brown
Lustre:
Metallic
Hardness:
3½ - 4
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

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
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
2.7.1.1

2 : SULFIDES
7 : AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 9:8
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

Year of Discovery:
1843

Physical Properties of Pentlandite

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:
4.6 - 5 g/cm3 (Measured)    4.956 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Pentlandite

Crystal System:
Isometric
Class (H-M):
m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:
Fm3m
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)9S8

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
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Co,Ag,Cu

Relationship of Pentlandite to other Species

Series:
Forms a series with Cobaltpentlandite (see here)
Other Members of Group:
ArgentopentlanditeAg(Fe,Ni)8S8
Cobaltpentlandite(Co,Ni,Fe)9S8
SugakiiteCu(Fe,Ni)8S8
2.BB.HoromaniteFe6Ni3S8
2.BB.SamaniiteCu2Fe5Ni2S8
2.BB.UM2007-27-S:CuFeIrNiRh(Ni,Fe,Cu,Rh,Ir)11S9
2.BB.05HeazlewooditeNi3S2
2.BB.05OregoniteNi2FeAs2
2.BB.05Vozhminite(Ni,Co)4(As,Sb)S2
2.BB.05UM2007-30-S:FeFe3S2
2.BB.10ArsenohauchecorniteNi18Bi3AsS16
2.BB.10BismutohauchecorniteNi9Bi2S8
2.BB.10HauchecorniteNi9BiSbS8
2.BB.10TellurohauchecorniteNi9Bi(Te,Bi)S8
2.BB.10TučekiteNi9Sb2S8
2.BB.15ArgentopentlanditeAg(Fe,Ni)8S8
2.BB.15Cobaltpentlandite(Co,Ni,Fe)9S8
2.BB.15Geffroyite(Cu,Fe,Ag)9(Se,S)8
2.BB.15Godlevskite(Ni,Fe)9S8
2.BB.15Kharaelakhite(Cu,Pt,Pb,Fe,Ni)9S8
2.BB.15Manganoshadlunite(Mn,Pb,Cd)(Cu,Fe)8S8
2.BB.15Shadlunite(Pb,Cd)(Fe,Cu)8S8
2.BB.15SugakiiteCu(Fe,Ni)8S8
2.BB.15UM2002-26-S:FeNi(Ni,Fe)9S8
3.11.1HeazlewooditeNi3S2
3.11.2Godlevskite(Ni,Fe)9S8
3.11.3MilleriteNiS
3.11.4PolydymiteNi2+Ni23+S4
3.11.5VaesiteNiS2
3.11.6ShanditeNi3Pb2S2
3.11.7DonharrisiteNi8Hg3S9
3.11.8ViolariteFe2+Ni23+S4
3.11.10Bravoite(Fe,Ni)S2
3.11.11SiegeniteCoNi2S4
3.11.12FletcheriteCu(Ni,Co)2S4
3.11.13Villamaninite(Cu,Ni,Co,Fe)S2
3.11.14Mäkineniteγ-NiSe
3.11.15Sederholmitebeta-NiSe
3.11.16TrüstedtiteNi3Se4
3.11.17WilkmaniteNi3Se4
3.11.18KulleruditeNiSe2
3.11.19Penroseite(Ni,Co,Cu)Se2
3.11.20TyrrelliteCu(Co3+,Ni3+)2Se4
3.11.21ImgreiteNiTe (?)
3.11.22MeloniteNiTe2
3.11.23KitkaiteNiTeSe
3.11.24Dienerite
3.11.25OrceliteNi5-xAs2, x ~ 0.25
3.11.26MaucheriteNi11As8
3.11.27NickelineNiAs
3.11.28RammelsbergiteNiAs2
3.11.29PararammelsbergiteNiAs2
3.11.30NickelskutteruditeNiAs3-x
3.11.31OregoniteNi2FeAs2
3.11.32Westerveldite(Fe,Ni,Co)As
3.11.33Langisite(Co,Ni)As
3.11.34GersdorffiteNiAsS
3.11.35JolliffeiteNiAsSe
3.11.36BreithauptiteNiSb
3.11.38UllmanniteNiSbS
3.11.39Willyamite(Co,Ni)SbS

Other Names for Pentlandite

Other Information

Health Risks:
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

Specimens:
The following Pentlandite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Pentlandite

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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