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Chalcopyrite

This page kindly sponsored by Norman King
Formula:
CuFeS2
System:
Tetragonal
Colour:
Brass yellow, often with ...
Lustre:
Metallic
Hardness:
3½ - 4
Name:
Named in 1725 by Johann Friedrich Henckel from the Greek "chalkos", copper, and "pyrites", strike fire.
Chalcopyrite Group.
Chalcopyrite-Eskebornite Series.

A major ore of copper. Common in sulfide veins and disseminated in igneous rocks.
Weathering may lead to the formation of malachite, azurite, brochantite, langite and numerous other secondary copper minerals.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Chalcopyrite.

Classification of Chalcopyrite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
2.CB.10a

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
C : Metal Sulfides, M: S = 1: 1 (and similar)
B : With Zn, Fe, Cu, Ag, etc.
Dana 7th ed.:
2.9.1.1
2.9.1.1

2 : SULFIDES
9 : AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:1
3.1.25

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

Geological Setting:
It is the most abundant copper-bearing mineral and is widespread. It is a primary mineral in hydrothermal veins, disseminations and massive replacements; the principal copper mineral of porphyry-copper deposits.

Physical Properties of Chalcopyrite

Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Opaque
Colour:
Brass yellow, often with an iridescent tarnish.
Streak:
Greenish black
Hardness (Mohs):
3½ - 4
Hardness (Vickers):
VHN100=187
Hardness Data:
Measured
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Poor/Indistinct
Indistinct on {011}, sometimes distinct.
Fracture:
Irregular/Uneven
Density:
4.1 - 4.3 g/cm3 (Measured)    4.18 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Chalcopyrite

Crystal System:
Tetragonal
Class (H-M):
4 2m - Scalenohedral
Space Group:
I4 2d
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.289Å, c = 10.423Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 1.971
Unit Cell Volume:
V 291.57 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Typically found as equant to wedge-shaped tetrahedral crystals, often modified by scalenohedral faces. Major deposits of massive material are known.
Twinning:
Twinned on {112} and {012}, penetration or cyclic.

Crystallographic forms of Chalcopyrite

Crystal Atlas:
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Chalcopyrite no.13 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Chalcopyrite no.19 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Chalcopyrite no.37 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Chalcopyrite no.58 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
3.04(100)
2.64(10)
1.87(20)
1.86(40)
1.59(300
1.57(10)
1.21(10)
1.08(10)

Chemical Properties of Chalcopyrite

Formula:
CuFeS2
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Ag,Au,In,Tl,Se,Te

Relationship of Chalcopyrite to other Species

Series:
Forms a series with Eskebornite (see here)
Other Members of Group:
EskeborniteCuFeSe2
GalliteCuGaS2
LaforêtiteAgInS2
LenaiteAgFeS2
RoquesiteCuInS2
2.CB.05aColoradoiteHgTe
2.CB.05aHawleyiteCdS
2.CB.05aMetacinnabarHgS
2.CB.05cPolhemusite(Zn,Hg)S
2.CB.05bSakuraiite(Cu,Zn,Fe)3(In,Sn)S4
2.CB.05aSphaleriteZnS
2.CB.05aStilleiteZnSe
2.CB.05aTiemanniteHgSe
2.CB.05UM1998-15-S:CuFeZnCu2Fe3Zn5S10
2.CB.05aRudashevskyite(Fe,Zn)S
2.CB.10aEskeborniteCuFeSe2
2.CB.10aGalliteCuGaS2
2.CB.10bHaycockiteCu4Fe5S8
2.CB.10aLenaiteAgFeS2
2.CB.10bMooihoekiteCu9Fe9S16
2.CB.10bPutoraniteCu9(Fe,Ni)9S16
2.CB.10aRoquesiteCuInS2
2.CB.10bTalnakhiteCu9(Fe,Ni)8S16
2.CB.10aLaforêtiteAgInS2
2.CB.15aČernýiteCu2(Cd,Zn,Fe)SnS4
2.CB.15aFerrokësteriteCu2(Fe,Zn)SnS4
2.CB.15aHocartiteAg2(Fe2+,Zn)SnS4
2.CB.15aIdaiteCu5FeS6
2.CB.15aKësteriteCu2(Zn,Fe)SnS4
2.CB.15aKuramiteCu3SnS4
2.CB.15bMohiteCu2SnS3
2.CB.15aPirquitasiteAg2ZnSnS4
2.CB.15aStanniteCu2(Fe,Zn)SnS4
2.CB.15cStannoiditeCu6+Cu22+(Fe2+,Zn)3Sn2S12
2.CB.15aVelikiteCu2HgSnS4
2.CB.15cUM2006-11-S:CuFeGeZnCu8(Fe,Zn)3Ge2S12 (?)
2.CB.20ChatkaliteCu6FeSn2S8
2.CB.20MawsoniteCu6Fe2SnS8
2.CB.30ColusiteCu26V2(As,Sn,Sb)6S32
2.CB.30GermaniteCu13Fe2Ge2S16
2.CB.30GermanocolusiteCu26V2(Ge,As)6S32
2.CB.30NekrasoviteCu26V2(Sn,As,Sb)6S32
2.CB.30StibiocolusiteCu13V4(Sb,Sn,As)3S16
2.CB.30Ovamboite Cu20(Fe,Cu,Zn)6W2Ge6S32
2.CB.30MaikainiteCu20(Fe,Cu)6Mo2Ge6S32
2.CB.35aHemusiteCu6SnMoS8
2.CB.35aKiddcreekiteCu6SnWS8
2.CB.35aPolkovicite(Fe,Pb)3(Ge,Fe)1-xS4
2.CB.35aRenierite(Cu,Zn)11(Ge,As)2Fe4S16
2.CB.35aVincienniteCu7+Cu32+Fe22+Fe23+Sn(As,Sb)S16
2.CB.35aMorozeviczite(Pb,Fe)3Ge1-xS4
2.CB.35bCatamarcaiteCu6GeWS8
2.CB.40LautiteCuAsS
2.CB.45CadmoseliteCdSe
2.CB.45GreenockiteCdS
2.CB.45Wurtzite(Zn,Fe)S
2.CB.45RambergiteMnS
2.CB.45Buseckite(Fe,Zn,Mn)S
2.CB.55aCubaniteCuFe2S3
2.CB.55bIsocubaniteCuFe2S3
2.CB.60PicotpauliteTlFe2S3
2.CB.60RaguiniteTlFeS2
2.CB.65ArgentopyriteAgFe2S3
2.CB.65SternbergiteAgFe2S3
2.CB.70SulvaniteCu3VS4
2.CB.75VulcaniteCuTe
2.CB.80EmpressiteAgTe
2.CB.85MuthmanniteAuAgTe2
3.1.1ChalcociteCu2S
3.1.2DjurleiteCu31S16
3.1.3DigeniteCu9S5
3.1.4AniliteCu7S4
3.1.5RoxbyiteCu9S5
3.1.6SpionkopiteCu39S28
3.1.7GeeriteCu8S5
3.1.8CovelliteCuS
3.1.9BerzelianiteCu2Se
3.1.10BellidoiteCu2Se
3.1.11UmangiteCu3Se2
3.1.12YarrowiteCu9S8
3.1.13AthabascaiteCu5Se4
3.1.14KlockmanniteCuSe
3.1.15Krut'aiteCuSe2
3.1.16WeissiteCu2-xTe
3.1.17RickarditeCu7Te5
3.1.18VulcaniteCuTe
3.1.19BambollaiteCu(Se,Te)2
3.1.20LautiteCuAsS
3.1.21MgriiteCu3AsSe3
3.1.22CubaniteCuFe2S3
3.1.23BorniteCu5FeS4
3.1.24FukuchiliteCu3FeS8
3.1.26MooihoekiteCu9Fe9S16
3.1.27HaycockiteCu4Fe5S8
3.1.28IsocubaniteCuFe2S3
3.1.29IdaiteCu5FeS6
3.1.30NukundamiteCu3.4Fe0.6S4
3.1.31PutoraniteCu9(Fe,Ni)9S16
3.1.32Orickite2CuFeS2 · H2O
3.1.33EskeborniteCuFeSe2
3.1.34Chaméanite(Cu,Fe)4As(Se,S)4
3.1.35TalnakhiteCu9(Fe,Ni)8S16

Other Names for Chalcopyrite

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.
Industrial Uses:
It is the principal ore of copper.

References for Chalcopyrite

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.: 219-224.

Hall, S.R. and Stewart, J.M. (1973) The crystal structure refinement of chalcopyrite, CuFeS2. Acta Crystallographica: B29: 579-585.

Hall, S.R. (1975) Crystal structures of the chalcpyrite series. Canadian Mineralogist: 13: 168-172.

Robie, R.A., Wiggins, L.B., Barton, P.B., Jr., and Hemingway, B.S. (1985) Low-temperature heat capacity and entropy of chalcopyrite (CuFeS2): estimates of the standard molar enthalpy and Gibbs free energy of formation of chalcopyrite and bornite (Cu5FeS4). Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics: 17: 481-488.

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, 8th. edition: 87.

Internet Links for Chalcopyrite

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

Localities for Chalcopyrite

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.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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