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The Mines and Minerals of Lavrion - Aluminocopiapite

Last Updated: 2nd Mar 2020

By Branko Rieck

ALUMINOCOPIAPITE, Al2/3Fe3+4(SO4)6(OH)2 Β· 20H2O, triclinic

General Appearance
The mineral aluminocopiapite was first discovered by an unspecified team of Greek scientists as reported by Hanke (1994) without mentioning any names of involved persons.
In the course of the preparation of a MSc thesis about the minerals of the copiapite group (which was later dropped unfinished, pers. comm., 1999) the author supported the student with analyzed material. These studies led to the (re-)discovery of nearly all minerals of the copiapite group from various localities within the Lavrion Mining District.
Like the vast majority of the minerals of the copiapite group, aluminocopiapite occurs as pale yellow aggregates composed of thin platy crystallites. In some cases, the crystals forming such aggregates are well defined and often show pseudohexagonal or rectangular outlines.

Aluminocopiapite occurs most commonly with nondescript, soft white brucite, pickeringite, aubertite-magnesioaubertite solid solutions, a potentially new mineral (OH-analogue of magnesioaubertite) and to a lesser amount halotrichite (Mg-bearing), tamarugite and rostite.

While Hanke (1994) described aluminocopiapite as coming from the Plaka Sulfate Locality, the author could not confirm the existence of this mineral from there. It was, however, quite common in a small area of the Plaka Sulfate Locality II.

Fig. 1: Pale yellow aluminocopiapite with white brucite.

Thanks go to Dr. Uwe Kolitsch for constructive comments and diligent proofreading to improve this article.

Hanke, H. (1994) Der Bergbau und die Mineralien von Lavrion, Griechenland. Emser Hefte, 15(2), 1-80 (in German).

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