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Pyrite - Mexico to Turkey
Posted by Rock Currier
Rock Currier July 08, 2010 09:47AMClick this link to view Pyrite from Angola to Luxembourg and here for Pyrite from the United Kingdom to Zimbabwe. and here Best Minerals P. Click here to view Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation list of all minerals.
PyriteMexicoChihuahua, Mun. de Aquiles Serdán, Santa Eulalia District
This underground base metal mine is better know for good specimens of other menials but does produce some good pyrite specimens.
PyriteMexicoChihuahua, Mun. de Batopilas, La Bufa, Bufa Mine
PyriteMexicoChihuahua, Mun. de Saucillo, Naica
PyriteMexicoChihuahua, Santo Domingo, La Condesa Mine
PyriteMexicoGuanajuato, Mun. de Guanajuato, Guanajuato, La Sirena Mine
PyriteMexicoGuerrero, Mun. de Taxco, axco de Alarcón (Taxco; Tasco), Remedios Mine
PyriteMexicoSonora, Mun. de Cananea, Cananea
I've seen single sharp Pyrite cubes to at least 25 cm from Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, but every one was damaged. I think only one family was mining them and I couldn't convince them to produce nice specimens, this was about 10-15 years ago.
Dave Garskie <2014>
PyriteMexicoZacatecas, Mun. de Concepción del Oro
PyriteMexicoZacatecas, Mun. de Concepción del Oro, Concepción del Oro, Cobre Mine
PyriteMexicoZacatecas, Mun. de Mazapil, Noche Buena, Noche Buena Mine
An underground base metal mine. The mine is quite hot and has a big circular ramp descending to its operational levels and the ore is driven out with diesel trucks. On occasion it produces abundant pyrite specimens but usually not of high quality. Some vugs contain small arsenopyrite crystals and abundant hairy Jamesonite some of which is used to make fake Jamesonite specimens. A little glue is painted on a rock and then Jamesonite hairs are sprinkled on and when the glue dries, the excess Jamesonite is shaken off.
PyriteMexicoZacatecas, Mun. de Zacatecas, Zacatecas
PyriteMongoliaDornogovi Aimag, Hövsgöl, Lugeengol (Lugin Gol; Lugin Gel) REE deposit
PyriteMoroccoMarrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Marrakech Prefecture, Guemassa Massif, Hajar Mine
PyriteMoroccoMeknès-Tafilalet Region, Er Rachidia Province, Tarhbalt, Alnif, Oumjrane Mine
Iron cross Pyrite twins were at one time considered very rare, but they have now been found at a number of localities. I have never seen a perfect one larger than about 1.5cm.
PyriteMoroccoMeknès-Tafilalet Region, Meknès Prefecture, Meknès, Mount Hammam, El Hammam Mine (El Hamman Mine)
This mine, which has seen perhaps more than its share of labor disputes has been intermittently been producing specimens for years and is perhaps better known for its fluorite specimens that sometimes have glistening little quartz crystals scattered on the quartz that are so shiny that they look almost like drops of water. The sign on the road at the entrance to the mine looks like it says del Hammam., but it is French and should read d'el hammam. The rust on the sign mostly obliterates the '.
PyriteMoroccoSouss-Massa-Draâ Region, Tiznit Province, Akka, Tafraout, Iouriren Mine (AGM Mine)
PyriteNamibiaErongo Region, Karibib District, Krantzberg
PyriteNamibiaOtjikoto (Oshikoto) Region, Tsumeb
Tsumeb is a base metal mine, much better know for fine specimens of many mineral species, so one would almost expect that it would produce some specimens of pyrite even if they were not outstanding.
PyriteNetherlandsGelderland, Winterswijk, Vosseveld, Ratum quarry
PyriteNetherlandsLimburg, Landgraaf-Eygelshoven, Laura-Julia mines
PyriteNew ZealandSouth Island, Canterbury, Lyttelton, Lyttelton Harbour Board Quarry
PyriteNorwayAust-Agder, Risør, Søndeled, Ravneberget quarry
PyriteNorwayTelemark, Porsgrunn, Brevik, Kjørholt, Dalen-Kjørholt Mine
PyritePeruHuancavelica Department, Angaraes Province, Julcani District
Julcani has produced some decent pyrite specimens and others as well, but of the many specimen producing mines in Peru, specimens from this district are not plentiful.
PyritePeruHuancavelica Department, Castrovirreyna Province, Castrovirreyna District
PyritePeruHuánuco Department, Dos de Mayo Province, Huallanca District
PyritePeruHuánuco Department, Dos de Mayo Province, Huallanca District, Huanzala Mine
Huanzala is probably the premiere producer of pyrite mineral specimens in the world. Huanzala is a copper, lead, zinc and silver mine that has for years produced literally tons of pyrite specimens. Certainly more than a thousand tons of them. This mine could if the management wished be mined for many more ton of specimens. It produces both cubic and octahedral crystals of pyrite as well as a variety of other crystals forms as well. The size of the specimens is limited mostly to the size of the mine tunnels and the equipment that mines and transports them. I have seen many specimens in excess of 100 pounds and at one time fifty pound plus specimens with predominately octahedral pyrite crystals 20 cm on edge were common and could be bought for less than $10 per kg. When the mine was producing specimens prolifically back in the 70s, 80s and 90s you could buy as many tons of specimens as you wanted for less than $5 per kg. The really good ones would generally cost between $10 & $15 per kg. The mine also produced a variety of pyrite specimens that the local dealers called "chispas" or sparks that consisted of a mass of somewhat intergrown small pyrite specimens and this was the most abundant and cheapest material and could sometimes be had for less than $1 per kg, but was rarely more than $2 per kg. Another variety where the crystals were a little larger and more well defined were called "cocos" and sold for as much as $4 per kg for the best grades. The mine also produced nice big well formed crystal fragments, tons of which were shipped off to Thailand for the manufacture of "Marcasite" jewelry. Some specimens from this mine have in recent years been sold at auction for thousands of dollars. One went for a reported $60,000. Almost all of the specimens were cleaned by local dealers commonly by soaking them for a period of time in hydrochloric acid and then washing the acid away with water. For many years specimen sellers would spread pyrite and other specimen out on news papers on the sidewalks near the center of Lima near the Plaza San Martin and countless tons of pyrite and other specimens were sold to locals, tourists and specimen dealers in this way. The specimens would get dirty and the sellers would use little brushes to polish their pyrite specimens very much like fruit sellers would polish their apples. When I first went to Lima, I would ask the pyritaros on the Colmena (street dealers) where they were from and the answer was usually Cerro de Pasco which was one of the better known mines in Peru. Of course the specimens were almost always from some other mine, but that was the common answer.
PyritePeruJunín Department, Carhuacayan Province, Carhuacayan District, Carhuacayan Mine
For short periods of time this mine produced tons of pyrite specimens, but few of outstanding quality. Most often the crystals are sort of "rounded" like the one on the right above. Many of them were commonly associated with a white earthy clay? that the minders and dealers in Lima would remove with brushes and other cleaning methods. The one on the right is an example of one of the very good pyrites from the deposit looked like. Like so many of the pyrites from Peru, most of the pyrites from this mine were sold by the pound and it is common for the locality they are from are not sold along with labels identifying the locality.
PyritePyriteJunín Department, Yauli Province, Morococha District
The base metal mine of Morococha is "just over the hill" from Casapalca and one of the mines near Lima.
It it has produced tons of pyrite specimens but still only a small fraction of the great pyrites specimen producer, Huanzala. The specimen on the bottom right is typical of most of the production. The one in the upper left associate with gypsum is rare. Every trip I made to Lima, I was hoping that it would produce more with this association, but it was not to be. Morococha is an old underground mine and the water is drained from the lower portions of the mine by a tunnel nearly 20 kilometers long called the Kingsmill tunnel. Kingsmill was one of the managers of Cerro Corporation before Peru nationalized all the mines owned by foreigners in the 50s and consolidated them under the state mining cooperation called Centromin.
PyritePeruLa Libertad Department, Santiago de Chuco Province, Quiruvilca District, Quiruvilca Mine (La Libertad Mine; ASARCO Mine)
The base metal underground mine at Quiruvilca has produce tons of Pyrite specimens and may be the second most prolific produced or pyrite specimens after Huanzala, but still probably an order of magnitude or two less than the mine at Huanzala. It has produced some exception specimens of Octahedral pyrite. Huanzala is also know for its fine specimens of Enargite and Orpiment. Its ore-body contained an immense body of Enargite, perhaps a kilometer long with crystals commonly a cm or two but reaching lengths of 20 cm. Most of this material went early on into the crushers and through the mill. By the time I got down there in the early 70s much of the Enargite zone had been mined out.
PyritePeruLima Department, Huarochiri Province, Casapalca
The underground base metal mine is one of the big mines close to Lima. It is better know for its fine specimens of Tetrahedrite than for its Pyrite specimen, but as you can see from the examples above it has produced some worthy specimens.
PyritePeruPasco Department, Daniel Alcides Carrión Province, Cerro de Pasco, Atacocha District, Milpo Mine
PyritePeruPasco Department, Daniel Alcides Carrión Province, Cerro de Pasco, San Jose de Huayllay District, Huaron Mining District
Over the years, this mine has been a steady producer of specimens. Typically they are quartz and pyrite combinations and for years in the 70s, 80s and 90s were commonly sold by the kg in cardboard cracker boxes which seemed to be one of the favorite containers that the runners used to transport them from the mine to Lima. Once in a while, these combination specimens were stunningly beautiful. Most of them however were not well cared for and just placer in cardboard boxes in layers separated from each other by only a little newspaper. Many mines in Peru are rather remote and there is not all that much available to pack specimens in and very little wrap them up in. Sometimes in these mining camps I would offer a dollar for every cardboard box that anyone could supply me with, and at that time in those camps, that was a lot of money, but often only a few or no boxes were available.
PyritePeruPasco Department, Daniel Alcides Carrión Province, Cerro de Pasco, San Jose de Huayllay District, Huaron Mining District, Alimon Mine (Animon Mine)
PyritePolandMałopolskie, Olkusz District, Olkusz, Pomorzany Mine
PyritePolandŚwiętokrzyskie, Świętokrzyskie Mts (Holy Cross Mts), Kielce District, Kowala
PyritePortugalCastelo Branco District, Covilhã, Panasqueira, Panasqueira Mines
The mine at Panasqueira is much better known for its specimens of Ferberite, Apatite and Arsenopyrite than its pyrite specimens, but it did produce a few good ones.
PyritePortugalLeiria District, Óbidos, Avarela
PyritePortugalLeiria District, Óbidos, Senhora da Luz
PyritePortugalLisboa District, Sintra, Magoito, Samarra beach
PyritePortugalViseu District, Sátão, Ferreira de Aves, Aldeia Nova, Assunção Mine
PyriteRomaniaCluj Co., Masca Băişoara, Iara (Alsójára), Iara Mine
PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Baia Borsa, Toroioaga Mine
PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Baia Mare (Nagybánya), Chiuzbaia (Kisbánya), Herja Mine
PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Baia Sprie (Felsöbánya), Baia Sprie mine (Felsöbánya mine)
PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Baia Sprie (Felsöbánya), No. 5 Mine
PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Baiut
PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Cavnic (Kapnic; Kapnik), Cavnic Mine (Kapnikbánya)
PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Satu Mare, Turt, Turt Mine (Ghezuri Mine)
PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Tibles Mts
PyriteRussiaFar-Eastern Region, Primorskiy Kray, Dal'negorsk (Dalnegorsk; Tetyukhe; Tjetjuche; Tetjuche)
PyriteRussiaFar-Eastern Region, Primorskiy Kray, Dal'negorsk (Dalnegorsk; Tetyukhe; Tjetjuche; Tetjuche), Dal'negorsk B deposit, Bor Pit (Boron Pit; Bor Quarry)
PyriteRussiaNorth-Western Region, Ryazanskaya Oblast'
PyriteRussiaNorth-Western Region, Ryazanskaya Oblast', Mikhailov, Gravel Quarry
PyriteRussiaPovolzhsky Region, Ulyanovsk Oblast, Ulyanovsk
PyriteRussiaUrals Region, Middle Urals, Ekaterinburgskaya (Sverdlovskaya) Oblast', Ekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk), Berezovskii (Berezovskii Zavod), Berezovskoe Au Deposit (Berezovsk Mines)
PyriteRussiaUrals Region, Southern Urals, Chelyabinsk Oblast', Ilmen Mts, Miass (Miask)
PyriteSlovakiaBanská Bystrica Region, Štiavnica Mts, Banská Štiavnica Mining District, Banská Štiavnica (Selmecbánya; Schemnitz)
PyriteSlovakiaKošice Region, Eastern Slovenské Rudohorie Mts, Nižná Slaná
PyriteSloveniaLemberg pri Šmarju
PyriteSloveniaLjubljana, Golovec Tunnel
PyriteSloveniaLjubljana, Katarina Mt., St. Jakob
PyriteSouth AfricaNorthern Cape Province, Kalahari manganese fields, Gloria Mine
PyriteSouth AfricaNorthern Cape Province, Kalahari manganese fields, Hotazel, Wessels Mine (Wessel's Mine)
PyriteSouth AfricaNorthern Cape Province, Kalahari manganese fields, Kuruman, N'Chwaning Mines, N'Chwaning II Mine
PyriteSpainAndalusia, Huelva, Cala, Cala Mines, Manuel-Mercedes Mine
PyriteSpainAndalusia, Huelva, Minas de Riotinto, Rio Tinto Mines
PyriteSpainAragón, Teruel, Cañada de Verich, Clay quarries
PyriteSpainExtremadura, Badajoz, Monesterio, Aguablanca Mine (Agua Blanca Mine)
PyriteSpainLa Rioja, Muro de Aguas, Ambasaguas (Ambas Aguas; Ambas-Aguas)
PyriteSpainLa Rioja, Navajún
Spain has been producing these wonderful specimens of pyrite for at least 40 years and they are still going strong. They are favorites with collectors and most people can't believe these crystals form naturally. Once I stopped in Spain on my last stop in a trip around the world and bought a suitcase full of them. When I got to the USA I declared them as natural mineral specimens, but the customs inspector didn't believe me and thought they were manufactured items and impounded the suitcase and it took me a week or so go get it through customs. Certainly one of our Spanish or European members can give us much more information about these crystals and the deposit that they come from. Frequently clusters of these crystals are glued back to gather very much like the Herkimer diamond quartz specimens from New York, USA.
PyriteSpainLa Rioja, Navajún, Fuente del Moro
PyriteSpainValencian Community, Castellón, Segorbe, Algezares quarry
PyriteSwedenLappland, Gällivare, Malmberget
PyriteSwitzerlandTicino (Tessin), Leventina, Central St Gotthard Massif, St Gotthard pass area
PyriteSwitzerlandWallis (Valais), Binn Valley, Im Feld (Imfeld; Feld; Fäld), Lengenbach Quarry
PyriteSwitzerlandWallis (Valais), Goms, Grafschaft, Reckingen, Blinnen Valley
PyriteTanzaniaManyara Region, Simanjiro District, Lelatema Mts, Merelani Hills (Mererani)
The quantity of pyrite produced at this locality is quite limited and though the crystals are very shiny and sharp, most of them are damaged. Rarely the pyrite from this locality is associated with prehnite, green grossular garnet, prehnite, tanzanite and diopside. Good specimens with these associations are highly prized by collectors but are about as rare as hens teeth.
PyriteTurkeyBlack Sea Region, Artvin Province, Murgul
PyriteTurkeyBlack Sea Region, Artvin Province, Murgul, Murgul Cu-Zn-Pb deposit, Cakmakkaya Mine
PyriteTurkeyBlack Sea Region, Trabzon Province,
Click this link to view Pyrite from Angola to Luxembourg and here for Pyrite from the United Kingdom to Zimbabwe. and here Best Minerals P. Click here to view Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation list of all minerals.
Crystals not pistols.
Edited 46 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2014 07:54PM by Rock Currier.
Debbie Woolf July 09, 2010 12:44AMHi Rock
Thanks for choosing my Pyrite from Krantzberg? Namibia, into this project, I noticed a note on the photo about misidentified or questionable locality, I am a little confused myself, a few years ago I showed this in person to Peter Tandy, NHM London, he identified it as Pyrite/Goethite from Krantzberg Mine & I loaded to the database on that info then last year I showed this to Herbert Nägele & Ernst Schnaitmann & was told the Krantzberg area & not the Krantzberg Mine that's SW of Omaruru, so we have one expert who has never stepped outside of the UK but can identify by sight almost any mineral & locality mine from around the world against experts closer to the region, I changed it to the latter not wanting to appear to ignore their advice !
Rock Currier July 09, 2010 07:00AMDebbie,
Unless we dug the specimen ourselves or were there when the specimen was found, there can always be some doubt where the specimen is from. In some cases the specimens from a particular locality are so distinctive as to make it obvious where they are from, but in most cases this is not the case. When I am confronted with trying to decide what is correct, providing I am not fairly certain of the locality myself, I often look at the individual who has made the label to help me decide if the locality is correct or not. Often if there is a question in my mind I will go to that individual and ask why they put that locality on the specimen as opposed to another. Sometimes their answerers are very educational. If the individual is a real specialist from a particular locality, there is a much higher likely hood of the species and locality are correct than if it is just a dealer passing on an existing label. Some dealers are more reliable than others and have much more experience with a particular locality and in that case the locality can be rather certain. Just keep asking questions, sometimes you can trace the specimen right back to the guy who dug it. In the end, we just do the best we can. If we can just avoid being lazy and accepting automatically what the label says, and rather look at it with a critical eye, we can avoid most mistakes. But the great thing about a format like this is that we can change things as more and better knowledge comes to our attention.
Crystals not pistols.
Tony L. Potucek July 20, 2010 08:49PMHi, Rock,
I went through some of the pyrites and have a few constructive comments, so use what you find of value:
It would be nice to track down some specimen photos of two localities that produced significant crystallized specimens--Nacozari, Sonora, and Mina Maria near Cananea, Sonora.
The porphyry copper system at Nacozari produced beautiful large octahedral-appearing pyrites modified with striations on the edges. I need to go home and hold my miniature floater. It could be that they are cubic crystals highly modified by octahedral faces. The dominant face is mirror-like and the modifications are heavily striated. The U of AZ mineral museum may still have it, but at one time, they had a touchy-feely crystal that kids could grope that was around 30 cm on an edge, if my memory hasn't failed me.
The second locality is Mina Maria, which the esteemed Stanley Esbenshade and I each plunked down a c-note one Christmas holiday night and bought our way into the mine unsuccessfully searching for a number of fine minerals. And one of these minerals is pyrite, occurring in simple cubes over 25 cm on an edge and mirror bright. Edges are razor sharp. Unfortunately, the great ones are as rare as scruples in a politician, since many of them were collected very carelessly. Top Gem Minerals handled a bunch of pyrites, quartz, scheelite, and chalcopyrites back in the 90s, when this breccia pipe was being mined. Many will have fuzzy schorl associated with them--"byssolite", and the quartz includes pyrite and some of the fuzzy schorl. Other associated minerals did include molybdenite, ferrimolybdite, some fairly coarse sericite, and sphalerite. Stan and I attempted to enter the caved 5th level of the spiral decline, where the well crystalllized chalcopyrites occurred. This area had caved one night with no loss of life a year or so earlier than our visit. Unfortunately, after duck walking/crawling through hot, oxygen-starved conditions for a couple of hundred yards, we finally bailed on our stupid venture, and gasped our way back out to the decline, feeling like the pair of dumb asses we were.
Other side notes:
Noche Buena, Mexico pyrites frequently have hairy jamesonite (or is it boulangerite) associated with them,,and occasionally bournonite, but an old salt like yourself probably already knew that.
Mr. Pickering's Mistress Mine, near Ubina, Bolivia, also usually had dull reddish brown sphalerites up to about 5 mm on them. In speaking with Les Presmyk, he remembered that Mrs. Mark Bandy said that Mark did not know the real name of the mine, but always referred to it as Mr. Pickering's Mistress Mine. Alfredo's earlier comment is actually on the money!
Jean Sendero August 08, 2010 02:47AMTony,
I believe the pyrite above from Cananea (http://www.mindat.org/photo-217531.html) is actually from Mina Maria. Cubes or elongated rectangular cubes with razor sharp edges (when not damaged which is rare) with highly lustrous very smooth faces are characteristic of these pyrite which differ from the ones from Cananea which, based on my experience, are generally not forming such cubes. I have a few Mina Maria pyrite collected during a mine visit in the mid 1990's and a large one given to me by the mine geologist. The allocation of Cananea to Mina Maria pyrite is not unusual as they are both near each other. Mina Maria is 10 km west of Cananea.
Rock Currier August 08, 2010 10:56PMJean, It would appear that Mina Maria is not listed in the mindat database. I have given you a level one status on mindat and you should now be able to upload pictures and enter localities into the database. Since you have more knowledge about this locality than I do (that means hardly any), could I impose on you to enter the locality into the database? That will be the first step in changing the locality in the image that you pointed out in your thread posting. Equally important to entering the locality is to enter what else you may know about it, namely the minerals that come from there, a bit about the geology, the kind of mine it is, perhaps a little history of the place and what kind of specimens the place produces. Thanks.
Crystals not pistols.
David Garske November 13, 2014 05:33AMI've seen single sharp Pyrite cubes to at least 25 cm from Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, but every one was damaged. I think only one family was mining them and I couldn't convince them to produce nice specimens, this was about 10-15 years ago.
Ronnie Van Dommelen November 16, 2014 01:06PMDavid,
My understanding is that the primary goal of these articles is to highlight a few good specimens from all reasonable localities. The Merelani locality is missing, but there are a lot of these on the market right now so for that reason I think it needs to be included. That they are awesome is just a bonus. They also received attention in the most recent Min Rec issue.
Back to your question: these pyrites, at their best, are awesome for many reasons. Large size (some exceed 10 cm), sharp well defined shapes (many have 5 different forms present), luster. Almost everything you could ask for.
John Montgomery November 21, 2014 05:15PMWhat about the nice pyrite from Canada...Nanisivik???
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