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Piz Grisch, Ausserferrera, Ferrera Valley, Hinterrhein Valley, Grischun (Grisons; Graubünden), Switzerland

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 46° 32' 3'' North , 9° 27' 51'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 46.5344444444, 9.46444444444
Name(s) in local language(s):Piz Grisch, Ausserferrera (Farera), Val Ferrera (Ferreratal), Hinterrheintal, Graubünden (Grisons; Grischun; Grigioni), Schweiz (Suisse; Svizzera)


Metamorphosed Cu-Bi mineralisation located in the face under the ridge extending to the northwest of Piz Grisch (3062 m; Swiss coordinates: 756.050/155.345). The occurrence is the type locality for pizgrischite, which is the main metallic mineral in dm-size pods within a massive to saccaroidal quartz vein (0.5-2 m in thickness) that runs semiparallel to a siderite vein (up to 5 m in thickness). Both veins can be followed along strike for about 80 m, and are embedded in augen gneisses belonging to the pre-Triassic basement (Roffna Porhyry Complex) of the Surreta nappe. The coordinates of the type locality according to the Swiss federal system are: 755.400/155.700; 2950 m. The access to this mineral occurrence is made difficult by its location in a cliff face, and climbing is necessary. However, mineralised blocks, fallen from the veins, can be found sometimes underneath on Glatscher da Sut Fuina.

Pizgrischite occurs as blades up to 1 cm in length. They are metallic lead grey, thin, opaque and striated, forming sprays embedded in fine-grained saccharoidal quartz. This rich occurrence of an acicular sulfosalt was mentioned already by Grünenfelder (1956), who identified it as "wittichenite" on the basis of its optical properties. Other associated sulfides and sulfosalts (tetrahedrite, chalcopyrite, pyrite, sphalerite, emplectite, and derivatives of the aikinite-bismuthinite series) form mm-sized masses dispersed in quartz. In particular, xenomorphic Bi-bearing tetrahedrite is commonly partially replaced by flame-like inclusions of emplectite and idiomorphic hammarite ± friedrichite. Some isolated grains, also embedded in quartz, consist of krupkaite ± lindströmite, admixed with minor emplectite. Chalcopyrite, pyrite and rare sphalerite complete the primary association of metallic minerals. The first stage of alteration by meteoric water led to the formation of covellite and digenite along cleavages and cracks of pizgrischite or associated sulfosalts. Bismutite and malachite are common and azurite is rare in the second stage of alteration. Some crystals of pizgrischite are completely replaced by a mixture of bismutite and malachite. The siderite vein consists of manganoan siderite and ankerite with accessory hematite and rare pyrite and chalcopyrite.

Mineral List


15 valid minerals. 1 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

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References

Grünenfelder, M. (1956): Petrographie des Roffnakristallins in Mittelbünden und seine Eisenvererzungen. Beitr. Geol. Schweiz, Geotechn. Ser. 18, 120 pp.

Meisser, N., Schenk, K., Berlepsch, P., Brugger, J., Bonin, M., Criddle, A.J., Thélin, P., Bussy, F. (2007): Pizgrischite, (Cu,Fe)Cu14PbBi17S35, a new sulfosalt from the Swiss Alps: description, crystal structure and occurrence. Canadian Mineralogist, 45, 5, 1229-1245.

Roth, Ph. (2007): Minerals first discovered in Switzerland and minerals named after Swiss individuals. Philippe Roth, Ed., Zurich, 239 pp.

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