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About ChromiteHide

Resinous, Greasy, Metallic, Sub-Metallic, Dull
Specific Gravity:
4.5 - 4.8
Crystal System:
Chromite was named in 1845 by Wilhelm Haidinger in allusion to its composition. The species was originally named fer chromate alumine by Louis Nicolas Vauquelin in 1798. Vauquelin was the discoverer of the element chromium.
Polymorph of:
Isostructural with:
Chromite is the most important chromium ore mineral.
It forms a complete solid solution series with many other members of the group, eg. in the Chromite-Hercynite Series, Chromite-Spinel Series, Chromite-Magnetite Series and the Chromite-Magnesiochromite Series. It is the iron analogue of Zincochromite, Cochromite, Manganochromite and Magnesiochromite and the Cr analogue of Hercynite, Coulsonite and Magnetite

It usually contains Mg, ferric iron [Fe(III)], Al and often trace amounts of Ti. "Ferritchromite", i.e. Fe(III) substitutions for Al and Cr, usually in grain rims, may give high total Fe contents and a false chromite identification. Of course, the definition requires dominant Fe(II)>Mg and Cr>Fe(III). (e.g. photo ID: 514894).

"Chromite" is commonly used for any Cr-rich mineral of the spinel group, particularly for the chromite-magnesiochromite series, and much of the mineral referred to as "chromite" in geological and petrological papers and mining statistics is magnesiochromite. The Fe-dominant species - chromite itself - can be FOUND, although uncommonly, in many "chromite" deposits, chromitite (rock name), and other "chromite"-bearing occurrences connected with hyperbasic rocks. As a rule of thumb, a member of the chromite-magnesiochromite series is twice as likely to be a magnesiochromite instead of a chromite. "Chromites" associated with olivine or serpentines, which are Mg-rich rocks, frequently have Mg-rich associated minerals. True chromite is common as inclusions in diamonds from kimberlites (South Africa and Yakutia). Members of the spinel group may be enriched Cr and V in marbles (Slyudyanka), massive sulphide ores (Outokumpu) and also in some types of meteorites. In any case, "chromite" always needs ANALYTICAL CONFIRMATION.
Note: Chromite, that is near end-member, has a higher specific gravity than near end-member magnesiochromite.

Classification of ChromiteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
First Published:

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
B : Metal: Oxygen = 3:4 and similar
B : With only medium-sized cations

2 : AB2X4

7 : Oxides and Hydroxides
14 : Oxides of Cr

Pronounciation of ChromiteHide

PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of ChromiteHide

Resinous, Greasy, Metallic, Sub-Metallic, Dull
Translucent, Opaque
5½ on Mohs scale
VHN100=1278 - 1456 kg/mm2 - Vickers
None Observed
Parting may develop along {111}
Irregular/Uneven, Hackly, Sub-Conchoidal
Broken surfaces frequently have an angular granulated appearance.
4.5 - 4.8 g/cm3 (Measured)    5.12 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of ChromiteHide

RI values:
n = 2.08 - 2.16
Isotropic minerals have no birefringence
Surface Relief:
Very High
Colour in reflected light:
Grey-white with brownish tint.
Internal Reflections:
Brownish red

Chemical Properties of ChromiteHide

IMA Formula:
Idealised Formula:
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of ChromiteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 8.344 Å
Unit Cell V:
580.93 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Octahedral crystals uncommon, modified by {001} at times. Rarely, crystals may show small dodecahedral faces, etc. Usually massive, fine granular to compact.
On {111}

Crystallographic forms of ChromiteHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Chromite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Chromite no.2 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indices | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
4.84 Å(10)
2.96 Å(30)
2.53 Å(100)
2.09 Å(20)
1.61 Å(40)
1.48 Å(50)
1.09 Å(10)
0.855 Å(10)
ICDD 34-140 (synthetic). See also GSAM 85:195 (1962) natural material.

Occurrences of ChromiteHide

Paragenetic Mode(s):

Type Occurrence of ChromiteHide

Synonyms of ChromiteHide

Other Language Names for ChromiteHide

Varieties of ChromiteHide

Aluminian ChromiteAn aluminian variety of Chromite. Cr:Al from 3:1 to 1:1
AlumoberezoviteA magnesian aluminian Chromite
BerezovskiteA Magnesian Chromite
Ferrian ChromiteA member of Chromite-Magnetite Series - a ferrian variety of Chromite with Fe3+ contents 0,10-0,50 apfu.
FerrichromiteA member of Chromite-Magnetite Series - a ferrian variety of Chromite with Fe3+ contents 0,50-1 apfu.
LeopardenerzA variety of chromite (ore) which shows a leopard-like pattern: black chromite patches in a brighter matrix.
Titaniferous ChromiteA titanium-bearing variety of chromite.

Relationship of Chromite to other SpeciesHide

Other Members of this group:
Cochromite(Co,Ni,Fe)(Cr,Al)2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
CoulsoniteFe2+V3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
DellagiustaiteV2+Al2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
Deltalumite(Al0.670.33)Al2O4Tet. 4 2m : P4m2
FrankliniteZn2+Fe3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
GahniteZnAl2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
GalaxiteMn2+Al2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
HausmanniteMn2+Mn3+2O4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
HercyniteFe2+Al2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
HetaeroliteZnMn2O4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
JacobsiteMn2+Fe3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
Maghemite(Fe3+0.670.33)Fe3+2O4Iso. 4 3 2 : P41 3 2
MagnesiochromiteMgCr2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
MagnesioferriteMgFe3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
MagnetiteFe2+Fe3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
ManganochromiteMn2+Cr2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
Nichromite(Ni,Co,Fe)(Cr,Fe,Al)2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
SpinelMgAl2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
ThermaerogeniteCuAl2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
Titanomaghemite(Ti4+0.50.5)Fe2O4Iso. 4 3 2 : P43 3 2
TrevoriteNi2+Fe3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
VuorelaineniteMn2+V3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
XieiteFe2+Cr2O4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
Forms a series with:

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
32 photos of Chromite associated with Serpentine SubgroupD3[Si2O5](OH)4 D = Mg, Fe, Ni, Mn, Al, Zn
25 photos of Chromite associated with Chromian ClinochloreMg5(Al,Cr)2Si3O10(OH)8
21 photos of Chromite associated with UvaroviteCa3Cr2(SiO4)3
12 photos of Chromite associated with GrossularCa3Al2(SiO4)3
12 photos of Chromite associated with Olivine
11 photos of Chromite associated with AntigoriteMg3(Si2O5)(OH)4
11 photos of Chromite associated with MagnetiteFe2+Fe3+2O4
7 photos of Chromite associated with PhlogopiteKMg3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
7 photos of Chromite associated with MariinskiteBeCr2O4
6 photos of Chromite associated with StichtiteMg6Cr3+2(OH)16[CO3] · 4H2O

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

4.BB.ChenmingiteFeCr2O4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
4.BB.ThermaerogeniteCuAl2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05Cochromite(Co,Ni,Fe)(Cr,Al)2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05CoulsoniteFe2+V3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05FrankliniteZn2+Fe3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05GahniteZnAl2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05GalaxiteMn2+Al2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05HercyniteFe2+Al2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05JacobsiteMn2+Fe3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05ManganochromiteMn2+Cr2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05MagnesiochromiteMgCr2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05MagnesioferriteMgFe3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05MagnetiteFe2+Fe3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05Nichromite(Ni,Co,Fe)(Cr,Fe,Al)2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05SpinelMgAl2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05TrevoriteNi2+Fe3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05UlvöspinelTiFe2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.05VuorelaineniteMn2+V3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.BB.10HausmanniteMn2+Mn3+2O4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
4.BB.10HetaeroliteZnMn2O4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
4.BB.10HydrohetaeroliteZnMn2O4 · H2OTet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
4.BB.10Jacobsite-QT(Mn2+)M(Fe3+2)O4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
4.BB.15Maghemite(Fe3+0.670.33)Fe3+2O4Iso. 4 3 2 : P41 3 2
4.BB.15Titanomaghemite(Ti4+0.50.5)Fe2O4Iso. 4 3 2 : P43 3 2
4.BB.25XieiteFe2+Cr2O4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m,Co,Fe)(Cr,Fe,Al)2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m,Ni,Fe)(Cr,Al)2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

7.14.2BracewelliteCrO(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
7.14.6Mathiasite(K, Ba, Sr)(Zr, Fe)(Mg,Fe)2 (Ti,Cr,Fe)18O38Trig.
7.14.9HawthorneiteBaMgTi3Cr4Fe2+2Fe3+2O19Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
7.14.11Wattersite(Hg+2)2Hg2+(CrO4)O2Mon. 2/m : B2/b
7.14.13MagnesiochromiteMgCr2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m

Fluorescence of ChromiteHide

Not fluorescent in UV

Other InformationHide

Some are weakly magnetic due to zones of magnetite composition, etc.
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:
Major ore source for chromium.

Chromite in petrologyHide

References for ChromiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Pontier, C. (1800): Bulletin Société Philomatique Paris: 55: 57.
Pemberton, H. (1891): Chromite: Chem. News: 63: 241.
Simpson (1920): Mineralogical Magazine: 19: 99 (as Beresofite).
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: 709-712.
Bliss, N.W. and MacLean, W.H. (1975): The paragenesis of zoned chromite from central Manitoba. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 39: 973-990.
Da Silva, E.G., Abras, A., and Sette Camara, A.O.R. (1976): Mössbauer effect study of cation distribution in natural chromites. Journal of Applied Physics: 12: 783-785.
Fatseas, G.A., Dormann, J.L., and Blanchard, H. (1976) Study of the Fe 3+ / Fe 2+ ratio in natural chromites (Fe x Mg 1-x)(Cr 1-y-x Fe y Al z)O4. Journal of Physics: 12: 787-792.
Da Silva, E.G., Abras, A., and Speziali, L. (1980) Mössbauer effect study of cation distribution in natural chromites of Brazilian and Philippine origin. Journal of Applied Physics: 12: 389-392.
Osborne, M.D., Fleet, M.E., and Bancroft, G.M. (1981) Fe 2+ - Fe 3+ ordering in chromite and Cr-bearing spinels. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology: 77: 251-255.
Mitra, S., Pal, T., and Pal, T. (1991) Petrogenic implication of the Mössbauer hyperfine parameters of Fe3+-chromites from Sukinda (India) ultramafites. Mineralogical Magazine: 55: 535:542.
Chen, Y.L., Xu, B.F., Chen, J.G., and ge, Y.Y. (1992) Fe2+-Fe3+ ordered distribution in chromite spinels. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 19: 255-259.
Leblanc, M. and Ceuleneer, G. (1992) Chromite crystallisation in multicelular magma flow: evidence from a chromitite dike in the Oman ophiolite. Lithos: 27: 231-257.
Canadian Mineralogist (1994): 32: 729-746.
Stowe, C.W. (1994): Compositions and tectonic settings of chromite deposits through time. Economic Geology 89, 528-546.
Zhou, Mei-Fu, Robinson, P.T., and Bai, W.J. (1994) Formation of podiform chromitites by melt/rock interaction in the upper mantle. Mineralium Deposita: 29: 98-101.
Zhou, Mei-Fu, Robinson, P.T., Malpas, J., and Li, Z. (1996) Podiform chromitites in the Luobusa ophiolite (southern Tibet): implications for melt-rock interaction and chromite segregation in the upper mantle. Journal of Petrology: 37: 3-21.
Figueiras, J. and Waerenborgh, J.C. (1997) Fully oxidized chromite in the Serra Alta (South Portugal) quartzites: chemical and structural characterization and geological implications. Mineralogical Magazine: 61: 627-638.
Zhou, Mei-Fu and Robnson, P.T. (1997) Origin and tectonic environment of podiform chromite deposits. Economic geology: 92: 259-262.
Zhou, Mei-Fu, Sun, Min, Keays, R.R., and Kerrich, R.W. (1998) Controls on platinum-group elemental distributions of podiform chromitites: a case study of high-Cr and high-Al chromitites from Chinese orogenic belts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 62: 677-688.
Barnes, S.J. (2000) Chromite in komatiites. II. Modification during greenschist to mid-amphibolite facies metamorphism. Journal of Petrology: 41: 387-409.
Salviulo, G., Carbonin, S., and Della Giusta, A. (2000) Powder and single-crystal X-ray structural refinements on a natural chromite: dependence of site occupancies on experimental strategies. Materials Science Forum: 321-324: 46-52.
Papike, J.J., Karner, J.M., and Shearer, C.K. (2004) Comparative planetary mineralogy: V/(Cr+Al) systematics in chromite as an indicator of relative oxygen fugacity. American Mineralogist: 89: 1557-1560.
Mosier, D.L., Singer, D.A., Moring, B.C., and Galloway, J.P. (2012) Podiform chromite deposits—database and grade and tonnage models. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5157, 45 p. and database.

Internet Links for ChromiteHide

Localities for ChromiteHide

This 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.

Locality ListShow

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