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Tetrahedrite Subgroup

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About Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

Formula:
Cu6(Cu4X2+2)Sb4S12S
In the A-site, group end-members contain six III(Cu+Ag) cations, where Cu>Ag.

X2+ = Fe2+, Zn, Cd, Hg and/or other species
Colour:
Steel- to iron-gray
Lustre:
Metallic
Hardness:
3½ - 4
Specific Gravity:
4.97
Crystal System:
Isometric
Name:
Renamed in 1845 by Wilhelm Karl von Haidinger because of the common tetrahedral form of its crystals. Originally called argentum rude album by Georgius Agricola (Georg Bauer) in 1546 because it contained silver, although it may not have necessarily been silver-dominant as a related mineral, freibergite, is. Named Fahlerts and other names by Johan Gottschalk Wallerius in 1747, while in 1758, Axel Cronstedt used the spelling fahlerz and also used a multi-word chemical descriptive for the mineral. Fahlerts/fahlerz is derived from German fahl = ash-colored and erz = ore in allusion to its grayish black color.
Biagione et al., 2020 delineate the series of Ag-poor tetrahedrites, where Ag < 3 apfu, belong to the tetrahedrite series.

Although considered a series, there are presently three IMA-recognized end-members (tetrahedrite-(Fe), tetrahedrite-(Zn) and tetrahedrite-(Hg)), and the existence of suspected additional members has been reported, although these have not yet been IMA approved. Hence, to accommodate these likely future recognitions, the "tetrahedrite series" is here treated as the "Tetrahedrite Subgroup" of the Tetrahedrite Group.


Classification of Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

Discredited
Notes:
Redefined by the IMA
2.GB.05

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
G : Sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites
B : Neso-sulfarsenites, etc. with additional S
3.3.6.1

3 : SULFOSALTS
3 : 3 <ø < 4
5.1.5

5 : Sulphosalts - Sulpharsenites and Sulphobismuthites (those containing Sn, Ge,or V are in Section 6)
1 : Sulpharsenites etc. of Cu

Physical Properties of Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

Metallic
Transparency:
Opaque
Colour:
Steel- to iron-gray
Streak:
Black, brown to dark red
Hardness:
3½ - 4 on Mohs scale
Hardness:
VHN100=312 - 351 kg/mm2 - Vickers
Tenacity:
Brittle
Fracture:
Sub-Conchoidal
Density:
4.97 g/cm3 (Measured)    4.99 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

Type:
Isotropic
Colour in reflected light:
Grey to olive brown
Comments:
n greater than 2.72

Chemical Properties of Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

Formula:
Cu6(Cu4X2+2)Sb4S12S

In the A-site, group end-members contain six III(Cu+Ag) cations, where Cu>Ag.

X2+ = Fe2+, Zn, Cd, Hg and/or other species
IMA Formula:
Cu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
Common Impurities:
Ag,Pb,Zn,Fe,As

Chemical AnalysisHide

Oxide wt%:
 1
Thomas Gemmell's analysiAg0.27)6(Ag4.16Fe1.85Zn0 %
Total:0 %
Sample references:
IDLocalityReference
1Kidd Mine, Kidd Township, Timmins area, Cochrane District, Ontario, CanadaThomas Gemmell 2013 M.Sc. Thesis

Crystallography of Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

Crystal System:
Isometric
Class (H-M):
4 3m - Hextetrahedral
Space Group:
I4 3m
Cell Parameters:
a = 10.39(16) Å
Unit Cell V:
1,121.62 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
2
Morphology:
Tetrahedral crystals, massive
Twinning:
On {111} and around [111] twin axis.

Crystallographic forms of Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Tetrahedrite no.34 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Tetrahedrite - Penetration twin on [111]
Tetrahedrite - {111}, modified
Tetrahedrite - {211}
Tetrahedrite - {111}, modified
Tetrahedrite - {111}, {110}
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IDSpeciesReferenceLinkYearLocalityPressure (GPa)Temp (K)
0000964Tetrahedrite SubgroupJohnson M L, Burnham C W (1985) Crystal structure refinement of an arsenic-bearing argentian tetrahedrite American Mineralogist 70 165-17019850293
0003193Tetrahedrite SubgroupFoit F F, Hughes J M (2004) Structural variations in mercurian tetrahedrite Sample A2 from the Spring Creek Claims in Harney County, Oregon American Mineralogist 89 159-16320040293
0003194Tetrahedrite SubgroupFoit F F, Hughes J M (2004) Structural variations in mercurian tetrahedrite Sample E3 from the Spring Creek Claims in Harney County, Oregon American Mineralogist 89 159-16320040293
0003195Tetrahedrite SubgroupFoit F F, Hughes J M (2004) Structural variations in mercurian tetrahedrite Sample C2 from the Spring Creek Claims in Harney County, Oregon American Mineralogist 89 159-16320040293
0003196Tetrahedrite SubgroupFoit F F, Hughes J M (2004) Structural variations in mercurian tetrahedrite Sample E5 from the Spring Creek Claims in Harney County, Oregon American Mineralogist 89 159-16320040293
0005171Tetrahedrite SubgroupMakovicky E, Skinner B J (1979) Studies of the sulfosalts of copper VII. Crystal structures of the exolution products Cu12.3Sb4S13 and Cu13.8Sb4S13 of unsubstituted synthetic tetrahedrite The Canadian Mineralogist 17 619-63419790293
0005172Tetrahedrite SubgroupMakovicky E, Skinner B J (1979) Studies of the sulfosalts of copper VII. Crystal structures of the exolution products Cu12.3Sb4S13 and Cu13.8Sb4S13 of unsubstituted synthetic tetrahedrite The Canadian Mineralogist 17 619-63419790293
0014485Tetrahedrite SubgroupPeterson R C, Miller I (1986) Crystal structure and cation distribution in freibergite and tetrahedrite Mineralogical Magazine 50 717-7211986Turquetil Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada0293
0014607Tetrahedrite SubgroupRozhdestvenskaya I V, Zayakina N V, Samusikov V P (1993) Crystal structure features of minerals from a series of tetrahedrite-freibergite Mineralogiceskij Zhurnal 15 9-1719930293
0014608Tetrahedrite SubgroupRozhdestvenskaya I V, Zayakina N V, Samusikov V P (1993) Crystal structure features of minerals from a series of tetrahedrite-freibergite Mineralogiceskij Zhurnal 15 9-1719930293
0014609Tetrahedrite SubgroupRozhdestvenskaya I V, Zayakina N V, Samusikov V P (1993) Crystal structure features of minerals from a series of tetrahedrite-freibergite Mineralogiceskij Zhurnal 15 9-1719930293
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X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Geological EnvironmentHide

Geological Setting:
Low to moderate temperature hydrothermal veins and contact metamorphic deposits.

First Recorded Occurrence of Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

Synonyms of Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

Other Language Names for Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

Varieties of Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

ApthoniteA variety of tetrahedrite with a high silver content.
Compare argentotetrahedrite-(Fe) and related silver-rich members of the tetrahedrite group.
Argentian Tetrahedrite
Arsenical TetrahedriteAn arsenic-bearing tetrahedrite.
Bismuthian TetrahedriteA Bi-bearing variety of tetrahedrite.
Cd-FreibergiteA cadmium-rich variety of tetrahedrite (and not of freibergite as the name suggests).
Cobalt-bearing TetrahedriteProbably a mixture.
CoppiteOriginally described as a ferroan variety of tetrahedrite.
Probably simply tetrahedrite-(Fe) in the modern nomenclature scheme.
FrigiditeA nickel-bearing variety of tetrahedrite. Probably a mixture.
KobaltfahlerzA Co-bearing (and Bi-bearing) variety of tetrahedrite. Co reported to 4%.
Probably a mixture.
MalinowskitA supposed plumbian variety of tetrahedrite (but possibly a mixture).
Mercurian TetrahedriteA mercury-bearing variety of tetrahedrite, if Zn/Fe>Hg.
NOTE: If the material is Hg-dominant, it is tetrahedrite-(Hg).
Silver and Gold-bearing TetrahedriteA Ag- and Au-bearing variety of tetrahedrite.

Relationship of Tetrahedrite Subgroup to other SpeciesHide

Other Members of this group:
Arsenofreibergite Subgroup([Ag6]4+,(Ag,Cu)6)((Cu,Ag)4X2+2)As4S12S0-1
Freibergite Subgroup([Ag6]4+,(Ag,Cu)6)((Cu,Ag)4X2+2)Sb4S12S0-1
Giraudite SubgroupCu6(Cu4X2+2)As4Se12Se
Goldfieldite Subgroup(Cu4(◻,Cu)2(Cu4Cu+2)((Te,Sb,As)2Te2)S12S
Hakite Subgroup(Cu,Ag)6(Cu4X2+2)Sb4Se12Se
Pošepnýite(Cu1+33)(Hg2+4Cu1+2)Sb4Se12(Se0.50.5)Iso. 4 3m : I4 3m
Rozhdestvenskayaite SubgroupAg6(Ag4X2+2)Sb4S12S
Tennantite SubgroupCu6(Cu4X2+2)As4S12SIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
Unnamed (As-analogue of Rozhdestvenskayaite-(Zn))Ag6(Ag4Zn2)As4S12S
Group Members:
Tetrahedrite-(Fe) Cu6(Cu4Fe2)Sb4S12SIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
Tetrahedrite-(Hg) Cu6(Cu4Hg2)Sb4S12SIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
Tetrahedrite-(Zn) Cu6(Cu4Zn2)Sb4S12SIso. 4 3m : F4 3m

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

2.GB.05Argentotennantite-(Zn)Ag6(Cu4Zn2)As4S12SIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
2.GB.05Freibergite Subgroup([Ag6]4+,(Ag,Cu)6)((Cu,Ag)4X2+2)Sb4S12S0-1
2.GB.05Giraudite-(Zn)Cu6(Cu4Zn2)As4Se12SeIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
2.GB.05Goldfieldite(Cu42)(Cu4Cu+2)Te4S12SIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
2.GB.05Hakite-(Hg)Cu6(Cu4Hg2)Sb4Se12SeIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
2.GB.05Tennantite SubgroupCu6(Cu4X2+2)As4S12SIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
2.GB.05Argentotetrahedrite-(Fe)Ag6(Cu4Fe2)Sb4S12SIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
2.GB.10SelenostephaniteAg5SbSe4Orth.
2.GB.10StephaniteAg5SbS4Orth. mm2 : Cmc21
2.GB.15Pearceite[Ag9CuS4][(Ag,Cu)6(As,Sb)2S7]Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : P3m1
2.GB.15Polybasite[(Ag,Cu)6(Sb,As)2S7][Ag9CuS4]Mon. 2/m : B2/m
2.GB.15UM2003-14-S:AgBiFeTeAg16FeBiTe3S8
2.GB.15Selenopolybasite[(Ag,Cu)6(Sb,As)2(S,Se)7][Ag9Cu(S,Se)2Se2]Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : P3m1
2.GB.15Cupropearceite[Cu6As2S7][Ag9CuS4]Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : P3m1
2.GB.15Cupropolybasite[Cu6Sb2S7][Ag9CuS4]Trig. 3m : P3 1m
2.GB.15UM1979-17-S:BiCuFe~Cu18Fe4BiS16
2.GB.20Galkhaite(Cs,Tl)(Hg,Cu,Zn)6(As,Sb)4S12Iso. 4 3m : I4 3m

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide

3.3.6.2Tennantite SubgroupCu6(Cu4X2+2)As4S12SIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
3.3.6.3Freibergite Subgroup([Ag6]4+,(Ag,Cu)6)((Cu,Ag)4X2+2)Sb4S12S0-1
3.3.6.4Hakite-(Hg)Cu6(Cu4Hg2)Sb4Se12SeIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
3.3.6.5Giraudite-(Zn)Cu6(Cu4Zn2)As4Se12SeIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
3.3.6.6Goldfieldite(Cu42)(Cu4Cu+2)Te4S12SIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
3.3.6.7Argentotennantite-(Zn)Ag6(Cu4Zn2)As4S12SIso. 4 3m : I4 3m

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

5.1.1SinneriteCu6As4S9Tric. 1 : P1
5.1.2Tennantite SubgroupCu6(Cu4X2+2)As4S12SIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
5.1.4ChalcostibiteCuSbS2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.1.6Goldfieldite(Cu42)(Cu4Cu+2)Te4S12SIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
5.1.7EmplectiteCuBiS2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pmna
5.1.8CuprobismutiteCu8AgBi13S24Mon. 2/m : B2/m
5.1.9WitticheniteCu3BiS3Orth. 2 2 2 : P21 21 21
5.1.10HodrušiteCu8Bi12S22Mon. 2/m
5.1.11Giraudite-(Zn)Cu6(Cu4Zn2)As4Se12SeIso. 4 3m : I4 3m
5.1.11PermingeatiteCu3SbSe4Tet.

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

Tetrahedrite Subgroup in petrologyHide

An essential component of rock names highlighted in red, an accessory component in rock names highlighted in green.

References for Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
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: 374-384.
Wuensch, B.J. (1964): The crystal structure of tetrahedrite. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 119: 437-453.
Wuensch, B.J. et al. (1966) Z. Kristallogr., 123, 1.
Skinner, B.J., Luce, F.D., Makovicky, E. (1972): Studies of the sulfosalts of copper III. Phases and phase relations in the system Cu-Sb-S. Econ. Geol. 67, 924-938.
Kalbskopf, R. (1972) Strukturverfeinerung des Freibergits. Tschermaks Mineralogische und Petrographische Mitteilungen 18, 147-155 (in German).
Tatsuka. K. & Morimoto, N. (1977): Tetrahedrite stability relations in the Cu-Fe-Sb-S system American Mineralogist 62, 1101-1109.
Johnson, N.E., Craig, J.R., Rimstidt, J.D. (1986) Compositional trends in tetrahedrites. Can. Mineral. 24, 385-397.
Mineralogical Magazine (1986) 50: 717.
Johnson, N.E., Craig, J.R., Rimstidt, J.D. (1988) Crystal chemistry of tetrahedrite. Am. Mineral. 73, 389-397.
Pfitzner, A. (1998) Z. Kristallogr.: 213: 228-236.
Foit, F.F. Jr., Ulbricht, M.E. (2001) Compositional variation in mercurian tetrahedrite-tennantite from epithermal deposits of the Steens and Pueblo Mountains, Harney County, Oregon. Can Mineral 39, 819-830.
Di Benedetto, F., Bernardini, G.P., Borrini, D., Emiliani, C., Cipriani, C., Danti, C., Caneschi, A., Gatteschi, D., Romanelli, M. (2002) Mineral chemistry of tetrahedrite solid solution: EPR and magnetic investigations. Can. Mineral. 40, 837-847.
Sack, R.O.; Lynch, J.V.G.; Foit, F., Jr. (2003): Fahlore as a petrogenetic indicator: Keno Hill Ag-Pb-Zn district, Yukon, Canada. Mineralogical Magazine 67, 1023-1038.
Kharbish, S., Libowitzky, E. and Beran, A. (2007) The effect of As-Sb substitution in the Raman spectra of tetrahedrite-tennantite and pyrargyrite-proustite solid solutions. European Journal of Mineralogy, 19, 567-574.
Moëlo, Y., Makovicky, E., Mozgova, N.N., Jambor, J.L., Cook, N., Pring, A., Paar, W., Nickel, E.H., Graeser, S., Karup-Møller, S.; Balić-Žunić, T.; Mumme, W.G., Vurro, F., Topa, D., Bindi, L., Bente, K., Shimizu, M. (2008) Sulfosalt systematics: a review. Report of the sulfosalt sub-committee of the IMA Commission on Ore Mineralogy. European Journal of Mineralogy, 20, 7-46. [on freibergite vs. tetrahedrite].
Friese, K., Grzechnik, A., Makovicky, E., Balić-Žunić, T., Karup-Møller, S (2008) Crystal structures of iron bearing tetrahedrite and tennantite at 25 and 250°C by means of Rietveld refinement of synchrotron data. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 35, 455-465.
George, L.L., Cook, N.J. and Ciobanu, C.L. (2017) Minor and trace elements in natural tetrahedrite-tennantite: effects on element partitioning among base metal sulphides. Minerals 7, 17 (25 pp.).
IMA proposal 18-K. Nomenclature and classification of the tetrahedrite group. CNMNC Newsletter No. 49, June 2019, page xxx; Mineralogical Magazine, 83: 323–328.
Biagioni, C., George, L.L., Cook, N.J., Makovicky, E., Moëlo, Y., Pasero, M., Sejkora, J., Stanley, C.J., Welch, M.D., Bosi, F. (2020): The tetrahedrite group: nomenclature and classification. American Mineralogist 105, 109-122.

Internet Links for Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

Localities for Tetrahedrite SubgroupHide

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