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Balkanite

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Formula:
Ag5Cu9HgS8
System:
Monoclinic
Colour:
Steel Grey
Lustre:
Metallic
Hardness:
Name:
For the medieval and popular name of the Stara Planina (Balkan Mountains), the type locality.
Compare danielsite.

Balkanite's structure is not layered, but may be desribed by (1) alternation (along a) of Cu-rich and Ag-rich layers or (2) as the one based on two alternating atomic (010) layers: [Cu4Ag3HgS4]+ and [Cu5Ag2S4], or (3) alternation of two polyhedral layers: [Cu7Ag3S4]2+ and [Cu2Ag2HgS4]2−. Coordination of Hg is linear, Ag - tetrahedral or a distorted octahedral, and that of Cu - linear or planar triangular.


Classification of Balkanite

Approved
2.BD.15

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
B : Metal Sulfides, M: S > 1: 1 (mainly 2: 1)
D : With Hg, Tl
2.16.7.1

2 : SULFIDES
16 : Miscellaneous
3.5.6

3 : Sulphides, Selenides, Tellurides, Arsenides and Bismuthides (except the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au, which are included in Section 1)
5 : Sulphides etc. of Hg and Tl

Physical Properties of Balkanite

Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Opaque
Colour:
Steel Grey
Hardness (Mohs):
Hardness (Vickers):
VHN100=79.4 - 91.6 kg/mm2
Density:
6.318 g/cm3 (Measured)    6.421 g/cm3 (Calculated)
Comment:
Measured on synthetic material

Optical Data of Balkanite

Type:
Anisotropic
Anisotropism:
Strong
Reflectivity:
440nmR1=35.4%R2= 30.6%
460nmR1=35.6%R2= 31.0%
480nmR1=35.4%R2= 31.0%
500nmR1=35.0%R2= 30.2%
520nmR1=34.0%R2= 28.9%
540nmR1=34.0%R2= 28.0%
560nmR1=33.4%R2= 27.2%
580nmR1=32.8%R2= 26.5%
600nmR1=32.4%R2= 26.0%
620nmR1=32.1%R2= 25.6%
640nmR1=31.8%R2= 25.1%
660nmR1=31.5%R2= 24.9%

Reflectance graph
Graph shows reflectance levels at different wavelengths (in nm). Top of box is 100%. Peak reflectance is 35.6%.
R1 shown in black, R2 shown in red
Colour in reflected light:
White-grey

Chemical Properties of Balkanite

IMA Formula:
Ag5Cu9HgS8
Mindat.org Formula:
Cu9Ag5HgS8

alternatively (Cu9−xMe2+x)Ag5−xHgS8 (x = 0.3) (from Biagioni & Bindi 2016)
Elements listed in formula:
Analytical Data:
Sedmochislenitsi deposit, Bulgaria; by electron microprobe. Empirical formula taken from the most recent structure refinement is: Cu9.00Ag4.73Hg1.00S8 (Biagioni & Bindi, 2016)
Cu (37.4)
Ag (33.1)
Hg (14.0)
S (17.2)
Total (101.7)

Crystallography of Balkanite

Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
P2/m
Space Group Setting:
P2/m
Cell Parameters:
a = 9.5539(11) Å, b = 3.9150(4) Å, c = 10.6424(12) Å
β = 90.047(9)°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 2.44 : 1 : 2.718
Unit Cell Volume:
V 398.06 ų
Morphology:
Rod like prismatic crystals.
Twinning:
Lamellar in several directions
Comment:
sp. gr. P222, Pmm2 or Pmmm
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
3.09 (7)
2.98 (10)
2.61 (8)
2.55 (10)
2.45 (8)
1.985 (8)
1.955 (9)
Comments:
Sedmochislenitsi deposit, Bulgaria.

Type Occurrence of Balkanite

Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Mineralogical Museum of the Higher Institute of Mining and Geology, 619; Museum of the University of Sofia “Kliment Ohridsky”, Sofia, 1351; National Museum of Natural History, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2339.
Geological Setting of Type Material:
High grade copper ores in stratiform deposit.
Empirical Formula:
Cu8.78Ag4.58Hg1.04S8.00

Relationship of Balkanite to other Species

2.BD.UM2004-33-S:AgCuHgSe(Ag,Cu)8Hg3(S,Se)7
2.BD.05ImiteriteAg2HgS2
2.BD.10GortdrumiteCu18FeHg6S16
2.BD.15Danielsite(Cu,Ag)14HgS8
2.BD.20DonharrisiteNi8Hg3S9
2.BD.25CarliniteTl2S
2.BD.30BukoviteCu4Tl2Se4
2.BD.30MurunskiteK2(Cu,Fe)4S4
2.BD.30Thalcusite(Cu,Fe)4Tl2S4
2.BD.35Rohaite(Tl,Pb,K)2Cu8.7Sb2S4
2.BD.40Chalcothallite(Cu,Fe,Ag)6.3(Tl,K)2SbS4
2.BD.45SabatieriteCu6TlSe4
2.BD.50CrookesiteCu7TlSe4
2.BD.55BrodtkorbiteCu2HgSe2
3.5.1CinnabarHgS
3.5.2HypercinnabarHgS
3.5.3MetacinnabarHgS
3.5.4ImiteriteAg2HgS2
3.5.5TiemanniteHgSe
3.5.7Danielsite(Cu,Ag)14HgS8
3.5.8ColoradoiteHgTe
3.5.9GortdrumiteCu18FeHg6S16
3.5.10Polhemusite(Zn,Hg)S
3.5.11CarliniteTl2S
3.5.12CrookesiteCu7TlSe4
3.5.13SabatieriteCu6TlSe4
3.5.14PicotpauliteTlFe2S3
3.5.15RaguiniteTlFeS2
3.5.16Thalcusite(Cu,Fe)4Tl2S4
3.5.17BukoviteCu4Tl2Se4
3.5.18GalliteCuGaS2
3.5.19RoquesiteCuInS2
3.5.20InditeFeIn2S4

Other Names for Balkanite

Name in Other Languages:
German:Balkanit
Simplified Chinese:硫汞铜银矿
Spanish:Balkanita

Other Information

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

References for Balkanite

Reference List:
Atanassov, V.A., Kirov, G.N. (1973): Balkanite, Cu9Ag5HgS8, a new mineral from the Sedmochislenitsi mine, Bulgaria. American Mineralogist: 58: 11-15.

Biagioni C., Bindi, L. (2016): Ordered distribution of Cu and Ag in the crystal structure of balkanite, Cu9Ag5HgS8. European Journal of Mineralogy: 28 (in press).

http://forum.amiminerals.it/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13016&sid=f202e1cb80657d6e2a7259f1a965fd1e (2016)

Internet Links for Balkanite

mindat.org URL:
https://www.mindat.org/min-496.html
Please feel free to link to this page.

Localities for Balkanite

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.
(TL) indicates type locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
Austria
 
  • Salzburg
    • Saalfelden
      • Leogang
        • Hütten
          • Schwarzleograben
            • Schwarzleo District
Paar, W. H. & Chen, T. T. (1985): Zur Mineralogie von Cu-Ni(Co)-Pb-Ag-Hg-Erzen im Revier Schwarzleo bei Leogang, Salzburg, Österreich. Mitt. österr. geol. Ges. 78, 125-148.; A. Strasser: Die Minerale Salzburgs (1989)
  • Tyrol
    • North Tyrol
      • Kitzbühel Alps
        • Fieberbrunn
Steiner, M., Vavtar, F., Tropper, P. (2008): Rare Ag ores (danielsite, balkanite) from the fahlore deposit of the Röhrerbühel (N-Tyrol, Austria). Poster, Annual Meeting of the DMG, Berlin, Germany, September 14-17, 2008; CD with abstracts, Abs. no. 292; Steiner M., Vavtar F., Tropper P., Kaindl R. (2009): Silbererze (Balkanit und Danielsit) in den Fahlerzen von Röhrerbühel. In: Oeggl K., Prast M. (Hrsg.), Die Geschichte des Bergbaus in Tirol und seinen angrenzenden Gebieten. Proceedings zum 3. Milestone-Meeting des SFB-HiMAT vom 23.–26. 10. 2008 in Silbertal, Innsbruck, 193-195; Steiner, M., Tropper, P., Vavtar, F., Kaindl, R. & Krismer, M. (2010): Balkanite from the Cu ore deposit Röhrerbühel, Kitzbühel (N-Tyrol, Austria). N. Jb. Mineral. Abh. 187, 207-215.
Belgium
 
  • Luxembourg Province
    • Stavelot Massif
      • Vielsalm
http://perso.infonie.be/jose.dehove/photos/Salmchateau.htm
Bulgaria (TL)
 
  • Vratsa Oblast (Vratza)
    • Balkan Mts (Stara Planina)
Atanassov, V.A. and Kirov, G.N. (1973): Balkanite, Cu9Ag5HgS8, a new mineral from the Sedmochislenitsi mine, Bulgaria. American Mineralogist, 58, 11-15.; ATANASSOVA, S. THE PRESERVED MINERAL DIVERSITY OF SEDMOCHISLENITSI DEPOSIT, VRATSA ORE REGION.
China
 
  • Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
    • Baise Prefecture
      • Leye Co.
Lin Niu (1994): Geology and Prospecting 30(3), 1-8
Italy
 
  • Sardinia
    • Carbonia-Iglesias Province
      • Iglesias
        • Punta della Torre
Orlandi, P. & Campostrini, I. (2005): Zibaldone. Aggiornamenti di mineralogia italiana 2004. Rivista Mineralogica Italiana, 3/2005, 184-191.
Mexico
 
  • Sonora
Handbook of Mineralogy
    • Cerro Morita
Handbook of Mineralogy
USA
 
  • Nevada
    • Nye Co.
      • Toquima Range
NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
Mineral and/or Locality  
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