Germanite - Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

Germanite is a rare copper iron germanium sulfide mineral discovered in 1922 from the Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Otavi, Namibia. It is a member of the colusite group. It was named after the element germanium in its composition.

Properties of Germanite

The following are the key properties of Germanite:

  • Cell Data
    • Space Group: F43n
    • a = 10.5862(5)
    • Z = 2.
  • Crystal Data
    • Cubic
    • Point Group: 43m
    • Cubic crystals, rarely to 3 cm; commonly massive, inter-grown with renierite
    • X-ray Powder Pattern: 3.054 (100), 1.870 (72), 1.5954 (40), 1.0802 (20), 1.2141 (16), 2.645 (12), 1.3229 (10).
  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2 Content 3
    Cu 45.5 45.06 51.76
    S 31.6 31.96 32.14
    Ge 9.6 9.61 9.10
    Fe 6.8 8.14 7.00
    As 3.3 2.97 -
    Zn 1.2 1.51 -
    Mo 0.5 0.26 -
    W - 0.33 -
    V - 0.12 -
    Ga - 0.65 -
    Total 98.5 100.21 100.00
  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density) = 4.20 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Germanite = 4.47 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PEGermanite = 32.75 barns/electron
    U = PEGermanite x ρElectron density= 137.38 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.01
    Boson index = 0.99

    Radioactivity

    Germanite is not radioactive.

How to Identify Germanite

Germanite is a brown or red gray mineral having a dark gray streak and metallic luster. It is opaque and has an average density of 4.5 g/cm3 and hardness of 3. Its fractures are brittle as displayed by glasses and non-metallic minerals. Germanite generally occurs as granular or euhedral crystals.

Global Distribution

Germanite is distributed in the following places:

  • Tsumeb, Namibia
  • M’Passa, 150 km west of Brazzaville, Congo Republic
  • Kipushi, 28 km southwest of Lubumbashi, Katanga Province, Congo
  • Inexco number 1 mine, Jamestown, Boulder Co., Colorado
  • Ruby Creek deposit, Brooks Range, near Bornite, Alaska
  • Pinar del Rio Province, Cuba
  • Radka deposit, Pazardzhik, Bulgaria
  • Dastakert, Armenia
  • Bor, Serbia
  • Bancairoun mine, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Weisloch, Germany
  • Vaygach, Arkhangel’sk, and in the Noril’sk region, western Siberia, Russia
  • Vaigach and Sibai deposits, Ural Mountains
  • Shakanai mine, Akita Prefecture, Japan.

Occurrence of Germanite and Useful Mineral Association

Germanite occurs in primary Cu–Pb–Zn ores in a dolostone-hosted hydrothermal polymetallic ore deposit. It is closely associated with chalcopyrite, bornite, digenite, sphalerite, galena, enargite, tennantite, pyrite and renierite.

References

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