Editorial Feature

Tooeleite - Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

Tooeleite is a monoclinic-prismatic mineral containing hydrogen, iron, arsenic, oxygen, and sulfur. It is an uncommon secondary mineral in the oxidized zone of a replacement ore body in metamorphosed limestone. The mineral is named after the place it was first discovered - Tooele Co., Utah, USA.

Properties of Tooeleite

The following are the key properties of tooeleite:

  • Cell Data
    • Space group: Pbcm or Pbc21 (probable)
    • a = 6.416(4)
    • b = 19.45(17)
    • c = 8.941(8)
    • Z = 2
  • Crystal Data
    • Orthorhombic
    • Point group: 2/m 2/m 2/m or mm2 (probable)
    • Bladed crystals, to 1 cm, are elongate along [001], showing {010}, {304}, {100}; usually in compact crystalline crusts.
    • X-ray powder pattern: 9.725 (10), 3.208 (9), 3.047 (5), 4.476 (4), 2.680 (4), 2.153 (4), 1.604 (4)
  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1
    Fe2O3 43.56
    As2O5 38.61
    H2O 9.80
    SO3 7.24
    Total 99.21
  • Optical Properties
    • Optical Class: Biaxial (–)
    • Pleochroism: Moderate
    • Y = orange
    • X = Z = lemon-yellow
    • Orientation: X = a; Y = c; Z = b.
    • Dispersion: r > v, slight
    • Absorption: Y > X = Z
    • α = 1.94
    • β = 2.04
    • γ = 2.05
    • 2V(meas.) = 2°–5°
    • 2V(calc.) = 32°
  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density)= 3.95 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of tooeleite = 4.12 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PEtooeleite = 26.59 barns/electron
    U=PEtooeleite x ρelectron density= 105.15 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.00689
    Boson index = 0.99310
    GRapi = 0 (Gamma Ray American Petroleum Institute Units)
    Tooeleite is not radioactive

How to Identify Tooeleite

Tooeleite can be identified in the field by brown orange and yellow orange color variations. The appearance of this mineral is transparent. It is a mineral with a greasy lustre, a orange streak, and good cleavages. The density of tooeleite is 4.238 g/cm3 and hardness of 3 - approximate to calcite.

Tooeleite has a powdery form that is a loose, poorly coherent pulverulent mass. The mineral’s encrustations are crust-like aggregates on matrix.

Global Distribution

Tooeleite is widely distributed in the following locations:

  • USA - From the U.S. mine, Gold Hill, Tooele Co., Utah.
  • Austria - Friesach - Hüttenberg area, Hüttenberg, Waitschach, Slag localities.
  • France - Languedoc-Roussillon, Carnoulès mine.
  • Germany - Lower Saxony, Grane Reservoir, Ochsenhütte (slag locality).
  • Italy - Tuscany, Livorno Province, Madonna di Fucinaia (Madonna della Fucinaia; slag locality).
  • Switzerland - Ticino (Tessin), Alto Malcantone, Slag locality.
  • Greece - Attikí (Attica; Attika) Prefecture,Lavrion (Laurion; Laurium) District, Lavrion District Mines.

Occurrence of Taranakite and Useful Mineral Association

Tooeleite is often associated with minerals such as sulfur, kaatialaite, jarosite, scorodite, pyrite, galena, arsenopyrite, gypsum, sphalerite, and goethite.


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