Editorial Feature

Gilalite – Occurrence, Properties and Distribution

Gilalite was discovered in 1980. It was named after the place where it was discovered originally: Gila County in Arizona, USA.

Properties of Gilalite

The key physical properties of Gilalite are as below:

  • Cell Data
    • a = 13.38
    • b = 19.16
    • c = 9.026
    • Z = [4]

  • Crystal Data
    • Monoclinic
    • Crystals – as spherules of radial fibers, to 0.3mm
    • X-ray powder pattern: 13.4 (100), 7.786 (50), 4.790 (40), 3.897 (40), 10.97 (30), 6.684 (30), 3.315 (30)

  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2
    SiO2 41.5 40.77
    MnO 0.5 -
    CuO 36.2 44.97
    MgO 2.3 -
    CaO 3.8 -
    H2O 14.6 14.26

  • Optical Properties
    • Transparent to translucent
    • Lustre: non-metallic
    • Color: chrysocolla-green, inclining to pale blue-green
    • Optical Class: Biaxial (-)

  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density) = 2.77 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Gilalite = 2.82 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PEGilalite = 16.17 barns/electron
    U=PEGilalite x ρelectron density = 44.86 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.009
    Boson index = 0.99
    GRapi = 0 (Gamma Ray American Petroleum Institute Units)
    Gilalite is not radioactive

How to Identify Gilalite

The color of gilalite varies from chrysocolla-green to pale blue-green. It exhibits a waxy or gummy tenacity, and a hardness of 2. Its lustre is non-metallic in appearance.

Global Distribution

Gilalite is widely distributed in the following locations:

  • USA – from Christmas Copper mine, Gila Co. Arizona; Lonestar, Graham Co. Arizona

Occurrence of Gilalite and Useful Mineral Association

Gilalite occurs as a retrograde metamorphic or mesogene mineral, found at the expense of a pro-grade calc-silicate and sulfide assemblage, in tactites, commonly incursting fractures, and also in filing cracks, or interstices in diopside grains.

Some of the minerals with which gilalite is associated are kinoite, apachite, junitoite, apophyllite, tobermorite, calsite, and clinohedrite.


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