Editorial Feature

Zykaite - Occurrence, Properties and Distribution

Zykaite was discovered in the year 1976 at the Safary mine in Bohemia, Czech Republic. This mineral has been named after Dr. Vaclav Zyka, who is the Director of Institute of Raw Materials, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic. It is chemically related to Bukovskyite. Zykaite belongs to the Sanjuanite-Destinezite group.

Properties of Zykaite

The key physical properties of Zykaite are as below:

  • Cell Data
    • a= 20.853 (20)
    • b= 7.033 (4)
    • c=36.991 (23)
    • Z = 8.
  • Crystal Data
    • Orthorhombic.
    • Point Group – 2/m.
    • Crystals – fine acicular crystals, to 0.02 mm, covering and composing nodules, to 3 cm and as a massive cavity filling.
    • X-ray powder pattern: Kank, Czech Republic.
      10.4 (10), 10.6 (7), 6.92 (4), 5.610 (4), 3.812 (4), 2.831 (4), 3.516 (3).
  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2
    SO3 8.36 7.82
    P2O5 0.12 -
    AS2O5 33.67 33.69
    Fe2O3 30.58 31.21
    CaO 0.02 -
    H2O 26.50 27.28
    insol 0.49 -
  • Optical Properties
    • Semi-transparent
    • Lustre – dull
    • Color- grayish white with pale yellowish green or brownish tint; colorless in transmitted light
    • Optical Class – Biaxial (-).
  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density) = 2.47 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Zykaite = 2.50 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PEZykaite = 21.10 barns/electron
    U = PEZykaite x ρElectron density = 52.16 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.005
    Boson index = 0.99
    Radioactivity GRapi = 0 (Gamma Ray American Petroleum Institute Units)
    Zykaite is not radioactive.

How to Identify Zykaite

The color of zykaite is grayish white with pale yellowish green or brownish tint, it appears colorless in transmitted light. It exhibits a greasy tenacity and is very soft in nature.

Global Distribution

Zykaite is found only in the Safary mine dump located near Kank, Kutna Hora district of the Czech Republic.

Occurrence of Zykaite and Useful Mineral Association

Zykaite occurs as the alteration product of arsenopyrite and pyrite in ancient mine dumps.

Zykaite is associated with minerals like kankite, gypsum, quartz, limonite and scorodite.


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