Antlerite - Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

Antlerite is a greenish hydrous copper sulfate mineral that was first discovered in Antler mine, Mojave Co., Arizona in 1889. The mineral was named after its place of discovery.

Properties of Antlerite

The following are the key properties of Antlerite:

  • Cell Data
    • Space Group: Pnam
    • a = 8.244(2)
    • b = 11.987(3)
    • c = 6.043(1)
    • Z = 4
  • Crystal Data
    • Orthorhombic
    • Point Group: 2/m 2/m 2/m
    • Crystals are thick tabular {010}, equant or short prismatic [001], with dominant {110}, another twenty-odd forms, to 2 cm; commonly fibrous and in cross-fiber veinlets, feltlike, granular or powdery lumps and aggregates
    • X-ray Powder Pattern: 4.86 (100), 2.566 (85), 3.60 (75), 2.683 (75), 6.01 (25), 5.40 (25), 2.503 (25)
  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2
    CuO 66.34 67.27
    SO3 22.32 22.57
    H2O 10.52 10.16
    Total 100.06 100
  • Optical Properties
    • Optical Class: Biaxial (+)
    • Pleochroism: X = yellow-green; Y = blue-green; Z = green.
    • Orientation: X = b; Y = a; Z = c
    • Dispersion: r < v, very strong
    • α = 1.726
    • β = 1.738
    • γ = 1.789
    • 2V(meas.) = 53°
  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density)=3.81 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Antlerite =3.95 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PEAntlerite = 24.07 barns/electron
    U= PEAntlerite x ρ Electron density= 91.65 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.0008
    Boson index = 0.99
    Radioactivity Antlerite is not radioactive

How to Identify Antlerite

Antlerite can be observed in black green, black, emerald green, light green and green. It exhibits non-fluorescent and non-magnetic properties, vitreous luster, pale green streak and translucent appearance.

It also has uneven fractures and perfect cleavage. It occurs as rounded massive fine-grained materials or needle-like crystals. The average density of the mineral is 3.9 g/cm3, and its relative hardness is 3.

Global Distribution

Antlerite is distributed in the following places:

  • Antler mine, near Yucca Station, Mohave Co.,USA
  • Bisbee, Cochise Co., from the Grandview mine, Grand Canyon
  • Copper Basin, between Skull Valley and Prescott
  • Yavapai Co., from the Blanchard mine, near Bingham, Hansonburg district
  • Socorro Co., New Mexico
  • Darwin district, Inyo Co., California
  • Northern Light mine, near Black Mountain,Mountain View district
  • Kennicott, Alaska
  • Puerto de Gomez, Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Remolinos, Atacama, Chile
  • Ober-Planitz, near Zwickau, Saxony, Germany
  • Caldbeck Fells, Cumbria
  • Cornwall, England
  • Capdella, Lerida, Spain

Occurrence of Antlerite and Useful Mineral Associations

Antlerite is typically formed in the oxidized zone of copper deposits under highly acid conditions, especially in arid regions. The mineral is closely associated with gypsum, linarite, natrochalcite, krohnkite, chalcanthite, atacamite and brochantite.

References

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