Editorial Feature

Aurostibite - Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

Aurostibite is an isometric gold antimonide mineral which is a member of the pyrite group. It was discovered in 1952 in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories of Canada, and the Timiskaming District in Ontario, Canada. The mineral was named in reference to its composition.

Properties of Aurostibite

The following are the key properties of Aurostibite:

  • Cell Data
    • Space Group: Pa3
    • a = 6.633
    • Z = 4
  • Crystal Data
    • Cubic
    • Point Group: 2/m 3
    • As sparse elongate grains, to 3.5 cm
    • X-ray Powder Pattern: 1.999 (100), 3.32 (50), 0.865 (50), 2.97 (40), 0.783 (40), 2.34 (40), 2.71 (30).
  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2
    Sb 55.9 55.28
    Au 44.1 44.72
    Ag <0.1 -
    Total 100 100
  • Optical Properties
    • R: (400) 56.4, (420) 57.2, (440) 57.9, (460) 58.6, (480) 59.1, (500) 59.6, (520) 60.0, (540) 60.3, (560) 60.6, (580) 61.0, (600) 61.3, (620) 61.5, (640) 61.6, (660) 61.5, (680) 61.4, (700) 61.2.
  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density) = 8.14 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Aurostibite = 9.90 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PEAurostibite = 937.94 barns/electron
    U= PEAurostibite x ρ Electron density = 7631.46 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0
    Boson index = 1
    Radioactivity Aurostibite is not radioactive

How to Identify Aurostibite

Aurostibite is a lead gray mineral with an indistinct cleavage, opaque appearance, metallic luster and bronze streak. The density of the mineral is 9.98 g/cm3, with a hardness value of 3.

Global Distribution

Aurostibite is distributed in the following places:

  • Giant Yellowknife mine, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
  • Chesterville mine, Larder Lake and the Hemlo gold deposit, Thunder Bay district, Ontario
  • Krásná Hora, near Milesov, Czech Republic
  • Viges Au–Sb deposit, Creuse, France
  • Langsele deposit, Skellefte district, Sweden
  • Kallisalo gold deposit, Seinajoki district, western Finland
  • Sulitjelma, northern Norway
  • Bestyube goldfield, northern Kazakhstan
  • Costerfield Au–Sb mine and the Nagambie gold deposit, Victoria, Australia
  • Woxi gold deposit, Hebei Province, China
  • Lone Hand and Jessie gold mines, Gwanda district
  • Indrarama Au–Sb mine, Sebakwe area, Que-Que, Zimbabwe
  • Mobale mine, Kivu Province, Congo
  • Ashanti gold deposit, Obuasi, Ghana.

Occurrence of Aurostibite and Useful Mineral Association

Aurostibite occurs in hydrothermal gold-quartz veins, in portions deficient in sulfur and containing other antimony minerals. The mineral is closely associated with tetrahedrite, galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, pyrite, arsenopyrite, boulangerite, bournonite, chalcostibite, jamesonite, stibnite, freibergite and gold.


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