Pizgrischite, (Cu,Fe)Cu14PbBi17S35, a new sulfosalt from the Swiss Alps: Description, crystal structure and occurrence

Pizgrischite, (Cu,Fe)Cu14PbBi17S35, is a new mineral species named after the type locality, Piz Grisch Mountain, Val Ferrera, Graubunden, Switzerland. This sulfosalt occurs as thin, striated, metallic lead-grey blades measuring up to I cm in length, embedded in quartz and associated with tetrahedrite, chalcopyrite, pyrite, sphalerite, emplectite and derivatives of the aikinite-bismuthinite series. In plane-polarized light, the new species is brownish grey with no perceptible pleochroism; under crossed nicols in oil immersion, it presents a weak anisotropy with dark brown tints. Minimum and maximum reflectance values (in %) in air are: 40.7-42.15 (470 nm), 41.2-43.1 (546 nm), 41.2-43.35 (589 nm) and 40.7-43.3 (650 nm). Cleavage is perfect along 001 I and well developed on {010}. Abundant polysynthetic twinning is observed on (010). The mean micro-indentation hardness is 190 kg/mm(2) (Mohs hardness 3.3), and the calculated density is 6.58 g/cm(3). Electron-microprobe analyses yield (wt%; mean result of seven analyses): Cu 16.48, Pb 2.10, Fe 0.77, Bi 60.70, Sb 0.35, S 19.16, Se 0.04, total 99.60. The resulting empirical chemical formula is (Cu15.24Fe0.80Pb0.60)(Sigma 16.64)(Bi17.07Sb0.17)(Sigma 17.24)(S35.09Se0.03)(Sigma 35.12), in accordance with the formula derived from the single-crystal refinement of the structure, (Cu,Fe)Cu14PbBi17S35. Pizgrischite is monoclinic, space group C2/m, with the following unit-cell parameters: a 35.054(2), b3.91123(I), c43.192(2) angstrom, beta 96.713(4)degrees, V5881.24 angstrom(3), Z=4. The strongest seven X-ray powder-diffraction lines [d in angstrom (I)(hkl)] are: 5.364(40)((6) over bar 04), 4.080(50)((8) over bar 05), 3.120(40)(118), 3.104(68)((3) over bar 18), 2.759(53) ((9) over bar 11),2.752(44)(910) and 1.956(100)(020). The crystal structure is an expanded monoclinic derivative of kupcikite. Pizgrischite belongs to the cuprobismutite series of bismuth sulfosalts but, sensu stricto, it is not a homologue of cuprobismutite. At the type locality. pizarischite is the result of the Alpine metamorphism under greenschist-facies conditions of pre-Tertiary hydrothermal Cu-Bi mineralization.

Published in:
Canadian Mineralogist, 45, 1229-1245
Mineralogical Association of Canada

 Record created 2012-07-04, last modified 2018-09-13

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