Arsenotučekite, Ni18Sb3AsS16, a new mineral from the Tsangli chromitites, Othrys ophiolite, Greece

Federica Zaccarini, Luca Bindi, Basilios Tsikouras, Tassos Grammatikopoulos, Christopher J. Stanley, Giorgio Garuti

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Arsenotučekite, Ni 18Sb 3AsS 16, is a new mineral discovered in the abandoned chromium mine of Tsangli, located in the eastern portion of the Othrys ophiolite complex, central Greece. Tsangli is one of the largest chromite deposit at which chromite was mined since 1870. The Tsangli chromitite occurs as lenticular and irregular bodies. The studied chromitites are hosted in a strongly serpentinized mantle peridotite. Arsenotučekite forms anhedral to subhedral grains that vary in size between 5 μm up to 100 μm, and occurs as single phase grains or is associated with pentlandite, breithauptite, gersdorffite and chlorite. It is brittle and has a metallic luster. In plane-polarized light, it is creamy-yellow, the bireflectance is barely perceptible and the pleochroism is weak. In crossed polarized reflected light, the anisotropic rotation tints vary from pale blue to brown. Internal reflections were not observed. Reflectance values of arsenotučekite in air (Ro, Re′ in %) are: 41.8–46.4 at 470 nm, 47.2–50.6 at 546 nm, 49.4–52.3 at 589 nm, and 51.3–53.2 at 650 nm. The empirical formula of arsenotučekite, based on 38 atoms per formula unit, and according to the structural results, is (Ni 16.19Co 1.01Fe 0.83) Σ18.03Sb 3(As 0.67Sb 0.32) Σ0.99S 15.98. The mass density is 6.477 g·cm −3. The simplified chemical formula is (Ni,Co,Fe) 18Sb 3(As,Sb)S 16. The mineral is tetragonal and belongs to space group I4/mmm, with a = 9.7856(3) Å, c = 10.7582(6) Å, V = 1030.2(6) Å 3 and Z = 2. The structure is layered (stacking along the c-axis) and is dominated by three different Ni-coordination polyhedral, one octahedral and two cubic. The arsenotučekite structure can be considered as a superstructure of tučekite resulting from the ordering of Sb and As. The name of the new mineral species indicates the As-dominant of tučekite. Arsenotučekite occurs as rims partly replacing pentlandite and irregularly developed grains. Furthermore, it is locally associated with chlorite. These observations suggest that it was likely precipitated at relatively low temperatures during: 1) the late hydrothermal stages of the ore-forming process by reaction of Sb- and As-bearing solutions with magmatic sulfides such as pentlandite, or 2) during the serpentinization of the host peridotite. The mineral and its name have been approved by the Commission of New Minerals, Nomenclature, and Classification of the International Mineralogical Association (number 2019–135).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
JournalMineralogy and Petrology
Issue numberOctober
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2020

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