Livingstonite is the principal ore mineral in the deposits of the Huitzuco District in the State of Guerrero, Mexico. The ore is found in the lower part of the Morelos Formation, which consists of a thick bed of sedimentary anhydrite containing lenses of dolomite and dolomite breccia. In the unweathered ore practically all the mercury is in the livingstonite, whereas the antimony occurs partly in the livingstonite and partly in stibnite. Native sulfur forms pockets as much as 30 centimeters in diameter in the ore and is also found in gypsum on the surface away from the ore. It appears that the deposition of livingstonite, rather than of the combination of cinnabar and stibnite that is more usual in other districts, was caused by the native sulfur present in considerable quantity scattered through the sedimentary dolomite and anhydrite above, below, and in the ore. Since the formula of livingstonite is actually HgSb4S8 (not HgSb4S7 as was previously supposed), it is not stable in solutions containing only HgS, Sb2S3, Na2S, and H2O. It has been proved by one of us, experimentally, that in order to form livingstonite, the solutions must contain elemental sulfur in addition to HgS, Sb2S3, Na2S, and H2O. In such solutions the solubility of mercuric sulfide is extremely low. However, the problem of transport is overcome if the elemental sulfur is already present in the wall rock. In that case, the reaction of the elemental sulfur with a solution containing mercuric sulfide and antimony sulfide, but not saturated with either, would precipitate livingstonite, as was proved by our experimental work. ?? 1976 Springer-Verlag.
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On the origin of the livingstonite deposits at Huitzuco, Guerrero, Mexico