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Terlinguacreekite, Hg32+O2 Cl2, a new mineral species from the Perry pit, Mariposa mine, Terlingua mining district, Brewster County, Texas, U.S.A

Canadian Mineralogist

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Abstract

Terlinguacreekite, ideally Hg32+O2 Cl2, has a very pronounced subcell that is orthorhombic, space-group choices Imam, Imcm, Ima2 and 12cm, with unit-cell parameters refined from powder data: a 6.737(3), b 25.528(10), c 5.533(2) A??, V951.6(6) A??3, a:b:c 0.2639:1:0.2167, Z=8. The true symmetry, supercell unit-cell parameters, and details regarding the crystal structure are unknown. The strongest nine lines of the X-ray powder-diffraction pattern [d in A?? (I)(subcell hkl)] are: 5.413(30)(011), 4.063(80)(121), 3.201(50)(080), 3.023(50)(161), 2.983(60)(240), 2.858(30)(211), 2.765(50)(002), 2.518(100b)(091, 251) and 2.026(30)(242). The mineral is found in an isolated area measuring approximately 1 ?? 0.5 m in the lower level of the Perry pit, Mariposa mine, Terlingua mining district, Brewster County, Texas (type locality), as mm-sized anhedral dark orange to reddish orange crusts of variable thickness on calcite, and rarely as 0.5 mm-sized aggregates of crystals of the same color. It has also been identified at the McDermitt mine, Humboldt County, Nevada, U.S.A., where it occurs with kleinite and calomel in silicified volcanic rocks and sediments. Terlinguacreekite is a secondary phase, most probably formed from the alteration of primary cinnabar or native mercury. At Terlingua, most crusts are thin, almost cryptocrystalline, with no discernable forms, and are resinous and translucent to opaque. Crystals are up to 0.2 mm in length, subhedral, acicular to prismatic, elongation [001], with a maximum length-to-width ratio of 4:1. They are vitreous, transparent, and some crystals have brightly reflecting faces, which may be {010} and {110}. The streak is yellow, and the mineral is brittle with an uneven fracture, no observable cleavage, and is soft, nonfluorescent under both long- and short-wave ultraviolet light. D (calc.) is 9.899 g/cm3 (empirical formula). Material from the McDermitt mine is reversibly photosensitive, and turns from vivid orange to black in strong light. In reflected plane-polarized light, it is bluish grey, with very weak (in air) to distinct (in oil) bireflectance, nonpleochroic, and distinctly anisotropic, with colors masked by ubiquitous yellowish orange to orange internal reflections. Measured values of reflectance obtained in air and in oil are tabulated. Averaged results of electron-microprobe analysis give HgO 92.03, Cl 9.54, Br 1.22, sum 102.79, less O = Cl + Br 2.28, total 100.51 wt.%. The empirical formula is Hg2+3.00O2.00(Cl1.90Br0.11) ??2.01, based on O + Cl + Br = 4 atoms per formula unit. The mineral name recalls the creek that flows through the Terlingua mining district and into the Rio Grande River.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Terlinguacreekite, Hg32+O2 Cl2, a new mineral species from the Perry pit, Mariposa mine, Terlingua mining district, Brewster County, Texas, U.S.A
Series title:
Canadian Mineralogist
Volume
43
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2005
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Canadian Mineralogist
First page:
1055
Last page:
1060
Number of Pages:
6