The composition of renierite is found to be Cu10(Zn1-xCux)Ge2-xAsxFe4S16 (0 = or < x = or < 1), with continuous solid solution between the zincian and arsenian end-members, Cu10ZnGe2Fe4S16 and Cu11GeAsFe4S16, through the coupled substitution Zn(II) + Ge(IV) = Cu(I) + As(V). This is the first reported example of extensive coupled solid solution in a sulphide mineral. Arsenian renierite, not previously characterized, is similar to zincian renierite in polished section, with a slightly redder colour and lower anisotropy. It is reddish orange with relief very similar to that of bornite, though it is harder (VHN25 = 286) and does not tarnish in air. It is slightly bireflective, with colours varying from orange-yellow to reddish orange in nearly crossed polarizers. The strongest powder XRD lines are: 3.042(100), 1.861(29), 1.869(16), 1.594(11) and 1.017(10) A; D(calc.) 4.50 g/cm3. Specimens have been found at the Ruby Creek copper deposit, Alaska, where zincian renierite also occurs, and at the Inexco no. 1 mine, Jamestown, Colorado.-J.A.Z.
Additional publication details
Renierite, Cu10ZnGe2Fe4S16-Cu11GeAsFe4S16: a coupled solid solution series.