Chalcopyrite

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This metallic-looking mineral is called Chalcopyrite.
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Chalcopyrite is a mineral the color of brass, with metallic overtones. It resembles another mineral called "pyrite". The name chalcopyrite means "copper pyrite", from the Greek "chalkos" meaning "copper" and the "pyrite" which had the general meaning of something that, when struck, would produce sparks (although chalcopyrite does not have that property). The chemical name for chalcopyrite is " copper iron sulfide ", which means that it is of the sulfide family. It contains molecules of copper, iron, and sulfur, unlike pyrite which is only composed of iron and sulfur. Chalcopyrite is an important ore of copper, and is the most common copper-bearing mineral on Earth. Because it is found in hydrothermal veins, the easiest way to extract copper from the earth is to mine hydrothermal veins where chalcopyrite is likely to be. Chalcopyrite dissolves in nitric acid, which separates the sulfur from the iron and copper which form the rest of the mineral. This means that chalcopyrite alters naturally to minerals of the sulfate family; malachite, azurite, and limonite.

Facts about Chalcopyrite

chemical name:

copper iron sulfide

chemical formula:

CuFeS2

color:

brassy dark yellow, sometimes a greenish-black cast, sometimes an iridescent tarnish

hardness:
on a scale of 1-8

3.5 - 4.0

specific gravity:
(density)
on a scale of 1-19

4.2 - 4.3

crystal:

tetragonal (pseudotetrahedral crystals common, sometimes massive) The pseudotetrahedral crystals are disphenoidal

fracture:

conchoidal

cleavage:

incomplete

environment:

Chalcopyrite is found in high temperature hydrothermal veins, and in contact metamorphics. It is found in streams and riverbeds, high mountians (areas which were once under water), and at the bottom of the sea.

associated with:

Chalcopyrite is usually associated with the minerals pyrite, sphaleerite, pyrrhotite, fluorite, tetrahedrite.

locales:

Chalcopyrite is found around the world, in France, Chile , Zambia, Peru, Germany, Spain; and in the USA in Montana, Arizona, and Utah


Chalcopyrite

Click for full size Chalcopyrite is a mineral the color of brass, with metallic overtones. There is actually another mineral which is also called "pyrite". Pyrite and chalcopyrite look alike. The name chalcopyrite means "copper pyrite". In Greek, "chalkos" means "copper". And "pyrite" means that it produces sparks. Chalcopyrite does not actually do that, but the mineral pyrite does. The chemical name for chalcopyrite is " copper iron sulfide ", which means that it is of the sulfide family. It contains molecules of copper, iron, and sulfur.

Facts about Chalcopyrite

color:

brassy dark yellow, sometimes a greenish-black streak, sometimes metallic finish

what it looks like:

crystals of chalcopyrite form blocks of tetrahedra

how it forms:

Chalcopyrite forms in hydrothermal veins, that is in a hot-water environment.

how it dissolves:

Chalcopyrite dissolves in nitric acid, which separates the sulfur from the iron and copper which form the rest of the mineral. This means that chalcopyrite alters naturally to minerals such as malachite, azurite, and limonite.

where it can be found:

Chalcopyrite is found in streams and riverbeds, high mountians (areas which were once under water), and at the bottom of the sea. It can be found around the world in France, Chile , Zambia, Peru, Germany, Spain; and in the USA in Montana, Arizona, and Utah.

anything special about it?:

It is an important ore of copper, and is the most common copper-bearing mineral on Earth.

other places where chalcopyrite is important:

none


This metallic-looking mineral is called Chalcopyrite.
Click on image for full size version (40K GIF)
Image from: theImage.com

Another picture of Chalcopyrite

Go to a listing of Rocks by mineral group


Chalcopyrite

Click for full size Chalcopyrite is a mineral the color of brass, which looks like a metal. There is actually another mineral which is also called pyrite. Pyrite and chalcopyrite look alike.

The name chalcopyrite means "copper pyrite".

Chalcopyrite contains molecules of copper, iron, and sulfur. It is a mineral which contains the most copper of any mineral on Earth.

This metallic-looking mineral is called Chalcopyrite.
Click on image for full size version (40K GIF)
Image from: theImage.com

Another picture of Chalcopyrite

Go to a listing of Rocks by mineral group



Last modified June 26, 2000 by the Windows Team

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