A new mineral species, liudongshengite, ideally Zn4Cr2(OH)12(CO3)·3H2O, has been found in the 79 mine, Gila County, Arizona, USA. It occurs as micaceous aggregates or hexagonal platy crystals (up to 0.10 × 0.10 × 0.01 mm). The mineral is pinkish and transparent with white streak and vitreous luster. It is brittle and has a Mohs hardness of ∼1.5, with perfect cleavage on (001). No twinning or parting is observed macroscopically. The measured and calculated densities are 2.95 (3) and 3.00 g/cm3, respectively. Optically, liudongshengite is uniaxial (−), with ω = 1.720 (8), ε = 1.660 (7) (white light). An electron microprobe analysis, combined with the carbon content measured using an elemental combustion system equipped with mass spectrometry, yielded the empirical formula (Zn3.25Mg0.17Cr2.58)Σ6.00(OH)12(CO3)1.29·3H2O, based on (M2+ + M3+) = 6 apfu, where M2+ and M3+ are divalent and trivalent cations, respectively.
Liudongshengite belongs to the quintinite group within the hydrotalcite supergroup and is the Cr-analogue of zaccagnaite-3R, Zn4Al2(OH)12(CO3)·3H2O. It is trigonal, with space group Rm and unit-cell parameters a = 3.1111(4), c = 22.682(3) Å, and V = 190.12(4) Å3. The crystal structure of liudongshengite is composed of positively charged brucite-like layers, [M2+1–xM3+x(OH)2]x+, alternating with negatively charged layers of (CO3)2–·3H2O. Compared to other minerals in the quintinite group, liudongshengite is remarkably enriched in M3+, with an M2+:M3+ ratio of 1.33:1. Like zaccagnaite-3R and many other hydrotalcite-type minerals, liudongshengite may also possess polytypes, as a series of synthetic hydrotalcite-type compounds with a general chemical formula [Zn4Cr2(OH)12]X2·4H2O, where X = Cl–, NO3–, or ½ SO42–, but with unit-cell parameters different from those for liudongshengite, have been reported previously.