“Orthobrochantite,” IMA 78–64, was originally approved by the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (IMA) as the orthorhombic polymorph of brochantite. Described by Wilson W. Crook III and Stanley G. Oswald from the Douglas Hill mine, Yerington, Nevada, USA, the mineral description was never formally published; however, the name and some data have been widely available since the late 1970s. Investigation of material from the Douglas Hill mine shows “orthobrochantite” to consist mostly of the MDO1 polytype of brochantite, but probably also to contain small domains of the MDO2 polytype. The crystal structure of the MDO1 polytype [a = 13.1117(4), b = 9.8654(4), c = 6.0307(9) Å, β = 103.255(7)° and V = 759.31(12) Å3] has been refined to R1 = 6.37 % for 1245 unique reflections [Fo > 4σF] and 8.83 % for all 1724 reflections. The incorrect unit cell for “orthobrochantite” is either due to the choice of the B-centered pseudo-orthorhombic cell, which is virtually identical to the MDO1 cell, or indexing based on {100} twinning of the MDO1 polytype. New optical determinations for “orthobrochantite” suggest that the indices of refraction reported by Crook and Oswald were significantly in error.

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