Abstract

Arhbarite was described in 1982 as a new copper arsenate, Cu2(OH) AsO4·6H2O, from the Arhbar mine, Morocco. Due to the very small grain size no crystallographic data other than the X-ray powder diffraction data could be given. Reinvestigation of the type material and of new finds from the El Guanaco mine, Chile, is based on Rietveld refinement of X-ray powder data, electron microprobe investigations, optical studies as well as infrared and Raman spectra. The main results are: (1) arhbarite has the ideal formula Cu2 Mg(AsO4) (OH)3 with magnesium oxide as an additional constituent and (2) arhbarite is isotypic with gilmarite, Cu3 (AsO4) (OH)3. Arhbarite is triclinic, space group P1 (no. 1), unit-cell parameters (type material; refined from powder data) a = 5.315(4), b = 5.978(6), c = 5.030(6) Å , α= 113.58(6), β = 97.14(7), γ = 89.30(8)°, V = 145.2(1) Å3, Z = 1. Microprobe analyses of the type material gave MgO 10.20, CuO 47.46, NiO 0.20, CoO 0.24, As2 O5 33.85, SiO2 0.10, H2O 7.58 (calc.), total 99.63 wt.%. The empirical formula is Cu1.98(Mg0.88Cu0.09Ni0.01Co0.01)∑0.99(AsO4)1.02(OH)2.92, based on 7 O atoms. The Chilean arhbarite shows a slightly higher Cu content than the type material; it has the formula Cu1.99 (Mg0.73 Cu0.25 Zn0.01) ∑0.99 [(AsO4)1.01 (SiO4)0.01]∑1.02(OH)2.92. The formal redefinition of arhbarite has been approved by the CNMMN of the IMA.

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