Abstract

The pearceite-polybasite group of minerals, general formula [M6T2S7][Ag9CuS4] with M = Ag, Cu; and T = As, Sb, show a crystal structure which can be described as the succession, along the c axis, of two pseudo-layer modules: a [M6T2S7]2−A module layer and a [Ag9CuS4]2+B module layer. Copper is present in one structural position of the B module layer and replaces Ag in the only fully occupied M position of the A module layer. When the Cu content is >4.00 a.p.f.u., the structural position of the A module layer becomes Cu-dominant and, consequently, the mineral deserves its own name. In this paper we report the crystal-chemical characterization of two Cu-rich members exhibiting the 111 unit-cell type (corresponding to the Tac polytype). One sample (space group Pm1, a 7.3218(8), c 11.8877(13) Å, V 551.90(10) Å3, Z = 1) having As >Sb and with the structural position of the A module layer dominated by Cu, has been named cupropearceite and the other sample (space group Pm1, a 7.3277(3), c 11.7752(6) Å, V 547.56(8) Å3, Z = 1) having Sb >As has been named cupropolybasite.

Both the new minerals and mineral names have been approved by the IMA-CNMNC.

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