Abstract

Arsenohopeite, ideally Zn3(AsO4)2·4H2O, is the arsenate analogue of hopeite, Zn3(PO4)2·4H2O (it is isostructural with α-hopeite). It was found as a single colourless to blue crystalline grain from the Tsumeb mine, Namibia. The holotype specimen is ~1×1×1 mm in size. Arsenohopeite is associated with tiny white fibres of an unidentified Zn- and As-bearing phase. It is orthorhombic, space group Pnma, with a = 10.804(2), b = 19.003(4), c = 5.112(1) Å, V = 1049.5(4) Å3 and Z = 4. Electron microprobe analysis yielded: ZnO 44.92, Fe2O3 0.92, MnO 0.51, MgO 0.20, CuO 0.02, As2O5 45.84 (wt.%). The empirical formula is (Zn2.80Fe0.06Mn0.04Mg0.03)Σ2.93(As1.01O4)2·4H2O, based on 12 oxygen atoms. Optically, the mineral is biaxial negative, with α = 1.598(2), β = 1.606(2), γ = 1.613(2) (white light) and 2Vcalc = 86°. It is not pleochroic or fluorescent. Arsenohopeite is translucent with a vitreous lustre. It is brittle, has an uneven fracture and (by analogy with hopeite) a cleavage that is perfect on {010}, good on {100} and poor on {001}. The calculated density is 3.420 g cm−3. The five strongest calculated powder diffraction lines are [d in Å (I)(hkl)]: 9.502 (100)(020), 2.926 (95)(241), 4.937 (50)(011), 4.110 (48)(230) and 3.567 (31)(240). The crystal structure of arsenohopeite has been solved by direct methods and refined in space group Pnma to R1 = 0.0353. Raman spectroscopy confirms the crystal-structure data and indicates the presence of weak hydrogen bonds.

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