Abstract

Two new members of the atacamite family were discovered recently in the Sadamisaki Peninsula, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. Iyoite, MnCuCl(OH)3, is an Mn-Cu ordered analogue of botallackite, while misakiite, Cu3Mn(OH)6Cl2, is an Mn-rich analogue of kapellasite. Both minerals occur in manganese ore crevices in close association with one another. Iyoite forms radial and dendritic aggregates consisting of pale green, bladed crystals. Misakiite commonly exists in emerald green, tabular, hexagonal crystals. The densities of iyoite and misakiite were calculated to be 3.22 and 3.42 g cm−3 based on their empirical formulae and powder X-ray diffraction data. Under the same axial setting of botallackite, iyoite is monoclinic, space group P21/m, a = 5.717(2), b = 6.586(2), c = 5.623(3) Å, β = 88.45(3)° and V = 211.63(15) Å3. Misakiite is trigonal, space group Pforumlam1, with a = 6.4156(4), c = 5.7026(5) Å and V = 203.27(3) Å3. The structures of both minerals are classified as layer type and the two are closely related. These new minerals were formed by the reaction between seawater and naturally-occurring manganese ores including native copper. These minerals are challenging to produce synthetically. Misakiite was synthesized successfully using a hydrothermal method, while iyoite could not be made.

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