Abstract

Smamite, Ca2Sb(OH)4[H(AsO4)2]·6H2O, is a new mineral species from the Giftgrube mine, Rauenthal, Sainte-Marie-Aux-Mines ore-district, Haut-Rhin department, France. It is a supergene mineral found in quartz-carbonate gangue with disseminated to massive tennantite-tetrahedrite series minerals, native arsenic, Ni-Co arsenides, and supergene minerals picropharmacolite, fluckite, and pharmacolite. Smamite occurs as lenticular crystals growing in aggregates up to 0.5 mm across. The new mineral is whitish to colorless, transparent with vitreous luster and white streak; non-fluorescent under UV radiation. The Mohs hardness iŝ3½; the tenacity is brittle, the fracture is curved, and there is no apparent cleavage. The measured density is 2.72(3) g/cm3; the calculated density is 2.709 g/cm3 for the ideal formula. The mineral is insoluble in H2O and quickly soluble in dilute (10%) HCl at room temperature. Optically, smamite is biaxial (–), α = 1.556(1), β = 1.581(1), γ = 1.588(1) (white light). The 2V (meas) = 54(1)°; 2V (calc) = 55.1°. The dispersion is weak, r > ν. Smamite is non-pleochroic. Electron microprobe analyses provided the empirical formula Ca2.03Sb0.97(OH)4[H1.10(As1.99Si0.01O4)2]·6H2O. Smamite is triclinic, P1, a = 5.8207(4), b = 8.0959(6), c = 8.21296(6) Å, α = 95.8343(7)°, β = 110.762(8)°, γ = 104.012(7)°, V = 402.57(5) Å3, and Z = 1. The structure (Robs = 0.027 for 1518 I>3σI reflections) is based upon {Ca2(H2O)6Sb(OH)4[H(AsO4)2]} infinite chains consisting of edge-sharing dimers of Ca(H2O)3O2(OH)2 polyhedra that share edges with Sb(OH)4O2 octahedra; adjacent chains are linked by H-bonds, including one strong, symmetrical H-bond with an O–H bond-length of ∼1.23 Å. The name “smamite” is based on the acronym of the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines district.

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