Arsenopyrite

arsenopyrite

galena

sphalerite

chalcopyrite

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Formula: FeAsS
Oxidation states: Fe2+As1-S1- (AM 87.1692-1698)
Sulphide
Specific gravity: 5.9 - 6.2
Hardness: 5½ - 6
Streak: Black
Colour: Tin white to steel white
Solubility: Arsenopyrite is moderately soluble in nitric acid but insoluble in hydrochloric and sulphuric acids
Common impurities: Ag,Au,Co,Sn,Ni,Sb,Bi,Cu,Pb
Environments:

Pegmatites (sparingly)
Metamorphic environments
Hydrothermal environments

Arsenopyrite is the most common arsenic-containing mineral. It occurs with tin and tungsten ores in high-temperature hydrothermal deposits, associated with silver and copper ores, galena, sphalerite, pyrite and chalcopyrite. It is frequently associated with gold. It is found in contact metamorphic deposits, and disseminated in limestone.

Localities

At the Emmons pegmatite, Greenwood, Oxford county, Maine, USA, arsenopyrite may occur in crystals to 2 mm coating löllingite masses. The Emmons pegmatite is an example of a highly evolved boron-lithium-cesium-tantalum enriched pegmatite (R&M 94.6.503).

At Devil's Peak, Sai Kung District, New Territories, Hong Kong, China, the mineralisation occurred in quartz veins in the contact zone between a granite intrusion and acid volcanic rocks. The mine is now closed, and inaccessible for collecting. Chalcopyrite occurred in the quartz veins with beryl, wolframite, molybdenite, pyrite and arsenopyrite (Hong Kong Minerals (1991). Peng, C J. Hong Kong Urban Council)

The Needle Hill Mine, Needle Hill, Sha Tin District, New Territories, Hong Kong, China, is a tungsten mine, abandoned in 1967. The principal ore is wolframite, and the principal gangue mineral is quartz. Molybdenum also occurs. The mineralisation consists of a series of parallel fissure veins that cut through granite. Wolframite and quartz are the main minerals, but galena, sphalerite, pyrite, molybdenite and fluorite have also been found here (Geological Society of Hong Kong Newsletter 9.3.29-40). The quartz-wolframite veins are of high-temperature hydrothermal formation, and grade into wolframite-bearing pegmatites.
Wolframite is almost always associated with molybdenite. Other associated minerals found occasionally include pyrite, chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite, sphalerite, bismuth, fluorite, topaz and cassiterite
(Hong Kong Minerals (1991). Peng, C J. Hong Kong Urban Council)

Alteration

chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite, CO2 and O2 to Fe-tennantite, siderite and sulphur
10CuFeS2 + 4FeAsS + 4CO2 + 8O2 = Cu10Fe2As4S13 + 4Fe(CO3) + 11/2S2
(CM 28.725-738)

chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite and pyrite to Fe-tennantite and troilite
10CuFeS2 + 4FeAsS + FeS2 = Cu10Fe2As4S13 + 13FeS
(CM 28.725-738)

chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite and sulphur to Fe-tennantite and pyrite
10CuFeS2 + 4FeAsS + 13/2S2 = Cu10Fe2As4S13 + 12FeS2
This reaction occurs at a comparatively low temperature (CM 28.725-738).

chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite and sulphur to Fe-tennantite and troilite
l0CuFeS2 + 4FeAsS + l/2S2 = Cu10Fe2As4S13 + l2FeS
(CM 28.725-738)

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