Galena

galena

sphalerite

cerussite

anglesite

Images

Formula: PbS
Sulphide
Specific gravity: 7.2 to 7.6
Hardness: 2½
Streak: Lead-grey
Colour: Lead-grey
Solubility: Slightly soluble in hydrochloric and nitric acids
Common impurities: Ag,Cu,Fe,Bi
Environments:

Carbonatites
Metamorphic environments
Hydrothermal environments

Galena is a common primary mineral, found in hypothermal (high temperature) and mesothermal (moderate temperature) veins and in contact metamorphic deposits.
In hydrothermal veins it is often associated with anglesite, baryte, bornite, calcite, cerussite, chalcopyrite, dolomite, fluorite, marcasite, pyrite, quartz and sphalerite.

Localities

The Two Mile and Three Mile deposits, Paddy's River, Paddys River District, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, are skarn deposits at the contact between granodiorite and volcanic rocks. Galena is a primary sulphide that occurs with chalcopyrite in chlorite-rich material, and intergrown with sphalerite in the magnetite skarn at the Two Mile deposit. It also occurs associated with aikinite (AJM 22.1.37).

At the Shijiang Shan-Shalonggou mining area, Inner Mongolia, China, the mineral deposits occur predominantly in veins of hydrothermal origin in skarn. Galena is rarely found in association with borate specimens as small grains. One specimen shows an unusual cuboidal crystal of galena, 2 cm long, with roweite and minor olshanskyite. This crystal is probably of secondary origin (R&M 96.5.401).

At Poullaouen, France, galena has been found as alteration pseudomorphs after pyromorphite (KL p129).

At the Old Hope of God pit, Freiberg, Saxony, Germany, acanthite has been found as pseudomorphs after galena (KL p126).

At Tsumeb, Oshikoto region, Namibia, galena has been found associated with enargite (R&M 93.6.544).

At Berg Aukas, Grootfontein, Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia, galena occurs most commonly as intergrowths with sphalerite. It is found in veins with smithsonite, willemite and cerussite. Galena from this locality contains traces of antimony and manganese (R&M 96.2.131-132). The paragenetic sequence for the sulphides is proposed to be pyrite (oldest) - bornite - chalcopyrite - tennantite - sphalerite - galena - enargite - germanite - renierite - tetrahedrite - jordanite (youngest) (R&M 96.2.131-132).

At the Witwatersrand goldfield, South Africa, attractive specimens of galena have been found at several gold mines in the Carletonville and Welkom goldfiends (R&M 96.4.326).

At the Geduld Mine, Welkom, Lejweleputswa District, Free State, South Africa, well-formed cubic, cuboctahedral and distorted cubic galena crystals, some associated with sphalerite and/or pyrrhotite were found (R&M 96.4.326).

At the Kusasalethu Mine, Carletonville, Western Sector, Far West Rand, West Rand District Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa, crystallographically more complex galena specimens were collected. Some galena displays highly distorted forms with elongated and/or flattened shapes caused by constricted growth. With a few exceptions, the lustre is rather dull with crystal surfaces being finely pitted. Associated minerals include quartz, baryte and pyrobitumen (R&M 96.4.326).

At Alderley Edge, Cheshire, England, UK, copper mineralised solutions percolated through porous sandstone and deposited barium, cobalt, copper, lead, vanadium and zinc minerals between the sand grains. Anhydrite formed as cement in permeable rocks, then baryte was deposited, followed by pyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite and galena. Subsequently a second generation of baryte and iron-rich calcite followed. These minerals crystallised from highly saline, sulphate-rich brines, at a temperature of 50 to 60o C. About 65 million years ago the deposit was uplifted, and oxygenated ground water oxidised original sulphide minerals. Galena was oxidised to cerussite, anglesite and pyromorphite (RES pps 49-50). A sample of galena has been found associated with copper and pyromorphite (RES p54).

At Nenthead, Alston Moor, Eden, Cumbria, England, UK, galena is associated with sphalerite and ankerite (SY p161).

At the Gregory mine, Ashover, Derbyshire, England, UK, galena is associated with fluorite (RES p102).

At the Odin mine, Castleton, Derbyshire, England, UK, galena occurs in limestone (RES p102).

At Wakebridge mine, Crich, Derbyshire, England, UK, galena is associated with baryte and calcite (RES p129).

At the Millclose mine, Daley Dale, Derbyshire, England, UK, galena is associated with calcite, sphalerite, fluorite, pyrite and baryte, on limestone (RES p92, 94).

At Eyam, Derbyshire, England, UK, galena is associated with fluorite, calcite and sphalerite (RES p117, 118).

At the Whitwell quarry, Whitwell, Derbyshire, England, UK, galena is associated with baryte (RES p138).

At Croft Quarry, Croft, Blaby, Leicestershire, England, UK, galena occurs as dull grey cubes to 2 mm on edge with analcime, marcasite, calcite and, occasionally, cerussite. It also occurs as groups of cubo-octahedral crystals to 2 mm that may be associated with chalcopyrite, analcime and calcite (JRS 20.17).

At the Breedon quarry, Breedon on the Hill, Leicestershire, England, UK, galena is associated with cerussite, baryte and wulfenite (RES p202, 203).

At Cloud Hill quarry, Breedon on the Hill, Leicestershire, England, UK, galena is associated with dolomite and calcite (RES p204).

At the Ticklow Lane mine, Shepshed, Leicestershire, England, UK, galena is associated with cerussite (RES p225).

At Earl Ferrers mine, Staunton Harold, Leicestershire, England, UK, galena is associated with calcite, dolomite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite and baryte, in dolomitised limestone (RES p217-222).

At Barrasford Quarry, Chollerton, Northumberland, England, UK, small masses of galena up to 20 mm across, accompanied by sphalerite, have been found in quartzcalcite veins; small amounts of pyrite, pyrrhotite and traces of chalcopyrite have also been seen in these veins (JRS 21.9).

At Divethill Quarry, Little Bavington, Northumberland, England, UK, galena crystals up to 10 mm across have been seen in a narrow vein of calcite (JRS 21.9).

At the Bog mine, Callow Hill-Bog district, Shropshire, England, UK, galena is associated with fluorite, sphalerite and calcite (RES p279).

At Snailbeach mine, Callow Hill-Bog district, Shropshire, England, UK, galena is associated with quartz and calcite (RES p272, 275).

At the Callow Hill quarry, Pontesbury, Callow Hill-Bog district, Shropshire, England, UK, galena is associated with pyrite (RES p290).

At the Tankerville mine, Hope-Shelve district, Shropshire, England, UK, galena is associated with calcite (RES p281).

At the Shadwell quarry, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, England, UK, galena is associated with calcite in