Formula: (Cu1+,Zn)11Fe4(Ge4+,As5+)2S16
Sulphide, germanite group
Crystal System: Tetragonal
Specific gravity: 4.38
Hardness: 4 to 5
Streak: Blackish grey
Colour: Orange-bronze, tarnishes reddish
Common impurities: Ga,Pb

Hydrothermal environments

Renierite is an arsenic and germanium bearing mineral that occurs rarely in a few dolostone-hosted copper-lead-zinc deposits and in germanium-bearing hydrothermal polymetallic deposits (Webmin, HOM). Associated minerals include germanite, tennantite, enargite, digenite, bornite, chalcopyrite and sphalerite (HOM). Renierite has been found as inclusions in chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galena and tennantite, and it also sometimes contains inclusions of tennantite itself (AM 35.136).


At the volcaniclastic-hosted copper-lead-zinc Radka Mine, Levski, Panagyurishte, Pazardzhik Province, Bulgaria, renierite appears to coexist in equilibrium with bornite, chalcopyrite, tennantite, chalcocite, galena and sphalerite. It usually appears to replace germanite where the two are found together (AM 71.210-221).

At the Chelopech Au-Cu Mine, Chelopech, Sofia City Province, Bulgaria, the deposit is hosted in andesite-dacite, and renierite is associated with enargite, luzonite, tennantite, pyrite, famatinite, colusite, kësterite, hemusite, chalcopyrite, bornite, covellite, digenite and gold (AM 71.210-221).

At the type locality, the Kipushi Mine, Kipushi, Haut-Katanga, DR Congo, renierite is found abundantly. The zinc-copper-lead orebody occurs at the faulted boundary between brecciated dolomitic shale and a marine dolomite sequence. Associated minerals include bornite, tennantite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galena, briartite and gallite (AM 71.210-221).

At the San Giovanneddu mine, Gonnesa, South Sardinia Province, Sardinia, Italy, renierite occurs in dolostone and schist associated with sphalerite, galena, baryte and pyrite (AM 71.210-221).

At the Shakanai mine, Odate, Akita, Japan, renierite occurs in dacite-basalt, associated with chalcopyrite, pyrite, sphalerite, galena, bornite, digenite, covellite, gold variety electrum, stromeyerite and furutobeite (AM 71.210-221).

In Kazakhstan, probably at the Maikain Au deposit, Bayanaul, Pavlodar Region, Kazakhstan, renierite is associated with sphalerite, bornite, tennantite, chalcocite, galena, pyrite, enargite, luzonite and baryte (AM 71.210-221).

At the Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Oshikoto Region, Namibia, renierite is abundant. The lead-zinc-copper deposit consists of a intrusive pipe within a dolomite sequence. The pipe contains massive sulphide ore together with breccia, lamprophyre, dolerite dikes, and a quartz-feldspar rock. Renierite occurs as microscopic intergrowths throughout the hypogene ore. The germanium-rich ore zones contain large amounts of germanite (masses weighing up to 28 tons have been found) together with smaller amounts of renierite, briartite and gallite. The renierite occurs as fine-grained inclusions within germanite, which it sometimes appears to have replaced, and as fine-grained masses associated with tennantite, chalcopyrite, bornite, sphalerite, germanite, gallite, galena, enargite, digenite and pyrite. Stringers of germanite and renierite are also occasionally found in the dolomitic wallrock (AM 71.210-221).

At the Urup Cu Deposit, Karachaevo-Cherkesskaya Republic, Northern Caucasus Region, Russia, renierite occurs in a hydrothermal environment associated with pyrite, chalcopyrite, bornite, sphalerite, galena, tennantite and luzonite (AM 71.210-221).

At the Ruby Creek Prospect, Shungnak District, Northwest Arctic Borough, Alaska, USA, the deposit consists of sulphide-rich dolomite breccia zones within a marine carbonate sequence. Both zinc-bearing and arsenic-bearing renierite are found here as microscopic inclusions in bornite and chalcocite, associated with chalcopyrite, tennantite-tetrahedrite, pyrite, sphalerite, carrollite and rare tiny grains of germanite (AM 71.210-221).

At the Inexco Mine, Jamestown District, Boulder county, Colorado, USA, the deposit consists of stockwork veins and breccia pipes within granite, gneiss and schist, adjacent to a porphyritic granodiorite pipe and a quartz-monzonite to syenite pipe. The veins and breccia pipes contain abundant sulphides and sulphosalts, with significant concentrations of bismuth, tellurium and gold. Fluorite is found throughout the deposit. Arsenic-bearing renierite is found in high-grade lead-copper-silver-zinc ore. The renierite occurs as inclusions up to 75 pm across in chalcopyrite, galena and bornite, together with tennantite, chalcocite, fluorite and quartz. Other reported minerals include bismuth, geocronite, gold and possibly tiny amounts of germanite and briartite in the ore (AM 71.210-221).

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