Formula: Cu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
"Tetrahedrite" was discredited as a species in 2019, and the name now refers to five minerals:
tetrahedrite-(Fe): Cu6(Cu4Fe2)Sb4S13
tetrahedrite-(Hg): Cu6(Cu4Hg2)Sb4S13
tetrahedrite-(Mn): Cu6(Cu4Mn2)Sb4S13
tetrahedrite-(Ni): Cu6(Cu4Ni2)Sb4S13
tetrahedrite-(Zn): Cu6(Cu4Zn2)Sb4S13
Sulphosalts, tetrahedrite group
Specific gravity: 4.6 to 5.2
Hardness: 3 to 4
Streak: Black
Colour: Steel grey to iron black
Solubility: Slightly soluble in nitric acid
Common impurities: Ag,Pb,Zn,Fe,As

Pegmatites (rare)
Metamorphic environments
Hydrothermal environments (usual)

Tetrahedrite usually occurs in epithermal (low temperature) to mesothermal (moderate temperature) hydrothermal veins, rarely in pegmatites, and also in some contact metamorphic deposits of low to medium temperatute of formation. Associated minerals include chalcopyrite, galena, sphalerite, pyrite, bornite, acanthite, calcite, dolomite, siderite, baryte, fluorite and quartz (HOM).


At the Huanzala Mine, Huanzala, Huallanca District, Bolognesi Province, Ancash, Peru, specimens have been found with plates of white calcite mixed with massive black tetrahedrite, all completely covered by interlocked crystals of tetrahedrite, galena and fluorite. The galena appears as sharp, skeletal crystals to 2 cm, and the fluorite as colourless, transparent, stepped octahedrons up to 2 cm in size, but the most specracular mineral is the tetrahedrite, which forms razor-sharp, lightly striated, brilliant metallic black tetrahedral crystals to more than 2 cm in size (MinRec 55.1.86).

Tetrahedrite from Huanzala - Image

From Herodsfoot Mine, Lanreath, Cornwall, England, UK, specimen BM.1964,R1021 from the Natural History Museum, London, Features dull metallic grey tetrahedrite crystals with tristetrahedral modifications and an overgrowth of bright brassy chalcopyrite, richly covering a matrix of milky quartz veinstone (RES2).

Tetrahedrite from Herodsfoot Mine - Image

At Redruth, Cornwall, England, UK, tetrahedrite has been found with chalcopyrite and calcite (FM 47545).

At the Eagle Crag Mine, Patterdale, Eden, Cumbria, England, UK, sharp crystals of tetrahedite to 3 mm in size have been found on a quartz matrix (AESS).

Tetrahedrite from Eagle Crag - Image

At the Magma mine, Pioneer District, Pinal county, Arizona, USA, tetrahedrite has been found associated with quartz (R&M 95.1.88).


chalcopyrite, stibnite and sulphur to Fe-tetrahedrite and pyrite
10 CuFeS2 + 2 Sb2S3 + 3/2 S2 → Cu10Fe2As4S13 + 8FeS2
(CM 28.725-738)

skinnerite and sphalerite = Zn-tetrahedrite and chalcocite
4Cu3SbS3 + 2ZnS → Cu10Zn2Sb4S13 + Cu2S
(CM 28.725-738)

Fe-tetrahedrite, berthierite and sulphur to chalcopyrite and stibnite
Cu10Fe2Sb4S13 + 2FeSb2S4 + 11/2S2 → 10CuFeS2 + 4Sb2S3
(CM 28.725-738)

Fe-tetrahedrite, siderite and sulphur to chalcopyrite, stibnite, CO2 and O2
Cu10Fe2Sb4S13 + 8Fe(CO3) + 13/2S2 → 10CuFeS2 + 2Sb2S3 + 8CO2 + 4O2
(CM 28.725-738)

Zn-tetrahedrite to chalcocite, antimony, sphalerite and sulphur
Cu10Zn2Sb4S13 → 5Cu2S + 4Sb + 2ZnS + 3S2
(CM 28.725-738)

tetrahedrite antimony, sphalerite and sulphur
3Cu10Zn2Sb4S13 → 10Cu3SbS3 + 2Sb + 6ZnS + 3/2S2
(CM 28.725-738)

tetrahedrite stibnite and sphalerite
3Cu10Zn2Sb4S13 → 10Cu3SbS3 + Sb2S3 + 6ZnS
(CM 28.725-738)

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