Tetrahedrite

sulfosalt

hydrothermal

Formula: Cu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13 sulphosalt
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
Environments:

Pegmatites (rare)
Carbonatites
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.

Alteration

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)

Common impurities: Ag,Pb,Zn,Fe,As

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