Molybdate, forms a solid-solution series with stolzite
Specific gravity: 6.7 to 6.9
Colour: Yellow to orange-red, blue, grey
Solubility: Slightly soluble in hydrochloric, sulphuric and nitric acid
Hydrothermal environments (typical)
Wulfenite is a secondary mineral that generally forms in massive
hydrothermal replacement deposits. It is also found in the oxidation zone of
hypothermal (high temperature) lead veins
with other secondary lead minerals, especially
pyromorphite, and in carbonatites.
At the Erupcion-Ahumada mine, Los Lamentos, Chihuahua, Mexico, wulfenite occurs on a massive limestone matrix, and a boulder of calcite covered with wulfenite crystals has been found there. Pseudomorphs of vanadinite after wulfenite have also been found, as well as vanadinite on hemimorphite that has replaced wulfenite (R&M 94.1.40-41, 58).
At the Apex mine, San Carlos, Manuel Benavides, Chihuahua, Mexico, wulfenite is found on dolomite (R&M 94.1.38).
At the Ojuela mine, Mapimi, Mexico, wulfenite is associated with mimetite and mottramite, and some specimens have calcite crystals perched on them. Pseudomorphs of quartz after wulfenite, associated with smithsonite have been found here, as well as pseudomorphs of duftite after wulfenite associated with calcite, mimetite and goethite (R&M 94.1.36-37, 58).
At the San Francisco mine, Rancho Cerro Prieto, Near Cucurpe, Sonora, Mexico, wulfenite is associated with mimetite and may be replaced by it (R&M 94.1.43-44, 58).
At the Tsumeb mine, Namibia, pseudomorphs of bayldonite, conichalcite, dolomite, malachite, smithsonite, stolzite, mottramite and duftite after wulfenite have been found, but they are extremely rare (R&M 94.1.54-59). Wulfenite has been found as an encrustation on the termination of a crystal of an arsentsumebite (or possibly bayldonite) replacement after mimetite (R&M 94.1.71-72). Very common associates are calcite, dolomite, duftite, malachite and mimetite. Moderately common associates are azurite, cerussite, dioptase, goethite, hematite, mottramite, quartz and smithsonite. Rare or very rare associates are adamite, alamosite, anglesite, aragonite, arsentsumebite, bayldonite, beudantite, biehlite, conichalcite, copper, cuprite, devilline, feinglosite, kaolinite, kegelite, leadhillite, lukrahnite, molybdofornacite, olivenite, rhodochrosite, rosasite, scorodite, serpierite, tenorite, tsumcorite, willemite, zincgartrellite and zincolivenite (R&M 94.1.77).
Two commonly observed parageneses for wulfenite are:
goethite > wulfenite > mimetite > malachite, and
(hematite plus goethite) > wulfenite (i) > duftite > wulfenite (ii)
A third, rare paragenesis is:
primary sulphides > wulfenite > alamosite > kegelite > leadhillite > cerussite
At the Sachaverel farm, Winster, Derbyshire, England, UK, wulfenite is associated with pyromorphite, galena and fluorite (RES p109).
At Breedon quarry, Breedon on the Hill, Leicestershire, England, UK, wulfenite is associated with galena and cerussite (RES p203).
In Arizona, USA, wulfenite crystals may be coated by younger minerals, frequently quartz, calcite and second generation wulfenite (R&M 94.1.12).
At the Hilltop mine, Cochise county, Arizona, USA, wulfenite often occurs on calcite (R&M 94.1.18).
At the SilverBill-Mystery mine, Cochise county, Arizona, USA, wulfenite commonly occurs with a coating of calcite (R&M 94.1.12).
At the Finch mine, Gila county, Arizona, USA, wulfenite typically occurs as crystals coated with a microcrystalline quartz druse. Pseudomorphs of quartz, hemimorphite, descloizite and vanadinite after wulfenite have also been found here, and associated minerals include calcite (R&M 94.1.14, 57).
At the 79 mine, Gila county, Arizona, USA, pseudomorphs of quartz and hemimorphite after wulfenite have been found (R&M 94.1.57).
At the Total Wreck mine, Pima county, Arizona, USA, Pseudomorphs of mottramite after wulfenite have been found (R&M 94.1.28, 58).
At the Mammoth-St Anthony mine, Pinal county, Arizona, USA, wulfenite is sometimes associated with mimetite and other secondary minerals such as sauconite, dioptase and cerussite. Pseudomorphs of descloizite after wulfenite have been found here (R&M 94.1.18, 58).
At the Rowley mine, Maricopa county, Arizona, USA, wulfenite commonly occurs on a baryte matrix associated with mimetite (R&M 94.1.23). Pseudomorphs of vanadinite after wulfenite have been found here (R&M 94.1.28).
At the Glove mine, Santa Cruz county, Arizona, USA, wulfenite sometimes occurs with inclusions or coatings of manganese oxide minerals, or it may be replaced by them (R&M 94.1.14-18). Pseudomorphs of descloizite and mottramite after wulfenite have been found here (R&M 94.1.28).
At the Red Cloud copper mine, Lincoln county, New Mexico, USA, wulfenite is associated with mottramite, vanadinite and mimetite (R&M 94.1.65).
At the Surprise mine, Luna county, New Mexico, USA, wulfenite has been found on galena that has been partially altered to cerussite (R&M 94.1.65, R&M 94.3.236-237).
From the Anira mine, Santa Fe county, New Mexico, USA, a specimen of massive wulfenite with minor iron gossan and calcite has been found (R&M 94.1.65).
At the Big Chief mine, Sierra county, New Mexico, USA, wulfenite has been found associated with vanadinite (R&M 94.1.65).
At the Macy mine, Sierra county, New Mexico, USA, wulfenite is found on limestone (R&M 94.1.62).
At the Petroglyph mine, Sierra county, New Mexico, USA, wulfenite is often coated with chalcedony (R&M 94.1.65).
From the Graphic mine, Socorro county, New Mexico, USA, a specimen has been found with wulfenite on malachite (R&M 94.1.63).
At the Lemitar mounains, Sorocco county, New Mexico, USA, wulfenite is often associated with fluorite and cerussite (R&M 94.1.65).
At the Mex-Tex and Blanchard mines, Socorro county, New Mexico, USA, some wulfenite pseudomorphs after galena have been found (R&M 94.1.64).
At the Ora tunnel and Hickey mine, Socorro county, New Mexico, USA, wulfenite has been found on baryte and fluorite, and associated with oxidised galena (R&M 94.1.64).
At the Kabwe mine, Central Province, Zambia, wulfenite is extremely rare, but it has been found in a cavity with quartz (R&M).
Common impurities: W,Ca,V,As,Cr,W,Ti
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