Zinc

zinc

sphalerite

djurleite

silver

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Formula: Zn
Native element, transition metal
Specific gravity: 6.9 to 7.2
Hardness: 2
Streak: Slightly greyish
Colour: White metallic
Solubility: Zinc reacts with both acids and alkalis
Melting point: 419.53oC
Boiling point: 910oC
Abundance is 70 parts per million by mass, 22 parts per million by moles in the Earth's crust, and 2 parts per million by mass, 30 parts per billion by moles in the Solar System (ChC)
Common impurities: Sn,Pb,Cd,Fe,Mn,B,Si,Cu,Ag,Ca,Ba
Environments:

Hydrothermal environments
Volcanic exhalations
The Moon a single microscopic particle

Zinc seldom occurs in the native state, but it has been found in oxidised sphalerite, as volcanic exhalations, and in platinum concentrates (Webmin). The main ores of zinc are sphalerite, smithsonite, hemimorphite and franklinite (ChC)

Localities

At the Elsa Mine, Elsa, Galena Hill, Mayo mining district, Yukon, Canada, native zinc occurs in permafrost in the oxidised zone of lead-zinc-silver deposits, derived from sphalerite by oxidation. Associated minerals include silver, sulphur, oxidised sphalerite, limonite, manganese oxides, cerussite, anglesite, freibergite and galena (HOM).

At Keno Hill, Mayo mining district, Yukon, Canada Keno Hill Canada, native zinc is precipitated from cold brines (Dana).

At the type locality, the Dulcinea de Llampos Mine, Cachiyuyo de Llampos mining district, Copiapó Province, Atacama, Chile, minor amounts of metallic zinc and a copper-zinc alloy have been found. These phases occur in association with native copper, and are products of the oxidation of sphalerite intergrown with supergene djurleite. The djurleite formed by the replacement of chalcopyrite and pyrite during supergene sulphide enrichment. Rims of native copper, intergrown with cuprite, developed through replacement in situ of djurleite in the course of subsequent oxidation, and now surround masses of hypogene and supergene sulphides. The sphalerite, which occurs in hypogene chalcopyrite and pyrite, exhibits microscopically sharp contacts with the djurleite, and has been replaced only to a minor extent by djurleite. The zinc-bearing alloys are restricted to within 200 pm of sphalerite which extends to the outer boundaries of the djurleite zones, and are greatly subordinate to the native copper. Aggregates of grains of native zinc, not exceeding 15 pm in diameter, are surrounded successively by narrow discontinuous rims of a copper-zinc alloy, and by native copper. The zinc alloys in the assemblages probably owe their preservation to insulation from supergene solutions and oxidate phases by the surrounding native copper (AM 55.1019-1021).

At the Elbrus mountain, Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia, native zinc occurs as coatings on fibrous volcanic glass, as a volcanic sublimate (HOM).

From the Luna 24 landing site, Mare Crisium, The Moon, a single particle from the Lunar regolith about 1 micron in diameter has been recovered (Mindat).

Zinc-bearing minerals include:

Sulphides
sphalerite

Oxides
franklinite
hetaerolite
zincite

Carbonates
aurichalcite
brianyoungite
hydrozincite
minrecordite
rosasite
smithsonite

Sulphates
glaucocerinite
goslarite
hauckite
namuwite
schulenbergite
serpierite
torreyite

Phosphates
hopeite
parahopeite
phosphophyllite
spencerite
tarbuttite
zincolibethenite

Arsenates
adamite
austinite
gaitite
holdenite
ianbruceite
keyite
kolicite
köttigite
kraisslite
legrandite
o'danielite
paradamite
philipsburgite
stranskiite
tsumcorite
wallkilldellite
warikahnite
zincroselite

Antimonates
yeatmanite

Arsenites
leiteite

Nesosilicates
clinohedrite
esperite
hodgkinsonite
larsenite

Sorosilicates
hardystonite
samfowlerite

Phyllosilicates
hendricksite
sauconite

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