Breithauptite

Breithauptite is a nickel antimonide mineral with the simple formula NiSb. It is a copper-colored usually arborescent mineral NiSb consisting of nickel antimonide

It was first described in 1840 from the Harz Mountains, Lower Saxony, Germany and in 1845 for occurrences in the Cobalt and Thunder Bay districts of Ontario, Canada. It was named to honor Saxon mineralogist Johann Friedrich August Breithaupt (1791–1873).

It occurs in hydrothermal calcite veins associated with cobalt–nickel–silver ores.

General Information

  • Category: Antimonide mineral
  • Formula: nickel antimonide (NiSb)
  • Crystal system: Hexagonal
  • Crystal class: Dihexagonal dipyramidal (6/mmm).

Properties

Breithauptite is a metallic opaque copper-red mineral crystallizing in the hexagonal – dihexagonal dipyramidal crystal system. It is typically massive to reniform inhabit but is observed as tabular crystals. It has a Mohs hardness of 3.5 to 4 and a specific gravity of 8.23.

  • Color: Pale copper-red, maybe with violet tint
  • Crystal habit: Crystals rare, thin tabular or needle-like, to 1 mm; arborescent, disseminated, massive
  • Twinning: Twin plane {1011}
  • Cleavage: None
  • Fracture: Subconchoidal to uneven
  • Tenacity: Brittle
  • Mohs scale hardness: 5.5
  • Luster: Metallic
  • Streak: Reddish brown
  • Diaphaneity: Opaque
  • Specific gravity: 7.591–8.23 measured; 8.629 calculated.

Occurrence: In hydrothermal calcite veins associated with Co–Ni–Ag ores. It is an uncommon mineral that can be found in hydrothermal veins that are related to cobalt-nickel-silver ores and in association with silver nickeline, maucherite, cobaltite, ullmannite, tetrahedrite, pyrrhotite, cubanite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galena, and calcite. Localities include in Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Australia, Russia, Japan, India, Canada, and the United States among a few others.

Association: Silver, nickeline, maucherite, cobaltite, ullmannite, tetrahedrite, pyrrhotite, cubanite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galena, calcite

 

Information Source;