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Tlapallite on matrix from Bambollita mine (La Oriental), Moctezuma, Municipio de Moctezuma, Sonora, Mexico. Picture width: 29 mm
Category Tellurate minerals
(repeating unit)
IMA symbol Tpl [1]
Strunz classification 4.JL.25
Dana classification34.8.2.1
Crystal system Monoclinic
P3 2 1
Unit cell a = 11.97  Å , b = 9.11 Å
c = 15.66 Å; Z = 4
Crystal habit Thin crusts or botryoidal aggregates
Cleavage None
Mohs scale hardness3
Luster Vitreous, Waxy
Streak Pale green
Diaphaneity Translucent
Specific gravity 5.38 (measured) 5.05-5.465 (calculated)
Optical propertiesBiaxial (-)
Refractive index nα = 1.815 - 1.915 nβ = 1.960 - 2.115 nγ = 1.960 - 2.115
Birefringence δ = 0.1450-0.2000
Pleochroism Moderate, different shades of green
2V angle 0
Ultraviolet fluorescence None
Fusibility Fuses readily
Diagnostic featuresThin green paint-like crusts
Solubility Soluble in cold HCl
Slightly soluble in HNO3 unless heated

Tlapallite is a rare and complex tellurate mineral with the chemical formula (Ca,Pb)3CaCu6[Te4+3Te6+O12]2(Te4+O3)2(SO4)2·3H2O. It has a Moh's hardness of 3 and it is green in colour. It was named after the Nahua word "Tlalpalli", which translates to paint, referring to the paint-like habit of the mineral. [2] Its formula and crystal structure were redefined in 2019, showing it contained a mixed-valence phyllotellurate layer [Te4+3Te6+O12]12−. [3]



It was discovered in 1972 the Bambollita mine (La Oriental), Moctezuma, Municipio de Moctezuma, Sonora, Mexico, a mine known for its tellurium deposits, and it was approved by the IMA in 1977. Here, it is found as thin paint-like crusts on rock fractures and next to thin veins running through rhyolite. It is often found as a thin film on quartz, sericite, calcite or baryte, but it also forms botryoidal aggregates. It is often found alone, but may be associated with other minerals, especially carlfriesite. [4] It has also been found in the emerald mine in Tombstone District,  Cochise County, Arizona in the United States. [2] [5] [6]

The habit of the mineral suggests it precipitates from rapidly drying acid solutions. It seems to form in the transitory phase when other tellurium minerals, like tlalocite, cesbronite, xocomecatlite, quetzalcoatlite, teineite and carlfriesite, start to break down. [4]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rickardite</span>

Rickardite is a telluride mineral, a copper telluride (Cu7Te5) or Cu3-x (x = 0 to 0.36)Te2. It was first described for an occurrence in the Good Hope Mine, Vulcan district, Gunnison County, Colorado, US, and named for mining engineer Thomas Arthur Rickard (1864–1953). It is a low temperature hydrothermal mineral that occurs associated with vulcanite, native tellurium, cameronite, petzite, sylvanite, berthierite, pyrite, arsenopyrite and bornite.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Liroconite</span> Copper aluminium arsenate mineral

Liroconite is a complex mineral: Hydrated copper aluminium arsenate hydroxide, with the formula Cu2Al[(OH)4|AsO4]·4(H2O). It is a vitreous monoclinic mineral, colored bright blue to green, often associated with malachite, azurite, olivenite, and clinoclase. It is quite soft, with a Mohs hardness of 2 - 2.5, and has a specific gravity of 2.9 - 3.0.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cesbronite</span>

Cesbronite is a copper-tellurium oxysalt mineral with the chemical formula Cu3Te6+O4(OH)4 (IMA 17-C). It is colored green and its crystals are orthorhombic dipyramidal. Cesbronite is rated 3 on the Mohs Scale. It is named after Fabien Cesbron (born 1938), a French mineralogist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frank Hawthorne</span> Canadian mineralogist and crystallographer

Frank Christopher Hawthorne is a Canadian mineralogist, crystallographer and spectroscopist. He works at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and is currently Distinguished Professor Emeritus. By combining Graph Theory, Bond-Valence Theory and the moments approach to the electronic energy density of solids he has developed Bond Topology as a rigorous approach to understanding the atomic arrangements, chemical compositions and paragenesis of complex oxide and oxysalt minerals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nagyágite</span> Sulfide mineral

Nagyágite is a rare sulfide mineral with known occurrence associated with gold ores. Nagyágite crystals are opaque, monoclinic and dark grey to black coloured.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Xocomecatlite</span>

Xocomecatlite is a rare tellurate mineral with formula: Cu3(TeO4)(OH)4. It is an orthorhombic mineral which occurs as aggregates or spherules of green needlelike crystals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Duftite</span> Arsenate mineral

Duftite is a relatively common arsenate mineral with the formula CuPb(AsO4)(OH), related to conichalcite. It is green and often forms botryoidal aggregates. It is a member of the adelite-descloizite Group, Conichalcite-Duftite Series. Duftite and conichalcite specimens from Tsumeb are commonly zoned in color and composition. Microprobe analyses and X-ray powder-diffraction studies indicate extensive substitution of Zn for Cu, and Ca for Pb in the duftite structure. This indicates a solid solution among conichalcite, CaCu(AsO4 )(OH), austinite, CaZn(AsO4)(OH) and duftite PbCu(AsO4)(OH), all of them belonging to the adelite group of arsenates. It was named after Mining Councilor G Duft, Director of the Otavi Mine and Railroad Company, Tsumeb, Namibia. The type locality is the Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.

Campigliaite is a copper and manganese sulfate mineral with a chemical formula of Cu4Mn(SO4)2(OH)6·4H2O. It has a chemical formula and also a crystal structure similar to niedermayrite, with Cd(II) cation replacing by Mn(II). The formation of campigliaite is related to the oxidation of sulfide minerals to form sulfate solutions with ilvaite associated with the presence of manganese. Campigliaite is a rare secondary mineral formed when metallic sulfide skarn deposits are oxidized. While there are several related associations, there is no abundant source for this mineral due to its rare process of formation. Based on its crystallographic data and chemical formula, campigliaite is placed in the devillite group and considered the manganese analogue of devillite. Campigliaite belongs to the copper oxysalt minerals as well followed by the subgroup M=M-T sheets. The infinite sheet structures that campigliaite has are characterized by strongly bonded polyhedral sheets, which are linked in the third dimension by weaker hydrogen bonds.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Zemannite</span>

Zemannite is a very rare oxide mineral with the chemical formula Mg0.5ZnFe3+[TeO3]3·4.5H2O. It crystallizes in the hexagonal crystal system and forms small prismatic brown crystals. Because of the rarity and small crystal size, zemannite has no applications and serves as a collector's item.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tsumebite</span>

Tsumebite is a rare phosphate mineral named in 1912 after the locality where it was first found, the Tsumeb mine in Namibia, well known to mineral collectors for the wide range of minerals found there. Tsumebite is a compound phosphate and sulfate of lead and copper, with hydroxyl, formula Pb2Cu(PO4)(SO4)(OH). There is a similar mineral called arsentsumebite, where the phosphate group PO4 is replaced by the arsenate group AsO4, giving the formula Pb2Cu(AsO4)(SO4)(OH). Both minerals are members of the brackebuschite group.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tsumcorite</span>

Tsumcorite is a rare hydrated lead arsenate mineral that was discovered in 1971, and reported by Geier, Kautz and Muller. It was named after the TSUMeb CORporation mine at Tsumeb, in Namibia, in recognition of the Corporation's support for mineralogical investigations of the orebody at its Mineral Research Laboratory.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carlfriesite</span>

Carlfriesite is a rare tellurium mineral with the formula CaTe4+2Te6+O8, or more simplified: CaTe3O8. It has a Moh's hardness of 3.5 and it occurs in various shades of yellow, ranging from bright yellow to a light buttery color. It was named after Carl Fries Jr. (1910–1965) from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Geological Institute of the National University, Mexico City, Mexico. It was previously thought to have the formula H4Ca(TeO3)3, but this was proven to be incorrect. It has no uses beyond being a collector's item.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tlalocite</span>

Tlalocite is a rare and complex tellurate mineral with the formula Cu10Zn6(TeO4)2(TeO3)(OH)25Cl · 27 H2O. It has a Mohs hardness of 1, and a cyan color. It was named after Tlaloc, the Aztec god of rain, in allusion to the high amount of water contained within the crystal structure. It is not to be confused with quetzalcoatlite, which often looks similar in color and habit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Quetzalcoatlite</span>

Quetzalcoatlite is a rare tellurium oxysalt mineral with the formula Zn6Cu3(TeO6)2(OH)6 · AgxPbyClx+2y. It also contains large amounts of silver- and lead(II)chloride with the formula AgxPbyClx+2y (x+y≤2). It has a Mohs hardness of 3 and it crystallizes in the trigonal system. It has a deep blue color. It was named after Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec and Toltec god of the sea, alluding to its color. It is not to be confused with tlalocite, which has a similar color and habit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Khinite</span>

Khinite is a rare tellurate mineral with the formula Pb2+Cu2+3TeO6(OH)2 It crystallizes in the orthorhombic system and has a bottle-green colour. It is often found as dipyramidal, curved or corroded crystals no more than 0.15 mm in size. The tetragonal dimorph of khinite is called parakhinite.

Bluebellite is a mineral discovered in 2013 in the Blue Bell Mine in the Mojave Desert, California at the same time as the discovery of mojaveite. This mineral was named after its locality, since the Blue Bell Mine claims most of the surrounding area. The only observed forms of this mineral are the {001} and {001}. Bluebellite is known to form bright bluish-green flattened plates or flakes that are range up to 20 x 20 x 5 nm in size, commonly inter-grown in irregular aggregates. Bluebellite and mojaveite are very similar in structure, they are only differentiated by their unique mineral composition.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fumarole mineral</span> Minerals which are deposited by fumarole exhalations

Fumarole minerals are minerals which are deposited by fumarole exhalations. They form when gases and compounds desublimate or precipitate out of condensates, forming mineral deposits. They are mostly associated with volcanoes following deposition from volcanic gas during an eruption or discharge from a volcanic vent or fumarole, but have been encountered on burning coal deposits as well. They can be black or multicoloured and are often unstable upon exposure to the atmosphere.

A tellurite tellurate is a chemical compound or salt that contains tellurite and tellurate anions (TeO32- and TeO42-). These are mixed anion compounds. Some have third anions.

Northstarite is an immensely rare lead-tellurite-thiosulfate mineral with an ideal formula of Pb6(Te4+ O3)5(S6+O3S2-). Northstarite was first discovered in 2019 by Charles Adan in the North Star Mine of the Tintic Mining District, Juab County, Utah, USA. Northstarite received its name after this type locality where it was originally discovered, the North Star Mine. Northstarite is the fourth thiosulfate mineral that exists on Earth, and although all thiosulfates have essential lead components, northstarite is the first thiosulfate species containing groups of both thiosulfate and tellurite (Te4+O3).

Gallobeudantite is a secondary, Gallium-bearing mineral of beudantite, where the Iron is replaced with Gallium, a rare-earth metal. It was first described as a distinct mineral by Jambor et al in 1996. Specific Gallium minerals are generally rare and Gallium itself is usually obtained as a by-product during the processing of the ores of other metals. In particular, the main source material for Gallium is bauxite, a key ore of aluminium. However, Gallobeudantite is too rare to be of economic value. Its main interest is academic and also among mineral collectors.


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