Archerite, (K,NH4)H2PO4, a New Mineral from Madura, Western Australia

P. J. Bridge
Government Chemical Laboratories, Perth, Western Australia

Summary: Archerite, (K, NH4)H2PO4, a new mineral, has been found in Petrogale Cave, 36 km east of Madura Motel (31° 54′S, 127°00′E) Western Australia. Archerite and biphosphammite together with aphthitalite, halite, syngenite, stercorite, oxammite, weddellite, whitlockite, guanine, newberyite, calcite, (NH4)2Ca(HPO4)2·H2O, and an unknown occur as stalactites and wall and floor crusts.

Archerite is tetragonal with second order prisms and pyramids in crystals up to 2 mm in length with D 2·23, ω 1·513, ε 1·470, all close to artificial KH2PO4. The mineral is soft, has a white streak, and is soluble in cold H2O. Cell dimensions of natural archerite were not determined and the composition was calculated from measurements of selected powder lines correlated with charts prepared from end-member data and by chemistry which gave 81% KH2PO4 and K2O 10·8, NH2 3·46 respectively, the latter corresponding to (K0·74(NH4)0·26)H2PO4.

The name is for Dr. M. Archer, Curator of Mammals, Queensland Museum. Type material is stored in the collections of the Government Chemical Laboratories, Perth, Western Australia.

Mineralogical Magazine; March 1977 v. 41; no. 317; p. 33-35; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1977.041.317.05
© 1977, The Mineralogical Society
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