Vaughanite, TlHgSb4S7, a New Mineral from Hemlo, Ontario, Canada1

Donald C. Harris, Andrew C. Roberts and Alan J. Criddle
Geological Survey of Canada, 601 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0E8
Department of Mineralogy, British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Road, London, England, SW7 5BD
1Geological Survey of Canada Contribution Number 12388.

Abstract: Vaughanite, idealized formula T1HgSb4S7, is a very rare primary constituent of the Golden Giant orebody of the Hemlo gold deposit, Hemlo, Ontario, Canada. It was found in two polished sections from one drill core; as a 450 by 300 µm aggregate associated with pääkkönenite, stibnite, realgar, and native arsenic; and as a 40 µm anhedral grain associated with stibarsen and chalcostibite. Vaughanite is opaque with a metallic lustre and a black streak. No cleavage was observed but parting, produced by indentation, was detected as a series of weak parallel traces. It is brittle, with an even, occasionally arcuate, fracture. VHN25 is 100–115, mean 104. Mohs hardness (calc.) = 3−312 In refected plane-polarized light in air the bireflectance is weak to moderate; the pleochroism is also weak, from a somewhat greenish grey to slightly darker bluish grey. Anisotropism is moderate to strong, with rotation tints in shades of green, yellow, purplish brown to brown. Reflectance spectra and colour values are tabulated. The colour in air is light grey. Internal reflections are rare but are arterial-blood-red on indentation fractures. X-ray studies have shown that vaughanite is triclinic with refined unit-cell parameters a 9.012 (3), b 13.223 (3), c 5.906 (2) Å, α 93.27 (3)°, β 95.05 (4)°, γ 109.16 (3)°, V 659.46 (80) Å3, a:b:c = 0.6815 : 1 : 0.4466 and Z = 2. The space group choices are P1 (1) or P1¯ (2), diffraction aspect P*. The five strongest lines in the X-ray powder pattern [d in Å (l) (hkl)] are: 4.343 (30) (1¯30), 4.204 (100) (1¯21), 3.313 (60) (130), 2.749 (40) (022¯, 131) and 2.315 (30) (3¯41¯, 2¯51, 122). The average of five electron microprobe analyses gave T1 18.3 (2), Hg 17.5 (2), Sb 43.4 (3), As 1.1 (1), S 20.5 (5), total 100.8 wt. %, corresponding, on the basis of total atoms = 13, to T10.98Hg0.95(Sb3.90As0.17)Σ4.07S7.00. The calculated density is 5.56 g/cm3 for the empirical formula and 5.62 g/cm3 for the simplified formula. The mineral is named for Professor David J. Vaughan.

Keywords: vaughanite • pääkönenite • new mineral • Hemlo gold deposit • Ontario • Canada • reflectance data • X-ray data • electron microprobe analyses • thallium mercury antimony sulphide

Mineralogical Magazine; March 1989 v. 53; no. 369; p. 79-83; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1989.053.369.08
© 1989, The Mineralogical Society
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