Kintoreite, PbFe3(PO4)2(OH,H2O)6, a New Mineral of the Jarosite-Alunite Family, and Lusungite Discredited

A. Pring, W. D. Birch, J. Dawe, M. Taylor, M. Deliens and K. Walenta
Department of Mineralogy, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000, Australia
Department of Mineralogy, Museum of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia
Department of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia, 5042, Australia
Department of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia, 5042, Australia
Department of Mineralogy, Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Rue Vautier 29, B-1040 Brussells, Belgium
Institut für Mineralogie und Kristallchemie, University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 55, 70569 Stuttgart 80, Germany

Abstract: Kintoreite is a new lead iron phosphate mineral in the alunite-jarosite family, from Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia. It is the phosphate analogue of segnitite and the iron analogue of plumbogummite. Kintoreite occurs as clusters and coatings of cream to yellowish green rhombohedral crystals up to 2 mm high and with the principal form {112}. The mineral also forms waxy, yellowish green globular crusts and hemispheres on other phosphate minerals. These associated species include pyromorphite, libethenite, rockbridgeite/dufrenite, apatite and goethite. Kintoreite formed during oxidation of primary ore rich in galena, in the presence of solutions with high P/(As + S) ratios. The mineral is named for the locality, the Kintore opencut, in which it is most common. A mineral closely resembling kintoreite in composition has also been found at several mines in Germany. Type material is preserved in the Museum of Victoria and the South Australian Museum.

Electron microprobe analysis showed a nearly complete spread of compositions across the P-dominant portion of the segnitite-kintoreite series. The selected type specimen has an empirical formula of Pb0.97(Fe2.95Zn0.13Cu0.02)Σ3.10[(PO4)1.30(AsO4)0.39(SO4)0.18(CO3)0.11]Σ1.98(OH)5.45·0.74H2O, calculated on the basis of 14 oxygens and with all Fe trivalent. The simplified formula is PbFe3(PO4)2(OH,H2O)6. Kintoreite crystals are translucent with a vitreous to adamantine lustre, with globules appearing waxy. The streak is pale yellowish green and the Mohs hardness is ∼ 4. Crystals show good cleavage on {001} and are brittle with a rough fracture. The calculated density is 4.34 g cm−3. Kintoreite crystals are uniaxial negative with RIs between 1.935 and 1.955 and show light yellowish green to medium yellow pleochroism.

The strongest lines in the X-ray powder pattern are (dobs, Iobs, hkl) 3.07(100) 113; 5.96(90)101; 3.67(60)110; 2.538(50)024; 2.257(50)107; 1.979(50)303; 1.831(40)220. The X-ray data were indexed on a hexagonal unit cell by analogy with beudantite, giving a = 7.325(1) Å, c = 16.900(3) Å, V = 785.3(5) Å3 and Z = 3. The probable space group is R3¯m, by analogy with beudantite and other members of the alunite-jarosite family. Powder X-ray diffraction data for several intermediate members suggest that the segnitite-kintoreite series may not represent ideal solid solution.

During the study of kintoreite, part of the type specimen of lusungite from Zaïre was obtained and shown to be goyazite. The IMA's Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names has voted to discredit lusungite as a species, and has approved the renaming of the ‘lusungite’ group as the segnitite group. However, as relationships between crystal structure, order-disorder and solid solution in the Pb-rich minerals of the alunite-jarosite family are not well documented, the nomenclatural changes resulting from this study should be seen as interim only.

Keywords: kintoreite • new mineral • jarosite-alunite • lead-iron phosphate • Broken Hill (NSW)

Mineralogical Magazine; March 1995 v. 59; no. 394; p. 143-148; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1995.59.394.14
© 1995, The Mineralogical Society
Mineralogical Society (