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Algodonite and domeykite from New Cliffe Hill quarry, Stanton-under-Bardon, Leicestershire

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Abstract

The main copper assemblage found at New Cliffe Hill Quarry comprises major amounts of cuprite, copper and malachite. Other minerals are uncommon but include trace amounts of silver, tenorite, the copper sulphides chalcocite/djurleite, yarrowite and the rare copper-arsenic species algodonite and domeykite. Analyses of domeykite (Cu2.99As) show it to be close to its stoichiometric formula Cu3As but algodonite has a range of compositions from Cu5.39As to Cu6.07As. This paper presents the first analyses of algodonite in Britain that are close to its stoichiometric formula. A minor sulphide assemblage from New Cliffe Hill Quarry carries chalcopyrite, bornite, ‘chalcocite’, spionkopite, yarrowite and covelline and in many respects has a similar petrography to the sulphide assemblage seen at Judkins Quarry where bornite (and its alteration product ‘idaite’), chalcopyrite, minor tetrahedrite, trace amounts of possible cobaltite and blue copper sulphides including geerite, djurleite, digenite, spionkopite and yarrowite occur. An origin for the copper from Permo-Triassic red beds rather than spatially associated Precambrian igneous rocks is favoured

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