What is chalchpyrite?

What is chalchpyrite?


2 Answers

Ashwin Sinha
520 Points
12 years ago

Chalcopyrite is CuFeS2. It has brass yellow or golden yellow colour.

Gurwinder Kaur
65 Points
12 years ago

Chalcopyrite  is a copper iron sulfide mineral that crystallizes in the tetragonal system. It has the chemical composition CuFeS2. It has a brassy to golden yellow color and a hardness of 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale. Its streak is diagnostic as green tinged black.

On exposure to air, chalcopyrite oxidises to a variety of oxides, hydroxides and sulfates. Associated copper minerals include the sulfides bornite (Cu5FeS4), chalcocite (Cu2S), covellite (CuS), digenite (Cu9S5); carbonates such as malachite and azurite, and rarely oxides such as cuprite (Cu2O). Chalcopyrite is rarely found in association with native copper.

Twinned chacopyrite crystal from the Camp Bird Mine, Ouray County, Colorado (size:5.2 x 3.6 x 2.7 cm)
Category Sulfide mineral
Chemical formula CuFeS2
Strunz classification 02.CB.10a
Crystal symmetry Tetragonal 42m – scalenohedral
Unit cell a = 5.289 Å, c = 10.423 Å; Z = 4
Molar mass 183.54
Color Brass yellow, may have iridescent purplish tarnish.
Crystal habit Predominantly the disphenoid and resembles a tetrahedron, commonly massive, and sometimes botryoidal.
Crystal system Tetragonal Scalenohedral 42m
Twinning Penetration twins
Cleavage Indistinct on {011}
Fracture Irregular to uneven
Tenacity Brittle
Mohs scale hardness 3.5
Luster Metallic
Streak Greenish black
Diaphaneity Opaque
Specific gravity 4.1 – 4.3
Solubility Soluble in HNO3
Other characteristics magnetic on heating


The unit cell of chalcopyrite. Copper is shown in pink, iron in blue and sulfur in yellow.



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