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The Mineral sphaerocobaltite

Hot Pink Sphaerocobaltite

Sphaerocobaltite describes a pure cobalt carbonate, without calcium. Pure Sphaerocobaltite is quite uncommon, as the cobalt is usually mixed with calcium. This leads to confusion with the term Cobaltocalcite. Cobaltocalcite refers to an intermediary mineral between Calcite and Sphaerocobaltite in a solid solution series. It may be described as either a cobalt rich variety of Calcite, or a calcium rich variety of Sphaerocobaltite.

Sphaerocobaltite belongs to the calcite group of minerals, a group of related carbonates that are isomorphous with one another. They are similar in many physical properties, and may partially or fully replace one another, forming a solid solution series. All members of the calcite group crystallize in the trigonal system, and have perfect rhombohedral cleavage.

Chemical Formula

CoCO3

Color

Intense pink to reddish-white. Oxidizes brown, dark red, dark maroon, or black.

Crystal System

Hexagonal

Properties

Streak
Reddish-white
Hardness
3.5 - 4
Transparency
Transparent to Translucent
Specific Gravity
4.13
Luster
Vitreous
Cleavage
1,3 - rhombohedral
Fracture
Conchoidal
Tenacity
Brittle

Crystal Habits

Occurs in small rhombohedral crusts and massive.

Additional Information

Composition
Cobalt carbonate, usually with some calcium
In Group
Carbonates; Calcite Group
Striking Features
Deep pink and red color.
Environment
In secondary ore veins rich in cobalt and nickel.
Rock Type
Metamorphic

Other Names

Spherocobaltite

Varieties

 -   Cobaltocalcite refers to an intermediary mineral between Calcite and Sphaerocobaltite in a solid solution series. It is most often perceived as a cobalt-rich variety of Calcite with a rich pink color. (Cobaltocalcite may also be mistakenly used as a synonym for Sphaerocobaltite).

Noteworthy Localities

Sphaerocobaltite is a rare mineral. The original type locality is the Daniel mine in Schneedberg, Saxony, Germany. The Kolwezi Mines in Shaba (Katanga), Congo (Zaire) are the most abundant and outstanding source for this mineral. Other occurrences are Bou Azzer, Morocco; Santa Rosalia, Boleo, Baja California, Mexico; and the Cobre Mine, Conception del Oro, Zacatecas, Mexico.

Common Mineral Associations

Calcite, Dolomite, Malachite

sphaerocobaltite Photos



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