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Mcconnellite, CuCrO2 and ellinaite, CaCr2O4, from varicoloured spurrite marble of the Daba-Siwaqa area, Hatrurim Complex, Jordan

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 March 2021

Irina O. Galuskina*
Institute of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Silesia, Będzińska 60, 41-200Sosnowiec, Poland
Marcin Stachowicz
Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrology, University of Warsaw, Żwirki I Wigury 93, 02-089Warszawa, Poland
Krzysztof Woźniak
Department of Chemistry, University of Warsaw, Pasteura 1, 02-093Warszawa, Poland
Yevgeny Vapnik
Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, P.O.B. 653, Beer-Sheva84105, Israel
Evgeny Galuskin
Institute of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Silesia, Będzińska 60, 41-200Sosnowiec, Poland
*Author for correspondence: Irina O. Galuskina, Email:


A common attribute of two rare natural chromium-bearing oxides: mcconnellite, CuCrO2, discovered more than 40 years ago in Guyana, and a new mineral ellinaite, CaCr2O4, described from two localities (Brazil and Israel) recently, is that these minerals are poorly studied due to their rarity and small size. Mcconnellite and ellinaite in the present study were found in varicoloured marbles of the pyrometamorphic Hatrurim Complex in the Tulul Al Hammam area, Daba-Siwaqa, Jordan. Structural data obtained for ellinaite (Pnma, a = 9.0875(2), b = 2.9698(1), c = 10.6270(3) Å and V = 286.80(2) Å3), with an empirical formula (Сa1.00Sr0.01)Σ1.01(Cr3+1.79Al0.07Ca0.04Fe3+0.04 Ti4+0.03Mg0.03)Σ2.00O4, is similar to the structural data of synthetic analogue β-CaCr2O4 but differs significantly from the data obtained for ellinaite from Brazil and Israel despite the fact that all the natural phases have a similar composition. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction data for mcconnellite from Jordan (R$\bar{3}$m, a = b = 2.9756(1) and c = 17.124(1) Å) with composition (Cu0.98Ca0.03Sr0.01)Σ1.02(Cr3+0.90Al0.05 Fe3+0.03)Σ0.98O2, is the first determination of a natural Cu-delafossite-type structure. This paper also presents the results of a single-crystal Raman study for mcconnellite and ellinaite, which indicates that the spectral features of these minerals is dependent on crystal orientation.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

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Associate Editor: G. Diego Gatta


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