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Tennantite-(Ni), Cu6(Cu4Ni2)As4S13, from Luobusa ophiolite, Tibet, China: a new Ni member of the tetrahedrite group

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 May 2023

Yanjuan Wang
School of Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China Department of Geosciences, University of Padova, Padova 35131, Italy
Rujun Chen
School of Geosciences and Info-Physics, Central South University, Changsha 410083, Hunan, China
Xiangping Gu*
School of Geosciences and Info-Physics, Central South University, Changsha 410083, Hunan, China
Zengqian Hou
School of Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China
Fabrizio Nestola
Department of Geosciences, University of Padova, Padova 35131, Italy
Zhusen Yang
Institute of Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China
Guang Fan
Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology, Beijing 100029, China
Guochen Dong
School of Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
Lijuan Ye
Tianjin Center, China Geological Survey, Tianjin 300170, China
Kai Qu
Tianjin Center, China Geological Survey, Tianjin 300170, China School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
*Corresponding author: Xiangping Gu; Email:


The new mineral tennantite-(Ni), Cu6(Cu4Ni2)As4S13, has been discovered from the Luobusa Chromitite, Tibet, southwestern China. Tennantite-(Ni) occurs as anhedral grains ranging from 2 to 20 μm in size. In reflected light microscopy, tennantite-(Ni) is isotropic and appears yellow-greenish grey. Reflectance data for Commission on Ore Mineralogy wavelengths in air for tennantite-(Ni) are: 31.0 (470 nm), 29.6 (546 nm), 29.6 (589 nm) and 29.3 (650 nm). Electron microprobe analysis for holotype material gave the empirical formula (on basis of total cations = 16 apfu): M(2)Cu6 M(1)[Cu4.00(Ni0.97Cu0.53Fe0.50)Σ2.00]Σ6.00X(3)(As2.94Sb1.06)Σ4S12.77. Tennantite-(Ni) is cubic, with space group I$\bar{ 4}$3m (#217), a =10.2957(9) Å, V = 1091.4(3) Å3 and Z = 2. By using single-crystal X-ray diffraction, the crystal structure has been determined and refined to a final R1 = 0.0423 on the basis of 163 independent reflections [Fo > 4σ (Fo)]. The calculated seven strongest powder X-ray diffraction lines [d in Å (I) (hkl)] are: 2.972 (100) (222), 1.820 (83) (440), 2.574 (28) (400), 1.552 (18) (622), 3.640 (10) (220), 1.880 (10) (521) and 1.287 (7) (800). Tennantite-(Ni) is isostructural with other tetrahedrite-group minerals, and nickel is hosted at the tetrahedrally coordinated M(1) site, along with Cu and minor Fe. The mineral and its name have been approved by the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA2021-018).

Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

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Associate Editor: Koichi Momma


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