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Related to chalcopyrite: sphalerite, pyrrhotite, bornite


chalcopyrite (kălˌkəpīˈrīt, kălˈkōpīˌrīt) or copper pyrites (pīrīˈtēz, pə–), brass-yellow mineral, sometimes with an iridescent tarnish. It is a sulfide of copper and iron, CuFeS2 . It crystallizes in the tetragonal system but is usually found in the massive form. Chalcopyrite is of primary origin and occurs in igneous and metamorphic rocks and in metalliferous veins. It is an important ore of copper and is widely distributed throughout the world.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also copper pyrite), a mineral, a sulfide of copper and iron, CuFeS2, with small admixtures of Ag, Zn, Au, As, Se, and Sn.

Chalcopyrite crystallizes in the tetragonal system. Its crystal structure is similar to that of sphalerite, but the zinc atoms are replaced by copper and iron atoms. When heated to more than 550°C, chalcopyrite loses some of its sulfur and alters to the high-temperature phase CuFeS1.80, with a cubic sphaleritic cell and a disordered arrangement of atoms. This phase may contain in the form of a solid solution zinc, tin, antimony, and other elements, which upon cooling separate out in native chalcopyrite, forming inclusions of sphalerite, stannite, and tetrahedrite. Chalcopyrite usually occurs in the form of crystalline masses. Well-defined crystals are rare; mechanical twins occur frequently.

Chalcopyrite is a brass-yellow mineral, with a metallic luster. It has a hardness of 3–4 on Mohs’ scale and a density of 4,100–4,300 kg/m3. It is brittle and a semiconductor and an antiferromagnetic.

Chalcopyrite is the most common copper mineral and the principal mineral in copper ores. It is found in deposits of virtually all origins, from magmatic to sedimentary. Copper-nickel deposits, such as the deposits at Monche-Tundra and Noril’sk in the USSR and Sudbury in Canada, where chalcopyrite is found together with pyrrhotite and pentlandite, are associated with magmatic formations proper. Contact-metasomatic deposits are also known.

The principal industrial accumulations of chalcopyrite, however, are related to hydrothermal deposits, such as deposits of pyrite ores (Rio Tinto in Spain and Bor in Yugoslavia) and vein and vein-disseminated ores (Karaoba, Almalyk, Kounrad, Kafan, and others in the USSR, Cornwall in Great Britain, and Butte, Mont., and Bingham, Utah, in the United States), where chalcopyrite is usually associated with pyrite, sphalerite, galena, gray ores, and quartz. In large deposits of copper sandstones, chalcopyrite is accompanied by bornite and chalcocite (at Dzhezkazgan and Udokan in the USSR and the deposits of the Copperbelt of Central Africa). Concentrations of chalcopyrite in sedimentary rocks are usually low, but they may sometimes reach commercially acceptable levels in copper shales, for example, the Mansfeld ore field in the German Democratic Republic. In the course of weathering, pyrite, malachite, limonite, chrysocolla, and other minerals are formed from chalcopyrite.


Mineraly: Spravochnik, vol. 1. Moscow, 1960.
Ramdohr, P. Rudnye mineraly i ikh srastaniia. Moscow, 1962. (Translated from German.)
Cabri, L. J. “New Data on the Phase Relations in the Cu-Fe-S System.” Economic Geology, 1973, vol. 68, no. 4.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


CuFeS2 A major ore mineral of copper; crystallizes in the tetragonal crystal system, but crystals are generally small with diphenoidal faces resembling the tetrahedron; usually massive with a metallic luster and brass-yellow color; hardness is 3.5-4 on Mohs scale, and specific gravity is 4.1-4.3. Also known as copper pyrite; yellow pyrite.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Chalcopyrite with minor malachite mineralization dominating the cement of a hydrothermal breccia with K-feldspar altered megacrystic syenite clasts.
Feng, "Adsorption and activation of copper ions on chalcopyrite surfaces: a new viewpoint of self-activation," Transaction of Nonferrous Metal Society of China, vol.
These values are similar in magnitude to the parent chalcopyrite structure of [CuInSe.sub.2] (a = 5.781(1) [Angstrom], c = 11.642(3) [Angstrom]) [20].
The overarching goal of this work was to test the possibility of replacing sodium cyanide by chitosan polymer as a selective pyrite depressant in the bulk flotation of complex sulfide ore sample containing galena (PbS), chalcopyrite (CuFe[S.sub.2]), sphalerite (ZnS), pyrite (Fe[S.sub.2]), dolomite (CaMg[(C[O.sub.3]).sub.2]), and marcasite (a polymorph of pyrite).
The ranges of Fe isotope compositions of chalcopyrite, pyrite, and sphalerite (Figure 2) are from -0.47[per thousand] to 0.35[per thousand], -2.14[per thousand] to -0.06[per thousand], and -1.08[per thousand] to -0.44[per thousand], respectively, with average [delta][sup.56]Fe values of -0.12 [+ or -] 0.24[per thousand] (n = 22), -1.18 [+ or -] 0.53[per thousand] (n = 48), and -0.82 [+ or -] 0.19[per thousand] (n = 22), respectively.
In this area observed copper mineralization as hypogenous (chalcopyrite and bornite) and supergene (malachite and azurite).
After annealing the sample (400[degrees]C, 1 hours, Ar ambient), the quaternary compound, CIGS, is dominantly formed to be chalcopyrite structure in the deposited film.
AgIn[S.sub.2](AIS) is the only one amid the I-III-[VI.sub.2] compounds that could exist in two stable phases: chalcopyrite and orthorhombic.
The CIGS Wurtzite phase has been prepared by several research groups recently [6-15], and it has the same composition as the Chalcopyrite phase.
Mineralization consists of megascopic and microscopic molybdenite, pyrite, minor chalcopyrite and rare bornite.