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pentlandite(pĕnt`ləndīt), yellowish-bronze, opaque mineral, a sulfide of iron and nickel, (Fe,Ni)9S8. It is found in masses nearly always associated with the iron sulfide pyrrhotite. The largest deposit of this important ore of nickel is at Sudbury, Ont. Important deposits are mined in Manitoba, Russia, and W Australia.
(named after the British traveler J. Pentland [1797–1873], who first discovered the mineral), a nickel-iron pyrite; a mineral with the chemical composition (Fe, Ni)9S8. It contains, by weight, 32.55 percent Fe, 34.22 percent Ni, and 32.23 percent S. It also generally contains a 3-percent admixture of Co. A variety of pentlandite containing up to 49 percent Co is known as cobalt pentlandite.
Pentlandite crystallizes in the isometric system and exhibits octahedral parting. The crystal lattice is composed of eight tetrahedrons with common edges; four tetrahedrons contain Fe2+ ions, and the remaining four contain Ni2+ ions. Similar groups are, in turn, bonded at common apices and arranged at the corners of the face-centered cubic lattice. The ions Fe2+ and Ni2+, occurring in octahedral coordination relative to the S ions, are located between the tetrahedral groups.
Pentlandite has a metallic luster, a light bronze-yellow color, a hardness on Mohs’ scale of 3–4, and a density of 4,500–5,185 kg/m3. It occurs in the form of massive or granular aggregates in sulfide-ore deposits genetically associated with basic and ultrabasic igneous rocks, such as gabbro-norites and pyroxenites. Pentlandite is one of the principal minerals of nickel ores.