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Formula:   Cu3(OH)2(CO3)2   mineral photo

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Crystal:   Monoclinic  
Hardness:   3.5-4  
Spec. Gr.:   3.77  
Streak:   Blue  
Cleavage:   p(O21) interrupted; a(100) less perfect  
Location:   Bisbee, Arizona  

Azurite is a secondary mineral of copper sulfide minerals. Weathering of a copper sulfide mineral, such as chalcopyrite, releases copper into the surrounding water. Normally this water contains carbonate ions from the solution of CO2 from the atmosphere. The carbonate reacts with copper to precipitate azurite or malachite. Azurite occurs in copper ores which contain substantial amounts of primary tetrahedrite. Azurite is commonly found in calcite veins and limestone rocks in vivid shades of blue. It frequently forms with its green partner malachite, and easily pseudomorphs partly or entirely with malachite. Well-developed azurite crystals are rare but have occurred at Chessy, France; Tsumeb, Namibia; Broken Hill, Australia; and at Bisbee, Arizona.

Bibliography: Mineralogical Record, Tsumeb issue. V8, pg. 74-75.

Mineralogical Record, Copper Queen Mine, V4, pg. 4-5.

Svenek, Jaroslav, Minerals, 1987, pg. 144-145.

University of California, Santa Barbara—Department of Earth Science
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