Conichalcite is a calcium-copper arsenate hydroxide mineral, which makes oxidized zone deposits of copper ore. It occurs in bright green color which cannot easily be mistaken for any other mineral.
Cacao (AsO4) (OH)
Derivation of Name
The conichalcite mineral derives its name from the Greek word “konis”, meaning “powder,” and chalkos, meaning “copper,” referring to copper in its composition and its irregular appearance as a powdery layer.
Conichalcite has been hesitantly recognized by electron microprobe qualitative analysis (showing the presence of Ca, Cu and as elements) of a variety gathered from Dolyhir Quarry. X-ray diffraction is needed for totally decisive results since there are several supergene minerals including these elements.
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Conichalcite occurs prominently in Juab Co., Utah; Bisbee, in Nevada (Lyon and Lincoln counties, Arizona (USA); Collahuasi, Durango in Mexico; Tarapaca in Chile; Calstock, Caldbeck Fells and Cornwall Cumbria, England; Andalusia in Spain; and sumeb in Namibia.
It is often caked onto limonitic rocks having a red to yellow color, with the two producing a very vivid specimen. Conichalcite occurs in the regions where copper ore is oxidized. Ground water, rich in oxygen may react with sulfides and/or oxide minerals of copper to create a breathtaking range of striking and multihued minerals in a zone called the oxidation zone. Conichalcite is simply one such mineral. Other oxidation zone minerals are Azurite, Malachite and Linarite etc. With calciovolborthite it forms a solid- solution series, which process takes place when two or more minerals having identical structures can interchange elements within their chemistries without considerably changing the structure of crystals.
Grass-green to pistachio-green to yellowish green and even emerald-green.
Hardness (Mohs scale)