Zeunerite is an Arsenate mineral of copper-uranium in green color from the Autunite group. It is a dehydration creation.
Cu (UO2) 2 (AsO4) 2• (10-16) H2O
Derivation of Name
It was first illustrated during 1872, when found in the Schneeberg District, Erzgebirge, and Saxony, Germany. It derived its name from Gustav Anton Zeuner (1828–1907).
It is found in the oxidized weathering zone as a secondary mineral of hydrothermal uranium ore deposits that include arsenic. Mansfieldite, Olivenite, Scorodite, Malachite and Azurite are also found along with zeunerite
Occasionally it is exploited as a gemstone.
Its principal sources are Grandview Mine, Arizona, USA; Wheal Edward Mine, Cornwall, England, Weisser Hirsch Mine, Schneeberg, Saxony, Germany and other areas offering uranium and arsenic minerals.
Zeunerite is an uncommon Uranyl Arsenate which is akin to the better known Uranyl phosphate mineral Torbernite. These two minerals are just about the same, possessing a number of similar properties. The involvement of Zeunerite with supplementary arsenic minerals helps differentiating the two. Zeunerite gets its name from German physicist, G. A. Zeuner. It can have attractive pseudo cubic crystals.
The configuration of zeunerite comprises of arsenate tetrahedrons connected to uranium-oxygen groups (known as uranyl ions groups,) which form imprecise octahedrons. The uranium and Arsenates groups form sheets that are faintly kept collectively by water molecules. This configuration creates the tubular pattern, having a faultless direction of cleavage plus the relative softness. This structure is analogous to Phyllosilicates. The structure of Zeunerite creates quite an exclusive symmetry (bar 4,), which only a few minerals produce.
Its color variation is from distinctive bright green to yellow.