a lead-bismuth telluride from northeastern Ontario, Canada

rucklidgeite [143 kb]

A complex telluride assemblage abutting galena (dull grey, at the left). Two- thirds of the mass, which is slightly <0.5 mm in length, is composed of cream-coloured altaite, PbTe, a fairly common telluride. The "top" side of the altaite is mantled by minerals showing a pinkish wash in plane-polarized light. The half of this rim which extends from the contact of the coarse host galena past smaller blebs of galena and pale altaite is the rucklidgeite. The remaining half of the rim, plus a roughly triangular projection from the far end of the host altaite, is the (slightly darker) pinkish Ag-Bi telluride volynskite. The two rare tellurides look quite similar in air, and descriptions noting marked differences were probably made with an oil immersion objective. Magnification 160x, long-axis field of view 0.7 mm, in plane-polarized reflected light. Sample from the Ashley property, Bannockburn Twp., 20 km W.N.W. of Matachewan, Ontario, Canada. National Mineral Collection sample 64248: Ashley mine sample 1980 #10 of Harris et al. (1983), loaned by Richard Herd of the Geological Survey of Canada in 1998.

"Rock of the Month # 67, posted for January 2007" ---

Rucklidgeite was first described in Quebec and fully characterized in the former Soviet Union. It is a trigonal (rhombohedral) ore mineral, ideal formula (Bi,Pb)3Te4. Since the publication of the first description by John Rucklidge in 1969 it has been noted in some 21 widely-separated localities, deposits and mining camps in 13 countries on five continents, including five examples across Canada. It is usually found in lode gold deposits with other tellurides, but also occurs in skarns, as a rare component of volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits, and in sulphide-bearing zones in mafic layered intrusions. All available published papers on the mineral are listed in the bibliography. The specimen featured here is from the Ashley gold deposit in north-central Ontario (Canadian National Mineral Collection sample 64248).

Rucklidgeite is generally found in small grains with other ore minerals, a few microns to a few hundred microns in diameter. It is usually found with other tellurides, and the unfamiliarity of these minerals coupled with the fine grain size naturally limits its discoveries to detailed mineralogical studies with access to the electron microprobe.

The first mention of the then-unnamed mineral was John Rucklidge's 1969 paper on the Robb-Montbray occurrence. The first complete description, and the official name of the mineral, came with Zav'yalov and Begizov's 1977 account of samples from two deposits in Soviet Union.

The sample is the one figured by Harris et al. (1983), containing the largest rucklidgeite crystal found during an examination of quartz-vein samples collected on the Ashley property, two townships west of Matachewan in north-central Ontario. Gold in the area is found in small quartz and quartz-carbonate veins and stockworks in metavolcanics and granitic rocks. Pink granitic dykes and lamprophyric dykes occur in the vicinity of the Ashley mine.

Rucklidgeite occurrences --- by Region

Robb-Montbray --- Quebec, Canada
Ashley mine --- Ontario, Canada
Seagull complex --- Ontario, Canada
Flin Flon --- Manitoba, Canada
Abo property, Harrison Lake --- British Columbia, Canada
Florencia --- Cuba

Yanahara mine --- Southwest Japan
Baoshan, Hunan --- China
Xiaoqingling, Henan --- China

Wombat Hole --- Victoria, Australia
Lunnon & Juan shoots, Kambalda --- Western Australia
Norseman --- Western Australia

Main Sulphide Zone, Great Dyke --- Zimbabwe

Mahd Adh Dhahab --- Saudi Arabia
Kochkar --- Russia (former U.S.S.R.)
Zod --- Armenia (former U.S.S.R.)
Korvilansuo --- Finland
Ilomantsi --- Finland
Dragset, South Trondelag --- Norway
Silesia --- Poland
Jilove ü Prahy --- Czech Republic

References on Rucklidgeite (n=31):

Afifi,AM, Kelly,WC and Essene,EJ (1984) Environments of late Precambrian gold-silver telluride mineralization at Mahd Adh Dhahab, Saudi Arabia. GSA Abs.w.Progs. 16, 426.

Afifi,AM, Kelly,WC and Essene,EJ (1988) Phase relations among tellurides, sulfides, and oxides: I. Thermochemical data and calculated equilibria. Econ.Geol. 83, 377-394.

Blackburn,WH and Dennen,WH (1997) Encyclopedia of Mineral Names. Canadian Mineralogist Spec.Publ. 1, 360pp.

Bortnikov,NS, Kramer,K, Genkin,AD, Krapiva,LY and Santa Cruz,M (1988) Paragenesis of gold and silver tellurides in the Florencia deposit, Cuba. IGR 30, 294-306.

Cook,NJ, Ciobanu,CL, Stanley,CJ, Paar,WH and Sundblad,K (2007) Compositional data for Bi-Pb tellurosulfides. Can.Mineral. 45, 417-435.

de Fourestier,J (2002) The naming of mineral species approved by the commission on new minerals and mineral names of the international mineralogical association: a brief history. Can.Mineral. 40, 1721-1735.

Eilu,P (1999) FINGOLD - a public database on gold deposits in Finland. Geol.Surv.Finland Report of Investigation 146, 224pp.

Fleischer,M and Cabri,LJ (1978) New mineral names. Amer.Mineral. 63, 598-600.

Fleischer,M, Cabri,LJ, Nickel,EH and Pabst,A (1977) New mineral names. Amer.Mineral. 62, 593-600.

Geller,BA (1993) Mineral Studies in the Boulder Telluride Belt. PhD Thesis, 2 volumes, 731pp., University of Colorado, Boulder.

Gu,X, Watanabe,M, Hoshino,K and Shibata,Y (2001) Mineral chemistry and associations of Bi-Te(S,Se) minerals from China. NJMA 176, 289-309.

Haranczyk,C (1978) Krakow Paleozoic telluric province. Przeglad Geologiczny 6, 337-343 (in Pol.).

Harris,DC, Sinclair,WD and Thorpe,RI (1983) Telluride minerals from the Ashley deposit, Bannockburn Township, Ontario. Can.Mineral. 21, 137-143.

Healy,RE (1989) The Mineral Characteristics that Affect Metal Recoveries from the Cu, Zn, Pb and Ag Ores from Manitoba, Part 3, Volume 1. A Mineralogical Evaluation of the Behaviour of Metallic Minerals in the HBMS Concentrator Circuit. CANMET Report 69198-01-SQ, 163pp.

Heggie,G (2005) Whole Rock Geochemistry, Mineral Chemistry, Petrology and Pt, Pd Mineralization of the Seagull Intrusion, Northwestern Ontario. MSc Thesis, Lakehead University, 364pp.

Henry,DA and Birch,WD (2004) Copper, bismuth, tellurium and gold mineralisation in the Wombat Hole prospect, Morass Creek, Victoria, Australia. Abs. 5th International Conference on Minerals & Museums, École des Mines de Paris, 33.

Horvath,L (2003) Mineral Species Discovered in Canada and Species Named After Canadians. Can.Mineral. Spec.Publ. 6, 374pp.

Hudson,DR, Robinson,BW, Vigers,RBW and Travis,GA (1978) Zoned michenerite -testibiopalladite from Kambalda, Western Australia. Can.Mineral. 16, 121-126.

Johan,Z, Ohnenstetter,D and Naldrett,AJ (1989) Platinum-group minerals and associated oxides and base metal sulphides of the Main Sulphide Zone, Great Dyke, Zimbabwe. Abs. 5th Internat. Platinum Symposium, in Bull.Geol.Soc.Finland 61 part 1, 64pp., 53.

Johanson,B, Tornroos,R and Kojonen,K (1991) Thallian silver telluride from the Korvilansuo gold prospect in the Archaean Hattu schist belt, Ilomantsi, eastern Finland. In `Geological Survey of Finland, Current Research 1989-1990' (Autio,S editor), Geol.Surv.Finland Spec.Pap. 12, 263pp., 91-96.

Kase,K, Kusachi,I and Kishi,S (1993) Rucklidgeite solid-solution in the Yanahara deposit, Japan. Can.Mineral. 31, 99-104.

Kojonen,K, Johanson,B, O'Brien,HE and Pakkanen,L (1993) Mineralogy of gold occurrences in the late Archean Hattu schist belt, Ilomantsi, eastern Finland. Geol.Surv.Finland Spec.Pap. 17, 233-271.

McQueen,KG (1990) Tellurides in metamorphosed stringer ore from the Dragset deposit, South Trondelag, Norway. NJFM 1990-5, 205-216.

McQueen,KG and Solberg,TN (1990) Bismuth-lead tellurides and associated minerals in high-grade gold ore from the Crown Reef, Norseman, Western Australia. Australian Mineralogist 5, 97-105.

Oberthur,T (2002) Platinum-group element mineralization of the Great Dyke, Zimbabwe. In `The Geology, Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Mineral Beneficiation of Platinum-Group Elements' (Cabri,LJ editor), CIM Spec.Vol. 54, 852pp., 483-506.

Pasava,J, Breiter,K, Malatek,J and Rajlich,P (1986) Cu-rich rucklidgeite and an unnamed Pb-Au-Bi sulphotelluride from the gold deposit Jilove u Prahy. Bull.Geol.Surv.Prague 61(4), 217-221.

Rucklidge,JC (1969) Frohbergite, montbrayite, and a new Pb-Bi telluride. Can.Mineral. 9, 709-716.

Schroeter,TG (1987) Brief studies of selected gold deposits in southern British Columbia. In `Geological Fieldwork 1986', BC MEMPR Paper 1987-1, 453pp., 15-22.

Spiridonov,EM, Apollonov,NV and Pokusaev,VI (1994) New minerals of Pb-Bi-Te-S and alexite, kochkarite, rucklidgeite in contact metamorphosed Kochkar gold deposit at Southern Urals. International Mineralogical Association 16th Annual Meeting, Pisa, 390-391.

Zav'yalov,EN and Begizov,VD (1977) Rucklidgeite, (Bi,Pb)3Te4, a new mineral from the Zod and Kochkar gold ore deposits. Zapiski Vses.Mineralog.Obshch. 106, 62-68 (in Russ.).

Zav'yalov,YN and Begizov,VD (1977) Rucklidgeite, (Bi,Pb)3Te4, a new mineral from the Zod and Kochkar gold-ore deposits. Int.Geol.Rev. 19 no.12, 1451-1456.

Graham Wilson, rucklidgeite notes updated to, and posted on, 02 October 2007.

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