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Mineral Properties and Uses

What is Chlorite?

"Chlorite" is a name used for a group of sheet silicate minerals with similar properties. They are primarily found in weakly metamorphosed rock and form from the alteration of clay-rich sedimentary rocks and from alteration of pyroxenes, amphiboles and micas. They are also found in some sediments.

Physical Properties of Chlorite

Chemical Classification
Color various shades of green, yellow, white, pink, rose-red
Streak greenish to greenish black to white
Luster vitreous to pearly
Diaphaneity transparent to translucent
Cleavage basal, perfect
Mohs Hardness 2 to 2.5
Specific Gravity 2.6 to 3.3
Diagnostic Properties color, hardness
Chemical Composition a generalized formula:

(Many solid solution possiblities exist with the "chlorite" composition, each producing a specimen with slightly varying properties. Chlorite minerals include clinochlore (most abundant), baileychlore, chamosite, cookeite, donbassite, gonyerite, nimite, odinite, orthochamosite, pennantite, ripidolite, sudoite.
Crystal System monoclinic
Uses Very few industrial uses. Used as a filler and as a constituent of clay.

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Chlorite from Quebec, Canada. This specimen is approximately 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) across.

Chlorite layering
A side view of the layering of chlorite from Quebec, Canada. Specimen is approximately 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) across.

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