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Mineral Properties and Uses

What is Pyrrhotite?

Pyrrhotite is an iron sulfide mineral found in basic igneous rocks, pegmatites, vein deposits, and contact metamorphic deposits. It is slighly magnetic.

Physical Properties of Pyrrhotite

Chemical Classification sulfide
Color bronze yellow, brownish bronze, reddish bronze
Streak dark grayish black
Luster metallic
Diaphaneity opaque
Cleavage none
Mohs Hardness 3.5 to 4.5
Specific Gravity 4.6 to 4.7
Diagnostic Properties color, magnetism
Chemical Composition iron sulfide, Fe1-xS
Crystal System monoclinic
Uses a very minor ore of iron

Uses of Pyrrhotite?

Pyrrhotite is mined primarily because it is associated with pentlandite, sulfide mineral that can contain significant amounts of nickel and cobalt.

Pyrrhotite from Falconbridge, Ontario, Canada. Specimen is approximately 2-1/2 inches (6.4 centimeters) across.

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Pyrrhotite from Falconbridge, Ontario, Canada. Specimen is approximately 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) across.

Nickeliferous pyrrhotite from Falconbridge, Ontario, Canada. Specimen is approximately 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) across.

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