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Mineralpedia Details for Nickeline

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Nickeline

Nickeline

Named after the German word kupfernickel, literally “copper nickel,” but used to refer to “Devil’s copper” in allusion to its coppery appearance yet yielding no copper. Nickeline can be found in nickel-copper ores from high-temperature hydrothermal veins as well as massive and disseminated in peridotite and norite. Somewhat common, Nickeline can be found in localities in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, France, the United States, Canada, Bolivia, Morocco, Iran, and Vietnam among many others.

Ref. Handbook of Mineralogy, Anthony et al (1995) and MSA at http://www.handbookofmineralogy.org/pdfs/nickeline.pdf

Formula
NiAs 
Crystal System
Hexagonal 
Crystal Habit
Massive, Reniform, Columnar 
Cleavage
Imperfect, Imperfect, None 
Luster
Metallic 
Color
lead gray, grayish, copper, black 
Streak
brownish black 
Class
Hexagonal - Dihexagonal Dipyramidal 
Fracture
Uneven 
Hardness
5.5 
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Mindat
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Nickeline from Keeley-Frontier mine, Cobalt dist., Ontario, Canada

Nickeline
            from Keeley-Frontier mine, Cobalt dist., Ontario, Canada

This Cobalt specimen  probably originated from a study conducted in the 1960's. The results were summarized in the landmark publication "The Silver - Arsenides Deposits of the Cobalt-Gowganda Region, Ontario" edited by L. G. Berry with major contributions by W. Petruk and J. L. Jambor. On page 108, Petruk describes the five assemblages of mineralization at Cobalt. This specimen clearly fits into group #1, the Nickel-Arsenide assemblage characterized by complex botryoidal masses of Nickeline inter-growths with Breithauptite, Safflorite and Cobaltite. The minerals form concentric layers and it would be impossible to differentiate visually all the minerals without a thorough microprobe study. Looking closely at the ore, one can see the plumose-texture characteristic of all of these ore specimens. 

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Nickeline from Cobalt-Gowganda dist., Ontario, Canada

Nickeline
            from Cobalt-Gowganda dist., Ontario, Canada

Classic nickel arsenide assemblage as described by Petruk in "The Silver-Arsenide Deposits of Cobalt...", This specimen shows the plumose ore texture so typical of Cobalt but mostly composed of brassy colored Breithauptite and Nickeline with a distinct rose hue. This assemblage was found most prevalent in at the ends, tops and bottoms of most veins. Specimen also shows the Dolomitic gangue.

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Nickeline from Hi-Ho Silver mine, Cobalt dist., Ontario, Canada

Nickeline
            from Hi-Ho Silver mine, Cobalt dist., Ontario, Canada

The Cobalt district is located within the Superior structural province of the Canadian Shield. Two distinct suites of minerals and age of mineralization occur throughout the region. The older are base metal sulfides associated with Archean volcanics and are classified as stratiform and syngenetic. The younger are the ore suites consisting of silver-cobalt-nickel-arsenic assemblages hosted within Archean volcanics and Huronian rocks and are fissure fillings and replacement veins. It was found through detailed research of ore samples that five typical assemblages of arsenides occur in specific parts of the ore veins at Cobalt. This specimen belongs to group 2, the Ni-Co-As assemblage, which typically contains a high Silver content and a predominance of nickel and cobalt arsenides. These assemblages were defined by William Petruk in the 1960's and published in "The Silver-Arsenide Deposits of the Cobalt-Gowganda Region, Ontario" (MAC). This specimen contains abundant Nickeline and Safflorite with rosettes and veinlets of the ore minerals.

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