Sulfosalt systematics: a review. Report of the sulfosalt sub-committee of the IMA Commission on Ore Mineralogy

Y. Moelo, E. Makovicky, N.N. Mozgova, J.L. Jambor, N. Cook, A. Pring, W. Paar, E.H. Nickel, S. Graeser, Sven Karup-Møller, T. Balic-Zunic, W.G. Mumme, F. Vurro, D. Topa, L. Bindi, K. Bente, M. Shimizu

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This report deals with a general reexamination of the systematics of sulfosalts. It represents an update of the activity of the Sulfosalt Sub-Committee within the Commission on Ore Mineralogy of the International Mineralogical Association, in connection with the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC-IMA). Part I presents generalities of sulfosalt definition and nomenclature. After an extended chemical definition of sulfosalts, attention is focused on "classic" sulfosalts with As3+, Sb3+, Bi3+ or Te4+ as cations, corresponding to the general formula (Me+, Me'(2+), etc.), [(Bi, Sb, As)(3+), Te4+](y) [(S, Se, Te)(2-)](z) (Me, Me': various metals). General aspects of their chemistry and classification principles are summarized, especially with regard to chemical substitutions and modular analysis of complex crystal structures. On this basis, Part II presents a review of sulfosalt systematics. Six main crystal-chemical sub-groups are distinguished (plus some unclassified species), concerning more than 220 valid mineral species. Among others whose status is questioned are those considered to be varieties of well-defined species; minerals with ill-defined X-ray data; those that are possibly identical species; and those that represent the potential revalidation of old species. More than 50 crystal structures still remain unsolved, among which about a half probably corresponds to new structure types.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Mineralogy
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)7-46
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • nomenclature
  • systematics
  • crystal chemistry
  • sulfosalt


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