Publication details

A re-evaluation of stannopalladinite using modern analytical techniques



Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Mineralogical Magazine
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords stannopalladinite; optical properties; chemical formula; X-ray data; Ugol'nyi Ruchei; Norilsk deposit; Pd-Sn; Pd-Cu-Sn systems
Description An investigation of sample 41647 from the Platinum Placer of Ugol'nyi Ruchei, Norilsk Cu–Ni deposit, Russia, stored in the systematic collection of the Fersman Mineralogical Museum, revealed that it contained a mineral that can be identified as the original stannopalladinite described in 1947. As the literature information on the latter is controversial, the mineral was re-investigated using modern analytical techniques. Stannopalladinite occurs as spherical and ovoid-shaped grains up to 0.08 mm, closely intergrown with tetraferroplatinum as part of flattened, prismatic crystals up to 6 mm long. The micro-indentation hardness of stannopalladinite (VHN, 30 g load) is 244 kg/mm2 (range 233–266, n = 4), corresponding to a Mohs hardness of 4. The calculated density is 9.781 g/cm3. In reflected light, stannopalladinite is pale pink. The bireflectance is noticeable only in oil immersion. In crossed nicols the mineral exhibits strong anisotropy with colour effects changing from reddish purple to greyish blue and polysynthetic twinning of grains. The reflectance curves show distinct anomalous dispersion. The chemical composition (wt.%, electron microprobe data, mean of 11 analyses) is: Cu 8.48, Pd 61.21, Pt 0.89, Sn 25.87, Pb 3.70, total 100.15. The empirical formula calculated on the basis of 4 atoms per formula unit is (Pd2.42Cu0.56Pt0.02)?3.00(Sn0.92Pb0.08)?1.00. The ideal chemical formula of stannopalladinite is therefore proposed as (Pd,Cu)3Sn instead of Pd3Sn2 used in the official IMA List of Minerals. The strongest powder X-ray diffraction lines are [dobs, A (I, %) (hkl) ]: 2.292 (42) (231), 2.166 (100) (331), 2.034 (10) (710), 1.916 (15) (141) and 1.851 (15) (630). The powder X-ray data are indexed in the orthorhombic unit cell with a = 14.634(2), b = 8.5253(6), c = 4.5946(3) A and V = 573.24(7) A3 (Z = 8). Stannopalladinite can be reliably identified among all other minerals belonging to the binary Pd–Sn and ternary Pd–Cu–Sn systems by a combination of chemical, optical and X-ray data.

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