Hetaerolite - Encyclopedia

    Class : Oxides and hydroxides
    Subclass : Oxides
    Crystal system : Tetragonal
    Chemistry : ZnMn2O4
    Rarity : Rare

Hetaerolite (or heterolite) is a rare secondary oxide from manganese and zinc deposits. It is formed at the expense of primary oxides (franklinite, pyrolusite, etc...) and is often associated with chalcophanite. Its name comes from the Greek hetairos (companion), because it is found in association with chalcophanite. Hetaerolite can form pyramidal crystals of 1 cm but usually occurs in botryoidal masses and black fibrous stalactitic aggregates.

Main photo : Hetaerolite from Carnahan Mine, New-Mexico, USA © Michael C. Michayluk

Hetaerolite from Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Arizona, USA © Rob Lavinsky
Hetaerolite from Esperanza Mine, Laurion, Greece © Stephan Wolfsried
Hetaerolite from Sterling Hill, New Jersey, USA © Uwe Haubenreisser
Hetaerolite from Mohawk Mine, Californie, USA © Douglas Merson

Hetaerolite in the World

Hetaerolite is well known in the large deposits of Franklin and Sterling Hill (New Jersey), associated with willemite, chalcophanite and franklinite, as well as in the Arizona deposits (Bisbee, Tombstone, Hayden). It is present in several European deposits where manganese is quite abundant, notably in Romania (Rodna), in Belgium (Moresnet), and in Switzerland (Mont Chemin in Valais).

Hetaerolite in France

In France, the hetaerolite is reported at Peyrebrune (Tarn).


No twin known for this mineral species.

Fakes and treatments

No fakes recorded for this mineral species.

Hardness : 6
Density : 5.18
Fracture : Irregular
Streak : Black

TP : Opaque
RI : 2.140 to 2.340
Birefringence : 0.200
Optical character : Uniaxial -
Pleochroism : None
Fluorescence : None

Solubility : -

Magnetism : NoneRadioactivity : None


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