Lautite - Encyclopedia

    Class : Sulfides and sulfosalts
    Subclass : Sulfides
    Crystal system : Orthorhombic
    Chemistry : CuAsS
    Rarity : Very rare

Lautite is an extremely rare sulfide from copper-arsenic hydrothermal veins. In its deposits it accompanies other copper and/or arsenic sulfides (tennantite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, proustite...) as well as common sulfides (pyrite, galena...). It owes its name to its discovery location : Lauta near Marienberg (Germany). Lautite occurs in strongly striated, tabular or chunky prismatic crystals, in columnar to finely fibrous or radiate aggregates, sometimes in compact masses. Its color is black to steel gray. It is a very accessory ore of copper.

Main photo : Lautite on tetrahedrite from Mundo Nuevo, Huamachuco, Sánchez Carrión Province, La Libertad, Peru © Jordi Fabre

Lautite in the World

Lautite is known in very few deposits : Lauta (Germany) where it was discovered in millimeter crystals but also in Mundo Nuevo (Peru).

Right photo : Twinned lautite from Glasberg quarry, Hesse, Germany © Enrico Bonacina

Laurite in France

In France, lautite is reported in Ste-Marie-aux-Mines (Haut-Rhin).


Lautite twins on {110}.

Fakes and treatments

No fakes recorded for this mineral species.

Hardness : 3.5
Density : 4.91
Fracture : Undeterminated
Streak : Black

TP : Opaque
RI : -
Birefringence : 0
Optical character : None
Pleochroism : None
Fluorescence : None

Solubility : Nitric acid

Magnetism : NoneRadioactivity : None


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