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A common ore of copper iron sulfite. Bornite was named after an Austrian mineralologist, Ignaz von Born. It has been found in Tasmania, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and the U.S. (Montana, Arizona). The naturally brown ore alters on weathering to form Chalcocite and other copper corrosion products which produces an iridescent surface containing purple, blue, and green colors.

Synonyms and Related Terms

peacock ore


  • Tarnishes in air and moisture

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Cleavage = imperfect
  • Fracture = concoidal
  • Luster = metallic
Composition Cu5FeS4
Mohs Hardness 3.0
Density 4.9-5.3 g/ml
Molecular Weight 501.84

Resources and Citations

  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997

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