1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Atacamite

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

ATACAMITE, a mineral found originally in the desert of Atacama, and named by D. de Gallizen in 1801. It is a cupric oxychloride, having the formula CuCl2·3Cu(OH)2, and crystallizing in the orthorhombic system. Its hardness is about 3 and its specific gravity 3.7, while its colour presents various shades of green, usually dark. Atacamite is a comparatively rare mineral, formed in some cases by the action of sea-water on various copper-ores, and occurring also as a volcanic product on Vesuvian lavas. Some of the finest crystals have been yielded by the copper-mines of South Australia, especially at Wallaroo. It occurs also, with malachite, at Bembe, near Ambriz, in West Africa. From one of its localities in Chile, Los Remolinos, it was termed Remolinite by Brooke and Miller. Atacamite, in a pulverulent state, was formerly used as a pounce under the name of “Peruvian green sand,” and was known in Chile as arsenillo. (F. W. R.*)