Sussexite



Sussexite is a manganese boron hydroxide mineral and the Mg-analogue of szaibelyite. Local material contains much magnesium in solid solution towards szaibelyite, a species as yet unknown locally. Palache (1935) summarized the then-extant analytical data. An analysis of Sterling Hill sussexite (Frondel and Ito, 1965a) yielded: MgO 16.84, MnO 35.78, ZnO 3.71, CaO 0.15, Fe2O3 0.26, B2O3 33.50, H2O 9.57, insol 0.19, total = 100.00 wt. %.
Sussexite was first described from Franklin by Brush (1868a, 1868b, 1901); his formula was confirmed by re-examination of type material by Penfield and Sperry (1888). Pointevin and Ellworth (1924) provided additional analytical and optical data, as did Palache (1928a). Takeuchi (1957) provided X-ray data, and Frondel and Ito (1965a) reported sussexite from Sterling Hill. Moore and Araki (1974) referred to an unpublished study yielding the structural formula Mn2+2(OH)[B2O4(OH)] .
Sussexite occurs at Franklin principally as fibrous masses; the fibrosity is commonly parallel to subparallel, but may be random. Fascicles are tight or loose, long or short, flexible or brittle; it occurs in diverse habits. It also occurs in hexagonal arrays either as relicts after pyrochroite or epitactic thereon. Crystal fibers may be loose or tightly packed into dense, tough masses, which yield a sharp noise when struck by a hammer. Cherty material is also found at Franklin.
These various textures also occur at Sterling Hill, but the preponderance of material there is massive, and some is cherty; grain boundaries are commonly not visible. Much of this material is pink to violetish pink and breaks with an even to subconchoidal fracture. Chalcedonic, quartzite-like, and varying textures grade insensibly into each other, sometimes in concentric patterns. In other specimens, grain boundaries are sharp.
Sussexite has much color variation: fibrous material is commonly white to gray to light pink; cherty material varies in color from pink to pinkish violet to red; and yellow or violet is less common. False colors are induced by minute inclusions of other species; zincite colors sussexite orange, for example. The density is 3.30 g/cm3, but lower values are commonly obtained. There is a cleavage parallel to the fibrosity, as reported by Frondel and Ito (1965a). Sussexite resembles some fibrous amphiboles, fluoborite, and other species.
Sussexite from Franklin is associated with willemite, calcite, franklinite, and massive red zincite; rhodochrosite, pyrochroite, and leucophoenicite are also associated minerals. The association of calcite and willemite is sporadic. The common mode of occurrence is as veins in the common ore. Such veins may be wide or narrow and not uncommonly have simple mineralogies; veins of only sussexite are common. Sussexite may comprise part of the material locally referred to and labeled as calcozincite. Porcelaneous to chalky sussexite occurs with pyrochroite. Cherty material is much less common here than at Sterling Hill, but occurs as violetish veins with light yellow willemite and as an intimate violet pink mixture with hodgkinsonite. The latter was described by Palache (1928a, 1935) and restudied by Dunn and Bostwick (1982), who found it to be a mixture of hodgkinsonite and sussexite. Palache (1935) noted sussexite occurrences in the Hamburg, Trotter, Taylor, and Parker Mines.
At Sterling Hill, the predominance of sussexite is massive, cherry to fine-grained-fibrous aggregates. Kilogram specimens are common. Sussexite accompanies sheared and recrystallized assemblages, some of which are of large scale, especially in the lower reaches of the mine. It is associated with franklinite, willemite, calcite, and, commonly, light-orange recrystallized zincite in pods. Rhodochrosite, manganoan calcite, dolomite, serpentine, pyrochroite, hematite, and, less commonly, brucite and dypingite are also associated. This suite of minerals is largely uninvestigated. (Dunn, 1995)


 Location Found: Franklin (Type Locality) and Ogdensburg
     
 
 Year Discovered: 1868
     
 Formula: Mn2+BO2(OH)
 Essential Elements: Boron, Hydrogen, Manganese, Oxygen
 All Elements in Formula: Boron, Hydrogen, Manganese, Oxygen
     
 IMA Status: Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
     
     
 To find out more about this mineral at minDat's website, follow this link   Sussexite

     
 References:
Dunn, Pete J. (1995). Franklin and Sterling Hill New Jersey: the world's most magnificent mineral deposits. Franklin, NJ.: The Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society. p.642

Frondel, Clifford (1972). The minerals of Franklin and Sterling Hill, a checklist. NY.: John Willey & Sons. p.79


The Picking Table References
 PT Issue and PageDescription / Comment
View IssueV. 9, No. 1 - February 1968, pg. 16The Exclusive Minerals of Franklin/Ogdensburg, N.J. (as of January 1968) by Frank Z. Edwards - Sussexite (Short Note)
View IssueV. 7, No. 2 - August 1966, pg. 13The Minerals of Sterling Hill 1962-65 by Frank Z. Edwards - Sussexite
View IssueV. 6, No. 2 - August 1965, pg. 13Sussexite From Sterling Hill, New Jersey
     
Images

     
Sussexite (pinkish beige), with willemite, calcite, and franklinite, Franklin NJ
Sussexite (non-fluorescent) is pinkish beige in this picture, with willemite, calcite, and franklinite, from Franklin, NJ. Photo by WP.


Sussexite and dolomite from Sterling Hill Mine, Ogdensburg, NJ
Sussexite (pink to dark lavender) and dolomite (white) from Sterling Hill Mine, Ogdensburg, NJ. 2" x 2 1/4". Photo by WP.


Fibrous sussexite from the Sterling Hill Mine, Ogdensburg, NJ
Fibrous sussexite (white to light gray) from the Sterling Hill Mine, Ogdensburg, NJ. Field of view 1". From the collection of, and photo by WP.







All content including, but not limited to, mineral images, maps, graphics, and text on the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society, Inc. (FOMS) website is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Creative Commons License