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About TarbuttiteHide

White, colourless, yellow, red green or brown; colourless in transmitted light.
Vitreous, Pearly
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
Named after Percy Coventry Tarbutt ( - 24 May 1943), a Director of the Broken Hill Exploration Company who collected some of the first specimens at Broken Hill (now Kabwe), Zambia.
A rare secondary zinc phosphate. A synthetic orthorhombic (libethenite-type) polymorph is known (Harrison et al., 1995).

Classification of TarbuttiteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

B : Phosphates, etc., with additional anions, without H2O
B : With only medium-sized cations, (OH, etc.):RO4 about 1:1

6 : A2(XO4)Zq

19 : Phosphates
6 : Phosphates of Zn

Physical Properties of TarbuttiteHide

Vitreous, Pearly
Transparent, Translucent
Lustre pearly on the cleavage surfaces.
White, colourless, yellow, red green or brown; colourless in transmitted light.
3½ on Mohs scale
On {010}, perfect.
4.12 g/cm3 (Measured)    4.19 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of TarbuttiteHide

Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.660 nβ = 1.705 nγ = 1.713
Measured: 50°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.053
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:

Chemical Properties of TarbuttiteHide


Crystallography of TarbuttiteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
1 - Pinacoidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.55 Å, b = 5.7 Å, c = 6.47 Å
α = 102.68°, β = 102.81°, γ = 86.88°
a:b:c = 0.974 : 1 : 1.135
Unit Cell V:
194.71 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals equant to short prismatic [001]. Commonly found as sheaf-like aggregates or as crusts. Individual crystals commonly rounded and deeply striated.

Crystal StructureHide

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IDSpeciesReferenceLinkYearLocalityPressure (GPa)Temp (K)
0010630TarbuttiteCocco G, Fanfani L, Zanazzi P F (1966) The crystal structure of tarbuttite, Zn2(OH)PO4 Zeitschrift fur Kristallographie 123 321-3291966Broken Hill, Rhodesia0293
0012477TarbuttiteGenkina E A, Maksimov B A, Mel'nikov O K (1985) Crystal structure of synthetic tarbutite Zn2[PO4](OH) Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR 282 314-3171985synthetic0293
0014936TarbuttiteFanfani L, Zanazzi P F (1965) Dati strutturali sulla tarbuttite Periodico di Mineralogia 34 539-5451965Broken Hill, Rhodesia0293
CIF Raw Data - click here to close

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Type Occurrence of TarbuttiteHide

Geological Setting of Type Material:
Upper portion of the oxidation zone where phosphatic solutions reacted with earlier formed hemimorphite and cerussite.
Associated Minerals at Type Locality:

Other Language Names for TarbuttiteHide

Simplified Chinese:三斜磷锌矿
Traditional Chinese:三斜磷鋅礦

Relationship of Tarbuttite to other SpeciesHide

Other Members of this group:
ParadamiteZn2(AsO4)(OH)Tric. 1 : P1

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
25 photos of Tarbuttite associated with HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
20 photos of Tarbuttite associated with SkorpioniteCa3Zn2(PO4)2(CO3)(OH)2 · H2O
19 photos of Tarbuttite associated with HydroxylapatiteCa5(PO4)3(OH)
6 photos of Tarbuttite associated with SmithsoniteZnCO3
6 photos of Tarbuttite associated with ParahopeiteZn3(PO4)2 · 4H2O
4 photos of Tarbuttite associated with PyromorphitePb5(PO4)3Cl
3 photos of Tarbuttite associated with HopeiteZn3(PO4)2 · 4H2O
3 photos of Tarbuttite associated with HydrozinciteZn5(CO3)2(OH)6
3 photos of Tarbuttite associated with StolzitePb(WO4)
1 photo of Tarbuttite associated with QuartzSiO2

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

8.BB.XArsenowagneriteMg2(AsO4)FMon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.05AmblygoniteLiAl(PO4)FTric. 1 : P1
8.BB.05MontebrasiteLiAl(PO4)(OH)Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.05TavoriteLiFe3+(PO4)(OH)Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.10TripliteMn2+2(PO4)FMon. 2/m
8.BB.10ZwieseliteFe2+2(PO4)FMon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.15SarkiniteMn2+2(AsO4)(OH)Mon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.15TriploiditeMn2+2(PO4)(OH)Mon. 2/m : P2/b
8.BB.15Wagnerite(Mg,Fe2+)2(PO4)FMon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.15WolfeiteFe2+2(PO4)(OH)Mon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.15JoosteiteMn2+(Mn3+,Fe3+)(PO4)OMon. 2/m
8.BB.15HydroxylwagneriteMg2(PO4)(OH)Mon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.20HoltedahliteMg2(PO4)(OH)Trig. 3m : P3 1m
8.BB.20Satterlyite(Fe2+,Mg,Fe)12(PO4)5(PO3OH)(OH,O)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : P3 1m
8.BB.25AlthausiteMg4(PO4)2(OH,O)(F,◻)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
8.BB.30AdamiteZn2(AsO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
8.BB.30EveiteMn2+2(AsO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
8.BB.30LibetheniteCu2(PO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
8.BB.30OliveniteCu2(AsO4)(OH)Mon. 2/m : P21/m
8.BB.30ZincolibetheniteCuZn(PO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
8.BB.30ZincoliveniteCuZn(AsO4)(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
8.BB.30AuriacusiteFe3+Cu2+(AsO4)OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
8.BB.35ParadamiteZn2(AsO4)(OH)Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.40BarbosaliteFe2+Fe3+2(PO4)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.40LazuliteMgAl2(PO4)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.40ScorzaliteFe2+Al2(PO4)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
8.BB.45TrolleiteAl4(PO4)3(OH)3Mon. 2/m : B2/b
8.BB.50NamibiteCu(BiO)2(VO4)(OH)Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.70TuraniteCu5(VO4)2(OH)4Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.80FingeriteCu11(VO4)6O2Tric. 1 : P1
8.BB.90ZinclipscombiteZnFe3+2(PO4)2(OH)2Tet. 4 2 2 : P43 21 2

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide 1 : P1

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

19.6.2SpenceriteZn4(PO4)2(OH)2 · 3H2OMon. 2/m : P2/b
19.6.3HopeiteZn3(PO4)2 · 4H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
19.6.4ParahopeiteZn3(PO4)2 · 4H2OTric. 1 : P1
19.6.5Veszelyite(Cu,Zn)2Zn(PO4)(OH)3 · 2H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
19.6.6Kipushite(Cu,Zn)5Zn(PO4)2(OH)6 · H2OMon.
19.6.7ScholziteCaZn2(PO4)2 · 2H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbcm
19.6.8ParascholziteCaZn2(PO4)2 · 2H2OMon.
19.6.9EhrleiteCa4Be3Zn2(PO4)6 · 9H2OTric. 1 : P1
19.6.10FaustiteZnAl6(PO4)4(OH)8 · 4H2OTric. 1 : P1
19.6.11Aheylite(Fe2+,Zn)Al6(PO4)4(OH)8 · 4H2OTric. 1 : P1
19.6.12JungiteCa2Zn4Fe3+8(PO4)9(OH)9 · 16H2OOrth.
19.6.13SchooneriteZnMn2+Fe2+2Fe3+(PO4)3(OH)2 · 9H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbam
19.6.14PhosphophylliteZn2Fe(PO4)2 · 4H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b

Other InformationHide

May form pseudomorphs after smithsonite, descloizite and possibly also hemimorphite. May alter to parahopeite.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for TarbuttiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Spencer, L.J. (1907) Societies and Academies: Mineralogical Society. Nature: 76: 215-215.
Spencer, L.J. (1908) On hopeite and other zinc phosphates and associated minerals from Broken Hill mines, North-Western Rhodesia. Mineralogical Magazine: 15: 1-38 (22).
Rosický (1913) Bull. Ac. Sc. Bohême: 18: no. 35.
Larsen, E.S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 141.
Buttgenbach and Mélon (1931) Acadamie Royale de Belgique, Bulletin de la Classe des Sciences: 5: 17: 892.
Richmond, W. E. (1938). Tarbuttite. American Mineralogist: 23(12): 881-893.
Richmond, W.E. (1940) Crystal chemistry of the phosphates, arsenates and vanadates of the type A2XO4(Z). American Mineralogist: 25: 441-478 (475).
Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 1124 pp.: 869-871.
Fanfani L., Zanazzi P.F. (1965) Dati strutturali sulla tarbuttite. Periodico di Mineralogia – Roma: 539-545.
Finney, J.J. (1966) Unit Cell of Tarbuttite Zn2(PO4)(OH) and Paradamite Zn2(AsO4)(OH). American Mineralogist: 51(7): 1218-1220.
Cocco, G., Fanfani, L., Zanazzi, P.F. (1966) The crystal structure of tarbuttite, Zn2(OH)PO4. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie-Crystalline Materials: 123(1-6): 321-329.
Quick, S.M., Bank, G. (1973) Electron spin resonance of Cu2+ in tarbuttite mineral. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics: 6(7): 891.
Hill, R.J., Milnes, A.R. (1974) Phosphate minerals from Reaphook Hill, Flinders Ranges, South Australia. Mineralogical Magazine: 39: 684-695.
Milnes, A.R., Hill, R.J. (1977) Preparation of synthetic scholzite, hopeite and tarbuttite and their comparison with natural material. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte: 1877: 25-38.
Genkina, E.A., Maksimov, B.A., Mel'nikov, O.K. (1985) Cystal structure of synthetic tarbuttite Zn2(PO4)(OH). Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR: 282: 314-317.
Harrison, W.T.A., Vaughey, J.T., Dussack, L.L., Jacobson, A.J., Martin, T.E., Stucky, G.D. (1995) Two new adamite-type phases, Co2(OH)PO4 and Zn2(OH)PO4: structure-directing effect of organic additives. Journal of Solid State Chemistry: 114: 151-158.
Frost, R.L. (2004) An infrared and Raman spectroscopic study of natural zinc phosphates. Spectrochimica Acta Part A-Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy: 60: 1439-1445.
Frost, R.L. (2004) An infrared and Raman spectroscopic study of natural zinc phosphates. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: 60: 1439-1445.
Dyar, M.D., Jawin, E.R., Breves, E., Marchand, G., Nelms, M., Lane, M.D., Mertzman, S.A., Bish, D.L., Bishop, J.L. (2014) Mössbauer parameters of iron in phosphate minerals: Implications for interpretation of martian data. American Mineralogist: 99: 914-942.
Cairncross, B. (2019) Connoisseur's Choice: Tarbuttite, Skorpion Mine, Lüderitz District, Namibia. Rocks & Minerals: 94(2): 150-157.

Internet Links for TarbuttiteHide

Localities for TarbuttiteHide

This map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.

Locality ListHide

- This locality has map coordinates listed. - This locality has estimated coordinates. ⓘ - Click for further information on this occurrence. ? - Indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. - Good crystals or important locality for species. - World class for species or very significant. (TL) - Type Locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) - First Recorded Locality for everything else (eg varieties). Struck out - Mineral was erroneously reported from this locality. Faded * - Never found at this locality but inferred to have existed at some point in the past (eg from pseudomorphs.)

All localities listed without proper references should be considered as questionable.
Atlantic Ocean
  • Mid-Atlantic Ridge complex
Gablina, I. F., Dobretzova, I. G., Laiba, A. A., Narkevsky, E. V., Maksimov, F. E., & Kuznetsov, V. Y. (2018). Specific Features of Sulfide Ores in the Pobeda Hydrothermal Cluster, Mid-Atlantic Rise 17° 07′–17° 08′ N. Lithology and Mineral Resources, 53(6), 431-454.
  • New South Wales
    • Yancowinna Co.
      • Broken Hill district
        • Broken Hill
Birch, W.D., van der Heyden, A. (1997) Minerals of the Kintore and Block 14 open cuts at Broken Hill, New South Wales. Australian Journal of Mineralogy: 3(1): 23-71.
          • Broken Hill South Mine (BHS Mine; South Mine)
Birch, W.D., van der Heyden, A. (1997) Minerals of the Kintore and Block 14 open cuts at Broken Hill NSW. Australian Journal of Mineralogy: 3: 23-71.
  • South Australia
    • Flinders Ranges
      • South Flinders Ranges
        • Martins Well station
Johnston, C.W . & Hill, R.J. (1978): Zinc phosphates at Reaphook Hill South Australia. Mineralogical Record 9,(1), 20-24
  • British Columbia
    • Nelson Mining Division
      • Salmo
Paradis, S., Keevil, H., Simandl, G. J., & Raudsepp, M. (2015). Carbonate-hosted nonsulphide Zn–Pb mineralization of southern British Columbia, Canada. Mineralium Deposita, 50(8), 923-951.
Paradis, S., Keevil, H., Simandl, G. J., & Raudsepp, M. (2015). Carbonate-hosted nonsulphide Zn–Pb mineralization of southern British Columbia, Canada. Mineralium Deposita, 50(8), 923-951.
Lairen Lai and Nicheng Shi (1984): Acta Petrologica Mineralogica et Analytica 3(1), 40-46
  • Occitanie
    • Pyrénées-Orientales
Berbain,C., Riley, T., Favreau, G., (2012): Phosphates des pegmatites du massif des Albères (Pyrénées-Orientales). Le Cahier des Micromonteurs. 117, 121-172
      • Céret
        • Argelès-sur-Mer
BERBAIN. C, RILEY. T, FAVREAU. G, (2012). Phosphates des pegmatites du massif des Albères. Ed Association française de Microminéralogie,
        • Collioure
BERBAIN. C, RILEY. T, FAVREAU. G, (2012) Phosphates des pegmatites du massif des Albères. Ed Association Française de Microminéralogie
  • ǁKaras Region
    • Oranjemund
      • Rosh Pinah
Borg, G., Karner, K., Buxton, M., Armstrong, R., Schalk van der Merwe, W. (2003): Geology of the Skorpion supergene zinc deposit, southern Namibia. Economic Geology, 98, 749-771.; Jahn, S. (2007): Tarbuttit von der Skorpion Zink Mine, Namibia. Mineralien-Welt 18 (4), 56-66. (in German)
  • Colorado
    • Lake Co.
      • Leadville
        • Iowa Gulch
Minerals of Colorado (1997) E.B. Eckels
Zambia (TL)
  • Central Province
    • Kabwe District
      • Kabwe (Broken Hill)
Nature (1907) 76, 215; Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 734, 736, 870.
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