The distribution and composition of adamite and zincolivenite in the British Isles

Braithwaite, Richard S. W.; Green, David I. and Tindle, Andrew G. (2009). The distribution and composition of adamite and zincolivenite in the British Isles. Journal of the Russell Society, 12 pp. 3–9.



The recent description of the mineral zincolivenite with a composition intermediate between olivenite and adamite, and an XRD pattern that is not easily distinguished from the latter, makes almost all historic identifications of British adamite unreliable. A review of British occurrences shows that most of the material that has been reported as adamite is in fact zincolivenite. Zincolivenite occurs at Penberthy Croft Mine and Wheal Phoenix, Cornwall; Dolyhir Quarry, Powys; Ecton Hill, Staffordshire; Potts Gill, Sandbed and Driggith mines (and several smaller trials) in the Caldbeck Fells, Cumbria; High Longrigg Mine and Stennerskeugh Clouds Mine, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria; and at Tynagh Mine in Co. Galway. The only definite British occurrences of adamite are at the Potts Gill, Driggith and Sandbed mines (including Howthwaite Trial) in the Caldbeck Fells and at Hilton Mine, Scordale, Cumbria. Specimens that have formed by the supergene oxidation of tennantite as at Tynagh Mine, High Longrigg Mine, Ecton Hill and Dolyhir Quarry tend to cluster toward the copper-rich end of the zincolivenite composition spectrum and are phosphate free. Those from orebodies in the Caldbeck Fells and Cornwall where the arsenate has been supplied by oxidising arsenopyrite are more variable in their composition.

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