Carbonates

Carbonates

The name comes from the Persian word meaning "blue." It is a secondary copper mineral formed by the action of carbonated water acting on copper-containing minerals. There are >45 well-known forms of the mineral and is often associated with the mineral malachite.

A member of the aragonite group of minerals, Aragonite is a low-temperature, near surface mineral that forms speleothemes in caves, massive lamellar deposits by geysers and hot springs, as seafloor oolites and as a replacement mineral. It was named in 1797 for the type locality, Molina de Aragon, Spain.

In nature, carbon atoms join with oxygen to form the carbonate ion, CO3. These ions combine with metal cations to form carbonate minerals. These minerals are commonly formed in sedimentary and oxidizing environments.

The carbonates fall into three groups: the calcite group, the dolomite group, and the aragonite group. The copper carbonate minerals, azurite and malachite, are the only important economic carbonates.

Minerals of the carbonate class: