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Pale Yellow Otavite Crystals

The Mineral otavite

Otavite is named after the famous mineral deposit of Tsumeb, in Otavi Province, Namibia. Otavite belongs to the calcite group of minerals, a group of related carbonates that are isomorphous with one another. They are similar in many physical properties, and may partially or fully replace one another, forming a solid solution series. All members of the calcite group crystallize in the trigonal system, and have perfect rhombohedral cleavage.
Chemical Formula CdCO3
Composition Cadmium carbonate
Color White, yellow-brown, reddish-brown
Streak White
Hardness 3.5 - 4
Crystal System Hexagonal
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
Occurs as encrustations of tiny rhombohedral crystals.
Transparency Translucent
Specific Gravity 5.0
Luster Adamantine to pearly
Cleavage 1,3 - rhombohedral. Cannot be determined.
Fracture Conchoidal
Tenacity Brittle
Complex Tests Effervesces in hydrochloric acid
In Group Carbonates; Calcite Group
Striking Features Encrusting crystals, hardness, and crystals
Environment A secondary mineral found in cadmium deposits and in the oxidation zone.
Rock Type Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 4
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 3


Otavite is a rare mineral and is only of interest to specialized collectors. It is used as a minor ore of the element cadmium when found in cadmium deposits.

Otavite is a very rare mineral, and its type locality and main occurrence is Tsumeb, Otavi, Namibia. Other localities include Su Elzu, Ozieri, Sardinia, Italy; Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia; the Blanchard Mine, Bingham, Socorro Co., New Mexico; and the Sterling Hill Mine, Odgensburg, New Jersey.

Smithsonite, Azurite, Malachite

otavite PHOTOS
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