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Germanite, probably from the Tsumeb Mine, Oshikoto Region, Namibia. Specimen size 5 cm
CategorySulfide mineral
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification2.CB.30
Dana classification2.9.4.2
Crystal systemIsometric
Crystal classHextetrahedral (43m)
H-M symbol: (4 3m)
Space groupP43n
ColorReddish grey tarnishing to dark brown
Crystal habitUsually massive; rarely as minute cubic crystals
Mohs scale hardness4
StreakDark grey to black
Specific gravity4.4 to 4.6
Other characteristicsCell data: a = 10.585 Å Z = 1[2]

Germanite is a rare copper iron germanium sulfide mineral, Cu26Fe4Ge4S32. It was first discovered in 1922, and named for its germanium content.[2] It is only a minor source of this important semiconductor element, which is mainly derived from the processing of the zinc sulfide mineral sphalerite.[5] Germanite contains gallium, zinc, molybdenum, arsenic, and vanadium as impurities.[2]

Its type locality is the Tsumeb Mine in Namibia where it occurs in a hydrothermal polymetallic ore deposit in dolomite in association with renierite, pyrite, tennantite, enargite, galena, sphalerite, digenite, bornite and chalcopyrite.[4] It has also been reported from Argentina , Armenia, Bulgaria, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Finland , France , Greece, Japan , Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Russia and the United States .[2]

X-Ray Powder Diffraction[6]
d spacing 3.05 2.65 1.87 1.60 1.32 1.21 1.08 1.02
relative intensity 10 1 7 4 1 2 2 1


  1. American Mineralogist (1984) 69:943-947
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3
  3. Webmineral
  4. 4.0 4.1 Handbook of Mineralogy
  5. U.S. Geological Survey (2008), "Germanium—Statistics and Information", U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries
  6. Dana's New Mineralogy, 8th edition, Gaines et al., Wiley