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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.[6] 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[7]
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. Warr, L.N. (2021). "IMA–CNMNC approved mineral symbols". Mineralogical Magazine 85 (3): 291–320. doi:10.1180/mgm.2021.43. Bibcode2021MinM...85..291W. 
  6. U.S. Geological Survey (2008), "Germanium—Statistics and Information", U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries
  7. Dana's New Mineralogy, 8th edition, Gaines et al., Wiley