Silver and löllingite association from Ait Ahmane (Morocco)

We received an interesting sample with beautiful cubic crystals of silver from Ait Ahmane, in the mining district of Bou Azzer (Morocco).

Part of the silver appears covered by a grey crystalline mineral or a grey crust which shows very small crystals at high magnification under microscope.

The analysis showed that the crust and tiny crystals are löllingite (FeAs2) covering the silver, and forming an interesting association.

Löllingite on silver from Ait Ahmane (Morocco)

It was surprising, also, the unexpected finding of mercury in the sample. The analysis of a white metallic material associated with the silver crystals suggested the presence of amalgam or mercurial silver as a minor component of the sample.

Silver crystals with silver amalgam (middle-right side of the picture) and löllingite (dark grey) from Ait Ahmane (Morocco).

The presence of silver amalgam and cinnabar have been reported from the Bou Azzer district before. Hence, it is possible that this is another case of the mercury occurrence. The sample was confirmed from Ait Ahmane. Similar specimens (silver cubic crystals and arborescent growths on a calcite matrix, associated to löllingite) were put on the market as from the not far Tamdrost mine. Also, arborescent silver on calcite were recovered in Bouismas mine.

Silver crystals on calcite from the Ait Ahmane mine, Bou Azzer mining district

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