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Crystal System: Monoclinic
Status of Occurrence: Confirmed Occurrence
Distribution: Rare
Chemical Composition: Lead copper hydroxide sulphate hydrate
Chemical Formula: PbCu4[(OH)6(SO4)2].3H2O
Method(s) of Verification: Cwmystwyth - EDX (Rust & Green, in prep); Frongoch - EPMA (Green et al., 1996); Penrhiw - EPMA (Mason & Green, 1995); Darren, Dylife, Esgair Hir, Hendrefelen & Eaglebrook all by XRD at NHM (XRD nos. 7691F, 5146F, 6762F, 8145F & 4472F respectively).

Chemical Group:

Geological Context:

Pale emerald-green bladed lautenthalite microcrystals with blue-green wroewolfeite from Eaglebrook Mine. Photo D.I. Green, © D.I. Green.
Scanning electron micrograph of a bladed lautenthalite crystal from Dylife Mine. National Museum of Wales Collection (NMW 87.35G.M.4). Image T.F. Cotterell, © National Museum of Wales.
Introduction: a supergene mineral that typically forms during the oxidation of copper, lead and zinc sulphides in mine spoil. Lautenthalite is frequently observed in association with wroewolfeite, which it tends to overgrow.
Occurrence in Wales: lautenthalite, the lead analogue of devilline was first described from old smelt slag from Lautenthal, Germany in 1993 but the mineral that was to be named as lautenthalite had, previously been found in slag from the Meadowfoot Smelter, Wanlockhead, Scotland (Green, 1987). The first ‘natural’ occurrences of lautenthalite from the British Isles are from Wales, in weathered veinstone from a number of mines, all in the Central Wales Orefield. Many of these occurrences had been noted prior to the formal naming of lautenthalite in 1993. Although occurring only as microcrystals, lautenthalite has been recorded from many localities within the Central Wales Orefield typically, of post-mining origin through the weathering of mine spoil. Indeed, to date almost all of the natural occurrences of lautenthalite worldwide are from minesites within Central Wales (Rust & Green, in prep).

Key Localities:


  1. Bevins, R.E. & Mason, J.S., 1997. Welsh metallophyte and metallogenic evaluation project: Results of a minesite survey of Dyfed and Powys. CCW Contract Science Report No. 156. National Museums & Galleries of Wales.
  2. Green, D.I., 1987. The Minerals of Meadowfoot Smelter. UK Journal of Mines and Minerals, 2, 3-9.
  3. Green, D.I., Rust, S.A. & Mason, J.S., 1996. Classic British mineral localities: Frongoch Mine, Dyfed. UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, 17, 29-38.
  4. Mason, J.S. & Green, D.I., 1995. Supergene minerals including exceptional ramsbeckite from Penrhiw Mine, Ystumtuen, Dyfed. UK Journal of Mines & Minerals, 15, 21-27.
  5. Medenbach, O., & Gebbert, W., 1993. Lautenthalite, PbCu4[(OH)6/(SO4)2].3H2O, the Pb analogue of devellite – A new mineral from Harz mountains, Germany. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte, 401-407.
  6. Rust, S. & Rust, D., 1987. Micro-minerals from Dyfngwm Mine. U.K. Journal of Mines and Minerals, No. 2, 28-32.
  7. Rust, S.A. & Green, D.I., (in prep.). The occurrence of lautenthalite in the British Isles. UK Journal of Mines and Minerals.