Népouite from the Népoui Mine, North Province, New Caledonia. Specimen size: 21 cm.
Kaolinite-serpentine group
(repeating unit)
IMA symbolNpo
Strunz classification9.ED.15
Dana classification71.1.2b.3
Crystal systemOrthorhombic
Crystal classpyramidal (mm2)
(same H-M symbol)
Space groupCcm21 (no. 36)
Colorbright green (typical of nickel bearing silicates) to yellowish or brownish green, depending on nickel content
Crystal habitgenerally massive, also fibrous and microscopic pseudohexagonal platy crystals
Cleavageperfect on {001}
Mohs scale hardness2 to 2+12
Lusterearthy to waxy, also pearly
Streakgreenish white
Specific gravity3.18 to 3.24 (measured)
Optical propertiesbiaxial (−)
Refractive indexnα = 1.600 – 1.630 nγ = 1.635 – 1.650
Pleochroismweak. X = green to yellow green Z = yellow-green

Népouite is a rare nickel silicate mineral which has the apple green color typical of such compounds. It was named by the French mining engineer Edouard Glasser in 1907 after the place where it was first described (the type locality), the Népoui Mine, Népoui [fr], Poya Commune, North Province, New Caledonia. The ideal formula is Ni3(Si2O5)(OH)4, but most specimens contain some magnesium, and (Ni,Mg)3(Si2O5)(OH)4 is more realistic. There is a similar mineral called lizardite (named after the Lizard Complex in Cornwall, England) in which all of the nickel is replaced by magnesium, formula Mg3(Si2O5)(OH)4. These two minerals form a series; intermediate compositions are possible, with varying proportions of nickel to magnesium.

Pecoraite is another rare mineral with the same chemical formula as népouite, but a different structure; such minerals are said to be dimorphs of each other, in the same way as graphite is a dimorph of diamond. Népouite, lizardite and pecoraite are all members of the kaolinite-serpentine group.

Garnierite is a green nickel ore that formed as a result of weathering of ultramafic rocks, and that occurs in many nickel deposits worldwide. It is a mixture of various nickel and magnesium phyllosilicates (sheet silicates), including népouite. Associated minerals include calcite, chlorite, goethite, halloysite, nontronite, pimelite, quartz, sepiolite, serpentine, talc and willemseite.

As well as the type locality in New Caledonia, it has been found in Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Poland, Russia, South Africa and the United States.


Space group Ccm21. Unit cell: a = 5.31 Å, b = 9.19 Å, c = 14.50 Å

X-ray powder diffraction data
d spacing 7.31 4.55 3.63 2.89 2.50 2.31 2.20 1.53
relative intensity 10 5 9 6 7 4 4 6

See also

  • Lizardite – Magnesium phyllosilicate mineral of the serpentine group (Mg3(Si2O5)(OH)4)
  • Pecoraite – Nickel phyllosilicate mineral of the serpentine group (Ni3(Si2O5)(OH)4)

This page was last updated at 2024-04-17 01:35 UTC. Update now. View original page.

All our content comes from Wikipedia and under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


If mathematical, chemical, physical and other formulas are not displayed correctly on this page, please useFirefox or Safari