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Famous Mineral Localities: RUDABANYA, HUNGARY.

The only famous classic mineral locality in present-day Hungary, Rudabanya has a long and interesting history. Beginning in the Bronze Age, and for thousands of years after, the deposit was mined for copper, silver, lead and iron. More than 120 minerals have been identified from this mine, but as a mineral locality it is best known for superb crystallized copper, azurite, cuprite and malachite specimens.


The town of Rudabanya is in northeastern Hungary, 35 km north of the city of Miskolc in Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen county, and approximately 195 km east-northeast of Budapest. This region is characterized by low (200-300 meter-high) rounded hills--the northeastern extension of the Bukk Mountains--and wide valleys. The hills surrounding the town are partially wooded; the gently sloping hillsides are a mixture of pasture and farmland, and the southerly slopes are sprinkled with small fruit-orchards and vineyards. Many of these small plots of agricultural land have been worked for centuries and still are by the miners and their families. The current town population is about 3300, and has been declining since 1985 due to lack of employment caused by the closure of the iron ore mine, ore concentration plant, and many small coal mines in the district. During its operation, the mine was the town s main employer, at its peak activity employing more than 1,500 people.

The inactive iron ore mine is an enormous open-pit more than 4 km long, up to 1 km wide and 75-150 m deep, with extensive underground workings which are now inaccessible for safety reasons. The mine is situated immediately northeast of the town, between Rudabanya, the villages of Alsotelekes and Felsotelekes (also = lower, felso = upper) to the north, and Szuhogy to the east. The abandoned ore concentrating plant is located 2.5 km to the east of the mine towards Szuhogy.


Rudabanya the name of the town, is constructed from two words, Ruda and banya It simply means Ruda-mine {banya = mine]. Ruda, the original name of the town, first appeared in judicial documents in 1299. It is likely, however, that the name and a settlement of miners existed near the mines long before that date. Ruda is of Slavic origin, meaning ore in many Slavic languages including Czech, Slovak and Polish. Some historians are of the opinion that the name may have been used before the 9th century, when Northern Hungary was inhabited by Slavic peoples. The most likely hypothesis, however, is that the Ruda name was introduced in the 12th or 13th century by transplanted Bohemian (Czech) miners. Many of these miners migrated to Ruda and other mining towns in Hungary from the mining areas of the Erzgebirge in Bohemia, especially after the Mongolian devastation of Hungary in 1241. The Rudabanya name came into use in the 16th century, and appeared on a map in 1556 attributed to a cartographer named Wolfgang Lazius . Both names and their many variants have been used by the ethnically mixed mining population, as well as writers, up to the beginning of the 20th century.

In many old documents and books written in Hungarian, Latin and German, Ruda and Rudabanya appear as Rudo, Rudabanya Rudo, Rudnabanya Rudna and Rudnabanya with incorrectly placed diacritical marks for added variety. Many of these names also appear on old mineral labels. This can be rather confusing because many of these name-variants do exist as mining towns (mostly inactive) and mineral localities. Therefore it may be worthwhile to review these briefly. A search of the mineralogical and mining literature revealed the following mines and towns that fit these variants: Ruda, south-southeast of Brad, Transylvania, Romania (T6th, 1882); Ruda (Tasov) near Brno, Czech Republic; Ruda (Vel. Mezirici) Czech Republic; Ruda n. Moravou, Czech Republic (Moravia); Ruda u Cachnova, Slovakia; Rudna, W. of Roznava in Slovakia; Rudna (Marsikov) Czech Republic (Moravia); Rudno, near Banska Stiavnica, Slovakia (all localities in Slovakia and Czech Republic; Bernard, 1981); and Rudabanyacska (Little Rudabanya) in eastern Hungary. Before 1919, and for most of the previous ten centuries, the Romanian Ruda and most of the listed localities in Slovakia were in the territories of historical Hungary. Furthermore, in the second half of the 19th century, some important descriptive mineralogical references to Rudabanya minerals (as well as old mineral labels) list Telekes (Alsotelekes and Felsotelekes) rather than Rudabanya as the locality (T6th, 1882; Schmidt, 1882; and Zepharovich, 1859, 1873 and 1893). Technically this may not be incorrect, because many or perhaps most specimens collected in the late 18th and most of the 19th century originat ed from the small mines operated at the Telekes end of the Rudabanya deposit. Rudabanya should be the preferred, primary locality name for specimen labeling.


The history of human habitation in the Rudabanya area is inextricably linked with mining. The development of mining there was analogous with the evolution of mining and metallurgy in other parts of Central Europe. Consequently, it is important not only to examine the mining history of the immediate area, but to examine this evolution in a broader context of the historical development of the Carpathian Basin. Most of what is known of the earliest efforts of mining and metallurgy in this area can only be deduced from archeological evidence, most of which was uncovered in the last six decades. The earliest known written records that mention mining and some form of metallurgy in Northern Hungary are from ca. 110 A.D., by the Roman historian Tacitus (55-120), and those only provide scant generalizations (Kalitz, 1957). From the period predating the 13th century, hardly any written historical records are available on Hungarian mining and metallurgy, and even from the 13-17th century, surprisingly few documents sur vived the many cataclysmic events of history.

Historical Background, and the Earliest Mining

The Carpathian Basin in Central Europe is an oblong-shaped area, defined and largely encircled by the crescent-shaped Carpathian Mountains, one of the major mountain ranges in Europe. Presently the entire land area of Hungary and Slovakia, and parts of Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Ukraine and Poland are within this geographic entity. The Carpathian Basin, with its moderate climate and wealth of natural resources, has been continuously inhabited by humans for about 300,000 years. Many caves in northern Hungary, including some limestone caves near Rudabanya, provided rich archeological evidence, mostly stone tools and pottery, which point to small communities of cave-dwelling hunter-gatherers, who inhabited the region at least as early as 20 thousand years ago. These groups continued to live there through the Mesolithic and Neolithic Ages (8000-3400 B.C.). Many stone tools and fragments of pottery were found and dated from this era. An interesting stone tool dated at ca. 8000 to 10,000 B.C. (early Mesolithic) was recovered near the Rudabanya mine. It is a wedge-shaped, flake-formed tool of a hard, siliceous ankerite rock, undoubtedly originating from the Rudabanya deposit, suggesting that the outcrops of the deposit were explored very early for materials suitable for tool-making (Podanyi, 1974).

By ca. 5500 B.C. farming had spread from Greece and the Aegean to the Danube Valley in what is now Hungary, and with the arrival of agriculture small settlements appeared. By 3500 B.C., products of the Copper Age (3500-1900 B.C.) had appeared in many places in Central Europe, including the vicinity of Rudabanya In a cave near Szendro, about 7 km from Rudabanya, several copper tools dating from ca. 2000 B.C. were excavated. These tools included two flat axes and a tool resembling a pick (Podanyi, 1974). One can only speculate whether or not the copper for these tools was extracted from the nearby Rudabanya deposit, but the probability is very high, considering that this was the only place within a radius of hundreds of kilometers where native copper occurred, possibly exposed in the oxidation-zone outcrops of the deposit. Copper mining evolved throughout Central Europe in the third millennium B.C., followed by the development of gold mining during the second millennium B.C. Historians conclude that by the mid dle of the 2nd millennium B.C., the mines of Transylvania were quite active, and had become one of the principal sources of gold for the early Mediterranean civilizations of Mycenae, Crete, and later Thrace and Greece.

The use of copper and later bronze and its production technology was introduced to Central Europe by migrating peoples moving up through the Balkan Peninsula (Fulop, 1984). Historians place the evolution of the Bronze Age in the Carpathian Basin at around 1900-1000 B.C. By the late Bronze Age, we can be reasonably certain that copper mining was in progress in Rudabanya. Evidence for this is provided by the remnants of a sizable bronze foundry dating to ca. 1000-1500 B.C., which was excavated at a site on the Sajo River 9 km south of Rudabanya. From the same find many bronze articles were also recovered including coiled sheets, wires, pins, unfinished decorative articles and round, flat lumps (ingots?) of bronze. The foundry was ideally sited for the proximity of the source of copper and the availability of water and water-borne transportation of tin and antimony, from deposits 50-70 km east-northeast in the upper Sajo valley. Near Rudabanya many other bronze articles such as pins, bracelets, swords and axes were also found. Speculation by historians places the operation of the bronze foundry to coincide with the presence of the Illyrians ca. 1000 B.C. (Podanyi, 1974).

By around 800 B.C., iron mining and metallurgy were well established in Western and Central Europe, especially in the territories inhabited by various groups belonging to the loosely interrelated peoples of the so-called "Urnfield cultures." These tribal groups occupied the valleys of the Rhine, Danube and their tributaries, and from these groups evolved such diverse peoples as the Celts, Illyrians and Slays. Beginning around 1000 B.C. the Carpathian Basin was inhabited for some periods by Illyrians, Scythians, and by the Celts, who largely displaced all others by about 200 B.C. Scythian and especially Celtic presence in the vicinity of Rudabanya is indicated by the many bronze and iron artifacts found in the area. These artifacts include Scythian beads, Celtic iron arrowheads, pins, swords, scissors and chains, as well as silver and gold chains (Kalitz, 1957). There is some evidence of mining and smelting at Rudabanya during this period, attributed to the highly skilled metal-crafting and mining-oriented Cel ts (Cotini) who inhabited the area. The evidence includes potsherds of Celtic origin, recovered from layers of ancient slag just outside Rudabanya. By the end of the 1st century A.D. the Celts were displaced in the northern Carpathian Basin by Germanic peoples from the north, and the southern areas came under Roman rule.

West of the Danube was the Roman province of Pannonia, whereas the eastern part covering practically all of Transylvania was the province of Dacia. Roman mining activity in the Carpathian Basin was mainly focused on the gold mining districts of Transylvania, and there is no evidence of Roman-era mining at Rudabanya. While most of the Carpathian basin was nominally under Roman rule from the 1st to the 5th century, the Roman hold on the area became increasingly tenuous from the 3rd century as the Danube Valley became the principal invasion route of successive waves of migrating peoples from the east. Intense migrations continued for the whole of the 1st millennium A.D., and during this time the Carpathian Basin was invaded and inhabited, at least temporarily, by a great variety of migrating peoples. These included the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Gepids, Avars, Alans, Vandals, Sueves, various Germanic and Slavic tribes, Lombards, Huns, Bulgars, Franks, Moravians and eventually the Magyars.

Magyar (Hungarian) tribes invaded and occupied large parts of the Carpathian Basin from about 890 A.D., displacing the Avars, Bulgars, Franks and Moravians living there. This was a period when the great European migrations of the first millennium A.D. were coming to an end with the increasing trend of permanent settlement and the establishment of strong organized states. By 996 the institutional framework based on Western European models was established, and Hungary became a permanently settled European state occupying almost the entire Carpathian Basin. Christianity was imposed on the population, and the first Christian King, Istvan (Stephen, later St. Stephen) was crowned in 1000. With statehood followed relative stability and safety, which encouraged the development of agriculture, commerce, and eventually mining and metallurgy.

The Beginning of Organized Mining

The recently-settled Magyars possessed considerable metalworking and metallurgical skills (Fettich, 1937), including the utilization of bog-iron for iron production (Heckenast et al., 1968; Zsamboki, 2000). Mining and metallurgy were probably encouraged by the state, due to the great need for their products, mostly tools and weapons. There is evidence that iron production was established in the Rudabanya region during the 10th century, and some sort of regional control and protection may have been provided from the nearby fortified royal castle, Vasvar ["iron-castle"], which also dates from the 10th century. From this era, archeologists have located and excavated more than 70 sites in the vicinity of Rudabanya, including iron smelting furnaces and extensive slagheaps.

By around 1200, copper mining had risen in importance and iron production almost totally ceased in the district, shifting its focus to the richer iron deposits and the more plentiful supply of wood for the furnaces elsewhere in northern Hungary. Copper mining probably continued until 1240. In 1241 Mongol armies under Batu Khan invaded Hungary, and the Hungarian armies were destroyed in a single major battle. The military defeat was followed by the nearly complete destruction of the country and its population. The devastation and the loss of population were so great that Hungarians consider the subsequent reconstruction to be the second founding of the state. Reconstruction and repopulation of the country involved the invitation of many settlers from other parts of Europe, such as farmers, skilled tradesmen and miners, mostly from Saxony and Bohemia. According to documents surviving from the late 13th century, such as court decrees and deeds, the population of the Rudabanya district consisted mostly of transpl anted Bohemian (Czech) miners. This also suggests that copper mining at Ruda was reviving, probably as early as 1260 to 1270.

Medieval Mining in Hungary

The role and the impact of mining cannot be overestimated in the economy and social development of Central Europe in the Middle Ages. Silver and gold were essential for the royal treasuries in order to mint currencies, and the income derived from taxes on metal and salt mining provided the bulk of the royal revenues. This income also provided employment and the development of new skills for many people, not only in mining but also in metal processing, transportation and associated commercial activities. Development of mines and smelters stimulated the parallel development of town and transportation infrastructure (such as a system of roads and bridges). The increasing complexity and sophistication of required skills encouraged the establishment of schools and programs of apprenticeship in various trades.

In the late Middle Ages (12th-16th century), Europe had two exceptionally important metal mining regions, the Erzgebirge region straddling the border of Bohemia (present Czech Republic) and Saxony (Germany), and the Transylvanian region in eastern Hungary (now Romania). For several centuries Hungarian mines produced an estimated 30-35% of the world's gold, and 80-85% of Europe's. In the same period the Erzgebirge region accounted for about 60%, and Hungarian mines for about 25%, of the European silver production (Paulinyi, 1933; Zsamboki, 1995 and 2000). The mines of northern Hungary and Tyrol were also the most significant European producers of copper, and important producers of silver, gold and lead. Although diminishing in importance from the late 16th century, with the depletion of reserves and the ever-increasing quantities of imported metals, metal mining continued to be a very important cornerstone of the Central European economy well into the 19th century.

Royal Mining Monopolies in Hungary

Prior to the 10th century, mining in Central Europe was mostly a communal undertaking, with the community (a village or town) exercising joint ownership, and sharing the work and profits from the mines. From the 11th century, with the increasing importance of mining to the state, control and ownership of mines gradually changed, and it appears that, by the 12th century, communal ownership in Hungary had essentially ceased. Through royal decree, the mineral wealth residing in the womb-of-the-earth became the exclusive property of the king, regardless of surface property rights. Royal privilege extended over the ownership and administration of mines, and controlled the distribution of gold, silver and salt. Royal control over the mining and smelting of copper, iron and other metals was more relaxed.

Beginning in the middle of the 13th century the administration of mines owned by the crown became increasingly privatized through royal awards and grants given to the church hierarchy (cardinals and bishops), high court officials and loyal nobles. From these privately administered mines an urbura [mine tax] was collected on all the production (the urbura, for instance, was 1/10 of gold and 1/8 of the silver production). In addition, by law all the gold and silver produced had to be sold at a fixed rate to the Banyakamara ["Chamber of Mines"] operated by the royal treasury. The Banyakamara was responsible not only for overseeing the collection of the urbura and buying the gold and silver production, but also for the minting of currency. Other mined commodities only required the payment of the urbura and could be marketed privately without interference from the treasury.

Expanding mining activity and more diversified ownership in Hungary necessitated formalized regulations, and the first mining laws were proclaimed in 1327 by King Charles Robert (1288-1342). These laws were intended to regulate the conflicts of the royal monopolies, and the expropriation rights on newly discovered deposits of gold, silver and salt on private estates. Refinements of the law followed (in 1351 and 1406) to ease royal control and to define or clarify the ground rules for expropriation and compensation (Homan, 1921; Zsamobki, 1982a). Freedom from royal expropriation was granted in 1523. Liberalizing the law, however, did not affect the royal monopoly on the marketing of gold and silver, which remained with the Chamber of Mines until the 19th century.

Mining, metallurgy and the related commercial activities could only develop and flourish in relative peace and security. Therefore it was in the interest of the King, the primary beneficiary of the revenues from mining, to provide protection and ensure conditions conducive for these activities. Royal protection was granted with the designation of Royal Mining Town, and was extended to towns with significant gold and silver mines. Beyond the protection in a military sense, which was frequently very tenuous, these towns were granted self-government and certain privileges. The privileges included tax concessions, freedom from military service, and freedom of movement for all citizens. Miners living in these towns enjoyed an elevated social status, a better standard of living and a greater degree of freedom than the rest of the population (mostly indentured serfs) living in the countryside.

Mining and Metallurgy in Northern Hungary (14th-16th century)

Copper, silver and gold mining and smelting in northern Hungary evolved from primitive, small-scale operations to organized industries by the beginning of the 14th century. Prosperous mining towns developed, and their importance is suggested by the designation of 14 of these towns as Royal Mining Towns. These towns were located in two loosely defined geographical groups in northern Hungary. The western group consisted of Selmecbanya [Schemnitz] now Banska Stiavnica, Kormocbanya [Kremnitz] now Kremnica, Besztercebanya [Neusohl] now Banska Bystrica, Ujbanya [Konigsberg] now Nova Bana, Belabanya [Dilln] now Banska Bela, Bakabanya [Bugganz] now Pukanec, and Libetbanya [Libethen] now L'ubietova. The eastern group consisted of Szomolnok [Schmolnitz] now Smolnik, Iglo [Zipser Neudorf] now Spisska Nova Ves, Golnicbanya [Golnitz] now Gelnica, Rozsnyo [Rosenau] now Roznava, Jaszo now Jasov, Rudabanya and Telkibanya. The Hungarian names are followed by [German] and current Slovak names (the German names are the best kno wn in the mineralogical literature). With the exception of Rudabanya and Telkibanya, all these towns are now in Slovakia. The largest copper and silver deposits were in the western region, and the most important mining centers were Besztercebanya, Kormocbanya and Selmecbanya. These mining centers were not only economically important, they were also in the forefront of technological development by the end of the 15th century. They greatly influenced not only the mines in northern Hungary, but also the mines in Transylvania, in Tyrol and elsewhere in Europe. Many of these mining towns retained their prominence into the 19th century, and the Bergschule (mining school) established at Selmecbanya in 1735 became the world's first mining academy, the Bergakademie in 1762.

Many of the mines in northern Hungary had been actively worked since the 12th century, but by the middle of the 15th century, they were in decline because of two very serious problems. The most important problem was water, which flooded many of the ever deepening mines, often forcing closure. Existing water-lifting techniques were unable to cope with the increasing volumes of water and the depths from which it had to be lifted. Adits for draining, the only known alternatives, were often impractical and beyond the financial resources of mine owners. The other problem that seriously impacted the economy of copper and silver production was smelting technology. Local smelters were unable to fully refine copper produced from sulfide ores, and to separate it from silver. Up to the late 15th century this technology was a jealously guarded secret known to and practiced by very few processing centers. Sulfide ores from the mines of northern Hungary were locally roasted, the first step in a multi-stage refinement proce ss, producing a product known as schwarzkupfer ["black copper"]. This "black copper," having an exceptionally high silver content, was shipped to technologically more advanced refining centers where the silver was very profitably extracted. Most of the "blackcopper" production from the mines of Hungary was, for many years, shipped to Venice (Paulinyi, 1977; Zsamboki, 2000). These problems were awaiting resolution in the second half of the 15th century when two remarkable individuals, Janos (Johannes) Thurzo, an engineer-entrepreneur, and Jakob Fugger II, an entrepreneurbanker, emerged. Their partnership, which combined technical innovations and entrepreneurship with capital for implementation, had a long-lasting and profound influence on mining, metallurgy and the marketing of metals in Europe.

Fugger-Thurzo Mining Ventures

The Fugger family opened a small weaving business around 1367 in Augsburg, Germany, and eventually developed it into a towering multinational commercial empire of textiles, banking, spices, mining, smelting and the marketing of various commodities. At the height of their power, the Fuggers had branch offices in all the main commercial centers of Europe, and by the 16th century even in the Americas. The Fuggers became involved in mining through their loans to various crowned heads, among them Holy Roman Emperors Maximilian I and Charles V, to finance their various ambitions. To secure their loans, the Fuggers became mortgage holders and partners with the royal treasuries, in lead, copper and silver mines in Tyrol and Carinthia, and the silver and mercury mines in Spain. Income from these mines was applied to the repayment of loans. Around 1490 Jakob Fugger II(1459-1525) met Janos Thurzo, one of the most interesting mining and metallurgical experts and entrepreneurs of the 15th century, and through him became a partner in the copper and silver mines of northern Hungary.

Janos (Johannes) Thurzo (1437-1508) was the son of a wealthy Hungarian merchant. After completing his studies at the universities of Rome and Padua, and traveling through Europe, he returned home to join the family business. In 1463 Thurzo moved to Cracow, Poland to head the family business interests which included a number of copper and lead mines. By 1470 Thurzo had built a copper smelter near Cracow, and in 1478 built another in Goslar in the Harz Mountains. Both facilities utilized the advanced copper refining technology that he either developed on his own or surreptitiously acquired during his travels to Venice (Strieder, 1931). He was also experimenting with and designing new water-raising machinery for the dewatering of mines. Thurzo's devices were successfully introduced into various mines in the Besztercebanya region in northern Hungary and into the Transylvanian gold mines. Through his efforts many mines were drained and reopened. Thurzo collected generous royalties for the use of his machinery, as well as a share of the revenues from the reopened mines (Strieder, 1931; Molnar, 1987). Unfortunately there are no contemporary drawings or descriptions of Thurzo's smelters or water-raising innovations, but some of the devices shown in Agricola's De re metallica (1556) may be later derivatives of Thurzo's equipment (Schick, 1957). By 1490 Thurzo bought or leased most of the major gold, copper and silver mines in northern Hungary and built a large copper smelter in Besztercebanya. These ventures required large injections of capital which he was able to secure through a business partnership with the Fuggers. The Fugger-Thurzo Company came into existence in 1495 with the signing of a partnership contract. The Fugger brothers owned 50%, and Thurzo and his son owned the other 50% of the company (Strieder, 1931). Very quickly the Besztercebanya copper-smelter became the largest processing facility in Europe, processing ores from many of the mines in northern Hungary.

The Fugger-Thurzo Company (FTC) was involved only in mining and metal production, with Thurzo and his son Georg managing the operations. Copper was sold to two marketing companies independent of the FTC, one owned by the Fuggers and the other by Thurzo. These two companies marketed the copper through Mediterranean and Hanseatic ports. The Fuggers also owned or had control over the copper production in the Tyrol and, with Thurzo, eventually had a near-monopoly over European copper production (Paulinyi, 1977; Schick, 1957).

A little-known fact about the Fuggers' mining activity was their establishment of a mining school (Bergschule) around 1500, almost certainly the first mining school in the world, in Villach, Austria. The school was established for the technical training of mining officials, assayists and managers employed in the Fugger and Fugger-Thurzo mines. One of the teachers at the school was Wilhelm of Hohenheim (14??-1534), a German physician who is better known as the father of the great physician-philosopher, Paracelsus (Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, 1493-1541). Wilhelm was appointed as town physician at Villach in 1502, and became the chemistry/alchemy teacher at the mining school, where he remained for over thirty years. Paracelsus attended the school before continuing his education elsewhere. Both father and son had a deep interest in, and extensive knowledge of mining and minerals, and frequently visited nearby Bleiberg to observe the operations of the lead mine (Stoddart, 1911) and possibly to collect mi nerals. Wilhelm assembled a collection of minerals from the region (Pachter, 1951), possibly to be used for instruction at the mining school. This may be the earliest known mineral collection in Europe. Later, as a doctor, Paracelsus visited many of the Fugger-Thurzo mines in Hungary, where he studied the diseases of the miners, especially respiratory ailments, the causes of which he attributed to their occupation.

Golden-Age of Copper and Silver Mining in Rudabanya (14th-16th century)

Copper and silver mining at Rudabanya developed in parallel with the other mining districts in northern Hungary. During this period Rudabanya reached its Golden Age as a mining town, but by the end of the period it had descended into near-oblivion.

The name of Ruda first appears in official documents in 1299, with brief references to the mining of copper. Around the same time Saxon miners from the Erzgebirge also settled there, probably introducing some of their mining technology. According to historical documents, Ruda was a royal possession in 1351, which suggests that silver mining was already in progress. The town was granted self-government in 1359, and in 1378 became one of 14 privileged Royal Mining Towns in northern Hungary.

With increasing mining and commercial activity, a prosperous middle-class of mining officials, merchants and treasury officers emerged in Rudabanya; they built substantial homes and established various civic institutions. The wealthier citizens sent their sons to universities in Germany, Poland and Italy. Indicative of the prosperity of Rudabanya was the building of an elaborate Gothic church, more than 30 meters long. A shortened and reconstructed version with some remarkable frescoes survives to this day.

The importance of the town to the crown is indicated by several royal visits and audiences held there by Sigismund (1368-1437), Holy Roman Emperor and the King of Hungary. On several occasions Rudabanya was also the site of the General Assembly of the counties of Borsod and Gomor, with the Lord Chancellor holding court. From this period (ca. 1330) originates the town's superb silver seal, which is preserved in the Magyar Nemzeti Muzeum ["Hungarian National Museum"] in Budapest. The seal illustrates a bishop, the Gothic church with the Latin inscription SIGILLUM CIVITATIS RUDAE ["Seal of the Town of Ruda"], and the hammer and wedge signifying the importance of mining. This appearance of the miner's hammer and wedge may well be the earliest representation of what became (with the crossing of the tools) the universal sign of mining and miners. A new and less impressive brass town seal was introduced in 1786.

Underpinning the prosperity of Rudabanya was the intense mining and smelting of copper and silver. Native copper was the main ore mined, possibly with quantities of copper secondaries, while silver-rich galena and probably acanthite were the primary silver ores. Contemporary production data are not available, but the scale can be judged from the accumulated slag resulting from the processing of copper and silver ores. The modern-day town of Rudabanya is sited on large quantities of slag from this period.

Mining and Metallurgy at Rudabanya

The smelting and water problems affecting the other Hungarian copper mines did not have much impact here. Native copper mined at Rdabanya did not require elaborate smelting technology and was fully processed near the mine. Water was rarely a problem in the mine, as the deposit is exceptionally dry; in fact the problem was the lack of water for the town and for the washing of the ores. Not much is known about the marketing of Rudabanya copper, but it is almost certain that the copper produced there during the existence of the Fugger-Thurzo partnership was distributed through them. Copper and silver mines and smelters at Rudabanya were owned by the Thurzo family for some time. The silver metallurgy was most likely introduced from other smelting centers in northern Hungary. Such technology was transferred through common ownership of mines in different districts and by the mobility of miners, smelter workers and mine officials.

It is likely that most of the mining in Rudabanya up to the 14th century was carried out on the surface, where miners simply dug into the exposures of the oxidation zone and followed the ore concentrations to shallow depths. Even after centuries many small and shallow concavities, probably production or exploratory pits, are still discernible in the hills surrounding the town. In the 14th century the sporadic mining of limonite continued on the surface, while the mining for copper and silver moved underground. Extensive and elaborate underground workings were discovered in the 20th century, during excavation of the open pit and the development of adits and tunnels. Worked-out galleries, chambers and stopes up to 500 cubic meters in volume were found. Some of the ore masses were mined by the room-and-pillar technique, and galleries were connected with wood-lined adits, haulage ways and air shafts. Many old adits and shafts were surprisingly well-preserved, with wooden supports still in place after 400 to 500 y ears, perhaps preserved by the impregnation of copper solutions. Wooden step-ladders, various miner's tools and clay-lamps were also found. Some of these old workings were mapped before the expanding open pit obliterated them, and many mining implements which were found in them are preserved in the Mining Museum in Rudabanya. Adits were quite small in cross section (as small as 60 x 80 cm), some passable only by crawling. There is evidence that small dog-drawn carts may have been used to transport the ore to the surface. The mines were most likely leased from the landowners during this era and worked independently by individual miners with their family members, or by small work cooperatives.

A rare and interesting glimpse of silver mining and metallurgy at Rudabanya can be seen in a document uncovered in the Hofkammer Archiv in Vienna (Vastagh, 1984). According to this document, written in 1528 and attributed to an unnamed visiting Austrian mining expert (probably a graduate of the Bergschule at Villach), seven small silver-smelting furnaces were operating at the time of his visit, but he mentions that as many as 20 had been operating earlier. Silver was refined to approximately 75% purity, requiring additional refinement by the Chamber of Mines. According to the account, the owner of the mine properties, Elek Thurzo, demanded that the furnace operators try to attain a level of purity around 93%. The refinement process required quantities of lead, some of which was produced locally, but most was imported from Poland. He estimated that no more than half the silver produced was actually turned over to the Chamber of Mines, the rest was probably marketed illegally. This estimate was based on his cal culations of the ratio of lead used, to the quantities of silver actually delivered to the treasury. The operations were analyzed in financial terms and were considered marginally profitable at the existing exchange rate. According to the document, the population was entirely Hungarian at the time, and because the miners owned agricultural land and vineyards, they were not entirely dependent on their income from mining.

Although silver mining was declining due to the exhaustion of the reserves, copper and, to a lesser extent, lead mining appears to have continued with some interruptions until about 1580. For more than a century after that there is hardly any evidence of mining at Rudabanya Cessation of mining was the direct result of the invasion and long-term occupation of much of Hungary by the Ottoman Turks, and various internal wars and revolutions. Rudabanya was under nearly permanent Turkish rule from 1564 until about 1660. The heavy taxes imposed by the Turks forced the abandonment of the mines, and the flight of the town's population to safer, unoccupied areas of the country. The population of Rudabanya drastically declined (the population was only 92 in 1664), and the once-prosperous mining town became an impoverished and insignificant village.

Sometime after 1660 Rudabanya became an appendage of the estates of the nearby Szendro castle and town. Around 1690, copper mining and smelting was reactivated mainly through the efforts of Count Alessandro Gvadagni, later Gavdanyi an Italian noble who settled in Hungary. In 1690 he was the military commander of the district, and the administrator of the Szendro estates. Copper production continued under the direction of the Count until his death in 1700, and thereafter by his widow, Countess Gvadanyi-Forgach until about 1728. There is no mention of silver or lead mining and smelting in contemporary documents; if there was any it would have been insignificant. During this period some native copper specimens were observed and documented in the mineral collection of Countess Gvadanyi (Bruckmann, 1727). The mines remained in the hands of the Gvadanyi family until 1749, but mining had ceased sometime before 1728. From contemporary documents, mostly correspondence pertaining to negotiations on copper prices, appl ications for loans to the royal treasury, and evaluation reports of mining experts and treasury officials, it is obvious that copper production was only marginally profitable, and declined from about 1700. By 1720 the deposit was depleted in copper, and the Countess was trying (unsuccessfully) to unload an unprofitable enterprise on the royal treasury. With the cessation of mining by the Gvadanyi family, centuries of copper, silver and lead mining at Rudabanya finally came to an end.

The Iron Mining Period (1759-1985)

The Rudabanya mine properties changed ownership or were held as collateral for loans by various landowners during the years 1749-1760, but there is no record of mining activity. In the period of 1760-1780, small-scale and somewhat sporadic underground mining of iron ore evolved to supply the furnaces near Diosgyor, about 30 km south of Rudabanya. Contemporary documents also mention the recovery of copper, presumably as a by-product of iron mining. However, endless disputes between landowners and mine operators, lack of capital, and the high cost of ore transportation to the smelters hindered serious development of the deposit. In 1793 Janos Csaky, the principal landowner in the area, built a smelter at nearby Szendro to process Rudabanya iron ores. By 1807 this venture had failed, and for the next 20 years all mining and metallurgical activity ceased. In the period 1826-1841, small-scale mining of iron ore and exploration for copper by individual miner-entrepreneurs and small cooperatives started again. Some attempt was also made to recover copper from the old slagheaps and dumps, but not much is known about these ventures. In 1841 the operators of the Diosgyor area iron works resumed mining in five small open pits near the town of Telekes, and commenced serious exploration of the deposit by trenching and adits. The company acquired additional new mine properties, and continued mining with some interruption until 1871. In 1871 the assets of the privately owned iron works at Diosgyor were acquired by the Hungarian state and incorporated into the newly built, modem, state-owned Diosgyor Metallurgical Works (DMW). With the consolidation of the assets, many of the Rudabanya area mine properties became state property and were operated by the DMW until 1880. Concurrently with the mining of DMW, Count Andrassy, the owner of one of the largest mining and metallurgical firms in northern Hungary, began systematic exploration and mapping of the deposit around 1872. By 1878 he had acquired mining rights to seven mine lots a djacent to the 15 lots owned by the state. Each of the nearly equal-sized lots were identified by names, many of which survive to this day (i.e. Andrassy I, II & III, Adolf, etc.). Mining, however, was hampered by the lack of a branch line connection from the mines to the nearest railway line about 14 km away, as neither the state nor Andrassy was willing or able to finance it.

The real turning point in the history of Rudabanya occurred in 1880, when Count Andrassy and a large Austrian consortium, the Witkowitzer Bergbau- und Eisenwerks- Aktiengesellschaft (WBEA) (Witkowitz = Vitkovice, Czech Republic), owned mostly by the Austrian Rothschilds, formed a new company to mine the iron ore deposit at Rudabanya. The Borsodi Banyatarsulat ["Mining Company of Borsod"] acquired the mining rights to a total of 22 minelots, seven held by Andrassy and 15 lots held by the state-owned DMW. Part of the agreement with the state treasury for the mining rights specified the building by the company of a spur line to the main railway line. The 14.1-km-long, narrow-gauge line was opened in the summer of 1881, and that same year the first ore-roasting furnace was built. Roasting was used to reduce the 10- 12% moisture content of the limonite ores, resulting in considerable cost savings for long-distance transportation. Production began in 1881 with a rather small 2,000 metric tons, increasing to 100,00 0 tons by 1884, and 200,000 tons in 1895. Most of the ore production was contracted to WBEA. With increased mechanization, including the use of steam shovels, production increased to 430,000 tons in 1911, and employment peaked at 1,046 in 1910-12. In 1911, the town was completely destroyed by fire, but it was subsequently rebuilt. Production declined sharply with the economic collapse after World War I, but the company continued to operate the mine until 1927, when it was sold to the Rimamurany-Salgotarjani Vasmu Company (RSVC). During the existence of the Borsodi Banyatarsulat, approximately 10 million tons of ore was produced, and a total volume of about 30 million cubic meters of ore and overburden was removed.

RSVC operated the mine from 1927 to the end of World War II in 1945. During this period the production never attained the maximum pre-WWI levels, and in the depression years of 1930-35, production dropped to as low as 43,000 tons per year. Mine production was still mostly by surface excavation, but from 1936 to 1944 underground production increased from about 3% to 25% of the total. In those 17 years of operation, 3.5 million tons of ore was shipped, and a total volume of about 8.5 million cubic meters of ore and overburden was removed.

In the immediate post-WWII years of 1945-46, operations resumed under very difficult conditions, following a short period of inactivity in the last year of the war. From 1949 to the closing of all operations in 1985, Rudabanya was the largest operating iron mine in Hungary, and was owned and operated entirely by the state. During this period the mine equipment was modernized and a new ore-concentrating plant was built in 1953-54, for the treatment of siderite ores. To facilitate transportation from the ever deepening open-pit, a haulage tunnel was completed. The 5-km-long tunnel with a double-track, narrow-gauge electric railway line extended for the full length of the deposit, and was accessible from all the actively mined sections of the mine.

Annual production reached 700,000 tons in the 1960-70's, but some of the ore produced was low-grade and scarcely marketable. Without the state subsidies of the postwar socialist economy, the mine would not have been viable. With the depletion of the good-quality ore-reserves, increasing costs and the lack of markets, the long-unprofitable state-subsidized mine finally closed in 1985. Total estimated iron ore production from 1880-1985 was around 45 million tons, and an estimated 120 million cubic meters of ore and overburden was removed. With the closing of the mine the long and colorful history of mining at Rudabanya came to an end, probably never to rise again.

Rudanya Mining Museum

A small but very interesting mining and mineral museum is located in Rudabanya; it is highly recommended for any visitor interested in mining history or mineralogy. The Erc es Asvanybanyaszati Muzeum ["Ore and Mineral Mining Museum"] of Rudabanya, is a member museum in a network of Hungarian mining museums (Molnar, 1980), specializing (as the name implies) in the historical aspects of metalliferous ore mining in Hungary. The idea of the museum originated around 1956 with management and employees of the iron mine who wished to preserve and present memorabilia connected with the history and mining at Rudabanya. Employees and the mining company donated most of the items in the museum's collection, which opened to the public in 1965. Later the museum's mandate was expanded to include collections from other metal mining areas of Hungary.

The most interesting individual exhibits focus on local finds connected with early mining, such as a reconstructed 10th-century iron-smelter, wooden mine supports and step-ladders from the 15th century, mining tools and lamps. There are many items in the museum's collection dating from the 18-20th century, such as tools and implements used in mining, uniforms, mining instruments, maps, models, documents and other memorabilia (Szuromi, 1995). The museum has a small but fine library of old mining, metallurgical and mineralogical books, and it also serves as the historical archive for the town and the mine. Larger pieces of mining equipment from the more recent past are on exhibit in the courtyard of the museum, and in a simulated mine and it with an original mine portal that was transferred from the mine. A separate building houses an exhibit of ores and minerals with an excellent representation of minerals from Rudabanya, and a good selection of minerals from other mining regions in Hungary. Exceptional speci mens of azurite, malachite, cuprite, malachite pseudomorphs after azurite, and native copper specimens are the most noteworthy. The museum is open to visitors in the summer months or by appointment.


The Rudabanya iron deposit is situated on the margin of the Triassic, sedimentary Aggtelek-Rudabanya Mountains (commonly referred to as Aggtelek karst). The ore deposit, which was exposed by a large open-pit as well as extensive underground workings in a Triassic series, is essentially composed of Lower Triassic (Werfen) marl, limestone and Middle Triassic (Gutenstein) dolomite. This formation was later subject to intense tectonic activity, during which parts of the area were elevated, and the harder and more rigid limestones and dolomites were crushed, fragmented and compressed with the softer, more elastic marl to form a limestone and dolomite breccia. This structural feature was responsible for creating the preconditions for subsequent metasomatic processes that formed the iron deposit. Underlying the deposit are Permian evaporites and Paleozoic black shales; cover formations of the deposit are primarily of Upper Miocene sediments, which occasionally enclose small lignite coal masses. Recent finds of vari ed fossils of fauna and flora have been described from the cover formations.

In the emplacement of the Rudabanya orebody the following distinct phases have been proposed (Pant6, 1956; Hernyak, 1977). In the first phase, along the main fault-plane, hematite and, to a lesser extent, siderite formed as small lenses and masses. These small bodies of primary origin were considered to be of minor importance, and rarely sufficient for economic exploitation. In the second, the most important ore-forming phase, the brecciated limestone and dolomite were metasomatized by ascending iron-rich solutions, and transformed into large bodies of carbonates consisting mostly of siderite. Siderite ore was economically the most important and intensely mined ore for about 50 years. Other formations of minor economic importance that evolved during this phase are the small hematite bodies which are the result of the metasomatism of the Triassic marl and sandstones. The outward-flowing solution from the metasomatized dolomite masses were blocked by the siderite-marl contacts, forming 0.5-3.0-meter-thick vein -like boundaries or rims, consisting essentially of barite (Panto, 1956). These barite veins are characterized by fine, banded layering indicating rhythmic deposition. This formation was of considerable importance in early mining, as it gave rise to the most important sulfide concentrations in the deposit.

The sulfide concentration was partially connected to the third phase of the ore-deposition process, during which the already developed metasomatic orebody was probably subjected to hydro-thermal action, to which surface alteration and decomposition may have contributed to a considerable degree. Complete or partial dissolution of the siderite and subsequent recrystallization resulted in the formation of isolated bodies consisting of spongy, spheroidal siderite with a radiating structure, locally referred to as spherosiderite. Close proximity of the carbonate orebody to the surface for a long period of time permitted considerable surface oxidation and decomposition to a depth of 40-50 meters. From this zone of decomposition evolved the oxidation and cementation belt of the deposit, the secondary limonite ore, and the siliceous limonite.

There are a number of theories regarding the origin and genesis of the ore mineralization at Rudabanya. The origin of the ore deposit has been considered hydrothermal-metasomatic (Panto, 1956). According to this theory the metasomatic process was very slow, evolving under low temperatures (and without a significant influence on the evolution of the orebodies) from the various magmatic formations in the mountain range.

Another theory, based on more recent geochemical studies (Csalagovits, 1973a, b and 1974), proposes a non-hydrothermal metasomatic process. Examining the characteristic geothermal indicators of the metasomatized and non-metasomatized Triassic phases, this author pointed out the lack of conclusive evidence that hydrothermal action was involved, or that the ore formation was connected to the regional magmatism. This is also indicated by the low temperatures of formation (max. 150[degrees]C) of the ore minerals. Instead, he believes that the orebody resulted from the mixing of fluids from two paleoaquifers combined with disjunctive tectonic activity, which created the specific lithostratigraphic, geotectonic and paleogeographic conditions for the formation of the deposit.

The latest theory is based on the plate tectonic modeling of the area (Less and Szentpetery, 1986). It proposes a definite genetic connection of the orebody to an igneous formation, the Gomor granite, located to the north of the Rudabanya deposit. From the Gomor area the metalliferous formations are said to have been pushed in a southerly direction into an overthrust position during the Cretaceous period, and the orebodies were emplaced in their present location at the beginning of the Miocene period.


Minerals such as native copper, azurite, malachite, galena and possibly many others from the Rudabanya deposit were known to the miners for centuries. A number of authors gave brief descriptions of some of the minerals as early as the 18th century (Marsigli, 1726; Bruckmann, 1727; Benko, 1786), but systematic studies only commenced in the latter part of the 19th century (Zepharovich, 1859, 1873 and 1893; Toth, 1882, and Schmidt, 1882). In the 20th century, researchers such as Schmidt, Kertai, Grasselly and especially Koch have contributed much to the understanding of Rudabanya mineralogy. In recent years (since the closing of the mine) interest in mineralogical investigation was rekindled by a number of mineralogists including one of the authors (S. Sz.), and a growing number of interested amateurs. As a result, many species new for the locality were discovered, and all the minerals reported in the literature have been reinvestigated using modem analytical techniques. Only those species confirmed by X-ray pow der diffraction and electron microprobe analyses on multiple specimens, sometimes by multiple investigators, are included in the mineral descriptions. More than half of the species described below have been confirmed in the last 15 years, mostly from recently collected material. Although the mine is inactive, collecting and research on the mineralogy of the deposit continues, and specimen mining using heavy equipment has resulted in the recovery of some significant specimens in the last two years.

Acanthite [Ag.sub.2]S

Acanthite is the most common silver mineral at Rudabanya. Although it has rarely been found in recent times, during the silver mining periods it was almost certainly the principal source of silver. Acanthite is widely distributed in small quantities, but is found mainly in the galena concentrations in barite veins. It occurs in the primary ore belt in the Andrassy I and II, the Vilmos and the Polyanka sections as dispersed grains to 0.1 mm across in galena. In the siderite ores it occurs as minute acicular crystals and thin flakes of secondary origin, sprinkled on wire-bundles and granular aggregates of silver. Acanthite is also found in the oxidation zone as lamellar aggregates 1-3 mm across associated with silver, cuprite, malachite, mercury, galena, anglesite and barite (Szakall and Kovacs, 1995).

Aluminite [Al.sub.2]([SO.sub.4])[(OH).sub.4] 7[H.sub.2]O

Aluminite is found as white, earthy concretions 3-5 cm in diameter associated with gypsum in the barite-sulfide orebodies (Dobosi, 1978).

Aluminocopiapite (see copiapite)

Anglesite [PbSO.sub.4]

A relatively rare secondary mineral in the deposit, anglesite is found in the limonite ores and in near-surface exposures of galena-enriched barite veins in the Andrassy II and I, and the Vilmos sections. Anglesite occurs mainly in small cavities in the spongy, earthy limonite as colorless to transparent, pale gray, prismatic or tabular crystals 1-2 mm across and in barite veins, as colorless, tabular crystals up to 1 cm across, often on corroded galena crystals. Anglesite is invariably associated with cerussite in both assemblages, but it is considerably rarer than cerussite. On the tabular crystals the following forms have been noted: {100}, {110}, {102} and the dominant {104} (Koch, 1939). Many of the crystals have rounded and partially etched surfaces.

Anhydrite [CaSO.sub.4]

Anhydrite is one of the main constituents in the Permian evaporite beds underlying the ore deposit. It occurs as compact spongy masses in close association with its alteration product, gypsum.

Ankerite Ca([Fe.sup.2+],Mg,Mn)[([CO.sub.3]).sub.2]

Ankerite occurs as xenomorphic grains of microscopic size associated with siderite, calcite and dolomite in carbonate ores (Panto, 1956), and as idiomorphic crystals in barite veins.

Antlerite [[Cu.sup.2+].sub.3]([SO.sub.4])[(OH).sub.4]

Antlerite, a rare secondary mineral at Rudabanya, occurs in small fractures in the limonite ores as dull, pale green, powdery coatings and thin layers consisting of randomly intergrown, acicular crystals of microscopic size associated with malachite, covellite and chalcanthite (Szakall et a)., 1997).

Aragonite [CaCO.sub.3]

Aragonite is relatively common in fissures and cavities of the limonite-spongy siderite ores, occurring as colorless, white and pale green acicular crystals 1-5 mm long, often forming radiating, spherical groups; as dull, compact white spheres 4-6 cm in diameter; and as solid veins 1-3 cm across. Most of the colorless crystals are twinned on (110) (Koch, 1966).

Aurichalcite [(Zn,[Cu.sup.2+]).sub.5][([CO.sub.3]).sub.2][(OH).sub.6]

In limonite ores in the Andrdassy I section, aurichalcite is found rarely in small crevices as thin, transparent, pale blue, platy crystals and crystal groups associated with cerussite, brochantite, malachite and zincrosasite (Szakall, 1992).

Azurite [[Cu.sup.2+].sub.3][([CO.sub.3]).sub.2][(OH).sub.2]

For mineral collectors, some of the most desirable and impressive mineral specimens from Rudabanya are the splendid large azurite crystals. The best examples compare favorably with those of the most famous azurite localities, at least in size. Azurite is a relatively common secondary mineral in cavities and crevices in the limonite ores and in calcite veins of the oxidation zone, commonly associated with or altered to malachite. Azurite occurs as lustrous, complex, transparent to translucent, deep blue, tabular crystals 1-5 mm across; as botryoidal aggregates, consisting of spheres, 2-3 mm in diameter; as thin drusy layers on cuprite crusts covering native copper; as dull, opaque, dark blue, tabular crystals, forming rosette-like, intergrown aggregates 5-15 cm in diameter; as vitreous to dull, thick, opaque, dark blue, tabular crystals up to 16 cm long; and as rosettes and spherical aggregates 1-8 cm in diameter, partially altered to malachite.

The first documented mention of Rudabanya azurite appeared in 1726 (Marsigli, 1726), with etchings of three specimens of native copper, with associated blue (crusta Vitrioli coeruli) and green minerals, almost certainly blue azurite and green malachite. The oldest specimens of azurite that we have been able to trace in mineral collections (rather insignificant specimens) are from around 1880. Some fine, large, rosette-like aggregates consisting of bladed crystals were collected around 1900 [or the beginning of the last century]. The largest tabular crystals of unaltered azurite known were collected in the 1950's in the Lonyai section; these are exceptional crystals attaining 10 cm in length. They are characterized by a dominant {001} pinacoid, and most show peculiar, smooth, lustrous to waxy curved surfaces with dull eroded areas. Outstanding specimens of tabular azurite crystals were collected in 1968-69 from an unknown part of the mine. The specimens consist of aggregates of lustrous, sharp, tabular crysta ls up to 5 cm in diameter and 5-6 mm thick, with the edges of azurite crystals sprinkled with sharp, dark green, prismatic malachite crystals up to 1 cm long. The overgrowth of these malachite (non-pseudomorphic) crystals on unaltered azurite is unique to Rudabanya. Excellent specimens of azurite with cuprite and malachite were also collected in the summer of 2000 from a limonite pod in the Andrassy I section. The specimens consisted of spherical aggregates 4-8 cm in diameter consisting of very dark blue, thin tabular crystals. Many of the azurite crystals found at Rudabanya are rich in forms; morphological studies (Tokody, 1924; Kertai, 1935) have identified 17 forms.

Exceptional specimens of azurite partially or completely altered to malachite were found in the Adolf mine section in 1985. The largest and the best of these is a spectacular matrix specimen consisting of a group of sharp, deep blue crystals, with parts of the crystals altered to bright green malachite in a limonite cavity. The largest crystal in the group is 16 cm long and 8 cm wide while the others 10-12 cm long, and all are totally free of damage. This specimen, along with a number of other significant pieces from the same find, are in a private collection in Miskolc, Hungary. Only a few people (10-12) were allowed to see the best pieces, among them the authors (S. Sz. and L.H.), who were permitted to measure but not to photograph the specimens.

Many of the best specimens of azurite and malachite pseudomorphs after azurite from earlier finds are in the collections of the Magyar Allami Foldtani Intezet (MA'FI) [Hungarian Geological Institute] of the Hungarian Geological Survey and the Hungarian Natural History Museum, both in Budapest, the University of Szeged, the Herman Otto Museum in Miskolc, Erc es Asvanybanyaszati Muzeum [Ore and Mineral Mining Museum] in Rudabanya, and in private collections mostly in Hungary, Austria and Germany.

Barite [BaSO.sub.4]

A widely distributed and very common mineral in many parts of the Rudabanya deposit, barite is found in both the primary and secondary ore belts. Barite is most abundant in the primary belt, where it forms solid rims (up to 3 meters in thickness) on the contact of the siderite masses with marl, and also occurs as veinfillings in limonite. These primary barite masses contain local concentrations of various sulfides, most commonly galena and sphalerite. Most barite masses and veins are solid, but some have cavities which are lined with lustrous, sharp, opaque, white, tabular crystals of barite 1-2 mm across. In the limonite and spongy siderite ores of the secondary belt, barite is found as compact, opaque, white, spherical aggregates up to 3 cm in diameter, covered by small tabular crystals; as irregular, white crusts consisting of small crystals; and as sharp, complex, colorless, tabular crystals dominated by the [001] pinacoid, 5-10 mm across, forming attractive groups and rosettes. Barite was also found in the Upper Miocene clay-sand-lignite layers covering the deposit, as spherical to oblong concretions with concentric, layered ring-structure, 1-7 cm in diameter (Radocz, 1973). Morphological studies of Rudabanya barite (Schmidt, 1882; Kertai, 1935; and Koch et al., 1950) have identified a total of 22 forms.

Beudantite [[PbFe.sup.3+].sub.3]([AsO.sub.4])([SO.sub.4])[(OH).sub.6]

In the siliceous limonite bodies of the Adolf section, beudantite is found finely dispersed as submicroscopic grains enclosed in cerussite. Very rarely, it also occurs in cavities as dull, opaque, greenish yellow, colloform aggregates 1-3 mm in diameter, associated with mimetite (Szakall et al., 1994), as aggregates of fresh, equant, pale brown, crystals 1-3 mm across, associated with mimetite and malachit, and as green dipyramidal crystals up to 0.2 mm.

Biodheimite [Pb.sub.2][Sb.sub.2][O.sub.6](O,OH)

Bindheimite is a relatively rare secondary mineral, an alteration product of boulangerite, found in the barite veins of the Andrassy I and II, and the Vilmos sections. Very rarely it is also found in fissures in the siliceous limonite of the Adolf mine section. Bindheimite occurs as pale yellow to reddish yellow, earthy masses, crusts and thin coatings covering surfaces up to several square centimeters and as masses of acicular to fibrous pseudomorphs after boulangerite.

Bismuth Bi

Bismuth is extremely rare, occurring as microscopic grains in galena associated with barite veins in the primary belt, and very rarely associated with galenobismutite (Nagy and Dobosi, private communications).

Bornite [Cu.sub.5][FeS.sub.4]

Bomite is relatively common in the sulfide-rich parts of the siderite ore, occurring as irregular grains 2-3 mm across, typically associated with chalcopyrite, chalcocite and covellite (Koch et at., 1950). Rarely, bornite has also been found as crystalline masses 4-6 cm across intermixed with chalcocite and chalcopyrite.

Botryogen [MgFe.sup.3+][([SO.sub.4]).sub.2](OH).7[H.sub.2]O

A relatively rare secondary mineral, botryogen occurs as thin, orange-yellow crusts up to several square centimeters in area in the Andrassy III section, associated with epsomite, melanterite and copiapite (Szakall et al., 1997).

Boulangerite [Pb.sub.5][Sb.sub.4][S.sub.11]

Boulangerite is a relatively rare associate of galena in barite veins of the primary zones in the Andrassy I and II, and especially in the Vilmos sections of the mine. It occurs as metallic, opaque, gray, radiating aggregates and irregular matted masses up to 2 cm in diameter, consisting of acicular crystals, invariably intergrown with galena. Typically the boulangerite is coated with pale yellow, powdery bindheimite, and rarely it is found completely altered to bindheimite. It is more than likely that the "fibrous jamesonite" mentioned from the galena of the Andrdssy II section (Koch et al., 1950) was boulangerite, as the occurrence of jamesonite has not been confirmed to date.

Bournonite [PbCuSbS.sub.3]

Bournonite occurs very rarely in the primary ore belt, as microscopic inclusions of twinned lamellae in galena (Tokody, 1950).

Brochantite [[Cu.sup.2+].sub.4]([SO.sub.4])[(OH).sub.6]

In the limonite ores of the Andrassy I and the Adolf sections, brochantite is found as a relatively common secondary mineral, typically altered from chalcocite, digenite and covellite. It occurs as translucent, emerald to deep green crusts, as spherical aggregates 1-2 mm in diameter, and very rarely as equant, transparent, deep green crystals up to 1 mm. Associated minerals include calcite, cerussite, aurichalcite and zincrosasite (Szakdll, 1992).

Bromargyrite AgBr

Like other late-stage silver-halides found at Rudabdnya, bromargyrite is derived from the alteration of tennantite found in the limonite and siliceous limonite of the Adolf mine section. Bromargyrite is relatively rare, occurring as translucent to opaque, colorless to grayish white crusts, and as aggregates of cuboctahedral crystals up to 1 mm, characteristically associated with chlorargyrite. Electron microprobe analysis of the bromargyrite indicates relatively high Cl content due to intergrowth with chlorargyrite (Szakdll and Kovacs, 1995).

Cacoxenite [([Fe.sup.3+],Al).sub.25][([PO.sub.4]).sub.17][O.sub.6][(OH).sub.12]. 75[H.sub.2]O

Cacoxenite is extremely rare at Rudabanya, found in a single specimen in the Andrassy II section, as greenish yellow, radiating capillary crystals, up to 1 mm long, with indistinct terminations, forming hemispherical aggregates on azurite crystals (Koch et al., 1950).

Calcite [CaCO.sub.3]

Widely distributed in both the primary and secondary ore belts of the deposit, calcite occurs predominantly as massive veinfillings, and less commonly as well-formed rhombs and elongated hexagonal prisms. Crystals up to 1 cm across are colorless, transparent to translucent, pale yellow, and opaque white grading to gray. Most of the calcites here fluoresce intense red to purplish red under shortwave ultraviolet radiation.

Capgaronnite HgS.Ag(CI,Br,I)

Capgaronnite, a rare sulfo-halide, was first described from Cap Garonne, Var, France (Mason et al., 1992), where it occurs as minute crystals associated with secondary Cu, Ag and Hg minerals in Triassic conglomerates and sandstones. Rudabanya is the second reported locality for the mineral.

Capgaronnite is extremely rare, found with other late-stage secondary silver and mercury minerals (the alteration products of tennantite) in the siliceous limonite in the Adolf mine section. Capgaronnite occurs as vitreous to adamantine, crude, black, elongated prismatic crystals 0.1-0.2 mm long. Associated minerals are tennantite, moschellandsbergite, cinnabar, mercury, perroudite and iltisite (Szakall and Sarp, 2000).

Carbonate-cyanotrichite [[Cu.sup.2+].sub.4][Al.sub.2]([CO.sub.3],[SO.sub.4])[(OH).sub.12].2[H .sub.2]O

In the vuggy limonite zone of the Adolf section, carbonate-cyanotrichite was found as radiating aggregates of pale blue acicular crystals 0.1-0.5 mm long.

Cassiterite [SnO.sub.2]

Cassiterite is a rare associate of the sulfide assemblage consisting mostly of chalcopyrite and bornite in barite veins of the Villanyteto mine section. It occurs as microscopic grains and idiomorphic crystals.

Cerussite [PbCO.sub.3]

Cerussite is a very common and widespread alteration product of galena in the secondary ore belts, found most commonly in near-surface exposures of galena-rich ores in the Andrdssy I, II, III, the Polyanka and the Vilmos mine sections. Cerussite occurs as well-formed crystals in cavities in barite veins, and in spongy limonite and siliceous limonite. The crystals are adamantine, sharp, complex, colorless (sometimes faintly reddish on the surface due to a finely dispersed dusting of cinnabar), with equant bipyramidal, tabular, and elongated prismatic habits. Crystals are generally 1-3 mm across, with exceptional crystals exceeding 1 cm in length. Morphological studies of the complex crystals by a number of investigators (Schmidt, 1882; Kertai, 1935; Koch, 1939; and Zsivny, 1951) have revealed 23 forms. Many of the crystals are twinned, most commonly on (110) and rarely on (130).

Chalcanthite [Cu.sup.2+][SO.sub.4].5[H.sub.2]O

As a post-mining deposition in old underground workings, chalcanthite occurs as transparent to translucent blue vein-fillings and crusts with a somewhat coarse, fibrous structure, rarely associated with antlerite.

Chalcocite [Cu.sub.2]S

In the siderite ores chalcocite is common as crystalline masses up to 1 cm across, and rarely as well-formed crystals. From the underground workings of the Istvantelek section it has been reported as twinned, tabular crystals up to 5 mm across, bounded by the dominant 10011 basal pinacoid and the 11131 and (023) prisms (Koch, 1966). In thin barite veins intersecting the siderite masses of the Andrassy I and II sections, chalcocite also occurs in narrow fissures as thick, tabular crystals 2-3 mm across. These crystals are partially altered to covellite and digenite, and progressively to cuprite and malachite. In cavities of the limonite and spongy siderite ores, chalcocite also occurs as well-formed, pseudohexagonal tabular crystals 1-3 mm across, and as thin alteration rims on chalcopyrite and bornite intergrown with covellite.

Chalcopyrite [CuFeS.sub.2]

Chalcopyrite is the most abundant copper-bearing sulfide mineral in the deposit, most commonly found in the siderite orebodies as crystalline masses up to 14 cm across, intermixed with bornite and chalcocite. Rarely chalcopyrite also occurs in small cavities in the siderite ore as well-formed disphenoids 1-3 mm across. The attractive copper minerals of the oxidation-cementation zone such as copper, malachite, azurite and cuprite are primarily the alteration products of chalcopyrite.

Chalcostibite [CuSbS.sub.2]

Chalcostibite is rare at Rudabanya, found in small cavities in the spongy siderite ores of the Polyanka, Andrassy I and III sections. Chalcostibite occurs as blocky, opaque, dark gray crystals 1-2 mm across, and dispersed in the ore as anhedral grains to 1 mm in diameter (Szakall, 1992). Associated minerals include chalcocite (most common), skinnerite, tetrahedrite, digenite and tennantite.

Chlorargyrite AgCl

Chlorargyrite is relatively rare, found in the limonite and siliceous limonite typically associated with the less common bromargyrite. Freshly exposed chlorargyrite is lustrous, transparent, yellowish green and rarely pale magenta in color. It forms octahedra up to 1 mm, sometimes in parallel intergrown crystal groups 1-3 mm across. Chlorargyrite is also found as fine-grained aggregates and thin crusts. On exposure to light chlorargyrite crystals turn gray and black. Associated minerals are bromargyrite, iodargyrite, cuprite, cerussite, malachite, barite and mercury (Szakdll and Kovacs, 1995).

Cinnabar HgS

Cinnabar is relatively common and widely dispersed in small quantities in various orebodies, as a secondary mineral most likely altered from mercury-bearing tennantite (Kertai, 1935; Koch, 1939). Cinnabar occurs most commonly in cavities in limonite and siliceous limonite as dull, opaque, brownish red and red earthy masses and crusts, as a very fine, reddish brown to red dusting on cerussite and sulfur crystals, and very rarely as translucent, red, short prismatic crystals to 1 mm in length. Cinnabar has also been found as a very rare primary mineral in siderite as embedded, dark red anhedral grains of microscopic size (Koch et al., 1950).

Claraite [(Cu,Zn).sub.3]([CO.sub.3])[(OH).sub.4].4[H.sub.2]O

Claraite was originally described from Grube Clara near Ober-wolfach, Schwarzwald, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany (Walenta and Dunn, 1982). At Rudabanya, claraite occurs as an extremely rare secondary mineral in cavities of a sulfide-rich barite zone in the Villanyteto section, as pale green to greenish blue spherical aggregates consisting of lath-shaped crystals 10-20 [micro]m long. Associated minerals include barite, malachite, devilline, goethite and gypsum (Szakall et al., 1997).

Clinochlore [(Mg,[Fe.sup.2+].sub.5]Al([Si.sub.3]Al)[O.sub.10][(OH).sub.8]

In the quartz-barite veins associated with the marl in the Deak section, clinochlore was identified as finely dispersed microscopic flakes associated with hematite (Panto, 1956).

Conichalcite [CaCu.sup.2+]([AsO.sub.4])(OH)

Conichalcite occurs as thin crusts and spheres 0.1-0.5 mm in diameter consisting of pale green, very fine acicular crystals associated with malachite in the Villanyteto mine section.

Connellite [[Cu.sup.2+].sub.19][Cl.sub.4]([SO.sub.4])[(OH).sub.32].3[H.sub.2]O

An exceedingly rare species at Rudabanya, connellite was found associated with cuprite as deep blue irregular aggregates up to 0.1 mm in diameter.

Copiapite [Fe.sup.2+][[Fe.sup.3+].sub.4]+[([SO.sub.4]).sub.2] 20[H.sub.2]O

Copiapite and its Al and Mg-analogs, aluminocopiapite and magnesiocopiapite, are relatively common secondary minerals in old workings of the Andrassy I, II and the Vilmos sections. The three species are virtually indistinguishable and occur together as dull, beige, yellow and yellowish white, powdery efflorescences and crusts associated with epsomite, melanterite and fibroferrite.

Copper Cu

For mineral collectors perhaps the best known mineral specimens from Rudabanya are the beautiful native copper specimens of diverse habits, especially the splendid, malachite-coated skeletal crystal specimens. Native copper is found exclusively in the limonite and spongy siderite orebodies of the oxidation zone. Although native copper has been mined and probably collected for centuries, most of the specimens extant in private and institutional collections, were collected from chance exposures in the course of iron ore mining during the last 120 years. The primary source for specimen copper is the Andnissy I mine section, where it is found in complex, interconnected cavities most commonly in limonite, invariably associated with secondary minerals such as cuprite, malachite and azurite.

Native copper occurs in a wide variety of habits: as formless lumps and nuggets, sometimes exceeding 50 kg in weight; as branching, arborescent and dendritic aggregates, up to 30 cm across; as felt-like, mossy, capillary and net-like intertwined wiry masses, up to 10 cm across; as grape-like clusters of solid spheres 5-10 mm in diameter; and as exquisite aggregates up to 30 cm across of intergrown, elongated and distorted skeletal crystals, with a lamellar structure and foil-like hollow shells. Crystals of textbook symmetry are rare at Rudabinya; these are mainly well-formed cubes, octahedra and tetrahexahedra. Asymmetrically developed copper crystals are more common, and the morphology of some of these has been studied in some detail (Tokody, 1924, 1950; Koch, 1939). These include well-crystallized rods with a hexagonal cross section (elongated {110} dodecahedra), pseudohexagonal bipyramids and pseudoscalenohedra (the faces of both correspond to peculiarly developed {210} tetrahexahedra). The most attractiv e and interesting specimens consist of sharp, elongated, spear-shaped, skeletal crystals, which can attain 15 cm in length. These crystals are formed by the elongation and uneven development of the {111} octahedra, in the direction of the corners and edges. With the exception of some very fine masses of bright, clean, metallic wire-copper, all copper specimens are coated by a thin layer of malachite, or often by a thin layer of cuprite and malachite. Many excellent specimens of native copper are found in institutional collections in Hungary, and in private collections in Hungary, Germany and Austria. The best specimens of the spear-shaped, skeletal crystals are in the collections of the Hungarian Geological Institute, Budapest, and the Herman Otto Museum in Miskolc. One of these specimens appeared on a Hungarian postage stamp in the 1960's.

The earliest mention and illustration of Rudabanya copper specimens in the literature was in 1726, in Marsigli's monumental, six-volume work on the history, geography and natural history of the Danube valley and region (Marsigli, 1726). In this work Marsigli mentions Penes Rudnobanyam: ubi Cuprum massivum in tanta copia invenitur. Unde ad 50. libras inventa fuit massa quoedam mense Januario, A. 1702. ["Rudabanya has rich discoveries of massive copper. Here in January of 1702, a mass weighing nearly 50 libras (probably the libres used in France, 453 g) was found"]. In the same volume appears a fine map showing the mining districts of northern Hungary including Rudabanya, and a full-page illustration of three copper-etchings of Rudabanya native copper specimens, associated with azurite and malachite. The illustrated specimens are unremarkable by current standards, but the observations recorded in the captions on the associated minerals, the limonite matrix, and some speculation regarding the formation of the m ineral assemblage is very interesting. From the same period is another mention of a copper specimen, "an extraordinary large and beautiful copper specimen, resembling a bunch of grapes," which was observed in the collection of Countess Dorottya Gvadanyi-Forgach, the owner and operator of the Rudabanya mine at the time (Bruckmann, 1727). The oldest surviving Rudabanya specimen that we have been able to trace during the preparation of this paper is a native copper specimen in the collection of the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna (No. A.b. 2021). This specimen was recorded in the Catalogus Stutzianus which was compiled between 1797-1806, indicating that the specimen, which is unremarkable in appearance, was acquired before 1796 (G. Niedermayr, personal communications). Many other specimens from the late 1800's are found in various museums in Europe.

Cornubite [[Cu.sup.2+].sub.5][([AsO.sub.4]).sub.2][(OH).sub.4]

Found very rarely in the limonite zone of Villanyteto section, cornubite occurs as pale green, porcelaneous, compact masses up to 2 cm in diameter, associated with azurite and malachite.

Covellite CuS

Covellite is relatively common in the chalcopyrite-bornite concentrations of the siderite ores, occurring in small quantities on the margins of the chalcopyrite as thin crusts and as lamellar aggregates with chalcocite. In the oxidation zone it is found in cavities in the spongy siderite ore, as opaque, black, hexagonal, tabular or short prismatic crystals 1-3 mm across, with bluish iridescence and a submetallic luster; as a crust consisting of masses of thin, bluish lamellae, 0.5-1 mm across, and as pseudohexagonal, tabular pseudomorphs after chalcocite, 0.5-2 mm across, invariably associated with unaltered chalcocite. In the Andrassy II section, it was also found as a 1 to 3-cm-wide vein consisting of massive covellite intersecting a barite vein, and as platy crystals encrusted with a thin layer of cuprite and embedded in a nest of malachite (Koch, 1966).

Cuprite [[Cu.sup.1+].sub.2]O

Cuprite is a relatively common mineral in the oxidation-cementation belt of the deposit. From the point of view of collectors it is one of the most interesting minerals from Rudabanya, especially when found as well-formed malachite-coated crystals. Cuprite is the product of the oxidation of native copper in the limonite and siderite ores, notably in the Lonyai and Andrassy I sections, occurring most commonly as compact masses up to several kilograms in weight, as pseudomorphs after copper, and relatively rarely as well-formed crystals.

Fresh, uncoated cuprite crystals are found rarely as a drusy cavity lining in massive cuprite. These crystals are adamantine, sharp, transparent to translucent, deep red, cuboctahedral crystals up to 3 mm in diameter. Small cuprite crystals commonly form drusy crusts on native copper but are typically coated with a layer of green malachite. Rarely in cavities of spongy, earthy limonite, cuprite occurs as splendid, sharp, octahedral and dodecahedral crystals 1-4 cm in diameter, with exceptional crystals up to 5 cm. Single crystals are rare whereas attractive, intergrown aggregates are more typical.

These crystals are invariably coated by a thin layer of green malachite reminiscent of the Chessy-les-Mines France, and Onganja, Namibia, cuprite crystals. The most common crystal habit is represented by the dominant {111} octahedron, typically modified by the {110} dodecahedron and the {100} cube; a relatively rare habit is defined by the dominant 11101 dodecahedron rarely modified by a small {111} octahedron. Detailed morphological studies (Tokody, 1924; Koch, 1939) have also identified the following rare, subordinate forms on Rudabanya cuprite: {126}, {101}, {211} and {210}.

Excellent specimens of 1-3 cm malachite-coated cuprite crystals were collected in the 1930's and the 1950's in the Lonyai section. The best specimens from these finds are in the collection of the Hungarian Geological Institute in Budapest, and one of the matrix specimens appeared on a Hungarian postage stamp. Similar specimens, collected by the noted mineralogist Sandor Koch, are in the collection of the University of Szeged. Many of these cuprites were partially or completely replaced by malachite and should be considered pseudomorphs; the largest of these, a single 4.5-cm octahedron, is in the collection of the Herman Otto Museum in Miskolc.

The most outstanding specimens of cuprite crystals however, were collected in the spring and summer of 2000 from the Andrassy I section (Huber and Triebl, 2000). These specimens consist mostly of very sharp, malachite-encrusted dodecahedra with single crystals up to 5 cm in diameter, and crystal groups with 1-2 cm crystals up to 15 cm across. Although the dodecahedral habit is clearly the most abundant in this find, octahedral crystals and crystals with octahedra modified by dodecahedra ({111}, {110}) were also found. The malachite on the crystals varies from a thin coating to a thicker crust which consists of spherical aggregates of tiny malachite crystals. Rarely, under the malachite crust, flakes of silver, lamellar aggregates of acanthite and droplets of native mercury were also found. The largest and best dodecahedral crystals were collected in April, including at least one 5-cm crystal and dozens of crystals in the 3 to 4.5-cm range. Subsequent specimen mining in the summer recovered smaller (1-2 cm) c rystals, as well as very good specimens of tabular azurite, copper, malachite and cuprite pseudomorphs after copper. Most specimens were essentially "floaters" found in nests of soft earthy limonite, but a few matrix specimens have also been found. Cuprite dodecahedra of this size are very rare, and to our knowledge these are the largest known of this morphology.

Devilline [[CaCu.sup.2+].sub.4][([SO.sub.4]).sub.2][(OH).sub.6]*3[H.sub.2]O

A late-stage mineral associated with the alteration of tetrahedrite, devilline is found very rarely in a near-surface barite-zone of the Villanyteto mine section. It occurs as dull, translucent, pale blue crusts, and as sheaf-like aggregates of vitreous, sharp, translucent, lath-shaped crystals, 0.5-0.8 mm long, associated with malachite, claraite and gypsum (Szakall et at., 1997).

Digenite [Cu.sub.9][S.sub.5]

A relatively rare alteration product of chalcopyrite, chalcocite and bomite, digenite occurs in spongy siderite as dark bluish gray, metallic grains, lamellar aggregates 1-3 mm across and hexagonal crystals 1-3 mm in diameter, closely associated with djurleite, bornite and chalcopyrite (Posfai, 1990). It has also been found as pseudomorphs after chalcocite crystals.

Djurleite [Cu.sub.31][S.sub.16]

Djurleite was identified from sulfide pods of the Andrassy I section as opaque, dark gray, microscopic grains, irregular aggregates, and compact masses consisting of digenite and djurleite up to 6 cm in diameter (Posfai, 1990).

Dolomite CaMg[([CO.sub.3]).sub.2]

A significant component of the siderite ores, dolomite is widely distributed as anhedral grains intermixed with other carbonates. It is also found rarely in cavities in siderite and in barite veins, as well-formed translucent white rhombs 1-3 mm across.

Domeykite [Cu.sub.3]As

In the Andrassy III section domeykite occurs in small cavities in spongy siderite ore, as opaque, gray coatings, fissure fillings, and as spherical aggregates up to 1 mm in diameter. In an exceptionally rare occurrence it has also been found as crude, distorted octahedra (Szakall, 1992). Some domeykite aggregates are associated with blue, greenish blue and green, minute, spherical aggregates, powdery coatings and crusts of unidentified Ca-Cu, Cu-Sb, and Cu-arsenate minerals.

Enargite [Cu.sub.3]As[S.sub.4]

Enargite occurs as metallic, black well-formed columnar crystals 1-3 mm long in small fissures in the brecciated dolomite zones of Andrassy II section, associated with tennantite, pyrite and chalcopyrite.

Epsomite [MgSO.sub.4]-7[H.sub.2]O

Epsomite is very common in almost all mine sections, occurring as a white, powdery efflorescence with other sulfates, coating surfaces in old workings (Panto, 1956).

Famatinite [Cu.sub.3][SbS.sub.4]

In brecciated dolomite-limestone of the Andrassy I section, a mixture of sulfides often encrusts and cements fragments of the carbonate rock. In some of these sulfide crusts, where tetrahedrite predominates, famatinite is found very rarely as dull black, submetallic layers and veinlets up to 0.2 mm across.

Fibroferrite [Fe.sup.3+]([SO.sub.4])(OH)-5[H.sub.2]O

Fibroferrite is a very rare, recent deposition in old workings of the Vilmos section, occurring as yellow, uneven crusts and aggregates of thin fibers 0.1-0.5 mm long, associated with copiapite, aluminocopiapite and magnesicopiapite (Szakall et at., 1997).

Galena PbS

Galena is one of most common sulfide minerals in primary zones at Rudabdnya. It is associated with the siderite ores, reaching its highest concentrations in barite-rich zones. It is most commonly found as compact masses associated with the other sulfide minerals. Rarely galena has also been found in limonite cavities of the oxidation zone, as aggregates of thin, foil-like sheets. During the medieval silver mining period galena was an important silver-bearing ore mined at Rudabdnya.

Galenobismutite Pb[Bi.sub.2][S.sub.4]

Galenobismutite is extremely rare, occurring as microscopic inclusions invariably associated with native bismuth in massive galena in the Andrassy II section of the mine (Nagy and Dobosi, private communication).

Glauconite (K,Na)[([Fe.sup.3+],Al,Mg)].sub.2][(Si,Al).sub.4][O.sub.10][(OH).sub. 2]

A common rock-forming mineral in the sandstone associated with the Rudabdnya deposit, glauconite is found as dispersed greenish micaceous flakes.

Geocronite [Pb.sub.14][(Sb,As).sub.6][S.sub.23]

Geocronite occurs dispersed as metallic, gray, microscopic grains (0.2-0.5 mm) in galena in vuggy siderite in the Andrdssy II and Polyanka sections. It is very rare and was identified in thin sections by optics and microprobe analysis.

Goethite [alpha]-[Fe.sup.3+]O(OH)

The most common and abundant mineral in the oxidation-cementation belt, goethite was formed by the oxidation of primary siderite. The limonite ore of the deposit consists to a large degree of goethite. Generally this goethite is earthy brown and powdery, but it also forms compact, dark brown, rather dense crusts and masses. In the cavities of the larger masses are found botryoidal, spherical, stalactitic and reniform glasskopf aggregates of goethite which make very interesting and attractive specimens. They are dark brown to black with curved, lustrous surfaces, some of which are sprinkled with groups of small, white tabular crystals of barite. Broken surfaces exhibit a marked radial structure, steel-gray color and submetallic luster. Rarely the surfaces of these specimens have a velvety appearance imparted by an overgrowth of minute acicular goethite crystals. Often, goethite is also found as simple, rhombic pseudomorphs after siderite 1-2 mm across, exceptionally up to 3-- 5 cm across.

Gold Au

Gold is extremely rare in the deposit, occurring as irregular grains and thin flakes up to 1 mm in diameter in malachite and cuprite (Koch, 1939), and as a finely dispersed minor constituent in the copper sulfide concentrations, especially in chalcopyrite and bornite in the oxidation zone in the Lonyai and Andrassy II sections of the mine (Koch, 1966). Gold has also been found as microscopic flakes associated with the primary sulfide masses in the barite veins of the Villanyteto section.

Gypsum Ca[SO.sub.4]2[H.sub.2]O

A relatively common and widespread late-stage mineral, gypsum occurs as small vein-fillings, crusts, and rarely as colorless, twinned, prismatic crystals up to 5 mm long, typically associated with goethite, melanterite, jarosite and hexahydrite. From the oxidation zone green, spherical aggregates 2-3 mm in diameter, consisting of acicular gypsum crystals enclosing malachite, have been reported (Koch, 1966). Gypsum is also common in the clay layers associated with the cover sediments, as small masses and veinlets, and the Permian evaporite beds under the deposit (Csalagouits, 1974).

Halloysite [Al.sub.2][Si.sub.2][O.sub.5][(OH).sub.4]

Halloysite is found rarely in the limonite zones in the Andrassy III section as waxy, white, compact aggregates up to 2 cm across.

Halotrichite [Fe.sup.2+][Al.sub.2][([SO.sub.4]).sub.4].22[H.sub.2]O

Silky, white, capillary crystals and fibrous masses of halotrichite coating surfaces in old workings are relatively common (Panto, 1956).

Hematite [alpha]-[Fe.sub.2][O.sub.3]

Hematite, a very common associate of siderite in the primary ore belt, occurs mainly as admixed anhedral grains and rarely in small cavities as thin, platy aggregates (specular hematite) 1-3 mm across. Aggregates of thin, lamellar crystals are also found in fissures of the marl-quartz-barite zones of the primary ore belt. In the oxidation zone, hematite is also very common, occurring mainly as opaque, brown to reddish brown and red earthy masses, and very rarely as compact spherical and reniform ("kidney-ore") aggregates somewhat similar to goethite. Concentrations of primary hematite in the Deak mine section were of sufficient quantity to be mined in the early part of the 20th century.

Hexahydrite Mg[SO.sub.4].6[H.sub.2]O

A common post-mining deposition in old workings of the mine, hexahydrite is found as thin, opaque, white crusts and powdery coatings associated with starkeyite and epsomite.

Hollandite Ba[([Mn.sup.4+],[Mn.sup.2+]).sub.8][O.sub.16]

In the limonite orebodies of the Andrdssy I section, opaque, black, fibrous hollandite fills 0.5-1 cm wide veins.

Idaite [Cu.sub.3]Fe[S.sub.4]

Idaite is a very rare secondary mineral, occurring as alteration rims on Cu-sulfides, consisting of crusts of minute, oriented lamellae and millimeter-size grains with bornite (Koch, 1966).

Iltisite HgSAg(Cl,Br)

Iltisite, a very rare sulfo-halide, was recently described as a new mineral from the Cap Garonne mine, near Le Pradet, Var, France (Sarp et al., 1997); Rudabanya is the second reported locality for the species (Szakall and Sarp, 2000). Iltisite is an exceedingly rare, late-stage alteration product of tennantite, found in small fractures in the siliceous limonite of the Adolf mine section. It occurs as minute (10-30 [micro]m), red, hexagonal tabular crystals very closely associated with capgaronnite and perroudite. Other associated minerals in the assemblage include bromargyrite, chlorargyrite, cinnabar, mimetite, acanthite and mercury.

Iodargyrite AgI

A very rare late-stage associate of bromargyrite and chlorargyrite, iodargyrite occurs as vitreous, transparent, yellow, hexagonal tabular crystals up to 2 mm in diameter, and exceedingly rarely as transparent, lemon-yellow hexagonal prisms 0.2-0.5 mm long (Szakall and Kovacs, 1995).

Jarosite [K.sub.2][[Fe.sup.3+].sub.6][([SO.sub.4]).sub.4][(OH).sub.12]

Jarosite is a relatively rare alteration product of marcasite or pyrite, found as pale yellow, powdery masses finely dispersed in small quantities in various parts of the deposit.

Kaolinite [Al.sub.2][Si.sub.2][O.sub.5][(OH).sub.4]

Kaolinite occurs as powdery coatings and small earthy masses in the limonite ores.

K-Feldspar K-feldspar

Identified as microscopic laths, K-feldspar occurs in barite veins and siderite ores associated with various sulfides (Nagy, 1982).

Kolymite [Cu.sub.7][Hg.sub.6]

A rather rare and unusual mineral, kolymite was originally described from the Krokhalin antimony deposit in Yakutia, Russia (Markova et al, 1981), and was later reported from Copiapo, Chile. Rudabanya is the third reported locality for the species, where it was found in native copper in a zone of spongy siderite in the Andrassy III section. Kolymite occurs as metallic, silvery xenomorphic grains 10-40 [micro]m across, in copper and closely associated with moschellandsbergite. It was identified in a polished section by microprobe analysis and optical characteristics.

Lavendulan [[NaCaCu.sup.2+].sub.5][([AsO.sub.4]).sub.4]Cl.5[H.sub.2]O

A rare, late-stage alteration product of domeykite in the spongy siderite ore in the Andrassy III section, lavendulan occurs as spherical aggregates 0.1-0.5 mm, consisting of turquoise-blue, minute lamellar crystals.

Lepidocrocite [gamma]-[Fe.sup.3+]O(OH)

A finely dispersed, relatively rare minor component of the limonite ores, lepidocrocite occurs as yellowish brown aggregates of thin flakes 1-2 mm in diameter. It also occurs in cavities as pale brown druses of densely intergrown, thin lamellar crystals, 1-2 mm across.

Linarite [PbCu.sup.2+]([SO.sub.4])[(OH).sub.2]

A very rare late-stage mineral, linarite is found in small fractures in a pod of massive smithsonite in the Andrassy I section. It occurs as vitreous to waxy, translucent, pale blue, bladed crystals up to 1 mm long. Associated minerals include cerussite, aurichalcite, brochantite and malachite (Szakall et al., 1997).

Magnesiocopiapite [[MgFe.sup.3+].sub.4][([SO.sub.4]).sub.6][(OH).sub.2].20[H.sub.2]O

(see copiapite)

Magnesite [MgCO.sub.3]

Magnesite was identified from dill cores as a relatively common but minor accessory mineral in the Permian evaporites underlying the ore deposit (Csalagovits, 1974).

Magnetite [Fe.sup.2+][[Fe.sup.3+].sub.2][O.sub.4]

Magnetite is considered a very rare and minor constituent in the siderite ores, occurring as rounded grains up to 1 mm in diameter.

Malachite [[Cu.sup.2+].sub.2]([CO.sub.3])[(OH).sub.2]

The most common secondary copper mineral in the oxidation belt, malachite provides some of the most remarkable and outstanding mineral specimens from Rudabanya, as well as some of the best specimens for the species. Malachite is mainly found in cavities and fissures in the limonite ores most commonly associated with calcite, azurite, cuprite and native copper. The best specimens were collected in the Adolf, Lonyai, Andrassy I and II mine sections.

Malachite occurs mainly as vitreous, transparent to translucent, pale to deep green, acicular to elongated prismatic crystals with the dominant {110} prism up to 1 cm long, typically forming attractive rosettes and fan-shaped, spherical and sheaf-like aggregates up to 6 cm in diameter. The aggregates mainly consist of parallel crystals, intergrown and twinned along the (100) pinacoid (Tokody, 1924; Koch, et al., 1950). Some of the best specimens are spherical aggregates of deep green crystals perched on a white calcite crust, found in the 1950's, in the Andrassy II section. However, many excellent specimens have been sporadically found in the last thirty years, mostly in the limonite pods of the Andrassy I section, notably in 1985 and in 2000. Excellent examples are in the collections of the Hungarian Geological Institute and the Hungarian Natural History Museum both in Budapest; the University of Szeged, and the Herman Otto Museum in Miskolc. Exceptionally well-formed single crystals 1-2 cm long have also b een found, but they are uncommon. Blocky, non-pseudomorphic crystals to 1 cm or more resemble the attractive, so-called "primary" malachites from the Onganja mine, Namibia, and the Mashamba-West mine in Zaire. Morphological studies (Tokody, 1924; Koch et al., 1950) on single crystals identified the following forms: the {001} basal pinacoid, the {010}, {100} and {201} pinacoids, and the [110} prism. Most single crystals have a simple morphology consisting of the dominant {110} prism terminated by the {001} basal pinacoid.

The superb malachite pseudomorphs after azurite and cuprite crystals have already been mentioned earlier. Malachite also forms partial or complete pseudomorphs after native copper.

Marcasite [FeS.sub.2]

Marcasite is very common in the Rudabanya deposit, found most abundantly in the oxidation zone. Lustrous, brassy crusts, spherical, stalactitic and acicular aggregates, and spear-shaped crystals up to 1 cm in length (Koch, 1966) occur in cavities in spongy siderite ore masses. Crystals are mostly twinned (Tokody, 1924), typically forming groups of cyclic twins. Fresh, bright surfaces often exhibit colorful iridescence which quickly tarnishes, and the specimens disintegrate after a relatively short time. Marcasite has also been found in the marl and clay associated with cover sediments, as spherical concretions 3--10 cm in diameter, and as crusts and stalactitic masses.

Mawsonite [[[Cu.sup.+1].sub.6]][[[Fe.sup.3+].sub.2]][Sn.sup.4+][S.sub.8]

Mawsonite was detected and confirmed by optical and microprobe analysis in a polished section of bornite from the Andrassy II section. It is exceedingly rare, occurring as xenomorphic grains up to 0.1 mm in diameter in bornite.

Melanterite [Fe.sup.2+][SO.sub.4].7[H.sub.2]O

A very common post-mining deposition in old workings in many parts of the mine, melanterite is found as greenish crusts and as solid stalactitic formations up to 20 cm across. In the cover sediments it has also been found as pale green, fibrous masses and glaze-like crusts, associated with decomposed marcasite concretions.

Mercury Hg

Mercury is rare at Rudabanya, occurring as minute droplets in cavities in the limonite and siliceous limonite (Guckler, 1882). Very rarely mercury has also been found as inclusions in cuprite, and as microscopic droplets between acicular crystals of malachite lining cavities in massive cuprite, and malachite crusts on cuprite crystals in the Andrassy I and II sections (Koch et al., 1950).

Mimetite [Pb.sub.5][(As[O.sub.4]).sub.3]Cl

Mimetite is very rare, occurring in limonite and spongy siderite of the oxidation zone in the Adolf, Andrassy III and Polyanka sections. It is found as sharp, vitreous to dull-lustered, colorless to translucent white hexagonal prisms up to 2 mm long, typically forming radiating and spherical groups. Forms noted are the dominant {l010} prism, the {1011} pyramid and the {0001} basal pinacoid. Associated minerals include malachite, cerussite, azurite, olivenite and beudantite (Szakall and Kovacs, 1995).

Montmorillonite [(Na,Ca)sub.0.3][(Al,Mg)sub.2][Si.sub.4][O.sub.10][(OH).sub.2].n[ b.2]O

Montmorillonite is found rarely as beige to grayish white earthy masses 1--3 mm across in cavities in limonite masses.

Moschellandsbergite [Ag.sub.2][Hg.sub.3]

Moschellandsbergite is rare, found only in the siliceous limonite in the Adolf mine section. It occurs as irregular grains 1--3 mm in diameter, and very rarely as bright metallic, opaque cubes and diploids 0.1--0.5 mm in diameter. Individual grains and aggregates of moschellandsbergite are sometimes surrounded by a rim of acanthite and malachite. Moschellandsbergite, along with cinnabar, mercury and acanthite, are the alteration products of the mercury-enriched tennantite (Szakall and Kovacs, 1995).

Muscovite [KAl.sub.2]([Si.sub.3]Al)[O.sub.10][(OH,F)sub.2]

In the limonite and siderite ores muscovite has been found very rarely, as colorless to golden yellow and silvery white, thin flakes up to 1 mm across (Koch et al., 1950).

Olivenite [[[Cu.sup.2+].sub.2]](As[O.sub.4])(OH)

In the oxidation zone exposures in the Andrassy III and Polyanka sections, olivenite is found very rarely in small cavities with azurite, mimetite and malachite. It occurs as radiating, fan-like and spherical aggregates of vitreous, translucent, pale green, white and rarely olive-green prismatic crystals 1--2 mm long. Crystals are bounded by the dominant {110} prism, and are terminated by the {011} prism (Szakall and Kovacs, 1995).

Paratacamite [[[Cu.sup.2+].sub.2]]Cl[(OH).sub.3]

Paratacamite is very rare, occurring in small fissures in the limonite ores as translucent to opaque, pale green crusts and masses up to 2 cm in diameter. Very rarely it has also been found as pale green tabular crystals 0.1--0.2 mm across (Szakall, 1992).

Partzite [[[Cu.sup.2+].sub.2]][Sb.sup.2+][(O,OH).sub.7]

In the siderite zone of the Andrassy III section partzite occurs as a rare, late-stage alteration of Cu and Sb sulfides in the form of thin, olive-green coatings and earthy masses 2-3 mm across.

Perroudite [Hg.sub.5-x][Ag.sub.4+x][S.sub.5-x][(Cl,I,Br).sub.4+x]

Perroudite was described simultaneously from Cap Garrone, Var, France (type locality), Broken Hill, New South Wales, and Coppin Pool, Western Australia (Sarp et al., 1987; Mumme and Nickel, 1987). At Rudabanya, perroudite is found as an exceedingly rare secondary mineral, altered from tennantite, in the limonite ores of the Adolf mine section. Perroudite occurs as resinous, somewhat crude, transparent, orange red to red, columnar crystals, 0.l--0.5 mm long, and as thin crusts and coatings, associated with capgarronite, mercury, cinnabar and moschellandsbergite (Szakall and Sarp, 2000).

Plumbojarosite [[[PbFe.sup.3+].sub.6]][([SO.sub.4]).sub.4][(OH).sub.12]

In the siliceous-limonite of the Adolf and the Audrassy III sections, plumbojarosite has been found as coatings and very rarely in small cavities as pale brown, tabular crystals up to 1 mm forming densely intergrown aggregates.

Polybasite [(Ag,CU).sub.16][Sb.sub.2][S.sub.11]

A very rare species in a siderite zone of the Vilmos section, polybasite was found as submetallic, black, hexagonal tabular crystals up to 0.5 mm.

Posnjakite [[[Cu.sup.2+].sub.4]]([SO.sub.4])[(OH).sub.6].[H.sub.2]O

Posnjakite is an extremely rare, late-stage mineral found in chalcopyrite-enriched zones of siderite ores, occurring as translucent, pale blue pseudohexagonal tabular crystals 1--3 mm in diameter (Szakall et al., 1997).

Proustite [Ag.sub.3]As[S.sub.3]

Proustite, rare at Rudabanya, is found exclusively in galena-rich barite of the primary belt in the Vilmos, Andrassy I and II mine sections. In barite veins proustite occurs as embedded, dark red xenomorphic grains up to 1 mm in diameter, and in small cavities as adamantine, transparent to translucent, deep red, short columnar crystals 1-2 mm in length. The most common forms noted on the crystals are {1120} and {0112}. In addition to galena and barite, proustite is usually associated with xanthoconite and pyrargyrite.

Pyrargyrite [Ag.sub.3]Sb[S.sub.3]

The occurrence of pyrargyrite is rare at Rudabanya and its association is identical to that of proustite. It is found as anhedral grains less than 1 mm in diameter, disseminated in sphalerite, galena and barite (Koch, 1966), and very rarely as adamantine, sharp, translucent, deep red, short columnar crystals 1-3 mm in length.

Pyrite Fe[S.sub.2]

A very common mineral in the primary zone, pyrite is found mostly as compact crystalline masses 5-15 cm across. Pyrite is also abundant in the siderite ores and the barite veins, occurring as widely dispersed grains and masses, and less commonly as well-formed cubes and pyritohedra averaging 1-2 mm in diameter. Morphological studies on single crystals (Kochlin, 1906) identified the following forms: {1001}, {1101}, {2101}, {223} and {211}.

Pyrolusite [Mn.sup.4+][O.sub.2]

Pyrolusite is a relatively common late-stage alteration product of Mn-bearing primary carbonates in the limonite ores, found mainly as compact masses up to 30 cm in diameter. Rarely it is also found as groups of submetallic, dark gray, hexagonal tabular crystals 2-4 mm in diameter, and as crusts and spherical aggregates of randomly intergrown crystals.

Pyromorphite [Pb.sub.5][([PO.sub.4]).sub.3]Cl

Identified from alteration crusts around galena, pyromorphite occurs as opaque, white, hexagonal prisms 0.1 mm long, associated with cerussite, azurite and malachite.

Quartz [SiO.sub.2]

Quartz is relatively common in small concentrations, occurring principally in the siderite ores of the primary belt as xenomorphic and idiomorphic grains and crystals of microscopic size. It is also found in spongy siderite and siliceous limonite as a drusy cavity lining, and as small aggregates with individual crystals up to 1 cm long.

Rancieite (Ca,[Mn.sup.2+])[[Mn.sup.4+].sub.4][O.sub.9].3[H.sub.2]O

In localized Mn-concentrations in the limonite ores, rancieite is relatively common, occurring in small cavities as aggregates of opaque, black, irregular flakes with a purplish hue (Szakall, 1992).

Realgar AsS

Realgar is very rare at RudalAnya, found in the spongy siderite ore in small, cellular solution cavities as vitreous, translucent to opaque, red to reddish orange, acicular and short prismatic crystals 1-2 mm in length.

Romanechite (Ba,[H.sub.2]O)[([Mn.sup.4+],[Mn.sup.3+]).sub.5][O.sub.10]

Romanechite is a rare associate of other manganese minerals in the limonite ores. It is found as veins to several cm in thickness consisting of opaque, black, compact, banded (rhythmically layered) masses.

Rosasite [([Cu.sup.2+],Zn).sub.2]([CO.sub.3])[(OH).sub.2]

A very rare secondary mineral found in limonite of the Adolf section, rosasite occurs as green, globular aggregates up to 1 mm in tiny fissures in massive smithsonite.

Rozenite [Fe.sup.2+][SO.sub.4].4[H.sub.2]O

Associated with altered marcasite concretions in the cover sediments, rozenite is found as white, fibrous crusts associated with melanterite, szomolnokite and jarosite.

Serpierite Ca[([Cu.sup.2+],Zn).sub.4][([SO.sub.4]).sub.2][(OH).sub.6].3[H.sub.2] O

Serpierite is a very rare secondary mineral found in a single specimen as translucent, sky blue radiating aggregates 1-2 mm in diameter, consisting of compact intergrown lath-shaped crystals (Szakall et at., 1997).

Siderite [Fe.sup.2+][CO.sub.3]

Siderite, one of the primary iron ore minerals at Rudabanya, is the most abundant species in the deposit. It is also the main component of the carbonate ores in the primary belt, and the spongy siderite ores of the secondary belt of the deposit. The carbonate ores consist of crystalline masses of intimately intergrown siderite, dolomite and calcite, with minor ankerite. In the Andrassy I and III sections there are isolated masses, locally referred to as "spherosiderite" ores, which consist of spongy masses of recrystallized siderite with a radiating spheroidal structure. In cavities of the "spherosiderite" masses, siderite of normal habit also occurs as translucent, pale yellow rhombs 1-2 mm across, commonly forming drusy crusts and spherical aggregates up to 1 cm in diameter.

Siderotil [Fe.sup.2+][SO.sub.4]5[H.sub.2]O

A relatively rare post-mining efflorescence, siderotil is found as pale brown, powdery coatings and as porous crusts in old workings of the Andrassy II and Vilmos sections (Szakall et al., 1997).

Silver Ag

Native silver may have been more common in the early silver mining periods, but it is very rarely encountered at present in the siderite ores of the primary belt, and in the galena associated with the barite veins in the Vilmos and Polyanka sections of the mine. Silver occurs in small fissures as millimeter-size flakes and granular aggregates, and very rarely as random masses and bundles up to 6 mm in diameter, consisting of thin, bent and twisted wires and tufts. The silver is usually covered by minute, acicular acanthite crystals (Szakall and Kovacs, 1995). Silver also occurs as dendritic aggregates 2-3 mm across with malachite and iodargyrite, and with acanthite and mercury under malachite crusts on cuprite crystals in the Andrassy I section.

Skinnerite [Cu.sub.3]Sb[S.sub.3]

The occurrence of skinnerite is extremely rare in cavities of the spongy siderite ore in the Andrassy III mine section. It is found as submetallic, opaque, gray to brownish gray, tabular crystals to 1 mm across. Skinnerite is closely associated with chalcostibite and chalcocite. Skinnerite crystals are commonly coated with a thin layer of malachite.

Slavikite Na[Mg.sub.2][[Fe.sup.3+].sub.5][(S[O.sub.4]).sub.7][(OH).sub.6].33[H. sub.2]O

A very rare secondary mineral found in old workings of the Andrassy III section, slavikite occurs as yellowish green, hexagonal tabular crystals up to 1 mm in diameter, associated with other sulfate minerals (Szakall et al., 1997).

Smithsonite ZnC[O.sub.3]

Smithsonite, a relatively rare secondary mineral in the limonite ores of the Adolf and the Andrassy I sections, occurs as dull, crumbly, opaque, pale gray to beige masses up to 10 cm in diameter. It has also been found in small solution cavities in sphalerite as colorless rhombohedra up to 1 mm, and as white irregular aggregates 2-3 mm in diameter.

Sphalerite (Zn,Fe)S

Sphalerite is relatively common in the barite zones of the primary belt where it is closely associated with galena. It is found as finely dispersed, embedded, opaque, pale brown grains in barite, and as rhythmically banded zones with barite and calcite.

Starkeyite MgS[O.sub.4]4[H.sub.2]O

Found as a relatively common secondary mineral, starkeyite occurs as colorless to white crusts and surface coatings in old workings, commonly associated with hexahydrite (Szakall et al., 1997).

Stephanite [Ag.sub.5]Sb[S.sub.4]

In an exceedingly rare occurrence in a barite-sulfide zone of the Vilmos section, stephanite was found as black, irregular aggregates and as twinned, pseudohexagonal crystals up to 2 mm in diameter. Associated minerals include acanthite, pyrargyrite and proustite.

Stibiconite [Sb.sup.3+][[Sb.sup.5+].sub.2][O.sub.6](OH)

In small fissures of the siliceous limonite in the Adolf and the Andrassy I sections, stibiconite is found as a relatively rare, latestage alteration product of stibnite. It occurs as dull, opaque, white to yellowish white groups of divergent prismatic pseudomorphs after stibnite 1-3 mm in length.

Stibnite [Sb.sub.2][S.sub.3]

Stibnite is rare at Rudabanya, found in spongy siderite ore of the Andrassy III section, and in a barite-sulfide-carbonate zone in the Polyanka section. It occurs as bright metallic, opaque, gray, prismatic crystals 2-3 mm in length, typically forming radiating, spherical aggregates. Associated minerals include cerussite, anglesite, realgar, barite, galena, mimetite, smithsonite, valentinite and bindheimite.

Sulfur S

Sulfur is a rare late-stage alteration product of various sulfides, characteristically deposited on the walls of small fractures and fissures of the oxidation zone. It occurs as 0.5-1 mm thick crystalline crusts and very rarely as vitreous, transparent, pale yellow bipyramidal crystals 1-2 mm in length, perched on the crust. Sulfur crystals are commonly coated by a very finely dispersed dusting of red cinnabar (Kertai, 1935).

Szomolnokite [Fe.sup.2+][SO.sub.4].[H.sub.2]O

Associated with altered marcasite concretions in the cover sediments, szomolnokite occurs as a yellow, powdery efflorescence with rozenite (Szakall et al., 1997).

Tennanite [(Cu,Ag,Fe,Zn).sub.12][As.sub.4][S.sub.13]

Tennantite is a relatively common component of the sulfide assemblages in both the siderite ores and in barite veins, occurring as crystalline masses invariably admixed with chalcopyrite and other sulfides. Some of the Rudabanya tennantite has an unusually high (up to 10%) mercury content (Nagy, 1982). Native mercury, cinnabar, moschellandsbergite, capgarronite, perroudite, iltisite and an undetermined (Hg-bearing sulfide-halide) mineral are the alteration products of tennantite.

Tenorite [Cu.sup.2+]O

Tenorite is an uncommon secondary mineral in the oxidation zone. It is found as opaque, yellowish brown, earthy crusts and coatings, and as black aggregates of spheres consisting of alternating shells of limonite and tenorite. Rarely tenorite is also found as anhedral inclusions in cuprite and malachite (Koch et al., 1950).

Tetrahedrite [(Cu,Fe,Ag,Zn).sub.12][Sb.sub.4][S.sub.13]

Tetrahedrite is relatively common at Rudabanya and some of the splendid copper minerals found in the oxidation zone are the result of its alteration. The largest concentrations of terahedrite are found in the barite veins in Andrassy I and II and Vilmos mine sections, where it occurs as compact masses to several cm across. Tetrahedrite is less common in the siderite ores where it is found as finely dispersed grains, and rare in siderite, occurring as bright metallic, well-formed tetrahedra, 1-2 mm.

Thenardite [Na.sub.2][SO.sub.4]

Relatively rare as an efflorescence in abandoned workings, thenardite occurs as white powdery coatings and compact crusts.

Valentinite [Sb.sub.2][O.sub.3]

In the barite-sulfide-carbonate zone of the Polyanka section, valentinite occurs as a late-stage secondary mineral encrusting acicular stibnite crystals. The crusts consist of translucent, yellowish white, short prismatic crystals 0.5-1.5 mm long. Other associated minerals include cerussite, mimetite, smithsonite and bindheimite.

Vivianite [[Fe.sup.2+].sub.3][([PO.sub.4]).sub.2].8[H.sub.2]O

Vivianite has been identified from clay layers of the cover sediments where it occurs very rarely as powdery masses.

Xanthoconite [Ag.sub.3]As[S.sub.3]

In galena-rich zones of the Vilmos mine section, xanthoconite is found very rarely as honey-yellow irregular aggregates up to 2 mm in diameter.

Zincrosasite [(Zn,[Cu.sup.2+]).sub.2]([CO.sub.3])[(OH).sub.2]

Extremely rare in small fissures of limonite in the Andrassy I section, zincrosasite occurs as opaque, pale blue to white spheres 1-2 mm and crusts. Associated minerals include aurichalcite, brochantite, malachite, carbonate-cyanotrichite and cerussite.

Rudabanya fossils

It is rather unusual when a famous mineral locality also becomes a famous fossil locality, as is the case with Rudabanya. In 1967 Gabor Hernyak, the chief geologist of the iron ore mine, discovered a fossil-rich stratum in the Pannonian (Lower Pliocene) cover sediments at the northern edge of the open pit. Among the numerous fossils found by Hernyak were bone fragments that researchers identified as fossils of ape-like early hominids, including Pliopitheous harnyaki and Rudapithecus hungaircus respectively named after the discoverer and the locality (Kretzoi, 1975; Morbeck, 1983; Gibbons, 1992; Kordos, 2000). The Rudapithecus and related fossils recovered at the site appear to represent an early link in human ancestry, and have been the subject of intense study by an international group of investigators. The fossil-bearing strata also yielded fossils of numerous species of flora and fauna (Kretzoi, 1975), and Rudabanya became an important study site not only for paleoanthropologists, but also for paleozoologi sts and paleobotanists. The site is now covered by a protective roof, and further excavation and investigation is continuing.


We would like to express our thanks to the following individuals: Gabor Hernyak (retired chief geologist of the Rudabanya mine) for many years of help and sharing of information; Dr. William D. Birch (Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia): Dr. Istvan Dodony and Maria Foldvari (Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary); Arpad Kovacs and Istvan Sajo (University of Miskolc, Hungary); Dr. Halil Sarp (Natural History Museum, Geneva, Switzerland); Andrew C. Roberts (Geological Survey of Canada); Be la Feher (Herman Otto Museum, Miskole); Dr. Ermanno Galli and Dr. Giovanna Vezzalani (University of Modena, Italy) for their help with mineral identifications (XRD and electron microprobe analyses); Dr. Gerhard Niedermayr (Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria); Herbert Obboda and Sandor Hadobas (Ore Mining Museum, Rudabanya for help with historical data; Dr. Gabor Papp (Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest) for historical data, helpful comments and permission to photograph specimens; Dr. Orsolya Kakos-S zabo (Hungarian Geological Institute, Budapest) for permission to photograph specimens; Istvan Horvath (Miskolc) for helping with all aspects of this paper including many site visits and photography; to the dedicated group of mineral collectors who contributed their time, knowledge and specimens to the investigation of the mineralogy of the deposit: Miklos Gal, Sandor Klaj, Gabor Koller, Csaba Papp, Tamos Posa, Laszlo Tavas, Andras Varga and Dr. Gyozo Varhegyi; to Elsa Pfenninger-Horvath for translations and help with all other aspects of this paper; and to Dr. Wendell Wilson for editorial guidance.


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Table 1. The minerals of Rudabanaya, Hungary.



















































































































Phosphates and Arsenates

















Table 2. Modes of occurrence of Rudabanya minerals.
Minerals                        1  2  3  4  5  6  7
Acanthite                          x  x  x  x
Aluminite                                         x
Aluminocopiapite                                  x
Anglesite                          x  x
Anhydrite                          x
Ankerite                        x  x
Antlerite                             x           x
Aragonite                             x  x  x
Aurichalcite                          x           x
Azurite                            x  x  x  x     x
Barite                          x  x  x  x  x  x
Beudantite                            x     x
Bindheimite                        x        x
Bismuth                            x
Bornite                         x  x  x
Botryogen                                         x
Boulangerite                       x
Bournonite                         x
Brochantite                        x  x        x  x
Bromargyrite                                x
Cacoxenite                            x
Calcite                            x  x  x  x  x  x
Capgaronnite                                x
Carbonate-cyanotrichite               x
Cassiterite                        x
Cerussite                          x  x     x
Chalcanthite                                      x
Chalcocite                         x  x  x
Chalcopyrite                    x  x  x  x  x  x
Chalcostibite                            x
Chiorargyrite                         x     x
Cinnabar                        x  x  x  x  x
Claraite                                          x
Clinochlore                     x
Conichalcite                          x
Connellite                            x
Copiapite                                      x  x
Copper                                x  x  x
Cornubite                             x
Covellite                          x  x  x
Cuprite                               x  x  x
Devilline                                         x
Digenite                           x  x  x
Djurleite                          x
Dolomite                        x  x
Domeykite                                x
Enargite                           x     x
Epsomite                                       x  x
Famatinite                            x
Fibroferrite                                      x
Galena                             x
Galenobismutite                    x
Geocronite                         x
Glauconite                                     x
Goethite                           x  x  x  x  x  x
Gold                               x  x
Gypsum                                x        x  x
Halloysite                            x
Halotrichite                                      x
Hematite                        x  x  x  x  x  x
Hexahydrite                                    x  x
Hollandite                            x
Idaite                             x
Iltisite                                    x
Iodargyrite                                 x
Jarosite                                    X  X  X
Kaolinite                             x        x
K-feldspar                      x  x
Kolymite                              x
Lavendulan                               x
Lepidocrocite                         x
Linarite                                          x
Magnesiocopiapite                                 x
Magnesite                                      x
Magnetite                       x
Malachite                          x  x  x  x  x  x
Marcasite                          x  x  x  x  x
Mawsonite                          x
Melanterite                                    x  x
Mercury                               x     x
Mimetite                              x     x
Montmorillonite                       x        x
Moschellandsbergite                         x
Muscovite                       x  x  x
Olivenite                             x     x
Paratacamite                          x
Partzite                                 x
Perroudite                                  x
Plumbojarosite                              x
Polybasite                               x
Posnjakite                         x  x
Proustite                          x     x
Pyrargyrite                        x     x
Pyrite                          x  x  x  x     x
Pyrolusite                            x
Pyromorphite                       x
Quartz                          x  x  x  x  x  x
Rancieite                             x
Realgar                                  x  x
Romanechite                           x
Rosasite                                          x
Rozenite                                       x  x
Serpierite                            x
Siderite                        x  x     x
Siderotil                                         x
Silver                             x  x
Skinnerite                               x
Slavikite                                         x
Smithsonite                        x  x           x
Sphalerite                         x
Starkeyite                                        x
Stephanite                         x
Stibiconite                                 x
Stibnite                           x     x
Sulfur                             x              x
Szomolnokite                                   x  x
Tennantite                         x     x  x
Tenorite                              x  x
Tetrahedrite                       x     x
Thenardite                                        x
Valentinite                        x
Vivianite                                      x
Xanthoconite                          x     x
Zincrosasite                          x           x
1 = siderite ores
2 = barite-sulfide zones
3 = limonite ores
4 = spherosiderire ores
5 = siliceous-limonite
6 = cover & lower sediments
7 = post-mining precipitations
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Author:Szakall, Sandor; Horvath, Laszlo; Zsamboki, Laszlo
Publication:The Mineralogical Record
Geographic Code:4EXHU
Date:Mar 1, 2001
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