smithsonite

[smith-suh-nahyt]
noun Mineralogy.
a native carbonate of zinc, ZnCO 3 , that is an important ore of the metal.

Origin:
1825–35; named after J. Smithson (who distinguished it from calamine); see -ite1

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smithsonite (ˈsmɪθsəˌnaɪt)
 
n
Also called (US): calamine a white mineral consisting of zinc carbonate in hexagonal crystalline form: occurs chiefly in dry limestone regions and is a source of zinc. Formula: ZnCO3
 
[C19: named after James Smithson]

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smithsonite

zinc carbonate (ZnCO3), a mineral that was the principal source of zinc until the 1880s, when it was replaced by sphalerite. It is ordinarily found in the oxidized zone of ore deposits as a secondary mineral or alteration product of primary zinc minerals; notable deposits are at Laurium, Greece; Bytom and Tarnowskie Gory, Pol.; Sardinia, Italy; and Leadville, Colo., U.S. For detailed physical properties, see carbonate mineral (table)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Smithsonite was identified in solution breccias exposed in rubble.
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