Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 April 2020
Oxybismutomicrolite, ideally [(Bi3+,#)2]Σ4+Ta2O6O, where # = subordinate substituents, such as Na+, Ca2+ and vacancy (□), is a microlite-group, pyrochlore-supergroup mineral discovered at the Solnechnaya (‘Sunny’) pegmatite vein, Malkhan pegmatite field, Zabaykalskiy Kray, Central Transbaikalia, Russia. It forms rough octahedral crystals up to 1 mm across and equant grains up to 2 mm across embedded in an albite–lepidolite–elbaite complex. Other associated minerals are Bi-rich fluornatromicrolite, bismutotantalite and stibiotantalite. The new mineral is black, with resinous lustre; the streak is greyish white. It is non-fluorescent under ultraviolet light. Oxybismutomicrolite is brittle, with Mohs’ hardness of ~5. Cleavage is not observed, fracture is uneven. Dmeas. = 6.98(2) g/cm3 and Dcalc. = 7.056 g/cm3. The mineral is optically isotropic. The mean refractive index calculated from the Gladstone–Dale equation is 2.184. The infrared spectrum shows the absence of H2O molecules and OH groups. The chemical composition is (electron microprobe, wt.%): Na2O 3.45, CaO 2.88, MnO 0.31, PbO 0.76, Bi2O3 29.81, ThO2 0.18, TiO2 3.89, SnO2 1.77, Nb2O5 4.50, Ta2O5 51.08, F 1.17, O = F –0.49, total 99.31. The empirical formula, on the basis of 2 cations at the B site, is (Bi0.79Na0.68Ca0.32Mn0.03Pb0.02□0.16)Σ2.00(Ta1.42Ti0.30Nb0.21Sn0.07)Σ2.00O6.00(O0.52F0.38□0.10)Σ1.00. The crystal structure refinement (R = 0.019) gave the following data: cubic, Fd–3m, a = 10.4746(11) Å, V = 1149.2(4) Å3 and Z = 8. The eight strongest lines of the powder X-ray diffraction pattern [d, Å(I, %)(hkl)] are: 6.051(12)(111), 3.160(10)(311), 3.026(100)(222), 2.621(32)(400), 1.854(33)(440), 1.581(27)(622), 1.514(7)(444) and 1.203(7)(662). Type material is deposited in the collections of the Fersman Mineralogical Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, registration number 5409/1.
Associate Editor: Ferdinando Bosi
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