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Waimirite-(Y), orthorhombic YF3, a new mineral from the Pitinga mine, Presidente Figueiredo, Amazonas, Brazil and from Jabal Tawlah, Saudi Arabia: description and crystal structure

  • Daniel Atencio (a1), Artur C. Bastos Neto (a2), Vitor P. Pereira (a2), José T. M. M. Ferron (a3), M. Hoshino (a4), T. Moriyama (a4), Y. Watanabe (a4), R. Miyawaki (a5), José M. V. Coutinho (a1), Marcelo B. Andrade (a6), Kenneth Domanik (a7), Nikita V. Chukanov (a8), K. Momma (a5), H. Hirano (a4) and M. Tsunematsu (a4)...


Waimirite-(Y) (IMA 2013-108), orthorhombic YF3, occurs associated with halloysite, in hydrothermal veins (up to 30 mm thick) cross-cutting the albite-enriched facies of the A-type Madeira granite (∼1820 Ma), at the Pitinga mine, Presidente Figueiredo Co., Amazonas State, Brazil. Minerals in the granite are 'K-feldspar', albite, quartz, riebeckite, 'biotite', muscovite, cryolite, zircon, polylithionite, cassiterite, pyrochlore-group minerals, 'columbite', thorite, native lead, hematite, galena, fluorite, xenotime-(Y), gagarinite-(Y), fluocerite-(Ce), genthelvite–helvite, topaz, 'illite', kaolinite and 'chlorite'. The mineral occurs as massive aggregates of platy crystals up to ∼1 μm in size. Forms are not determined, but synthetic YF3 displays pinacoids, prisms and bipyramids. Colour: pale pink. Streak: white. Lustre: non-metallic. Transparent to translucent. Density (calc.) = 5.586 g/cm3 using the empirical formula. Waimirite-(Y) is biaxial, mean n = 1.54–1.56. The chemical composition is (average of 24 wavelength dispersive spectroscopy mode electron microprobe analyses, O calculated for charge balance): F 29.27, Ca 0.83, Y 37.25, La 0.19, Ce 0.30, Pr 0.15, Nd 0.65, Sm 0.74, Gd 1.86, Tb 0.78, Dy 8.06, Ho 1.85, Er 6.38, Tm 1.00, Yb 5.52, Lu 0.65, O (2.05), total (97.53) wt.%. The empirical formula (based on 1 cation) is (Y0.69Dy0.08Er0.06Yb0.05Ca0.03Gd0.02Ho0.02Nd0.01Sm0.01Tb0.01Tm0.01Lu0.01)Σ1.00[F2.540.25O0.21]Σ3.00. Orthorhombic, Pnma, a = 6.386(1), b = 6.877(1), c = 4.401(1) Å, V = 193.28(7) Å3, Z = 4 (powder data). Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) data [d in Å (I) (hkl)]: 3.707 (26) (011), 3.623 (78) (101), 3.438 (99) (020), 3.205 (100) (111), 2.894 (59) (210), 1.937 (33) (131), 1.916 (24) (301), 1.862 (27) (230). The name is for the Waimiri-Atroari Indian people of Roraima and Amazonas. A second occurrence of waimirite-(Y) is described from the hydrothermally altered quartz-rich microgranite at Jabal Tawlah, Saudi Arabia. Electron microprobe analyses gave the empirical formula (Y0.79Dy0.08Er0.05Gd0.03Ho0.02Tb0.01Tm0.01Yb0.01)Σ1.00[F2.85O0.080.07]Σ3.00. The crystal structure was determined with a single crystal from Saudi Arabia. Unit-cell parameters refined from single-crystal XRD data are a = 6.38270(12), b = 6.86727(12), c = 4.39168(8) Å, V = 192.495(6) Å3, Z = 4. The refinement converged to R 1 = 0.0173 and wR 2 = 0.0388 for 193 independent reflections. Waimirite-(Y) is isomorphous with synthetic SmF3, HoF3 and YbF3. The Y atom forms a 9-coordinated YF9 tricapped trigonal prism in the crystal structure. The substitution of Y for Dy, as well as for other lanthanoids, causes no notable deviations in the crystallographic values, such as unit-cell parameters and interatomic distances, from those of pure YF3.


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