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Paramarkeyite, a new calcium–uranyl–carbonate mineral from the Markey mine, San Juan County, Utah, USA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 December 2021

Anthony R. Kampf*
Mineral Sciences Department, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA
Travis A. Olds
Section of Minerals and Earth Sciences, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA
Jakub Plášil
Institute of Physics ASCR, v.v.i., Na Slovance 1999/2, 18221 Prague 8, Czech Republic
Peter C. Burns
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
Radek Škoda
Department of Geological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 611 37, Brno, Czech Republic
Joe Marty
Mineral Sciences Department, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA
*Author for correspondence: Anthony R. Kampf, Email:


The new mineral paramarkeyite (IMA2021-024), Ca2(UO2)(CO3)3⋅5H2O, was found in the Markey mine, San Juan County, Utah, USA, where it occurs as a secondary phase on gypsum-coated asphaltum in association with andersonite, calcite, gypsum and natromarkeyite. Paramarkeyite crystals are transparent, pale green-yellow, striated tablets, up to 0.11 mm across. The mineral has white streak and vitreous lustre. It exhibits moderate bluish-white fluorescence (405 nm laser). It is very brittle with irregular, curved fracture and a Mohs hardness of 2½. It has an excellent {100} cleavage and probably two good cleavages on {010} and {001}. The measured density is 2.91(2) g cm–3. Optically, the mineral is biaxial (–) with α = 1.550(2), β = 1.556(2), γ = 1.558(2) (white light); 2V = 60(2)°; strong r > v dispersion; orientation: Y = b; nonpleochroic. The Raman spectrum exhibits bands consistent with UO22+, CO32– and O–H. Electron microprobe analysis provided the empirical formula (Ca1.83Na0.20Sr0.03)Σ2.05(UO2)(CO3)3⋅5H2O (+0.07 H). Paramarkeyite is monoclinic, P21/n, a = 17.9507(7), b = 18.1030(8), c = 18.3688(13) Å, β = 108.029(8)°, V = 5676.1(6) Å3 and Z = 16. The structure of paramarkeyite (R1 = 0.0647 for 6657 I > 2σI) contains uranyl tricarbonate clusters that are linked by Ca–O polyhedra to form heteropolyhedral layers. The structure of paramarkeyite is very similar to those of markeyite, natromarkeyite and pseudomarkeyite.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

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Associate Editor: Giancarlo Della Ventura


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