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Relianceite-(K), a new phosphate–oxalate mineral related to davidbrownite-(NH4) from the Rowley mine, Arizona, 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, California 90007, USA
Mark A. Cooper
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2, Canada
Aaron J. Celestian
Mineral Sciences Department, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90007, USA
Chi Ma
Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
Joe Marty
Mineral Sciences Department, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90007, USA
*Author for correspondence: Anthony R. Kampf, Email:


Relianceite-(K), K4Mg(V4+O)2(C2O4)(PO3OH)4(H2O)10, is a new mineral species from the Rowley mine, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. It occurs in an unusual bat-guano-related, post-mining assemblage of phases. Other secondary minerals associated with relianceite-(K) are antipinite, dendoraite-(NH4), fluorite, mimetite, mottramite, rowleyite, salammoniac, struvite, vanadinite, willemite, wulfenite and at least one other new mineral. Crystals of relianceite-(K) are sky blue prisms up to ~0.1 mm in length. The streak is very pale blue and lustre is vitreous, Mohs hardness is 2½, tenacity is brittle and fracture is splintery. The calculated density is 2.111 g⋅cm–3. Relianceite-(K) is optically biaxial (+) with α = 1.528(2), β = 1.529(2), γ = 1.562(2) (white light); 2Vmeas = 22(1)°; orientation Z = b; pleochroism: X = colourless, Y = pale blue, Z = pale blue; X < Y ≈ Z. Electron microprobe analysis gave the empirical formula [K2.21(NH4)1.79]Σ4.00Mg0.96(V4+0.95O)2(C2O4)[P1.03O3.03(OH)0.97]4(H2O)10, with the C, N and H contents constrained by the crystal structure. Raman spectroscopy confirmed the presence of NH4 and C2O4. Relianceite-(K) is monoclinic, Pc, with a = 12.404 (7) Å, b = 9.014 (6), c = 13.260 (8) Å, β = 100.803(10)°, V = 1456 (2) Å3 and Z = 2. The structural unit in the crystal structure of relianceite-(K) (R1 = 0.0540 for 3751 Io > 2σI reflections) is a (V4+O)2(C2O4)(PO3OH)4 chain in which VO6 octahedra are bridged by an oxalate group to form [V2C2O12] dimers, PO3OH tetrahedra form a double bridge between the VO6 octahedra of the dimers, and additional PO3OH tetrahedra decorate the chain. Topologically, this is the same chain found in the structure of davidbrownite-(NH4). The MgO(H2O)5 octahedron can be considered a distant decoration on the chain. The chains are linked to each other through an extensive system of K/NH4–O bonds and hydrogen bonds.

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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This paper is part of a thematic set that honours the contributions of Peter Williams

Guest Associate Editor: Clara Magalhães


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