Fluorite - Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

By AZoMining.com Staff Writers

Topics Covered

Introduction to Fluorite
Properties of Fluorite
How to Identify Fluorite
Global Distribution
Occurrence of Fluorite and Useful Mineral Association
References

Introduction to Fluorite

Chemical Formula – CaF2

Fluorite is a halide mineral composed of calcium fluoride. This mineral has an isometric crystal system and a cubic morphology. The mineral derives its name from the Latin word fluere, which means ‘to flow’.

Properties of Fluorite

The following are the key properties of Fluorite:

  • Cell Data
    • Space Group: Fm3m
    • a = 5.4626
    • Z = 4
  • Crystal Data
    • Cubic
    • Point Group: 4/m32/m.
    • Cubes, octahedra, rarely dodecahedra, or combinations, with many other forms; rounded or stepped, to 2m.
    • Nodular, botryoidal, rarely columnar or fibrous; granular, massive.
    • Twinning: Common on {111}, interpenetrant, flattened.
    • X-ray powder pattern: 1.931 (100), 3.153 (94), 1.647 (35), 1.1150 (16), 1.366 (12), 1.253 (10), 0.8637 (9).
  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2
    SiO2 0.05 -
    MgO 0.03 -
    Ca 51.24 51.33
    F 48.29 48.67
    LOI 0.22 -
    Total 99.83 100.00
  • Optical Properties
    • Optical Class: Isotropic; weak anomalous anisotropism.
    • n = 1.433–1.448.
  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density) = 3.10 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Fluorite = 3.18 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PEFluorite = 6.67 barns/electron
    U = PEFluorite x ρElectron density = 20.66 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.0006

    Radioactivity

    Fluorite is not radioactive.

How to Identify Fluorite

Fluorite can be observed in blue, red, green, yellow and white colors. It has transparent to subtranslucent appearance with a white streak, vitreous luster and perfect cleavage. The fractures to this minerals are uneven producing coarse, disseminated crystals. This mineral exhibits fluorescence, and has a relative hardness of 4 and an average density of 3.13 g/cm3.

Global Distribution

Fluorite is distributed in the following places:

  • Cornwal, England
  • Durham, as at Weardale, England
  • Castleton, Derbyshire, England
  • Bex, Var, France
  • Le Beix, Puy-de-Dôme, France
  • Mont Blanc, near Chamonix, Haute-Savoie
  • Göscheneralp Uri, Switzerland
  • Berbes, Asturias Province, Spain
  • Nikolaev mine, Dal’negorsk, Russia
  • Kara Oba, Kazakhstan
  • Xianghuapu, Hunan Province, China
  • Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Musquiz, Coahuila
  • Ojuela mine, Mapimi, Durango
  • Macomb, St.Lawrence Co, USA
  • Penfield, Monroe Co., New York
  • Clay Center, Ottawa Co., Ohio
  • Hardin Co., Illinois
  • Elmwood mine, Smith Co., Tennessee
  • Sunnyside mine, San Juan Co., Colorado
  • Pine Canyon deposit, Burro Mountains
  • Grant Co., New Mexico
  • Madoc, Ontario, Canada
  • Rock Candy mine, near Grand Forks, British Columbia
  • Huanzala, Huanuco, Peru
  • Okorusu, Namibia
  • Nagar, near Karimabad, Gilgit district, Pakistan.

Occurrence of Fluorite and Useful Mineral Association

Fluorite occurs in an accessory mineral in granite, granite pegmatites and syenites; around fumaroles; in carbonatites and alkaline intrusives. The mineral can also be found in low- to high-temperature hydrothermal veins and stratabound deposits. It is closely associated with apatite, scheelite, wolframite, topaz, cassiterite, sulfides, celestine, barite, calcite, dolomite and quartz.

References


Date Added: Jan 9, 2013 | Updated: Sep 26, 2013
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