Wardite - Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

Wardite is a hydrous sodium aluminum phosphate hydroxide mineral, and it crystallizes in the tetragonal trapezohedral class.

It was named after Henry Augustus Ward, an American collector and dealer in natural history objects from Rochester in New York, USA.

Properties of Wardite

The following are the key properties of Wardite:

  • Cell Data
    • Space Group: P41212 or P43212
    • a = 7.03(1)
    • c = 19.04(1)
    • Z = 4

  • Crystal Data
    • Tetragonal
    • Point Group: 422
    • Dipyramidal pseudo-octahedral crystals, with {010}, {011}, {012}, {100}, rarely {001}, typically striated ⊥ [001], to 4cm
    • X-ray powder pattern: 4.74 (10), 2.994 (7), 2.591 (7), 3.085 (6), 1.516 (5), 2.825 (4), 2.108 (4)

  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2
    Al2O3 38.70 38.43
    P2O5 35.12 35.67
    H2O 17.88 18.11
    Na2O 7.51 7.79
    FeO 0.26
    MgO 0.21
    K2O 0.16
    Total 99.84 100.00

  • Optical Properties
    • Transparent to opaque
    • Color: White, colorless, pale green, blue-green, yellow-green, pale yellow, brown; colorless in transmitted light
    • Luster: Vitreous
    • Optical Class: Uniaxial (+)
    • ω = 1.586–1.594
    • ε = 1.595–1.604

  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density) = 2.79 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Wardite = 2.78 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PEWardite = 1.47 barns/electron
    U = PEWardite x ρElectron density = 4.10 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.00027
    Boson index = 0.99972
    Radioactivity
    Wardite is not radioactive

How to Identify Wardite

Wardite varies from vitreous green, bluish-green, white to colorless crystal masses. It has a transparent to translucent appearance, and forms fibrous encrustations. Its radial crystals radiate from the center without producing stellar forms. It has a perfect cleavage with white streak, non-magnetic, and non-fluorescent properties.

It has a relative hardness of 5, and an average density of 2.84 g/cm3.

Global Distribution

Wardite is distributed in the following places:

  • Little Green Monster mine, Clay Canyon, USA
  • Dunton quarry and the Bell Pit, Newry
  • Palermo #1 mine, North Groton
  • Grafton Co. New Hampshire
  • Hugo pegmatite, near Keystone
  • Tip Top mine, 8.5km south-west of Custer, Custer Co. South Dakota
  • Big Fish River–Rapid Creek area, Yukon Territory, Canada
  • Lavra da Ilha pegmatite, in the Jequitinhonha River, Brazil
  • Pirineus mine, Itinga, Minas Gerais
  • Alto Patrimonio, Piedras Lavradas, Para´iba
  • Songo, Sierra Leone
  • Wolfsberg quarry, near Spittal, Carinthia, Austria
  • Ruffiac, Morbihan, and Montebras, Creuse, France
  • Iron Monarch quarry, Iron Knob, South Australia
  • Milgun Station, Western Australia

Occurrence of Wardite and Useful Mineral Association

Wardite occurs as a component of low-temperature phosphatic nodules, and is an uncommon species in complex zoned pegmatites.

It is commonly associated with siderite roscherite (pegmatites), eosphorite, hydroxyl-herderite, fairfieldite, montgomeryite, whitlockite, mitridatite, ferrisicklerite, crandallite, millisite, and variscite.

References

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