Editorial Feature

Navajoite – Occurrence, Properties and Distribution

Navajoite is named after the Navjo Indian Nation, on whose reservation the mineral was first found. It was discovered in the year 1954.

Properties of Navajoite

The key physical properties of Navajoite are as below:

  • Cell Data
    • Space group: C2/m
    • a = 34.94(2)
    • b=3.597(2)
    • c=11.79(1)
    • Z = [2]
  • Crystal Data
    • Monoclinic, pseudo-orthorhombic
    • Point group: 2/m
    • Crystals – as fibrous cross-vein fillings, to 3 mm, as coatings around pebbles and impregnations of sandstone and shale.
    • X-ray powder pattern: Monument No: 2 mine, Arizona, USA. Exhibits preferred orientation. 11.79 (100), 3.41 (20), 3.18 (8), 17.38 (7), 5.79 (6), 1.992 (4), 10.54 (3)
  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1
    V2O5 71.68
    V2O4 3.08
    SiO2 1.20
    Fe2O3 3.58
    CaO 0.22
    H2O 20.30
  • Optical Properties
    • Semitransparent
    • Optical class- Biaxial
    • Lustre – Adamantine to waxy
  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density)= 2.62 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Navajoite = 2.66 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PENavajoite = 8.16 barns/electron
    U=PENavajoite x ρelectron density= 21.35 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.001
    Boson index = 0.99
    GRapi = 0 (Gamma Ray American Petroleum Institute Units)
    Navajoite is not radioactive

How to Identify Navajoite

Navajoite is a dark brown colored mineral having an adamantine to silky lustre. Its tenacity is sectile and its hardness is less than 2 (between that of talc and gypsum).

Global Distribution

Navajoite is widely distributed in the following locations:

  • USA – from Monument 2 Mine, Arizona; Garland Co, Arkansas; Mesa Co, Colarado; San Juan Co, and Paradox Valley Utah
  • China – from Zhenyuan Co, Guizhou Province

Occurrence of Navajoite and Useful Mineral Association

Navajoite occurs in the highly oxidized portion of a Colorado Plateau type U-V Deposit, in a stream channel filled with conglomeratic and silty sandstone. It is commonly associated with minerals such as corvusite, tyuamunite, hewettite, limonite, steigerite and rauvite.


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