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Ashanite was named after Chinese word ‘Shan’ meaning mountain, in reference to the place of occurrence - Altai Mountains, China.
Chemical Formula - (Nb, Ta,U, Fe,Mn)4O8
Properties of Ashanite
The following are the key properties of ashanite:
- Space group: Pcan (this describes the symmetry group of a configuration in a three-dimensional space)
- Cell parameters: a = 5.869Å, b = 4.873 Å, c = 5.216 Å.
Z = 1
- Orthorhombic, dipyramidal
- Point group: 2/m2/m2/m
- X-ray powder pattern: 2.95 (10), 3.65 (5), 2.54 (3), 2.51 (3), 2.38 (3), 1.729 (3), 2.874 (2)
- Ashanite consists of iron, manganese, niobium, oxygen, tantalum, and uranium.
- Optical class: Biaxial (+)
- R1–R2: (440) 12.1–12.1, (460) 11.4–11.5, (480) 11.2–11.3, (500) 11.0–11.0, (520) 11.0–11.0, (540) 10.9–10.9, (560) 10.9–10.8, (580) 10.8–10.8, (600) 10.8–10.7, (620) 10.7–10.7, (640) 10.7–10.6, (660) 10.6–10.6, (680) 10.6–10.6, (700) 10.6–10.6
- Pleochroism: Weak; X = pale brownish red; Z = dark brownish red
- Orientation: X = b; Y = a; Z = c
- Absorption: Z > X
- α = 2.31 ; β = 2.35; γ = 2.40
- 2V(meas.) =70°- 75°
||Bulk density (electron density) = 5.78 g/cm3
note: Specific gravity of Ashanite = 6.61g/cm3
||PEAshanite = 821.10 barns/electron
U=PEAshanite x ρ electron density= 4,748.80 barns/cm3
||Fermion index = 0.0077313074
Boson index = 0.9922686926
||Ashanite is not radioactive
How to Identify Ashanite
Ashanite can be identified in the field by its color variations such as dark brown and pitch-black. Its opaque form has no cleavage. This mineral has a resinous, sub-metallic luster with brown streaks. The fracture on this mineral is conchoidal, meaning it has a smooth, rounded surface resembling a scallop shell. The density of ashanite is 6.61 g/cm3 with a hardness of 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs scale - between orthoclase, a feldspar, and pyrite.
Occurrence of Ashanite and Useful Mineral Association
Ashanite occurs in the central part of a pegmatite, in albitized two-mica granite. It occurs as single crystals and is often associated with minerals such as tantalum-rich columbite, ishikawaite, and thorium-rich monazite. The species has been discredited by the International Mineralogical Association, who believe it may consist of ixiolite, samarskite, and uranmicrolite.
Sources and Further Reading
This article was updated on 3rd February, 2020.