ABSTRACT

A new mineral, nioboheftetjernite, ideally ScNbO4, was found in the Befanamo pegmatite, Analamanga, Madagascar. It occurs as anhedral grains and very crude elongated crystals up to 200 μm in length in an intergrowth with rossovskyite, ilmenite, rutile, thortveitite, euxenite-(Y), feldspar, and quartz. The mineral is black with dark-brown to black streak and submetallic luster. It has no cleavage and its fracture is uneven. Dcalc is 5.855 g/cm3. The Raman spectrum and reflectance data are reported. The chemical composition (wt.%) is MgO 0.06, MnO 2.49, Fe2O3 12.14, Sc2O3 11.34, TiO2 5.94, SnO2 1.45, Nb2O5 32.23, Ta2O5 29.93, WO3 3.38, total 98.96. The empirical formula calculated on the basis of 4 O apfu is (Sc0.40Fe3+0.37Ti0.15Mn2+0.08)Σ1.00(Nb0.58Ta0.33W0.03Ti0.03Sn0.02)Σ0.99O4. The simplified general formula is (Sc,Fe3+)(Nb,Ta)O4. Nioboheftetjernite is monoclinic, P2/c, a = 4.7092(3), b = 5.6531(4), c = 5.0530(4) Å, β = 90.453(3)°, and V = 134.515(17) Å3. The strongest reflections of the powder X-ray diffraction pattern [d,Å(I)(hkl)] are: 4.722(22)(100), 3.776(22)(011), 3.628(44)(110), forumla, 2.938(83)(111), 2.472(30)(021), and forumla. The crystal structure, refined from single-crystal X-ray diffraction data (R1 = 0.016), is of the “wolframite” type. The mineral is named as the Nb-analogue of heftetjernite, ScTaO4.

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