Abstract

Tosudite, a regularly interstratified chlorite-smectite, crystallizes as an alteration mineral of several preexisting Al-bearing silicates (feldspars, kaolin minerals, chlorites) present in arkosic sandstones hosted in uranium deposits in Niger. X-ray diffraction patterns show a sharp superstructure at 29–29.6 Å for an air-dried state and a peak at 30.8–31.6 Å following ethylene glycol solvation. The 060 reflection at 1.507–1.509 Å indicates an overall dioctahedral character, and the very low coefficient of variation of the d00l reflections for the solvated mineral (0.03–0.13) permits validation of the regular interstratification justifying its identification as tosudite. Microprobe analysis allowed specification of the component layers of this mixed-layer mineral. The chlorite is a di-trioctahedral type analogous to sudoite (Si3Al4Mg2(OH)8), and the smectite component is a low-charge montmorillonite type (Si4Al1.67Mg0.33M+0.33(OH)4). Tosudite is characterized by large Al2O3 and MgO contents and small Fe content; its composition corresponds approximately to the formula ((Si7Al)O20(Al4.5Mg2.3Fe3+0.2) M+0.3(OH)10), where octahedral occupancy is ∼7. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations show that tosudite is closely associated with some uranium minerals: tosudite crystallization occurred during a late alteration event which post-dates burial diagenesis and during which uranium was remobilized by Mg-rich oxidizing fluids.

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