Abstract

The rare uranyl lead carbonate widenmannite, Pb2(UO2)(CO3)3, was found at the Jánská vein, Příbram, Czech Republic, where two generations occur in several morphological types and mineral associations in hydrothermal veins. Alpha spectroscopy shows that these two generations have different ages, >220,000 and 118±12 y. ICP-MS analysis indicates that both widenmannites have a dominance of non-radiogenic Pb which originates from weathered galena. The older widenmannite I forms fine-grained, grey to beige aggregates in the highly altered supergene part of the hydrothermal ore vein in association with pyromorphite, cerussite and goethite. The younger widenmannite II occurs as white, yellow or greenish-yellow thin tabular crystals up to 0.5 mm long in association with cerussite, anglesite, limonite, kasolite and an unnamed Pb-U-O phase. Thermal analysis suggests that widenmannite decomposes in several steps, with Pb uranate as the final product. Infrared and Raman spectroscopy confirm the presence of non-equivalent (CO3)2− groups, bidentately coordinated in uranyl hexagonal polyhedra, forming the well known uranyl tricarbonate complex. Infrared spectroscopy shows conclusively that widenmannite does not contain molecular H2O.

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