Abstract

Irinarassite, Ca3Sn2SiAl2O12, a new mineral species of the garnet supergroup was discovered in metasomatically altered carbonate-silicate xenoliths in ignimbrites of the Upper Chegem Caldera, Northern Caucasus, Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia. It occurs as small zones and irregular spots in kimzeyite-kerimasite or rarely as single crystals not exceeding 10 μm in size, within complex pseudomorphs after zircon. Lakargiite, tazheranite, baddeleyite, kerimasite, kimzeyite, baghdadite and rarely magnesioferrite are associated with irinarassite in the pseudomorphs which are confined to larnite-cuspidine zones immediately adjoining the ignimbrite. Larnite, cuspidine, rondorfite, fluor- and hydroxylellestadite, fluorite and secondary minerals such as ettringite, hillebrandite and bultfonteinite are associated with irinarassite. Irinarassite is pale brown to yellow colour. The mineral is characterized by the absence of cleavage and by an irregular fracture. The calculated density is 4.3 g cm−1. The mineral is isotropic with a calculated refractive index of 1.9. The empirical crystal chemical formula of irinarassite from the holotype specimen is as follows (Ca2.965Fe0.0352+)Σ3(Sn1.016Zr0.410Ti0.262Sb0.2375+Fe0.0352+U0.0176+Sc0.014Hf0.006Nb0.004)Σ2.001(Al1.386Fe0.8043+Si0.446Ti0.3644+)Σ3O12. Electron backscatter diffraction patterns of irinarassite are fitted to the garnet model with a = 12.50(3) Å with excellent MAD (mean angular deviation) = 0.16°. The Raman spectrum of irinarassite is analogous to those of kerimasite and other Zr-Sn-garnets of the schorlomite and bitikleite groups.

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