Abstract

Waimirite-(Y) (IMA 2013-108), orthorhombic YF3, occurs associated with halloysite, in hydrothermal veins (up to 30 mm thick) cross-cutting the albite-enriched facies of the A-type Madeira granite (~1820 Ma), at the Pitinga mine, Presidente Figueiredo Co., Amazonas State, Brazil. Minerals in the granite are ‘K-feldspar’, albite, quartz, riebeckite, ‘biotite’, muscovite, cryolite, zircon, polylithionite, cassiterite, pyrochlore-group minerals, ‘columbite’, thorite, native lead, hematite, galena, fluorite, xenotime-(Y), gagarinite-(Y), fluocerite-(Ce), genthelvite–helvite, topaz, ‘illite’, kaolinite and ‘chlorite’. The mineral occurs as massive aggregates of platy crystals up to ~1 μm in size. Forms are not determined, but synthetic YF3 displays pinacoids, prisms and bipyramids. Colour: pale pink. Streak: white. Lustre: non-metallic. Transparent to translucent. Density (calc.) = 5.586 g/cm3 using the empirical formula. Waimirite-(Y) is biaxial, mean n = 1.54–1.56. The chemical composition is (average of 24 wavelength dispersive spectroscopy mode electron microprobe analyses, O calculated for charge balance): F 29.27, Ca 0.83, Y 37.25, La 0.19, Ce 0.30, Pr 0.15, Nd 0.65, Sm 0.74, Gd 1.86, Tb 0.78, Dy 8.06, Ho 1.85, Er 6.38, Tm 1.00, Yb 5.52, Lu 0.65, O (2.05), total (97.53) wt.%. The empirical formula (based on 1 cation) is (Y0.69Dy0.08Er0.06Yb0.05Ca0.03Gd0.02Ho0.02Nd0.01Sm0.01Tb0.01Tm0.01Lu0.01)Σ1.00[F2.540.25O0.21]Σ3.00. Orthorhombic, Pnma, a = 6.386(1), b = 6.877(1), c = 4.401(1) Å, V = 193.28(7) Å3, Z = 4 (powder data). Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) data [d in Å (I) (hkl)]: 3.707 (26) (011), 3.623 (78) (101), 3.438 (99) (020), 3.205 (100) (111), 2.894 (59) (210), 1.937 (33) (131), 1.916 (24) (301), 1.862 (27) (230). The name is for the Waimiri-Atroari Indian people of Roraima and Amazonas. A second occurrence of waimirite-(Y) is described from the hydrothermally altered quartz-rich microgranite at Jabal Tawlah, Saudi Arabia. Electron microprobe analyses gave the empirical formula (Y0.79Dy0.08Er0.05Gd0.03Ho0.02Tb0.01Tm0.01Yb0.01)Σ1.00[F2.85O0.080.07]Σ3.00. The crystal structure was determined with a single crystal from Saudi Arabia. Unit-cell parameters refined from single-crystal XRD data are a = 6.38270(12), b = 6.86727(12), c = 4.39168(8) Å, V = 192.495(6) Å3, Z = 4. The refinement converged to R1 = 0.0173 and wR2 = 0.0388 for 193 independent reflections. Waimirite-(Y) is isomorphous with synthetic SmF3, HoF3 and YbF3. The Y atom forms a 9-coordinated YF9 tricapped trigonal prism in the crystal structure. The substitution of Y for Dy, as well as for other lanthanoids, causes no notable deviations in the crystallographic values, such as unit-cell parameters and interatomic distances, from those of pure YF3.

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