Abstract

Warwickite is an orthorhombic oxyborate mineral with the general formula [6]M2O[3]BO3 (M = Mg2+, Mn2+, Fe3+, Ti4+, Al3+). The studied warwickite samples are from lamproitic rocks (umillites) and associated carbonatite-like veins (Jumilla, Murcia province, southeast Spain). Their chemical compositions are quite variable and different from those of warwickite described in the literature: in particular, Cr2O3 varies between 0.0 and 13.5 wt%, total wt% Fe as Fe2O3 is as high as 50.6 wt% and total wt% TiO2 as high as 10.2 wt%. Two main substitutions occur in Jumilla warwickite: Mg2+ + Ti4+ ⇌ 2Fe3+ and Fe3+ ⇌ Cr3+.

The structures of seven crystals of different compositions were refined in space group Pnma, giving R = 0.018–0.038. The structural results show that: (1) The M1 octahedron is smaller and more distorted than the M2 octahedron. (2) Distortion of the octahedral layer is greater in Fe-rich warwickite. (3) Fe preferentially enters the M1 site. (4) The M2-04 distance decreases with increasing Ti, suggesting preferential ordering at the M2 site. TEM studies show planar (100) defects. These defects cause variations in the octahedral chain length.

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