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March 26, 2012 12:37PM
First Draft

Click here to view Best Minerals K , and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation for finished Best Minerals articles.

Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?

The katophorite series minerals are minerals in the amphibole group, see Amphibole Group main article for an overview of the group. The series contains the following minerals:

Na(NaCa)(Fe2+4 Fe3+) (Si7Al) O22(OH)2

Na(NaCa)(Mg4 Al) (Si7Al) O22F2

Na(NaCa)(Fe2+4 Al) (Si7Al) O22(OH)2

Na(NaCa)(Mg4 Fe3+) (Si7Al) O22(OH)2

Na(NaCa)(Mg4 Al) (Si7Al) O22(OH)2

Unnamed (K-analogue of Magnesioferrikatophorite)
K(NaCa)(Mg4 Fe3+) (Si7Al) O22(OH)2

Magnesiokatophorite 85mm crystal

The katophorite-series minerals are intermediate in composition between the richterite series (Si8 in the T position) amphiboles and the taramite series (Si6Al2 in the T position), and between the edenite (Ca2 in the B position) and arfedsonite (Na2 in the B position), and may be found together with minerals from these series. It should also be realized that for all of katophorite minerals listed above, only katophorite and magnesiokatophorite are formally approved by IMA, all the others are in the "Named" category

Katophorite minerals are normally found in alkaline intrusions, such as nepheline syenites and also lamproites and similar rocks, typically together with other Sodium and Calcium bearing amphiboles. The Khibina massif in Russia is infamous in this respect, as 25 different amphiboles has been identified there.

The best katophorite crystals are those from the Bear Lake diggings in Ontario, Canada, where giant, well formed crystals exceeding a foot in length can be found in the calcite vein-dykes. It should be noted that also here more than one amphibole-series is present, and some of the (fluoro)magnesiokatophorites from Bear Lake will undoubtedly be richterites or even edenites.

The Norwegian magnesiokatophorites from the Larvik plutonic complex is also quite good for an amphibole.

Magnesiokatophorite Canada Québec , Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Témiscamingue RCM, Les Lacs-du-Témiscamingue, Kipawa alkaline complex

Magnesiokatophorite 2,7cm specimen

The Kipawa Syenite Complex id a less than 200 m thick kataphorite-aegirine syenite of probable metasomatic origin. It can be traced for more than 50 krn near the Kipawa river. Large crystals and crystalline aggregates of katophorite are found with albite, potassium feldspar, nepheline and aegirine near the boundary between the syenite and the overlaying "red pine chute" gneiss. Along its lower margin, a 1300 m long by 5 m thick consists of diopside and magnesiorichterite-rich schist with large amounts of eudialyte, agrellite and other rare minerals, Also pargasite and tremolite are found in the Kipawa rock sequence. Apparantly, the amphiboles from here can be identified from their associated minerals.

Kenneth L. Currie, Otto Van Breemen (1996): The origin of rae minerals in the Kipawa syenite complex, Western Quebec. The Canadian Mineralogist Vol 34 pp435-451

Magnesiokatophorite ? Fluormagnesiokatophorite

Canada Ontario , Haliburton Co, Monmouth Township, Gooderham, Bear Lake diggings (Gibson Road Western occurrence)

Magnesiokatophorite 3cm specimen
Magnesiokatophorite 6,1cm specimen
up to 20mm crystals
up to 7,8cm crystal

The Bear Lake diggings is a pay pr. dig mineral collecting site operated by the Bancroft Chamber of Commerce. According to their statistics, several hundred collectors visit the site every year. They are looking for apatite, large mica schists and amphiboles in sub-parallell, steep and up to 2-3m wide weathered calcite vein-dykes. There are several field trip reports avaible on the net, one of them also on Mindat, see Michal Adamowicz’s article giving directions and advice for where and how to collect.

The calcite veins-dyke complexes are predominantly of metacarbonatitic origin, but also calc-silicate veins of a metasedimentaty origin can be found in this area.

The mineralogy of metasedimentary and metacarbonatite calcite veins are not very different, but Moecher et. al (1997) lists the following characteristics for Ontario calcite vein-dykes of carbonatitic origin, such as those found at the Bear Lake diggings:
- The calcite is often of pinkish-orange color
- Green/blue/colorless fluorapatite communly constitutes a large (up to 20 modal%) portion of the rock
- Small apatite grains embedded in mica often contains sufficient U/Th to form halos.
- Zircon and allanite are common accessory minerals.

Hawthorne (2006) provides detailed analytical data for 4 amphiboles “representative for the suite of the locality”. 3 of the 4 are of metacarbonatitic origin, One of these was a fluororichterite and 2 were fluoromagnesiokatophoites. The 4th amphibole was a fluorotremolite of metasedimentary origin. The Ontario Ministry of mines refers to the amphiboles from the calcite vein-dykes as “edenite”, using “Berry, J.E.; Evidence for the Petrogenesis of a Calcite vein-Dyke Complex, bear Lake Diggings, Monmouth Township, Ontario, Canada” as a reference, which unfortunately I have no access to.

The data provided by Hawthorne shows that
- All analysed samples had Mg>>Fe 2+ in the C position
- The analysed fluororichterite has a composition near the fluoroedenite-fluororichterite border line
- The F/OH ratio is variable and not all amphiboles from the Bear Lake diggings will necessarily be F dominant
- The Fe2+/Fe3+ratio is relative consistant at 2:1
- The amphiboles are Na rich, all with Na>0,5 in the A position

From this it seems that the "correct" naming of the amphiboles in the apatite bearing calcite vein dykes should be “Fluorine-rich amphiboles of a edenite-richterite-magnesiokatophoritic composition”, although fluoromagnesiokataphorite is a horribly long name in it’s own right.


David P. Moecher, Eric D. Anderson, Claudia A. Cook, and Klaus Mezger(1997): The petrogenesis of metamorphosed carbonatites in the Grenville Province, Ontario, Can. J. Earth Sei. Vol. 34

Frank C. Hawthorne, Roberta Oberti, Robert F. Martin (2006): Short-range order in amphiboles from the Bear Lake diggings, Ontario. The Canadian Mineralogist Vol 44 pp1171-1179

Magnesiokatophorite Norway Vestfold, Sandefjord, Vesterøya , Framnes, Rødsåsen

Magnesiokatophorite 7 cm crystal

The Vesterøya localities lies in the Larvik plutonic complex, which is a intrusion of larvikites and nephelinsyenites related to the permian rifting in the Oslo graben. Vesterøya lies in a semicircular, wedge shaped body of nepheline bearing larvikite. Magnesiokatophorite are found in up to 10 cm well developed crystals in coarse grained, pegmatittic rocks embedded in feldspar and associated with fluoroapatite and bastnasite-(Ce).

Larsen (1995,1998) presents a summary of 28 analysis performed on amphiboles from the Larvi plutonic complex, and finds a gradual enrichment of sodium, magnesium and ferric iron from the ferroedenites of the western part of the pluton, through hastingsite in the sentral part to the magnesiokatophorites in the eastern part of the complex.


Larsen, Alf Olav (1995): Identiteten til de sorte amphibolene fra Oslo-feltets syenittpegmatitter. Norsk Bergverksmuseum Skriftserie, Vol 11
Larsen, Alf Olav (1998): Revisjon av nomenklatur for de sorte amfibolene fra Oslofeltets syenittpegmatitter. Norsk Bergverksmuseum Skriftserie, Vol 14
Larsen Alf Olav ed. (2010): The Langesundfjord, History, Geology, Pegmatites, Minerals. Bode Verlag.

Magnesiokatophorite Norway Vestfold, Sandefjord, Vesterøya , Framnes, Husebyåsen prospect

Magnesiokatophorite 3 cm crystal

Magnesiokatophorites are found in an old abandoned feldspar quarry.

Magnesiokatophorite Norway Vestfold, Sandefjord, Vesterøya , Framnes, Husefjell

Magnesiokatophorite 9x6 cm specimen

Another location for magnesiokatophoite on Vesterøya.

Katophorite Portugal Azores District , San Miguel Island , Água de Pau volcano (Fogo volcano)

Katophorite 2,4mm FOV

Água de Pau is a relatively recent volcano. The last eruption was some 5000 years ago when trachytic lavas surfaced. This lava flow contains abundant syenite clasts. These syenite clasts are of two types, silica (over)saturated and silica understaurated. in particular the undersaturated ones have scientific interest as a variety of rare minerals has been found in them. NaCa amphiboles are found as up to 5mm large grains and crystalline masses in both types of syenites. In the silica saturated syenites, the amphobole is (ferro)richterite, whereas katophorite with rims of ferrorichterite is found in the silica undersaturated syenites.


F. Rudolfi, A Renzulli, P. Santi. B.G.J. Upton (2003): Evolutionary stages of crystallization of weakly peralkaline syenites: evidence from ejecta in the plinian desposits of Agua de Pau volcano (Sao Miguel, Azores Islands): Mineralogical Magazine, Vol. 67(4), pp. 749–767

Magnesioferrikatophorite Russia Northern Region, Murmanskaja Oblast', Kola Peninsula, Mt, Khibiny Massif, Kukisvumchorr Northeast slope

Magnesioferrikatophorite 12mm FOV

The Khibina massif is situated in the central part of the Kola Peninsula in the north-west corner of Russia. It is a dome-shaped mountain massif consisting of a wide range of alkaline rocks and carbonatites. The Khibina massif is somewhat a Mecca for mineralogists and mineral collectors due tonumerous pegmatites comprising unique assemblages of rare minerals. About 80 new minerals were first discovered in the Khibina and most of them occur in pegmatites and late hydrothermal veins.

Katophorite minerals are amongst the 25 different amphiboles described from the Khibina massif, so unless analytical data or mineral association leads in a very specific direction, it is difficult to assign a name to these amphiboles.

Amphiboles with intermediate composition between richterite-series and katophorite-series minerals are found as a primary amphibole in nepheline syenites, often together with secondary arvfedsonite. The katophorite bearing rocks are normally quite fine-grained and the 1,2cm, well developed crystal from Kukisvumchorr appears to be a very good kataphorite-series specimen from the Khibina massif.

Andrei Arzamastsev, Victor Yakovenchuk, Yakov Pakhomovsky & Gregory Ivanyuk(2008): The Khibina and Lovozero alkaline massifs: Geology and unique mineralization. Field guide 33 IGC excursion No 47, July 22 – August 2, 2008

Gregory Ivanyuk, Victor Yakovenchuk, Yakov Pakhomovsky, Natalya Konoplyova, Andrei Kalashnikov, Julia Mikhailova and Pavel Goryainov (20??): Self-Organization of the Khibiny Alkaline Massif (Kola Peninsula, Russia). Earth Scienses

Ferrikatophorite Russia Northern Region, Murmanskaja Oblast', Kola Peninsula, Khibiny Massif, Olenii Creek (Olenii Ruchei; Oleny Ruchei)


This is one of the katophorite localities in the Khibiny Massif.

Magnesiokatophorite Russia Northern Region, Murmanskaja Oblast', Kola Peninsula Kovdor Massif, Kovdor Phlogopite mine (Mica Mine; Slyuda Mine; Kovdorslyuda Shaft)

Magnesiokatophorite 12mm FOV

The Kovdor phlogopite mine has been worked for phlogopite since 1963. Giant phlogopite sheets occurs with huge (up to 2m across) diopside crystals and forsterite associated by apatite. The main ellipsoid phlogopite lode is about 250x100 m at +174 m mine level, and smaller veins and nests of these phlogopite rocks penetrate the surrounding rocks. The origin of this occurrence has been discussed over the years, and both skarn-like, metasomatic and pegmatitic processes has been suggested, but it seems like this unique locality is a “peculiar alkali-ultrabasic pegmatite…. formed by successive crystallization of minerals from the margins to the center of relatively closed chambers occupied by magma” (Krasnova 2001).

Amphiboles are formed by late metasomatic action on the pegmatite, typically as tremolite-richterite-amphiboles as an alteration product of diopside. This magnesiokatophorite also appears to originate from near the contact zone between the pegmatite and surrounding rocks.


Natal’ya I. Krasnova (2001): The kovdor phlogopite deposit, Kola Peninsula, Russia. The Canadian Mineralogist Vol. 39, pp. 33-44

Click here to view Best Minerals K , and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation for finished Best Minerals articles.

Edited 9 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2012 11:40AM by Olav Revheim.
avatar Re: Katophorite-series
March 26, 2012 08:12PM
Good work. I have just finished linking all the first draft articles to their species pages. Thanks for you help on this.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.

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