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Microlite Group

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System:IsometricColour:Pale yellow to reddish ...
Lustre:Vitreous, ResinousHardness:5 - 5½
Member of:Pyrochlore Supergroup
Name:From the Greek μικρός, small, in allusion to the usual small size of the crystals from the type locality.


The nomenclature was recently revised by Atencio et al. (2010); see also Christy & Atencio (2013).

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Classification of Microlite Group

IMA status:Redefined Approved 2010
Strunz 8th edition ID:4/0.0-
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:4.00.

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
0 :
0 :
Dana 8th edition ID:8.2.2.1

8 : MULTIPLE OXIDES CONTAINING NIOBIUM,TANTALUM OR TITANIUM
2 : A2B2O6(O,OH,F)
Hey's CIM Ref.:18.1.11

18 : Niobates and Tantalates
1 : Niobates and tantalates containing neither rare earths nor U
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Type Occurrence of Microlite Group

Type Locality:Clark Ledge pegmatite locality, Chesterfield, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts, USA
Year of Discovery:1835

Occurrences of Microlite Group

Geological Setting:Albitized parts of granite pegmatites.

Physical Properties of Microlite Group

Lustre:Vitreous, Resinous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent
Colour:Pale yellow to reddish brown, sometimes emerald-green
Streak:Light yellow, brownish
Hardness (Mohs):5 - 5½
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Imperfect/Fair
Octahedral{111} (may be a parting), sometimes distinct, but usually not distinguishable.
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Splintery, Sub-Conchoidal
Density (measured):5.9 - 6.4 g/cm3
Density (calculated):6.33 g/cm3
Comment:Calc for Ca:Na = 1:1

Crystallography of Microlite Group

Crystal System:Isometric
Class (H-M):m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:Fd3m
Morphology:Octahedral, often with subordinate {001}, {113} or {001}.
Twinning:Twin plane {111} (spinel law twins), rare.
Crystal Atlas:
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Microlite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Microlite no.4 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

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The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
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Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Optical Data of Microlite Group

Type:Isotropic
Type:Isotropic

Relationship of Microlite Group to other Species

Member of:Pyrochlore Supergroup
Other Members of Group:

- +
Group Members:
Fluorcalciomicrolite 
(Ca,Na)
 
2
(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
F
Fluornatromicrolite 
(Na,Ca,Bi)
 
2
Ta
 
2
O
 
6
F
Hydrokenomicrolite 
(◻,H
 
2
O)
 
2
Ta
 
2
(O,OH)
 
6
(H
 
2
O)
Hydromicrolite 
(H
 
2
O,◻)
 
2
Ta
 
2
(O,OH)
 
6
(H
 
2
O)
Hydroxycalciomicrolite 
Ca
 
1
· 5Ta
 
2
O
 
6
(OH)
Hydroxykenomicrolite 
(◻,Na,Sb
3+
 
)
 
2
Ta
 
2
O
 
6
(OH)
Kenoplumbomicrolite 
(Pb,◻)
 
2
Ta
 
2
O
 
6
(◻,O,OH)
Oxycalciomicrolite 
Ca
 
2
Ta
 
2
O
 
6
O
Oxystannomicrolite 
Sn
 
2
Ta
 
2
O
 
6
O
Oxystibiomicrolite 
(Sb
3+
 
,Ca)
 
2
Ta
 
2
O
 
6
O
Yttromicrolite (of Hogarth) 
(Ca,Y
3+
 
,U,Na)
 
2-x
(Ta,Nb,Ti,Fe
3+
 
)
 
2
O
 
7
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
4.00.Pyrochlore Group
A
 
2
Nb
 
2
(O,OH)
 
6
Z
4.00.Roméite Group
4.00.Písekite-(Y)
(Y,As,Ca,Fe,U)(Nb,Ti,Ta)O
 
4
4.00.UM2004-19-O:AlCeGdZr
(Gd,Ce)
 
4
Al
 
2
Zr
 
4
O
 
17
4.00.UM2004-21-O:CaFeGdZr
Ca
 
2
Gd
 
4
Fe
 
5
ZrO
 
15
4.00.UM2004-27-O:GdTi
Gd
 
2
Ti
 
4
O
 
11
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
18.1.1Lithiotantite
Li(Ta,Nb)
 
3
O
 
8
18.1.2Lueshite
NaNbO
 
3
18.1.3Natroniobite
NaNbO
 
3
18.1.4Franconite
Na
 
2
Nb
 
4
O
 
11
· 9H
 
2
O
18.1.5Natrotantite
Na
 
2
Ta
 
4
O
 
11
18.1.6Irtyshite
Na
 
2
(Ta,Nb)
 
4
O
 
11
18.1.7Rankamaite
(Na,K)
 
3
(Ta,Nb,Al)
 
11
(O,OH)
 
31
18.1.8Hydropyrochlore
(H
 
2
O,□)
 
2
Nb
 
2
(O,OH)
 
6
(H
 
2
O)
18.1.9Calciotantite
CaTa
 
4
O
 
11
18.1.10Rynersonite
Ca(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.12Belyankinite
Ca
 
1-2
(Ti,Nb)
 
5
O
 
12
· 9H
 
2
O (?)
18.1.13Latrappite
(Ca,Na)(Nb,Ti,Fe)O
 
3
18.1.14Hochelagaite
(Ca,Na,Sr)(Nb,Ti,Si,Al)
 
4
O
 
11
· 8H
 
2
O
18.1.15Bariomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)
18.1.16Parabariomicrolite
BaTa
 
4
O
 
10
(OH)
 
2
· 2H
 
2
O
18.1.17Bariopyrochlore (of Hogarth 1977)
18.1.18Alumotantite
AlTaO
 
4
18.1.19Simpsonite
Al
 
4
(Ta,Nb)
 
3
O
 
13
(OH,F)
18.1.20Sosedkoite
(K,Na)
 
5
Al
 
2
(Ta,Nb)
 
22
O
 
60
18.1.21Thoreaulite
(Sn
2+
 
,Pb)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.22Stannomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)
18.1.23Foordite
(Sn,Pb)(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.24Changbaiite
PbNb
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.25Plumbopyrochlore (of Skorobogatova et al.)
18.1.26Plumbomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)
18.1.27Stibiocolumbite
Sb(Nb,Ta)O
 
4
18.1.28Stibiotantalite
Sb(Ta,Nb)O
 
4
18.1.29Natrobistantite
18.1.30Cesplumtantite
(Cs,Na)
 
2
(Pb,Sb
3+
 
)
 
3
Ta
 
8
O
 
24
18.1.31Stibiomicrolite (of Groat et al.)
18.1.32Cesstibtantite
18.1.34Bismutotantalite
Bi(Ta,Nb)O
 
4
18.1.35Bismutomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)
18.1.36Tantalite-(Mn)
MnTa
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.37Gerasimovskite
(Mn,Ca)(Nb,Ti)
 
5
O
 
12
· 9H
 
2
O
18.1.38Tapiolite-(Mn)
(Mn,Fe)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.39Columbite-(Mn)
(Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.40Wodginite
Mn(Sn,Ta)Ta
 
2
O
 
8
18.1.41Ixiolite
(Ta,Nb,Sn,Fe,Mn)
 
4
O
 
8
18.1.42Columbite-(Fe)
FeNb
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.43Tantalite-(Fe)
FeTa
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.44Columbite
(Fe,Mn)(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.45Tantalite
(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.46Tapiolite
(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.47Tapiolite-(Fe)
(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.48Columbite-(Mg)
(Mg,Fe,Mn)(Nb,Ta)
 
2
O
 
6
18.1.50Strüverite
(Ti,Ta,Fe)O
 
2
18.1.51 Staringite
(Fe,Mn)
 
x
(Ta,Nb)
 
2x
Sn
 
6-3x
O
 
12

Other Names for Microlite Group

Synonyms:
HaddamiteMetasimpsoniteMicroliteNeotantaliteNiobtantalpyrochlor
Tantalpyrochlor
Other Languages:
German:Microlit
Mikrolith
Russian:Микролит
Simplified Chinese:细晶石族
细晶石
Spanish:Microlita
Varieties:
Bariomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)Bismutomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)CesstibtantiteNatrobistantitePlumbomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)
Scandium Microlite (of Bergstøl & Juve)Stannomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)Uranmicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)Zero valent dominant member of the Microlite Group

Other Information

Health Warning:May be radioactive

References for Microlite Group

Reference List:

- +
Shepard (1835), American Journal of Science: 27: 361.

Shepard (1837), American Journal of Science: 32: 338.

Hayes (1842), American Journal of Science: 43: 33.

Shepard (1842), American Journal of Science: 43: 116.

Hayes (1844), American Journal of Science: 46: 158.

Shepard (1870), American Journal of Science: 50: 93 (as Haddamite).

Nordenskiöld (1872), Geol. För. Förh.: 3: 282.

Nordenskiöld (1894), Geol. För. Förh.: 16: 336.

Machatschki (1932), Chem. Erde: 7: 56.

Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 748-756.

American Mineralogist (1977): 62: 403-410.

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (1997) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume III. Halides, Hydroxides, Oxides. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 628pp.: 372.

Atencio D., Andrade M.B., Christy A.G., Giere R., Kartashov P.M. (2010): The pyrochlore supergroup of minerals: nomenclature. Canadian Mineralogist, 48, 673-698.

Christy, A. G. and Atencio, D. (2013): Clarification of status of species in the pyrochlore supergroup. Mineralogical Magazine, 77, 13-20.

Internet Links for Microlite Group

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    Localities for Microlite Group

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