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Oursinite

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Formula:
(Co,Mg)(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
System:OrthorhombicColour:Pale yellow
Hardness:3 - 3½
Name:From the french oursin, in allusion to its appearance like a sea urchin


Uranophane Group

Classification of Oursinite

IMA status:Approved 1982
Strunz 8th edition ID:8/B.34-30
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:9.AK.10

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
A : Nesosilicates
K : Uranyl neso- and polysilicates
Dana 8th edition ID:53.3.1.7

53 : NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups and Other Anions or Complex Cations
3 : Insular SiO4 Groups and Other Anions of Complex Cations with (UO2)
Hey's CIM Ref.:14.16.19

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
16 : Silicates of U
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Type Occurrence of Oursinite

Type Locality:Shinkolobwe Mine (Kasolo Mine), Shinkolobwe, Katanga Copper Crescent, Katanga (Shaba), Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaïre)

Physical Properties of Oursinite

Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent
Colour:Pale yellow
Hardness (Mohs):3 - 3½
Cleavage:Distinct/Good
on {hk0}
Density (calculated):3.674 g/cm3

Crystallography of Oursinite

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:Cmca {C2/m 2/c 21/a}
Cell Parameters:a = 7.0494Å, b = 17.55Å, c = 12.734Å
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.402 : 1 : 0.726
Unit Cell Volume:V 1575.4 ų
Z:4
Morphology:Radiating aggregates of acicular crystals to 1mm.

Optical Data of Oursinite

Type:Biaxial (-)
RI values: nα = 1.624 nβ = 1.640 nγ = 1.650
2V:Measured: 76° , Calculated: 76°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.026

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Moderate
Dispersion:weak

Chemical Properties of Oursinite

Formula:
(Co,Mg)(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
Simplified for copy/paste:(Co,Mg)(UO2)2[HSiO4]2·6H2O
Essential elements:Co, H, O, Si, U
All elements listed in formula:Co, H, Mg, O, Si, U
Common Impurities:Ni

Relationship of Oursinite to other Species

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
9.AK.05Soddyite
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
SiO
 
4
· 2H
 
2
O
9.AK.10Cuprosklodowskite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
9.AK.10Sklodowskite
Mg(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
9.AK.15Boltwoodite
(K,Na)(UO
 
2
)[HSiO
 
4
] · 0.5H
 
2
O
9.AK.15Kasolite
Pb(UO
 
2
)[SiO
 
4
] · H
 
2
O
9.AK.15Natroboltwoodite
(H
 
3
O)(Na,K)UO
 
2
SiO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
9.AK.15β-Uranophane
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(HSiO
 
4
)
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
9.AK.15Uranophane
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
9.AK.15Beta-Uranophane
9.AK.20Swamboite
UH
 
6
(UO
 
2
)
 
6
(SiO
 
4
)
 
6
· 30H
 
2
O
9.AK.25Haiweeite
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[Si
 
5
O
 
12
(OH)
 
2
] · 4.5H
 
2
O
9.AK.25Metahaiweeite
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
Si
 
6
O
 
15
· nH
 
2
O
9.AK.25Ranquilite
9.AK.30Weeksite
K
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(Si
 
2
O
 
5
)
 
3
· 4H
 
2
O
9.AK.30Coutinhoite
Th
 
x
Ba
 
(1-2x)
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
Si
 
5
O
 
13
· (H
 
2
O)
 
1+y
(0 < x < 0.5 and 0 < y < (2+x))
9.AK.35Ursilite
(Mg,Ca)
 
4
(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(Si
 
2
O
 
5
)
 
5.5
(OH)
 
5
· 13H
 
2
O
9.AK.35Magnioursilite
Mg
 
4
(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(Si
 
2
O
 
5
)
 
5
(OH)
 
6
· 20H
 
2
O
9.AK.35Calcioursilite
Ca
 
4
(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(Si
 
2
O
 
5
)
 
5
(OH)
 
6
· 15H
 
2
O
9.AK.40Uranosilite
UO
 
3
· 7SiO
 
2
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
14.16.1Uranosilite
UO
 
3
· 7SiO
 
2
14.16.2Coffinite
(U
4+
 
,Th)(SiO
 
4
)
 
1-x
(OH)
 
4x
14.16.3Soddyite
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
SiO
 
4
· 2H
 
2
O
14.16.4Swamboite
UH
 
6
(UO
 
2
)
 
6
(SiO
 
4
)
 
6
· 30H
 
2
O
14.16.5Weeksite
K
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(Si
 
2
O
 
5
)
 
3
· 4H
 
2
O
14.16.6Boltwoodite
(K,Na)(UO
 
2
)[HSiO
 
4
] · 0.5H
 
2
O
14.16.7Natroboltwoodite
(H
 
3
O)(Na,K)UO
 
2
SiO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
14.16.8Cuprosklodowskite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
14.16.9Sklodowskite
Mg(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
14.16.10Uranophane
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
14.16.11β-Uranophane
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(HSiO
 
4
)
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
14.16.12Haiweeite
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[Si
 
5
O
 
12
(OH)
 
2
] · 4.5H
 
2
O
14.16.13Metahaiweeite
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
Si
 
6
O
 
15
· nH
 
2
O
14.16.14Thorogummite
(Th,U)(SiO
 
4
)
 
1-x
(OH)
 
4x
14.16.15Steacyite
(◻,K)(Na,Ca)
 
2
(Th,U)[Si
 
8
O
 
20
]
14.16.16Ekanite
(Ca,Fe
2+
 
,Pb)
 
2
(Th,U)[Si
 
8
O
 
20
]
14.16.17Kasolite
Pb(UO
 
2
)[SiO
 
4
] · H
 
2
O
14.16.18Orlite
Pb
 
3
(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O

Other Names for Oursinite

Synonyms:
IMA1982-051
Other Languages:
German:Oursinit
Spanish:Oursinita

Other Information

Health Warning:Radioactive

References for Oursinite

Reference List:

- +
Deliens, M. and Piret, P. (1983) L'oursinite (Co0.86Mg0.10Ni0.04)0.2UO3·2SiO2·6H2O, nouveau mineral de Shinkolobwe, Shaba, Zaïre. Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie (1983): 196: 305-308.

American Mineralogist (1984): 69: 567.

Burns, P.C. (2005) U 6+ minerals and inorganic compounds: insights into an expanded structural hierarchy of crystal structures. Canadian Mineralogist: 43: 1839-1894.

Burns, P.C. & Hughes Kubatko, K.-A. (2006): A novel arrangement of silicate tetrahedra in the uranyl sheet of oursinite, (Co0.8Mg0.2)[(UO2)(SiO3OH)]2(H2O)6. American Mineralogist, 91, 333-336.

Kobatko, K.-A. and Burns, P.C. (2006) A novel arrangement of silicate tetrahedra in the uranyl silicate sheetof oursinite, (Co0.8Mg0.2)[(UO2)(SiO3OH)]2(H2O)6. American Mineralogist: 91: .

Internet Links for Oursinite

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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Oursinite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Localities for Oursinite

    The map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
    (TL) indicates type locality. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
    Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaïre)
     
    • Katanga (Shaba)
      • Katanga Copper Crescent
        • Shinkolobwe
    Bull.Minéral.(1983) 106, 305-308
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