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Dark brown to ...
Resinous, Sub-Metallic
5½ - 6½
From Altai and SHAN, Chinese for mountains, for the occurrence in the Altai Mountains, China.
Originally thought to be the Nb-dominant analogue of Ixiolite, the type material is now believed to be a mixture of several minerals including Ixiolite, Samarskite-(Y) and Uranmicrolite.

Originally reported from Koktokay (Keketuohai) Pegmatite field, Fuyun Co., Altay (Aletai) Prefecture, Ili Kazakh (Yili Hasake) Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang (Xinjiang-Uygur) Autonomous Region, China

Classification of Ashanite


18 : Niobates and Tantalates
3 : Niobates and tantalates containing U but not rare earths URL:
Please feel free to link to this page.

Physical Properties of Ashanite

Resinous, Sub-Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Dark brown to pitch-black; brownish red in thin section
Hardness (Mohs):
5½ - 6½
Hardness (Vickers):
VHN100=570 - 851
Conchoidal, Sub-Conchoidal
6.61 g/cm3 (Measured)    6.6 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Ashanite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.869Å, b = 4.873Å, c = 5.216Å
a:b:c = 1.204 : 1 : 1.07
Unit Cell Volume:
V 149.18 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Single crystals are mentioned, but the habit is not stated.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
2.95 (10)
3.65 (5)
2.54 (3)
2.51 (3)
2.38 (3)
1.729 (3)
2.874 (2)
Recorded on type material

Optical Data of Ashanite

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 2.310 nβ = 2.350 nγ = 2.400
Measured: 70° to 75°, Calculated: 86°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.090
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
440 nmR1=12.1%R2= 12.1%
460 nmR1=11.4%R2= 11.5%
480 nmR1=11.2%R2= 11.3%
500 nmR1=11.0%R2= 11.0%
520 nmR1=11.0%R2= 11.0%
540 nmR1=10.9%R2= 10.9%
560 nmR1=10.9%R2= 10.8%
580 nmR1=10.8%R2= 10.8%
600 nmR1=10.8%R2= 10.7%
620 nmR1=10.7%R2= 10.7%
640 nmR1=10.7%R2= 10.6%
660 nmR1=10.6%R2= 10.6%
680 nmR1=10.6%R2= 10.6%
700 nmR1=10.6%R2= 10.6%

Reflectance graph
Graph shows reflectance levels at different wavelengths (in nm). Top of box is 100%. Peak reflectance is 12.1%.
R1 shown in black, R2 shown in red
Colour in reflected light:
Pale bluish grey
X = light brownish red, Z = dark brownish red; Orientation: X = b, Y = a, Z = c

Chemical Properties of Ashanite

Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Analytical Data:
Analysis of type material
U3O8 (23.81)
Nb2O5 (36.76)
Ta2O5 (23.41)
REE2O3 (1.40)
FeO (8.25)
MnO (7.77)

sum 101.40 wt.-%
Empirical Formula:

Relationship of Ashanite to other Species

Other Names for Ashanite

Name in Other Languages:

Other Information

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Ashanite

Reference List:
Zhan Rubo, Tian Huixin, Peng Zhizhong, Ma Zhesheng, Han Fengming, and Jing Zebei (1980): A new mineral - Ashanite, (Nb,Ta,U,Fe,Mn)4O8. Chinese Science Bulletin [Kexue Tongbao] 25(6), 510-514 (in English). - American Mineralogist (1981) 66, 217 (abstract).

Anthony, J. W. et al. (1997): Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. 3, 27.

Internet Links for Ashanite

Localities for Ashanite

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 for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? 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.
  • Xinjiang Autonomous Region
    • Yili Hasake Autonomous Prefecture (Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture)
      • Aletai Prefecture (Altay Prefecture)
        • Fuyun Co. (Koktokay Co.)
          • Ayoubulake pegmatite field
Rubo Zhang and Fengming Han (1983): Acta Mineralogica Sinica 3(4), 313-317
          • Koktokay pegmatite field (Keketuohai pegmatite field)
            • Altay Mine
Zhang Rubo, Han Fengming, and Du Chongliang (1985): Geochemistry [China] 4(2), 192-95.
Czech Republic
  • Bohemia (Böhmen; Boehmen)
    • Karlovy Vary Region
      • Krušné Hory Mts (Erzgebirge)
        • Jáchymov District (St Joachimsthal)
          • Jáchymov (St Joachimsthal)
Pauliš P., Kopecký S., Černý P. 2007: Uranové minerály České Republiky a jejich naleziště. 1. část. (Kutna Hora, issue 1)
  • Antananarivo Province
    • Vakinankaratra Region
      • Sahatany Pegmatite Field (Mt Ibity area)
        • Sahatany Valley
Ranorosoa, N. (1986): Etude mineralogique des pegmatites du champ de la Sahatany, Madagascar. These de Doctorat de l`Universite Paul Sabatier, Toulouse
  • Suceava Co.
    • Suceava district
      • Iacobeni (Jakobeny; Jacobeny; Jakabfalva)
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