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Thorianite

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Formula:
ThO2
System:
Isometric
Colour:
Dark grey, brown-black
Hardness:
6½ - 7
Member of:
Name:
The name reflects its thorium content.

Classification of Thorianite

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
4.DL.05

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
D : Metal: Oxygen = 1:2 and similar
L : With large (+- medium-sized) cations; fluorite-type structures
5.1.1.2

5 : OXIDES CONTAINING URANIUM OR THORIUM
1 : AXO2·xH2O
7.10.10

7 : Oxides and Hydroxides
10 : Oxides of Zr and Th

Type Occurrence of Thorianite

Physical Properties of Thorianite

Resinous, Sub-Metallic
Colour:
Dark grey, brown-black
Streak:
Grey, grey-green to black
Hardness (Mohs):
6½ - 7
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Poor/Indistinct
{001} poor.
Fracture:
Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
Density:
9.7 g/cm3 (Measured)    9.87 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Thorianite

Crystal System:
Isometric
Class (H-M):
m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.6Å
Unit Cell Volume:
V 175.62 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Morphology:
Cubic crystals, usually rounded to some degree (water worn).
Twinning:
Penetration twins on {111} very common.

Optical Data of Thorianite

Type:
Isotropic

Chemical Properties of Thorianite

Formula:
ThO2
All elements listed in formula:
CAS Registry number:
1314-20-1

CAS Registry numbers are published by the American Chemical Society
Common Impurities:
U,Ce,La,Pb,TR

Relationship of Thorianite to other Species

Series:
Forms a series with Uraninite (see here)
Member of:
Other Members of Group:
4.DL.05Cerianite-(Ce)(Ce4+,Th)O2
4.DL.05UraniniteUO2
4.DL.05Zirkelite(Ti,Ca,Zr)O2-x
4.DL.05Aeschynite Group
4.DL.10CalzirtiteCaZr3TiO9
4.DL.10Tazheranite(Zr,Ti,Ca)O2-x
4.DL.10Hiärneite(Ca,Mn,Na)2(Zr,Mn3+)5(Sb,Ti,Fe)2O16
7.10.1BaddeleyiteZrO2
7.10.2ArkeliteZrO2
7.10.3PainiteCaZrAl9(BO3)O15
7.10.4SrilankiteZrTi2O6
7.10.5ZirconoliteCaZrTi2O7
7.10.6CalzirtiteCaZr3TiO9
7.10.7Tazheranite(Zr,Ti,Ca)O2-x
7.10.8Zirkelite(Ti,Ca,Zr)O2-x
7.10.9UhligiteCa3(Ti,Al,Zr)9O20 ?

Other Names for Thorianite

Name in Other Languages:
German:Thorianit
Simplified Chinese:方钍石
Spanish:Torianita

Other Information

Health Risks:
Contains thorium - always wash hands after handling. Avoid inhaling dust when handling or breaking. Never lick or ingest. Avoid prolonged exposure in proximity of the body. Store away from inhabited areas.

References for Thorianite

Reference List:
Coomaraswamy (1904) Spolia Ceylon.

Dunstan (1904) The occurrence of thorium in Ceylon. Nature: 69: 510-511, 533, 559.

Dunstan W.R., Blake G.S. (1905) Thorianite, a New Mineral from Ceylon. Proc. Roy. Soc. ser. A, LXXVI: 253-265.

Dunstan W.R., Blake G.S. (1905) Chem. News: 13-15,26-28.

Coomaraswamy (1906) Jahrbuch für Mineralogie: I: 165.

Dunstan and Jones (1906), Royal Society of London, Proceedings: 77: 385.

Ogawa (1912) Tohku Im. Univ., Sc. Rep.: 1: 201.

Ogawa (1913) Jahrbuch für Mineralogie: II: 12.

Goldschmidt, Thomassen (1923) Vidensk. Selskr., Oslo, Math.-Nat. Kl., No. 2.

Palache, C., Berman, H.,Frondel, C. (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: 620-622.

US National Bureau of Standards, Circular (1953): 539(1): 57.

Bulakh, A.G., Mazalou, A.A. (1974) Accessory thorianite from the massifs of alkaline rocks and carbonatites of the Turja Peninsula (Kola Peninsula). American Mineralogist: 59: 378.

Internet Links for Thorianite

mindat.org URL:
http://www.mindat.org/min-3944.html
Please feel free to link to this page.
Specimens:
The following Thorianite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Thorianite

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.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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