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Thorianite

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Formula:
ThO
 
2
System:IsometricColour:Dark grey, brown-black
Hardness:6½ - 7
Name:The name reflects its thorium content.

Classification of Thorianite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:4/D.31-50
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID: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
Dana 8th edition ID:5.1.1.2

5 : OXIDES CONTAINING URANIUM OR THORIUM
1 : AXO2·xH2O
Hey's CIM Ref.:7.10.10

7 : Oxides and Hydroxides
10 : Oxides of Zr and Th
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Type Occurrence of Thorianite

Type Locality:Balangoda, Ratnapura District, Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka
Year of Discovery:1904

Physical Properties of Thorianite

Lustre: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 (measured):9.7 g/cm3
Density (calculated):9.87 g/cm3

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:
ThO
 
2
Simplified for copy/paste:ThO2
Essential elements:O, Th
All elements listed in formula:O, Th
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)
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
4.DL.05Cerianite-(Ce)
(Ce
4+
 
,Th)O
 
2
4.DL.05Uraninite
UO
 
2
4.DL.05Zirkelite
(Ti,Ca,Zr)O
 
2-x
4.DL.05Aeschynite Group
4.DL.10Calzirtite
CaZr
 
3
TiO
 
9
4.DL.10Tazheranite
(Zr,Ti,Ca)O
 
2-x
4.DL.10Hiärneite
(Ca,Mn,Na)
 
2
(Zr,Mn
3+
 
)
 
5
(Sb,Ti,Fe)
 
2
O
 
16
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
7.10.1Baddeleyite
ZrO
 
2
7.10.2Arkelite
ZrO
 
2
7.10.3Painite
CaZrAl
 
9
(BO
 
3
)O
 
15
7.10.4Srilankite
ZrTi
 
2
O
 
6
7.10.5Zirconolite
CaZrTi
 
2
O
 
7
7.10.6Calzirtite
CaZr
 
3
TiO
 
9
7.10.7Tazheranite
(Zr,Ti,Ca)O
 
2-x
7.10.8Zirkelite
(Ti,Ca,Zr)O
 
2-x
7.10.9Uhligite
Ca
 
3
(Ti,Al,Zr)
 
9
O
 
20
?

Other Names for Thorianite

Synonyms:
α-Thorianiteβ-Thorianiteγ-ThorianiteUraninite (of Coomaraswamy)
Other Languages:
German:Thorianit
Russian:Торианит
Simplified Chinese:方钍石
Spanish:Torianita
Varieties:
AldaniteUranothorianite

Other Information

Health Warning: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.
External LinksSearch for toxicity information at the United States National Library of Medicine

References for Thorianite

Reference List:

- +
Coomaraswamy (1904), Spolia Ceylon.

Dunstan (1904), Nature: 69: 510, 533, 559.

Coomaraswamy (1906), Jb. Min.: I: 165.

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

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

Ogawa (1913), Jb. Min.: II: 12.

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

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: 620-622.

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

American Mineralogist (1974): 59: 378.

Internet Links for Thorianite

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