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Uraninite

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Formula:
UO
 
2
System:IsometricColour:Black, brownish-black, ...
Lustre:Greasy, Sub-Metallic, DullHardness:5 - 6
Name:Re-named in 1845 by Wilhelm Karl von Haidinger for its composition containing uranium. Originally recognized before the element uranium was known and called "schwarz beck-erz" by Franz Ernst Brückmann in 1727. Subsequently described with several names including "pseudogalena" and "pitch-like zinc-blende" by Johan Gottschalk Wallerius (Vallerius) in 1747. Named pechblende by Axel Cronstedt in 1758. Named "uranerz" by Martin Klaproth after he discovered the element uranium in this mineral. Many spelling variations of the above names known.


Uraninite Group. Thorianite-Uraninite Series.

Occurs in granitic and syenitic pegmatites. Colloform crusts in high temperature hydrothermal veins. In quartz-pebble conglomerates.

Classification of Uraninite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:4/D.31-60
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:5.1.1.1

5 : OXIDES CONTAINING URANIUM OR THORIUM
1 : AXO2·xH2O
Hey's CIM Ref.:7.16.1

7 : Oxides and Hydroxides
16 : Oxides of U
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Type Occurrence of Uraninite

Type Locality:Jáchymov (St Joachimsthal), Jáchymov District (St Joachimsthal), Krušné Hory Mts (Erzgebirge), Karlovy Vary Region, Bohemia (Böhmen; Boehmen), Czech Republic
Year of Discovery:1772

Physical Properties of Uraninite

Lustre:Greasy, Sub-Metallic, Dull
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Opaque
Colour:Black, brownish-black, greyish, greenish; green-gray (thin fragments)
Streak:Brownish black, grayish, olive-green
Hardness (Mohs):5 - 6
Hardness (Vickers):VHN50=499 - 548 kg/mm2
Tenacity:Brittle
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
Density (measured):10.63 - 10.95 g/cm3
Density (calculated):10.88 g/cm3
Comment:Decreasing with oxidation to low as 6.5

Crystallography of Uraninite

Crystal System:Isometric
Class (H-M):m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:Fm3m
Cell Parameters:a = 5.4682Å
Unit Cell Volume:V 163.51 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:4
Morphology:Octahedral, cubo-octahedral, and cubic crystals; dodecahedrons less common. Massive, botryoidal, reniform, banded, columnar, curved lamellar.
Twinning:On {111}, rare.
Comment:Synthetic material UO2.03

Optical Data of Uraninite

Type:Isotropic
Type:Isotropic
Colour in reflected light:Light grey with brownish tint
Internal Reflections:Dark brown

Chemical Properties of Uraninite

Formula:
UO
 
2
Simplified for copy/paste:UO2
Essential elements:O, U
All elements listed in formula:O, U
CAS Registry number:1344-57-6

CAS Registry numbers are published by the American Chemical Society
Common Impurities:Th,Zr,Pb,Ra,Ac,Po,Ce,Y,Er,La

Relationship of Uraninite to other Species

Series:Forms a series with Thorianite (see here)
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
4.DL.05Cerianite-(Ce)
(Ce
4+
 
,Th)O
 
2
4.DL.05Thorianite
ThO
 
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:

- +
7.16.2Schoepite
(UO
 
2
)
 
8
O
 
2
(OH)
 
12
· 12H
 
2
O
7.16.3Paraschoepite
UO
 
3
· 2H
 
2
O
7.16.4Metaschoepite
UO
 
3
· 1-2H
 
2
O
7.16.5Metastudtite
UO
 
4
· 2H
 
2
O
7.16.6Studtite
[(UO
 
2
)(O
 
2
)(H
 
2
O)
 
2
] · H
 
2
O
7.16.7Ianthinite
U
4+
 
(UO
 
2
)
 
5
O
 
7
· 10H
 
2
O
7.16.8Compreignacite
K
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
6
O
 
4
(OH)
 
6
· 7H
 
2
O
7.16.9Vandenbrandeite
Cu(UO
 
2
)(OH)
 
4
7.16.10Roubaultite
Cu
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(OH)
 
10
· 5H
 
2
O
7.16.11Becquerelite
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
6
O
 
4
(OH)
 
6
· 8H
 
2
O
7.16.12Rameauite
K
 
2
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
6
(OH)
 
16
· H
 
2
O
7.16.13Agrinierite
K
 
2
(Ca,Sr)(UO
 
2
)
 
3
O
 
3
(OH)
 
2
·5H
 
2
O
7.16.14Protasite
Ba(UO
 
2
)
 
3
O
 
3
(OH)
 
2
· 3H
 
2
O
7.16.15Billietite
Ba(UO
 
2
)
 
6
O
 
4
(OH)
 
6
· 4-8H
 
2
O
7.16.16Bauranoite
Ba(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(OH)
 
6
· 1-2H
 
2
O
7.16.17Metacalciouranoite
(Ca,Ba,Pb,K
 
2
)U
 
2
O
 
7
· 2H
 
2
O
7.16.18Calciouranoite
(Ca,Ba,Pb)U
 
2
O
 
7
· 5H
 
2
O
7.16.19Orthobrannerite
U
4+
 
U
6+
 
Ti
 
4
O
 
12
(OH)
 
2
7.16.20Thorutite
(Th,U,Ca)Ti
 
2
(O,OH)
 
6
7.16.21Davidite-(La)
(La,Ce)(Y,U,Fe)(Ti,Fe)
 
20
(O,OH)
 
38
7.16.22Davidite-(Ce)
(Ce,La)(Y,U,Fe)(Ti,Fe)
 
20
(O,OH)
 
38
7.16.23Brannerite
(U
4+
 
,REE,Th,Ca)(Ti,Fe
3+
 
,Nb)
 
2
(O,OH)
 
6
7.16.24Fourmarierite
Pb(UO
 
2
)
 
4
O
 
3
(OH)
 
4
· 4H
 
2
O
7.16.25Richetite
Pb(UO
 
2
)
 
4
O
 
5
· 4H
 
2
O
7.16.26Curite
Pb
 
3
(UO
 
2
)
 
8
O
 
8
(OH)
 
6
· 3H
 
2
O
7.16.27Masuyite
Pb(UO
 
2
)
 
3
O
 
3
(OH)
 
2
· 3H
 
2
O
7.16.28Vandendriesscheite
PbU
 
7
O
 
22
· 12H
 
2
O
7.16.29Metavandendriesscheite
PbU
 
7
O
 
22
· nH
 
2
O n < 12
7.16.30Sayrite
Pb
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
5
O
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· 4H
 
2
O
7.16.31Wölsendorfite
(Pb,Ca)U
 
2
O
 
7
· 2H
 
2
O
7.16.32Clarkeite
(Na,Ca,Pb)(UO
 
2
)O(OH) · 0-1H
 
2
O
7.16.33Uranosphaerite
Bi(UO
 
2
)O
 
2
(OH)

Other Names for Uraninite

Synonyms:
Protoxide of UraniumSchwarz Beck-ErzUlrichite (of Kirsch)UranatemniteUrane oxydulé
UranerzUraninUranopissiteUranpecherz
Other Languages:
Dutch:Uraniniet
Finnish:Uraniitti
German:Uraninit
Kristallisirtes Uranpecherz
Uranopissit
Hungarian:Uránszurokérc
Italian:Uraninite
Urano ossidolato
Japanese:閃ウラン鉱
Latvian:Uraninīts
Lithuanian:Uraninitas
Norwegian (Bokmål):Bekblende
Uranbekerts
Uranerts
Polish:Uraninit
Russian:Уранинит
Simplified Chinese:晶质铀矿
方铀矿
Spanish:Uraninita
Uranopissita
Traditional Chinese:晶質鈾礦
方鈾礦
Varieties:
ArsenuranCleveiteNivenitePitchblendeSooty Uraninite
Thorian UraniniteUranoniobite (of Hermann)

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:None.
Health Warning:Contains uranium - 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 Uraninite

Reference List:

- +
Klaproth, M.H. (1797): Chemische Untersuchung des Uranerzes, Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper, Zweiter Band, Rottmann Berlin, 197-221

Hillebrand (1893), USGS Bulletin 113: 37.

Goldschmidt and Thomassen (1923), Vidensk. Selsk. Skr. Mat.-nat. Kl.: 2.

Aubel (1927), C.R.: 185: 586.

Parsons (1932), Univ. Toronto Stud., Geol. Ser.: 32: 17.

Ellsworth (1935), American Journal of Science: 9: 127.

Shaub (1938), American Mineralogist: 23: 334.

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: 611-620.

US Geological Survey Bulletin 1064 (1958): 11-47.

Mineralogical Record (1974): 5: 79.

Snetsinger, K.G. and Polkowski, G. (1977) Rare accessory uraninite in a Sierran granite. American Mineralogist: 62: 587-589.

Journal of the American Chemical Society: 70: 99-105.

Finch, R.J. and R.C. Ewing (1992), The corrosion of uraninite under oxidizing conditions. Journal of Nuclear Materials: 190: 133-156.

Pearcy, E.C., Prikryl, J.D., Murphy, W.M., and Leslie, B.W. (1994) Alteration of uraninite from the Nopal I deposit, Peña Blanca District, Chihuahua, Mexico, compared to degradation of spent nuclear fuel in the proposed U.S. high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Appl. Geochem.: : 713-732.

Abdelouas, A., Lutze, W., and Nuttall, H.E. (1999) Oxidative dissolution of uraninite precipitated on Navajo sandstone. Journal Contam. Hydrol.: 36: 353-375.

Fayek, M., Utsunomiya, S., Pfiffner, S.M., White, D.C., Riciputi, L.R., Ewing, R.C., Anovitz, L.M., and Stadermann, F.J. (2005) The application of HRTEM techniques and nanosims to chemically and isotopically characterize Geobacter Sulfurreducens surfaces. Canadian Mineralogist: 43: 1631-1641. (bioprecipitation of uraninite).

J. Plášil (2014): Oxidation–hydration weathering of uraninite: the current state-of-knowledge. Journal of Geosciences 59, 99-114.

Internet Links for Uraninite

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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Uraninite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Specimens:The following Uraninite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Uraninite

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