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Autunite

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Formula:
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 11H
 
2
O
System:OrthorhombicColour:Yellow, greenish-yellow, ...
Hardness:2 - 2½
Member of:Autunite Group
Name:Named by Henry J. Brooke and William H. Miller in 1854 for the type locality at Saint Symphorien, Autun District, Saône-et-Loire, France.


Autunite Group.

A secondary mineral resulting from the oxidation of primary uranium minerals in hydrothermal veins, granite pegmatites, etc.

Classification of Autunite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:7/E.01-90
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:8.EB.05

8 : PHOSPHATES, ARSENATES, VANADATES
E : Uranyl phosphates and arsenates
B : UO2:RO4 = 1:1
Dana 8th edition ID:40.2a.1.1

40 : HYDRATED NORMAL PHOSPHATES,ARSENATES AND VANADATES
2a : AB2(XO4)2·xH2O, containing (UO2)2+
Hey's CIM Ref.:19.11.15

19 : Phosphates
11 : Phosphates of U
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Type Occurrence of Autunite

Type Locality:Saint-Symphorien-de-Marmagne, Montcenis, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France
Place of Conservation of Type Material:Natural History Museum, Paris H6307
Year of Discovery:1852
Geological Setting of type material:Granite pegmatite

Occurrences of Autunite

Geological Setting:In the oxidation zone of uranium bearing rocks, including sandstones, hydrothermal veins, and granitic pegmatites.

Physical Properties of Autunite

Lustre:Sub-Vitreous, Resinous, Waxy, Pearly
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Comment:Pearly on cleavage {001}
Colour:Yellow, greenish-yellow, pale green; dark green, greenish black.
Comment:Color may become yellower and less greenish with even slight dehydration
Streak:Pale yellow
Hardness (Mohs):2 - 2½
Tenacity:Sectile
Cleavage:Perfect
Perfect on {001}, indistinct on {100}
Fracture:Micaceous
Comment:Autunite is fragile and may easily split with low pressure. On cutting, the mineral may appear sectile, waxy, or slightly elastic.
Density (measured):3.05 - 3.2 g/cm3
Density (calculated):3.14 g/cm3
Comment:Varies with hydration. Calculated for 10.5 water composition.

Crystallography of Autunite

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:Pnma
Cell Parameters:a = 14.0135(6) Å, b = 20.7121(8) Å, c = 6.9959(3) Å
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.677 : 1 : 0.338
Unit Cell Volume:V 2,030.55 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:4
Morphology:Crystals thin to thick tabular {001}, and with a rectangular or octagonal outline. Subparallel growths common; foliated or scaly aggregates, crusts.
Twinning:Rare interpenetrant twinning on {110}.
Comment:For synthetic material. Pseudotetragonal metrics. Often shown to be holosymmetrical Tetragonal.

Epitaxial Relationships of Autunite

Epitaxial Minerals:
Torbernite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 12H
 
2
O
Epitaxi Comments:Oriented growths on prism. Crystals look concentrically zoned.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
10.35 (85)
5.185 (65)
4.930 (35)
3.569 (100)
3.502 (40)
2.187 (40)
2.074 (60)
Comments:ICDD 41-1353

Optical Data of Autunite

Type:Biaxial (-)
RI values: nα = 1.553 - 1.555 nβ = 1.575 nγ = 1.577 - 1.578 nω = 1.575 nε = 1.572
2V:Measured: 10° to 53°
Birefringence:0.024
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.003

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Low
Dispersion:r > v strong
Optical Extinction:Z=c, Y={110}
Pleochroism:Visible
Comments:X = Colourless to pale yellow
Y = Z = Yellow to dark yellow
Comments:Uniaxial - but commonly anomalously biaxial - dependent on the H2O content of the crystals. 2V decreases with decreasing water content.

Chemical Properties of Autunite

Formula:
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 11H
 
2
O
Simplified for copy/paste:Ca(UO2)2(PO4)2·11H2O
Essential elements:Ca, H, O, P, U
All elements listed in formula:Ca, H, O, P, U
Common Impurities:Ba,Mg

Relationship of Autunite to other Species

Member of:Autunite Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Heinrichite
Ba(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
Kahlerite
Fe(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 12H
 
2
O
Metarauchite
Ni(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
Nováčekite-I
Mg(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 12H
 
2
O
Nováčekite-II
Mg(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
Rauchite
Ni(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
Sabugalite
HAl(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
· 16H
 
2
O
Saléeite
Mg(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
Torbernite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 12H
 
2
O
Uranocircite
Ba(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
Uranospinite
Ca(UO
 
2
)(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
Zeunerite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 12H
 
2
O
Common Associates:
UranophaneTorberniteSaléeiteQuartzPhosphuranylite
Meta-autuniteFeldspar Group
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
8.EB.05Heinrichite
Ba(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
8.EB.05Kahlerite
Fe(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 12H
 
2
O
8.EB.05Nováčekite-I
Mg(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 12H
 
2
O
8.EB.05Saléeite
Mg(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
8.EB.05Torbernite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 12H
 
2
O
8.EB.05Uranocircite
Ba(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
8.EB.05Uranospinite
Ca(UO
 
2
)(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
8.EB.05Xiangjiangite
(Fe
3+
 
,Al)(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH) · 22H
 
2
O
8.EB.05Zeunerite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 12H
 
2
O
8.EB.05Metarauchite
Ni(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
8.EB.05Rauchite
Ni(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Bassetite
Fe
2+
 
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Lehnerite
Mn
2+
 
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Meta-autunite
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 6-8H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Metasaléeite
Mg(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Metauranocircite
Ba(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 7H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Metauranospinite
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Metaheinrichite
Ba(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Metakahlerite
Fe
2+
 
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Metakirchheimerite
Co(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Metanováčekite
Mg(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 4-8H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Metatorbernite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Metazeunerite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Przhevalskite
Pb
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
· 3H
 
2
O
8.EB.10Meta-lodèvite
8.EB.15Abernathyite
K
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
8.EB.15Chernikovite
(H
 
3
O)
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
8.EB.15Meta-ankoleite
K
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
8.EB.15Natrouranospinite
(Na
 
2
,Ca)(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
8.EB.15Trögerite
(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 12H
 
2
O (?)
8.EB.15Uramphite
(NH
 
4
)
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
8.EB.15Uramarsite
(NH
 
4
,H
 
3
O)
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
,PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
8.EB.20Threadgoldite
Al(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH) · 8H
 
2
O
8.EB.20Chistyakovaite
Al(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
(F,OH) · 6.5H
 
2
O
8.EB.25Arsenuranospathite
HAl(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(AsO
 
4
)
 
4
· 40H
 
2
O
8.EB.25Uranospathite
(Al,☐)(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
F · 20(H
 
2
O,F)
8.EB.30Vochtenite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg)Fe
3+
 
(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH) · 12-13H
 
2
O
8.EB.35Coconinoite
Fe
3+
2
Al
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(SO
 
4
)(OH)
 
2
· 20H
 
2
O
8.EB.40Ranunculite
HAl(UO
 
2
)(PO
 
4
)(OH)
 
3
· 4H
 
2
O
8.EB.45Triangulite
Al
 
3
(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
5
· 5H
 
2
O
8.EB.50Furongite
Al
 
13
(UO
 
2
)
 
7
(PO
 
4
)
 
13
(OH)
 
14
· 58H
 
2
O
8.EB.55Sabugalite
HAl(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
· 16H
 
2
O
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
19.11.1Lermontovite
U(PO
 
4
)(OH) · H
 
2
O
19.11.2Metavanmeersscheite
U
6+
 
(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
6
· 2H
 
2
O
19.11.3Vanmeersscheite
U
6+
 
(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
6
· 4H
 
2
O
19.11.4Chernikovite
(H
 
3
O)
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
19.11.5Vyacheslavite
U(PO
 
4
)(OH) · nH
 
2
O
19.11.6Metanatroautunite
Na(UO
 
2
)(PO
 
4
)(H
 
2
O)
 
3
19.11.7Yingjiangite
K
 
2
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
7
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
6
· 6H
 
2
O
19.11.8Meta-ankoleite
K
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
19.11.9Uramphite
(NH
 
4
)
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
19.11.10Torbernite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 12H
 
2
O
19.11.11Metatorbernite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
19.11.12Saléeite
Mg(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
19.11.13Ningyoite
CaU(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 1-2H
 
2
O
19.11.14Meta-autunite
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 6-8H
 
2
O
19.11.16Pseudo-autunite
(H
 
3
O)
 
4
Ca
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
· 5H
 
2
O
19.11.17Phurcalite
Ca
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
O
 
2
· 7H
 
2
O
19.11.18Phosphuranylite
(H
 
3
O)
 
3
KCa(UO
 
2
)
 
7
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
O
 
4
· 8H
 
2
O
19.11.19Ulrichite
CaCu(UO
 
2
)(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 4H
 
2
O
19.11.20Bergenite
Ca
 
2
Ba
 
4
(UO
 
2
)
 
9
(PO
 
4
)
 
6
O
 
6
· 16H
 
2
O
19.11.21Metauranocircite
Ba(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 7H
 
2
O
19.11.22Uranocircite
Ba(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 10H
 
2
O
19.11.23Ranunculite
HAl(UO
 
2
)(PO
 
4
)(OH)
 
3
· 4H
 
2
O
19.11.24Triangulite
Al
 
3
(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
5
· 5H
 
2
O
19.11.25Mundite
Al(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
3
· 5.5H
 
2
O
19.11.26Upalite
Al(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
O(OH) · 7H
 
2
O
19.11.27Furongite
Al
 
13
(UO
 
2
)
 
7
(PO
 
4
)
 
13
(OH)
 
14
· 58H
 
2
O
19.11.28Threadgoldite
Al(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH) · 8H
 
2
O
19.11.29Phuralumite
Al
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH)
 
2
· 13H
 
2
O
19.11.30Moreauite
Al
 
3
(UO
 
2
)(PO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH)
 
2
· 13H
 
2
O
19.11.31Sabugalite
HAl(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
· 16H
 
2
O
19.11.32Uranospathite
(Al,☐)(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
F · 20(H
 
2
O,F)
19.11.33Althupite
AlTh(UO
 
2
)
 
7
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH)
 
5
O
 
2
· 15H
 
2
O
19.11.34Françoisite-(Nd)
(Nd,Ce,Sm)(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
O(OH) · 6H
 
2
O
19.11.35Kivuite
(Th,Ca,Pb)(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(HPO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
8
· 7H
 
2
O
19.11.36Parsonsite
Pb
 
2
(UO
 
2
)(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 2H
 
2
O
19.11.37Dewindtite
H
 
2
Pb
 
3
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
O
 
4
· 12H
 
2
O
19.11.38Dumontite
Pb
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
· 3H
 
2
O
19.11.39Przhevalskite
Pb
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
· 3H
 
2
O
19.11.40Lehnerite
Mn
2+
 
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
19.11.41Bassetite
Fe
2+
 
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
19.11.42Vochtenite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg)Fe
3+
 
(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
(OH) · 12-13H
 
2
O

Other Names for Autunite

Synonyms:
Calcium-AutuniteCalcouraniteLime-Uranite
Other Languages:
Catalan:Autunita
Danish:Autunit
Dutch:Autuniet
French:Autunite
Sel à base de chaux, où l'oxide d'urane joue le rôle d'acide
German:Autunit
Calciumphosphoruranit
Calcouranit
Kalk-Uranglimmer
Kalk-Uranit
Hungarian:Autunit
Italian:Autunite
Japanese:燐灰ウラン石
燐灰ウラン鉱
Polish:Autunit
Portuguese:Autunita
Romanian:Autunit
Russian:Отенит
Simplified Chinese:钙铀云母
Spanish:Autunita
Calcouranita
Swedish:Autunit
Thai:ออทูไนต์
Traditional Chinese:鈣鈾雲母

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:Strong yellow-green (LW & SW UV).
Other Information:Radioactive. Dehydrates in air. Soluble in acids.

Alters to Phosphuranylite.
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.
Industrial Uses:Ore mineral of uranium.

References for Autunite

Reference List:

- +
Berzelius, J.J. (1819) Nouveau système de Minèralogie. Translated from the Swedish. 8vo, Paris: 295 (as Sel à base de chaux, où l'oxide d'urane joue le rôle d'acide).

Berzelius (1844) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 1: 379.

Brooke, H.J. and Miller, W.H. (1852) Introduction to Mineralogy by Wm. Phillips, London, 1823. New edition by Brooke and Miller. 8vo, London: 519.

Breithaupt (1865) Berg.- und hüttenmännisches Zeitung, Freiberg, Leipzig (merged into Glückauf): 24: 302 (as Calcouranit).

Church (1875) Journal of the Chemical Society, London: 28: 109.

Brezina (1879) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 3: 273.

Michel-Lévy aned Lacroix (1888) Les Minéraux des Roches: 157.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 857.

Hallimond (1916) Mineralogical Magazine: 17: 221.

Forjaz (1917) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 164: 102.

Goldschmidt, V. (1918) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 5: 5.

Henrich (1922) Bereicht: 55: 1212 (cites Ewald).

Smith (1926) Rec. of the Australian Museum: 15: 69 (cites Greig).

Hintze, Carl (1931) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [4B]: 982.

Iimori and Iwase (1938) Sci. Pap. Inst. Phys. Chem. Res., Tokyo: 34: 372.

Meixner (1940) Chemie der Erde, Jena: 12: 433.

Des Cloizeaux (1954) Annales des mines: 11: 261.

Shannon (1926) American Mineralogist: 11: 35.

American Mineralogist (1928): 13: 578-579.

Beintema (1938) Recueil des travaux chimiques des Pays-Bas et de la Belgique, Leyden: 57: 155.

Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 1124 pp.: 984-987.

Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie: 81: 4-10.

Frondel, C. (1958) Systematic mineralogy of uranium and thorium. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1064, 160–170.

Takano, Y. (1961) X-Ray study of autunite. American Mineralogist (1961): 46: 812-822.

Sowder, A. G.; Clark, S. B.; Fjeld, R. A. (2000): Dehydration of synthetic autunite hydrates. Radiochimica Acta 88, 533-538.

Locock, A.J. and Burns, P.C. (2003) The crystal structure of synthetic autunite, Ca[(UO2)(PO4)]2(H2O)11. American Mineralogist: 88: 240-244.

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

Internet Links for Autunite

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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
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  • Autunite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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