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Uraninite

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Formula:
UO2
System:
Isometric
Colour:
Black, brownish-black, ...
Lustre:
Greasy, Sub-Metallic, Dull
Hardness:
5 - 6
Member of:
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

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
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
5.1.1.1

5 : OXIDES CONTAINING URANIUM OR THORIUM
1 : AXO2·xH2O
7.16.1

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

Year of Discovery:
1772

Physical Properties of Uraninite

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:
10.63 - 10.95 g/cm3 (Measured)    10.88 g/cm3 (Calculated)
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:
UO2
All elements listed in formula:
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)
Member of:
Other Members of Group:
4.DL.05Cerianite-(Ce)(Ce4+,Th)O2
4.DL.05ThorianiteThO2
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
7.16.2Schoepite(UO2)8O2(OH)12 · 12H2O
7.16.3ParaschoepiteUO3 · 2H2O
7.16.4MetaschoepiteUO3 · 1-2H2O
7.16.5MetastudtiteUO4 · 2H2O
7.16.6Studtite[(UO2)(O2)(H2O)2] · H2O
7.16.7IanthiniteU4+(UO2)5O7 · 10H2O
7.16.8CompreignaciteK2(UO2)6O4(OH)6 · 7H2O
7.16.9VandenbrandeiteCu(UO2)(OH)4
7.16.10RoubaultiteCu2(UO2)3(CO3)2O2(OH)2•4H2O
7.16.11BecquereliteCa(UO2)6O4(OH)6 · 8H2O
7.16.12RameauiteK2Ca(UO2)6(OH)16 · H2O
7.16.13AgrinieriteK2(Ca,Sr)[(UO2)3O3(OH)2]2 · 5H2O
7.16.14ProtasiteBa(UO2)3O3(OH)2 · 3H2O
7.16.15BillietiteBa(UO2)6O4(OH)6 · 4-8H2O
7.16.16BauranoiteBa(UO2)2(OH)6 · 1-2H2O
7.16.17Metacalciouranoite(Ca,Ba,Pb,K2)U2O7 · 2H2O
7.16.18Calciouranoite(Ca,Ba,Pb)U2O7 · 5H2O
7.16.19OrthobranneriteU4+U6+Ti4O12(OH)2
7.16.20Thorutite(Th,U,Ca)Ti2(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(U4+,REE,Th,Ca)(Ti,Fe3+,Nb)2(O,OH)6
7.16.24FourmarieritePb(UO2)4O3(OH)4 · 4H2O
7.16.25Richetite(Fe3+,Mg)Pb 8.6(UO2)36O36(OH)24•41H2O
7.16.26CuritePb3(UO2)8O8(OH)6 · 3H2O
7.16.27MasuyitePb(UO2)3O3(OH)2 · 3H2O
7.16.28VandendriesscheitePbU7O22 · 12H2O
7.16.29MetavandendriesscheitePbU7O22 · nH2O n < 12
7.16.30SayritePb2(UO2)5O6(OH)2 · 4H2O
7.16.31Wölsendorfite(Pb,Ca)U2O7 · 2H2O
7.16.32Clarkeite(Na,Ca,Pb)(UO2)O(OH) · 0-1H2O
7.16.33UranosphaeriteBi(UO2)O2(OH)

Other Names for Uraninite

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 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, 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, B.M. (1938) The occurrence, crystal habit and composition of the uraninite from the Ruggles Mine, near Grafton Center, New Hampshire. American Mineralogist: 23: 334-341.

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: 611-620.

Rundle, R.E., Baenziger, N.C., Wilson, A.S., McDonald, R.A. (1948) The Structures of the Carbides, Nitrides and Oxides of Uranium1. Journal of the American Chemical Society: 70: 99-105.

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

Haji-Vassiliou, A. (1974) Uranium mineralization - Uraninite. Mineralogical Record: 5: 79.

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

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

Pearcy, E.C., Prikryl, J.D., Murphy, W.M., 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. Applied Geochemistry: 9: 713-732.

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

Alexandre, P., Kyser, T.K. (2005) Effects of cationic substitutions and alteration in uraninite, and implications for the dating of uranium deposits. The Canadian Mineralogist: 43: 1005-1017.

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

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

Internet Links for Uraninite

Localities for Uraninite

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.
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