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The Mineralogy of Uranium

General Properties
Symbol:U
Atomic Number:92
Standard atomic weight (Ar):238.02891(3)
Electron configuration:[Rn] 5f3 6d1 7s2
Photos
<
A billet of highly enriched uranium
>
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.38
Atomic Radius:156 pm
Ionic Radius:102.5 pm (+3)
Van der Waals Radius:186 pm
1st Ionization energy:598 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:3,4,5,6
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:1408 K
Boiling Point:4200 K
Density:19.05 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:actinoid
Main isotopes of Uranium
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
232Usynthetic68.9ySpontaneous fission
α
233Utrace1.592x105ySpontaneous fission
α229Th
234U0.005%2.455x105ySpontaneous fission
α230Th
235U0.720%7.04x108ySpontaneous fission
α231Th
236Utrace2342x107ySpontaneous fission
α232Th
238U99.274%4.468x109yα234Th
Spontaneous fission
β-β-238Pu
Main ions of Uranium
NameIonExample minerals
uranium(III)U3+
uranium(IV)U4+Uraninite
uranium(V)U6+
uranylUO22+Autunite, Torbernite
Other Information
Year Discovered:1789
Discovered By:
Martin Heinrich Klaproth
Year Isolated:1841
Isolated By:
Eugène-Melchior Péligot
Named For:
The planet Uranus
CPK color coding:#008FFF
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Nitridesuranium nitrideUN+3
diuranium trinitrideU2N3+2,+3
diuranium trinitrideU3N2+2
Sulfidesuranium sulphideUS+2
diuranium trisulphideU2S3+3
Selenidesuranium diselenideUSe2+4
uranium triselenideUSe3+6
Telluridesuranium ditellurideUTe2+4
uranium tritellurideUTe3+6
Hydridesuranium trihydrideUH3+3
Hydroxidesuranyl hydroxideUO2(OH)2+6Paulscherrerite
Fluoridesuranium trifluorideUF3+3
uranium hexafluorideUF6+6
uranium tetrafluorideUF4+4
uranium pentafluorideUF5+5
tetrauranium octadecafluorideU4F18
tetrauranium heptadecafluorideU4F17
Chloridesuranium trichlorideUCl3+3
uranium hexachlorideUCl6+6
uranium tetrachlorideUCl4+4
uranium pentachlorideUCl5+5
Bromidesuranium tetrabromideUBr4+4
uranium pentabromideUBr5+5
Iodidesuranium triiodideUI3+3
uranium tetraiodideUI4+4
Oxidesuranium oxideUO+2
uranium dioxideUO2+4Uraninite
uranium trioxideUO3+6
triuranium octaoxideU3O8+5,+6
diuranium pentoxideU2O5+5
triuranium heptoxideU3O7+4,+5
tetrauranium nonaoxideU4O9+4,+5
uranyl peroxideUO2O2+6
uranium trioxide hydrateUO3 · 1-2H2O+6Metaschoepite
uranium trioxide dihydrateUO3 · 2H2O+6Paraschoepite
uranyl peroxide tetrahydrateUO2O2 · 4H2O+6Studtite
uranyl peroxide dihydrateUO2O2 · 2H2O+6Metastudtite
Carbonatesuranyl carbonateUO2(CO)3+6Rutherfordine
uranyl carbonate hydrateUO2(CO)3 · nH2O+6Joliotite
Nitratesuranyl nitrateUO(NO3)2+6
Sulfatesuranium sulfateU(SO4)2+4
uranyl sulfateUO2SO4+6
Uranium as a chromophore in minerals and gems
ChromophoreDescription
UO22+responsible for the brilliant yellow colour of uranium minerals such as autunite and carnotite.
U4+responsible for the blue colour in some zircon.
Mineral Diversity of Uranium
4. Oxides 68 valid mineral species
5. Carbonates 29 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 21 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates75 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 19 valid mineral species
Total:212 valid species containing essential Uranium
Geochemistry of Uranium
Goldschmidt classification:Lithophile
U4+ is enriched in Ca-Al-rich inclusions in meteorites relative to the composition of the solar system.
Elemental Abundance for Uranium
Crust (CRC Handbook)2.7 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)1.6 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)2.3 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)9.10 x 10-7mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Wänke)1.200 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Weaver)1.300 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)2.800 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Shaw)2.500 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)3.2 x 10-9mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)3.3 x 10-9mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)1.8 x 10-8atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)9.00 x 10-9 (8.4%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Uranium in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Uranium and the other elements listed based on the official IMA formula. Note that unlike other sections on this page this includes non-essential elements.

The first data column contains the total number of minerals listed with Uranium and the element listed for that row.

The second data column lists this number as a percentage of all minerals listed with Uranium.

The final data column compares this percentage against the percentage of all minerals that contain the element listed in each row.

Click on a heading to sort.
ElementValid Minerals listed with element and Uranium% of U mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen258 minerals with U and O100.00%30.27% higher
Hydrogen226 minerals with U and H87.60%62.02% higher
Calcium70 minerals with U and Ca27.13%9.71% higher
Phosphorus50 minerals with U and P19.38%74.65% higher
Sulfur35 minerals with U and S13.57%30.92% lower
Arsenic35 minerals with U and As13.57%18.47% higher
Lead34 minerals with U and Pb13.18%36.94% higher
Carbon31 minerals with U and C12.02%61.47% higher
Sodium29 minerals with U and Na11.24%40.91% lower
Iron29 minerals with U and Fe11.24%51.00% lower
Potassium23 minerals with U and K8.91%8.43% lower
Silicon22 minerals with U and Si8.53%69.44% lower
Aluminium20 minerals with U and Al7.75%61.15% lower
Yttrium19 minerals with U and Y7.36%180.05% higher
Titanium19 minerals with U and Ti7.36%6.15% higher
Magnesium19 minerals with U and Mg7.36%46.78% lower
Niobium18 minerals with U and Nb6.98%105.55% higher
Copper17 minerals with U and Cu6.59%47.66% lower
Barium14 minerals with U and Ba5.43%16.38% higher
Vanadium14 minerals with U and V5.43%30.48% higher
Thorium11 minerals with U and Th4.26%376.28% higher
Molybdenum8 minerals with U and Mo3.10%168.17% higher
Fluorine8 minerals with U and F3.10%62.97% lower
Tantalum8 minerals with U and Ta3.10%127.76% higher
Cerium7 minerals with U and Ce2.71%18.27% lower
Selenium7 minerals with U and Se2.71%15.46% higher
Bismuth6 minerals with U and Bi2.33%43.32% lower
Strontium5 minerals with U and Sr1.94%31.64% lower
Manganese5 minerals with U and Mn1.94%83.32% lower
Zinc5 minerals with U and Zn1.94%63.92% lower
Nickel4 minerals with U and Ni1.55%52.50% lower
Tellurium4 minerals with U and Te1.55%49.31% lower
Neodymium4 minerals with U and Nd1.55%59.87% higher
Nitrogen3 minerals with U and N1.16%39.47% lower
Lanthanum3 minerals with U and La1.16%32.23% lower
Chromium3 minerals with U and Cr1.16%29.95% lower
Cobalt3 minerals with U and Co1.16%17.96% lower
Dysprosium2 minerals with U and Dy0.78%939.15% higher
Samarium2 minerals with U and Sm0.78%592.76% higher
Ytterbium1 mineral with U and Yb0.39%246.38% higher
Tungsten1 mineral with U and W0.39%49.31% lower
Zirconium1 mineral with U and Zr0.39%84.01% lower
Gadolinium1 mineral with U and Gd0.39%246.38% higher
Chlorine1 mineral with U and Cl0.39%94.88% lower
Caesium1 mineral with U and Cs0.39%13.40% lower
Boron1 mineral with U and B0.39%92.41% lower
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
 
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species Minerals with U Relative Frequency
Protactinium << Uranium >> Neptunium


Most widespread minerals containing Uranium
This list of minerals containing Uranium is built from the mindat.org locality database. This is based on the number of localities entered for mineral species and is therefore slanted towards minerals interesting to collectors with less coverage of common rock-forming-minerals so it does not give an undistorted distribution of Uranium mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities
UraniniteUO2Isometric2017
AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2OOrthorhombic1264
CarnotiteK2(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 3H2OMonoclinic1184
TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2OTetragonal1038
UranophaneCa(UO2)2(SiO3OH)2 · 5H2OMonoclinic876
TyuyamuniteCa(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 5-8H2OOrthorhombic637
Coffinite(U4+,Th)(SiO4)1-x(OH)4xTetragonal537
MetatorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2OTetragonal444
Meta-autuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6-8H2OTetragonal389
Brannerite(U4+,REE,Th,Ca)(Ti,Fe3+,Nb)2(O,OH)6Monoclinic248
Photos

Localities with greatest number of different Uranium mineral species
map should go here
1Jáchymov (St Joachimsthal), Jáchymov District (St Joachimsthal), Krušné Hory Mts (Erzgebirge), Karlovy Vary Region, Bohemia (Böhmen; Boehmen), Czech Republic57 U minerals
2Shinkolobwe Mine (Kasolo Mine), Shinkolobwe, Katanga Copper Crescent, Katanga (Shaba), Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaïre)56 U minerals
3La Creusa U prospect (La Creusaz U prospect), Les Marécottes, Le Trient Valley, Wallis (Valais), Switzerland48 U minerals
4Krunkelbach Valley Uranium deposit, Menzenschwand, Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg, Germany47 U minerals
5Rabejac, Lodève, Hérault, Occitanie, France41 U minerals
6Pick's Mine (Pick's Delta Mine; Delta Mine; Delta Uranium Mine; Hidden Splendor), Delta, San Rafael District (San Rafael Swell), Emery Co., Utah, USA30 U minerals
7Tirpersdorf, Oelsnitz, Vogtland, Saxony, Germany28 U minerals
8Musonoi Mine (Musonoi Extension Mine), Kolwezi, Kolwezi District, Katanga Copper Crescent, Katanga (Shaba), Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaïre)28 U minerals


Important ores of Uranium
NameFormulaCrystal System
UraniniteUO2Isometric
Photos


Minor ores of Uranium
NameFormulaCrystal System
Davidite-(Ce)(Ce,La)(Y,U,Fe)(Ti,Fe)20(O,OH)38Trigonal
CarnotiteK2(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 3H2OMonoclinic
TyuyamuniteCa(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 5-8H2OOrthorhombic
TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2OTetragonal
MetatorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2OTetragonal
AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2OOrthorhombic
Meta-autuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6-8H2OTetragonal
UranophaneCa(UO2)2(SiO3OH)2 · 5H2OMonoclinic
SchröckingeriteNaCa3(UO2)(CO3)3(SO4)F · 10H2OTriclinic
Photos


Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to jolyon@mindat.org. Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
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