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Montebrasite

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Formula:
LiAlPO4(OH)
System:
Triclinic
Colour:
White, colorless, gray ...
Lustre:
Sub-Vitreous, Resinous, Greasy, Pearly
Hardness:
5½ - 6
Name:
Named by Alfred Des Cloizeaux in 1871 for the type locality, the Montebras Mine, Montebras-en-Soumans, Boussac, Creuse, Limousin, France. [Previous attempts by Des Cloizeaux to name montebrasite were rejected as his analyses indicated he had specimens in the amblygonite portion of the F-OH series (King and Foord, 1994).]
Amblygonite-Montebrasite Series. The hydroxyl analogue of Amblygonite.
Montebrasite is, by far, the most common member of the group. Amblygonite is scarce.

Occurs chiefly in granite pegmatites of the lithium- and phosphate-rich type. Crystals may be enormous in size (> 1 m.).

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Montebrasite.


Classification of Montebrasite

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
8.BB.05

8 : PHOSPHATES, ARSENATES, VANADATES
B : Phosphates, etc., with additional anions, without H2O
B : With only medium-sized cations, (OH, etc.):RO4 about 1:1
41.5.8.2

41 : ANHYDROUS PHOSPHATES, ETC.CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
5 : (AB)2(XO4)Zq
19.8.1

19 : Phosphates
8 : Phosphates of Al and other metals

Physical Properties of Montebrasite

Sub-Vitreous, Resinous, Greasy, Pearly
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Comment:
Slightly pearly on well-developed cleavages.
Colour:
White, colorless, gray white, very pale brown, pale pink, pale yellow
Comment:
May be colored by inclusions
Streak:
White
Hardness (Mohs):
5½ - 6
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Perfect
Perfect on {100}, good on {110}, distinct on {011}, and on {001}, imperfect.
Fracture:
Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
Density:
2.98 - 3.04 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.03 g/cm3 (Calculated)
Comment:
Value for montebrasite end-member ~ 2.98.

Optical Data of Montebrasite

Type:
Biaxial (+/-)
RI values:
nα = 1.594 - 1.615 nβ = 1.608 - 1.624 nγ = 1.616 - 1.645
2V:
Measured: 66° to 101°, Calculated: 52° to 88°
Birefringence:
0.026
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.022 - 0.030
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Moderate
Dispersion:
r < v
Pleochroism:
Non-pleochroic

Chemical Properties of Montebrasite

IMA Formula:
LiAlPO4(OH)
Elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Na

Crystallography of Montebrasite

Crystal System:
Triclinic
Class (H-M):
1 - Pinacoidal
Space Group:
P1
Space Group Setting:
P1
Cell Parameters:
a = 6.713(1) Å, b = 7.708(1) Å, c = 7.0194(7) Å
α = 91.31(1)°, β = 117.93(1)°, γ = 91.77(1)°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.871 : 1 : 0.911
Unit Cell Volume:
V 320.46 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Crude blocky crystals, typically equant to short prismatic [010], with complex form development, to 1.5 meters; also occurs as large cleavable masses; columnar; compact.
Twinning:
On {111}, common, with composition plane {111} with the resulting twins commonly tabular parallel to {111} and the twinned individuals of about equal size; also tabular {110} and the twinned individuals of very unequal size. Also twins on {111}, rare; lamellar. Microscopic polysynthetic twinning is common.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
4.68 (90)
3.33 (40)
3.27 (50)
3.23 (50)
3.20 (60)
3.16 (90)
2.97 (100)
2.40 (40)
Comments:
ICDD 12-448

Occurrences of Montebrasite

Type Occurrence of Montebrasite

Geological Setting of Type Material:
Granite pegmatite

Relationship of Montebrasite to other Species

Series:
Forms a series with Amblygonite (see here)
Other Members of Group:
AmblygoniteLiAl(PO4)F
NatromontebrasiteMasses of white mineral.
TavoriteLiFe3+(PO4)(OH)
8.BB.XArsenowagneriteMg2AsO4F
8.BB.05AmblygoniteLiAlPO4F
8.BB.05TavoriteLiFe3+PO4(OH)
8.BB.10Triplite(Mn2+,Fe2+)2PO4(F,OH)
8.BB.10ZwieseliteFe2+Mn2+PO4F
8.BB.15SarkiniteMn22+AsO4(OH)
8.BB.15TriploiditeMn22+(PO4)(OH)
8.BB.15WagneriteMg2PO4F
8.BB.15WolfeiteFe22+PO4(OH)
8.BB.15StanĕkiteFe3+Mn2+O(PO4)
8.BB.15JoosteiteMn2+Mn3+O(PO4)
8.BB.15HydroxylwagneriteMg2PO4(OH)
8.BB.20HoltedahliteMg12(PO3OH,CO3)(PO4)5(OH,O)6
8.BB.20Satterlyite(Fe2+,Mg,Fe3+)12(PO3OH)(PO4)5(OH,O)6
8.BB.25AlthausiteMg4(PO4)2(OH,O)(F,◻)
8.BB.30AdamiteZn2AsO4(OH)
8.BB.30EveiteMn22+AsO4(OH)
8.BB.30LibetheniteCu2PO4(OH)
8.BB.30OliveniteCu2AsO4(OH)
8.BB.30ZincolibetheniteCuZnPO4OH
8.BB.30ZincoliveniteCuZnAsO4(OH)
8.BB.30AuriacusiteFe3+Cu2+AsO4O
8.BB.35ParadamiteZn2AsO4(OH)
8.BB.35TarbuttiteZn2(PO4)(OH)
8.BB.40BarbosaliteFe2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2
8.BB.40HentscheliteCuFe23+(PO4)2(OH)2
8.BB.40LazuliteMgAl2(PO4)2(OH)2
8.BB.40ScorzaliteFe2+Al2(PO4)2(OH)2
8.BB.40WilhelmkleiniteZnFe23+(AsO4)2(OH)2
8.BB.45TrolleiteAl4(PO4)3(OH)3
8.BB.50NamibiteCu(BiO)2VO4(OH)
8.BB.55Phosphoellenbergerite(Mg,◻)2Mg12(PO4,PO3OH)6(PO3OH,CO3)2(OH)6
8.BB.60UrusoviteCuAlO(AsO4)
8.BB.65TheoparacelsiteCu3(OH)2As2O7
8.BB.70TuraniteCu52+(VO4)2(OH)4
8.BB.75StoiberiteCu5O2(VO4)2
8.BB.80FingeriteCu11O2(VO4)6
8.BB.85AverieviteCu5O2(VO4)2 · CuCl2
8.BB.90LipscombiteFe2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2
8.BB.90RichelliteCaFe23+(PO4)2(OH,F)2
8.BB.90ZinclipscombiteZnFe23+(PO4)2(OH)2
19.8.2BrazilianiteNaAl3(PO4)2(OH)4
19.8.3WarditeNaAl3(PO4)2(OH)4 · 2H2O
19.8.4TancoiteHLiNa2[Al(PO4)2(OH)]
19.8.5BertossaiteLi2CaAl4(PO4)4(OH)4
19.8.6TinsleyiteKAl2(PO4)2(OH) · 2H2O
19.8.7TaranakiteK3Al5(PO3OH)6(PO4)2 · 18H2O
19.8.8FrancoanelliteK3Al5(PO3OH)6(PO4)2 · 12H2O
19.8.9GordoniteMgAl2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 8H2O
19.8.10AldermaniteMg5Al12(PO4)8(OH)22 · 32H2O
19.8.11OveriteCaMgAl(PO4)2(OH) · 4H2O
19.8.12MontgomeryiteCa4MgAl4(PO4)6(OH)4 · 12H2O
19.8.14FoggiteCaAlPO4(OH)2 · H2O
19.8.15GatumbaiteCaAl2(PO4)2(OH)2 · H2O
19.8.16CrandalliteCaAl3(PO4)(PO3OH)(OH)6
19.8.17MatulaiteFe3+Al7(PO4)4(PO3OH)2(OH)8 · 16H2O
19.8.19LehiiteCaAl3(PO4)(PO3OH)(OH)6
19.8.20MillisiteNaCaAl6(PO4)4(OH)9 · 3H2O
19.8.21EnglishiteK3Na2Ca10Al15(OH)7(PO4)21 · 26H2O
19.8.22KleemaniteZnAl2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 3H2O
19.8.23MantienneiteKMg2Al2Ti(PO4)4(OH)3 · 15H2O
19.8.24PaulkerriteKMg2TiFe23+(PO4)4(OH)3 · 15H2O

Other Names for Montebrasite

Name in Other Languages:
Simplified Chinese:羟磷锂铝石
Spanish:Montebrasita
Traditional Chinese:羥磷鋰鋁石

Other Information

May have a faint to medium cream yellow fluorescence in SW and LW, frequently patchy. May have associated fluorescent species affecting the appearance.
Other Information:
Soluble with difficulty in acids. Colours a flame red.

May alter to mixtures of smectite or kaolinite and mica group, often as rims surrounding rounded nodules of unaltered material. Also observed to alter to Turquoise, Wavellite, Wardite, or Morinite.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:
Previously used as an ore of lithium.

References for Montebrasite

Reference List:
Des Cloizeaux, Alfred, (1872) Memoire sur une Novelle Localite D'Amblygonite et sur la Montebrasite, Noveau Phosphate D'Alumine et de Lithine Hydrate, Annales de chimie et de physique, Paris: 27: 385-405.
Penfield, Samuel (1879) American Journal of Science: 18: 295.
Lacroix, Alfred (1910) Minéralogie de la France et des ses colonies, Paris. 5 volumes: vol. 4: 416.
Backlund (1918) Geologiska Föeningens I Stockholm. Förhandlinger, Stockholm: 40: 757.
Larsen, Esper S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 76.
Hintze, Carl (1924) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [4A]: 626.
Landes, Kenneth K. (1925) On the Paragenesis of the Granite Pegmatites of Central Maine, American Mineralogist: 10: 403, 410.
Winchell, Alexander (1926) American Mineralogist: 11: 246.
Sekanina (1933) Spisy přiřo. fak. Masarykovy Univ., no. 180.
Quensel, Percy (1937) Geologiska Föeningens I Stockholm. Förhandlinger, Stockholm: 59: 455.
Strunz, Hugo (1939) Zentralblatt Mineralien: 248.
Richmond (1940) American Mineralogist: 25: 473.
Tengnér (1940) Geologiska Föeningens I Stockholm. Förhandlinger, Stockholm: 62: 332.
Cunha and Costa (1941) Notas Prelim. Div. Geol. Min. Brasil, no. 22.
Palache, C., Richmond and Wolfe (1943) American Mineralogist: 28: 39.
Nel (1946) American Mineralogist: 31: 51.
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.: 823-827.
Moss, A.A., E.E. Fejer & P.G. Embrey (1969), On the X-ray identification of amblygonite and montebrasite: Mineralogical Magazine: 37: 412-422.
Cerna, I, Cerny, P., and Ferguson, R., 1973, The Fluorine Content and Some Physical Properties of the Amblygonite-Montebrasite Series, American Mineralogist, v. 58, p. 291-301.
Greiner, D. and Bloss, F., 1987, Amblygonite-Montebrasite Optics: Response to (OH-) Orientation and Rapid Estimation of F from 2V, American Mineralogist, v 72:617-624.
American Mineralogist (1990): 75: 92-1008.
King, V. and Foord, E., 1994, The Amblygonite/Montebrasite Controversy, Mineralogy of Maine, volume 1, p. 15-17, 240-244.
Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (2000) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume IV. Arsenates, Phosphates, Vanadates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 680pp.: 386.

Internet Links for Montebrasite

mindat.org URL:
https://www.mindat.org/min-2763.html
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Specimens:
The following Montebrasite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Montebrasite

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.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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