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Sharpite

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About SharpiteHide

Formula:
Ca(UO2)3(CO3)4 · 3H2O
According to the single-crystal X-ray study (Plášil 2018), an idealized formula of sharpite is Ca(H2O)3[(UO2)3(CO3)3.6O0.2],where the content of (CO3) lies most probably within 4 > xCO3 > 3.5 apfu range.
Colour:
Greenish-yellow, olive-green
Hardness:
2½ - 3
Specific Gravity:
4.412 (Calculated)
Crystal System:
Orthorhombic
Name:
Named after Major Robert Rich Sharp (Gateshead, Durham County, England, 25 September 1881 - 25 August 1960 Bulawayo), discoverer of the uranium deposit at Shinkolobwe, Zaire in 1915.
Sharpite represents a unique sheet-based structure derived from the ruthefordine topology, where one of the hexgaons within that topology accomodates Ca2+.


Classification of SharpiteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
5.EA.35

5 : CARBONATES (NITRATES)
E : Uranyl Carbonates
A : UO2:CO3 > 1:1
16b.7.10.1

16b : HYDRATED CARBONATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
7 : Miscellaneous
11.11.10

11 : Carbonates
11 : Carbonates of Cr and U

Physical Properties of SharpiteHide

Transparency:
Translucent
Colour:
Greenish-yellow, olive-green
Hardness:
2½ - 3 on Mohs scale
Density:
4.412 g/cm3 (Calculated)
Comment:
measured > 4.55

Optical Data of SharpiteHide

Type:
Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.632 - 1.638 nγ = 1.720 - 1.722
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.088
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Moderate
Dispersion:
weak to distinct
Pleochroism:
Visible
Comments:
X = Brownish
Y (perp. laths) =
Z (elong.) = greenish yellow
Comments:
pale yellow in transmitted light

Chemical Properties of SharpiteHide

Formula:
Ca(UO2)3(CO3)4 · 3H2O

According to the single-crystal X-ray study (Plášil 2018), an idealized formula of sharpite is Ca(H2O)3[(UO2)3(CO3)3.6O0.2],where the content of (CO3) lies most probably within 4 > xCO3 > 3.5 apfu range.
IMA Formula:
Ca(UO2)6(CO3)5(OH)4 · 6H2O

Crystallography of SharpiteHide

Crystal System:
Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cmcm
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.9032(4) Å, b = 15.6489(11) Å, c = 22.0414(18) Å
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.313 : 1 : 1.408
Unit Cell V:
1691.2 ų
Z:
4
Morphology:
Occurs as crusts of thin, radiating fibers.

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
4.497 (100)
3.910 (48)
7.82 (40)
5.34 (35)
2.996 (33)
11.02 (30)
6.37 (28)

Type Occurrence of SharpiteHide

General Appearance of Type Material:
radially fibrous crust
Place of Conservation of Type Material:
University of Liege, Liege, Belgium, 6280, 16905.
Geological Setting of Type Material:
secondary mineral in oxide zone of hydrothermal uranium deposit.
Associated Minerals at Type Locality:

Other Language Names for SharpiteHide

German:Sharpit
Spanish:Sharpita

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Uraninite1 photo of Sharpite associated with Uraninite on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

5.EA.05UM1997-24-CO:CaCuHUCa2Cu(UO2)2(CO3)2O3 · 3H2O
5.EA.10UrancalcariteCa(UO2)3(CO3)(OH)6 · 3H2OOrth.
5.EA.15WyartiteCaU5+(UO2)2(CO3)O4(OH) · 7H2OOrth.
5.EA.20Oswaldpeetersite(UO2)2(CO3)(OH)2 · 4H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
5.EA.25RoubaultiteCu2(UO2)3(CO3)2O2(OH)2•4H2OTric. 1 : P1
5.EA.30Kamotoite-(Y)Y2(UO2)4(CO3)3O4 · 14H2OMon. 2/m

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

11.11.1StichtiteMg6Cr3+2(OH)16[CO3] · 4H2OTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
11.11.2Rutherfordine(UO2)CO3Orth. mm2 : Imm2
11.11.3Joliotite(UO2)CO3 · nH2OOrth.
11.11.4GrimseliteK3Na(UO2)(CO3)3 · H2OHex.
11.11.5BayleyiteMg2(UO2)(CO3)3 · 18H2OMon.
11.11.6MetazelleriteCa(UO2)(CO3)2 · 3H2OOrth.
11.11.7ZelleriteCa(UO2)(CO3)2 · 5H2OOrth.
11.11.8WyartiteCaU5+(UO2)2(CO3)O4(OH) · 7H2OOrth.
11.11.9UrancalcariteCa(UO2)3(CO3)(OH)6 · 3H2OOrth.
11.11.11VogliteCa2Cu(UO2)(CO3)4 · 6H2OMon.
11.11.12AndersoniteNa2Ca(UO2)(CO3)3 · 6H2OTrig. 3 : R3
11.11.13SwartziteMgCa(UO2)(CO3)3 · 12H2OMon. 2/m : P21/m
11.11.14RabbittiteCa3Mg3(UO2)2(CO3)6(OH)4 · 18H2OMon.
11.11.15Kamotoite-(Y)Y2(UO2)4(CO3)3O4 · 14H2OMon. 2/m
11.11.16Shabaite-(Nd)Ca(Nd,Sm,Y)2(UO2)(CO3)4(OH)2 · 6H2O
11.11.17Astrocyanite-(Ce)Cu2(Ce,Nd,La)2(UO2)(CO3)5(OH)2 · 1.5H2OHex.
11.11.18Bijvoetite-(Y)Y8(UO2)16(CO3)16O8(OH)8 · 39H2OMon.
11.11.19WidenmannitePb2(OH)2[(UO2)(CO3)2]Orth.
11.11.20ZnucaliteZn12Ca(UO2)(CO3)3(OH)22 · 4H2OOrth.

Other InformationHide

Notes:
Soluble in dilute acids with effervescence.
Health Risks:
Radioactive

References for SharpiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Mélon M J (1938) La sharpite, nouveau carbonate d'uranyle du Congo belge. Bulletin des Séances de l'Institut Royal Colonial Belge 9, 333-336
Foshag W F (1939) New mineral names. American Mineralogist (1939): 24: 658.
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: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 275.
Dunn P J, Chao G Y, Fleischer M, Ferraiolo J A, Langley R H, Pabst A, Zilczer J A (1985) New mineral names. American Mineralogist (1985): 70: 220.
Plášil, J. (2018) A unique structure of uranyl-carbonate mineral sharpite: a derivative of the rutherfordine topology. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, DOI: 10.1515/zkri-2018-2056.

Internet Links for SharpiteHide

Localities for SharpiteHide

ⓘ - Click for further information on this occurrence. ? - Indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. - Good crystals or important locality for species. - World class for species or very significant. (TL) - Type Locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) - First Recorded Locality for everything else (eg varieties). Struck out - Mineral was erroneously reported from this locality. Faded * - Never found at this locality but inferred to have existed at some point in the past (eg from pseudomorphs.)

All localities listed without proper references should be considered as questionable.
Democratic Republic of the Congo (TL)
 
  • Katanga (Shaba)
    • Kambove District
      • Shinkolobwe
Bull.Inst.roy.col.belge,(1938) 9, 333-336; Lapis 17(3), 13-40 (1992)
France
 
  • Grand Est
    • Haut-Rhin
      • Thur valley (Thann valley)
        • Kruth
Handbook of Mineralogy; Jiltl Cejka - Zdenek Urbanec (1974) Alteration of Minerals in Museum Collections I.SBORNII( NARODNIHO MUZEA V PRAZE ACTA MUSEI NATIONALIS PRAGAE Volumen XXX B (1974), No. 1-2
  • Nouvelle-Aquitaine
    • Haute-Vienne
      • Bessines-sur-Gartempe
Le Règne Minéral, Hors Série IV, 1998
Germany
 
  • Rhineland-Palatinate
    • Birkenfeld
      • Ellweiler
Aufschluss 69/(7+8), Lapis 79/(7+8)
Poland
 
  • Lower Silesia
    • Kłodzko District
      • Stronie Śląskie commune
Eligiusz Szełęg collection (SEM/EDS identification)
Mineral and/or Locality  
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