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Thorite

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Formula:
Th(SiO4)
Often contains U replacing Th.
Colour:
Yellow, yellow-brown, red-brown, green, orange to black
Lustre:
Resinous, Greasy, Dull
Hardness:
Crystal System:
Tetragonal
Member of:
Name:
Named in 1829 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius as it was the mineral in which he found the new element thorium.
Dimorph of:
Zircon Group. The thorium analogue of Zircon and Hafnon.

This is a rare mineral that is commonly hydrated, and is radioactive.


Hide all sections | Show all sections

Classification of ThoriteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
9.AD.30

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
A : Nesosilicates
D : Nesosilicates without additional anions; cations in [6] and/or greater coordination
51.5.2.3

51 : NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
5 : Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in >[6] coordination
14.11.1

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
11 : Silicates of Th and Hg

Physical Properties of ThoriteHide

Resinous, Greasy, Dull
Transparency:
Opaque
Colour:
Yellow, yellow-brown, red-brown, green, orange to black
Hardness:
4½ on Mohs scale

Optical Data of ThoriteHide

Type:
Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 1.790 - 1.840 nε = 1.780 - 1.820
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.010 - 0.020
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High

Chemical Properties of ThoriteHide

Formula:
Th(SiO4)

Often contains U replacing Th.
IMA Formula:
ThSiO4
Common Impurities:
Al,Fe,Pb,Ca,P,Ti,REE,Y,Mg,H2O

Age informationHide

Age range:
Paleozoic : 500 Ma to 450 Ma - based on data given below.
Sample ages:
Sample IDRecorded ageGeologic TimeDating method
1500 to 450 MaPaleozoicPb
2500 to 450 MaPaleozoicPb
Sample references:

Crystallography of ThoriteHide

Crystal System:
Tetragonal
Cell Parameters:
a = 7.13 Å, c = 6.32 Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 0.886
Unit Cell V:
321.29 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)

Type Occurrence of ThoriteHide

Synonyms of ThoriteHide

Other Language Names for ThoriteHide

Dutch:Thoriet
Italian:Thorite
Lithuanian:Toritas
Russian:Торит
Simplified Chinese:钍石

Varieties of ThoriteHide

CalciothoriteA calcian thorite that was first described by Brögger (1887) from the islands of Låven and Arøy in the Langesundsfjord, Vestfold, Norway.
FerrithoriteAn iron(III)-rich variety of Thorite.
Originally reported from Aktyuz REE deposit, Kyrgyzstan.
Gel-ThoriteA hydrous Thorite
HydroauerliteA hydrous phosphatian Thorite
MozambikiteAn (OH)-rich Thorite.
OrangiteAn orange variety of Thorite which Bergeman & Krantz (the famous mineral dealer) described as a new mineral form 'Brevig' (= syenite pegmatites from Langesundsfjorden, Larvik, Vestfold, Norway) in 1851 (see also Clark, 1993 - "Hey's Mineral Index").
PhosphothoriteA variety of thorite which contains P and other foreign elements (mainly REE, Ca, ...).
Uranoan thorite
UranohydrothoritePossibly a hydrous uranian Thorite
UranothoriteA uranian variety of Thorite
YanshainshyniteA P-, Ca-bearing and Fe(OH)-rich variety.

Relationship of Thorite to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
Coffinite(U4+,Th)(SiO4)1-x(OH)4xTet.
HafnonHfSiO4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
Stetindite-(Ce)Ce(SiO4)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
ZirconZr(SiO4)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Zircon31 photos of Thorite associated with Zircon on mindat.org.
Diopside10 photos of Thorite associated with Diopside on mindat.org.
Brockite9 photos of Thorite associated with Brockite on mindat.org.
Uranothorite9 photos of Thorite associated with Uranothorite on mindat.org.
Microcline9 photos of Thorite associated with Microcline on mindat.org.
Thorogummite8 photos of Thorite associated with Thorogummite on mindat.org.
Allanite-(Ce)7 photos of Thorite associated with Allanite-(Ce) on mindat.org.
Quartz7 photos of Thorite associated with Quartz on mindat.org.
Eudialyte7 photos of Thorite associated with Eudialyte on mindat.org.
Aegirine7 photos of Thorite associated with Aegirine on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

9.AD.05LarniteCa2SiO4Mon.
9.AD.10Calcio-olivineCa2SiO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
9.AD.15MerwiniteCa3Mg(SiO4)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.AD.20BredigiteCa7Mg(SiO4)4Orth.
9.AD.25AndraditeCa3Fe3+2(SiO4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25AlmandineFe2+3Al2(SiO4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25Calderite(Mn2+,Ca)3(Fe3+,Al)2(SiO4)3Iso.
9.AD.25GoldmaniteCa3V3+2(SiO4)3Iso.
9.AD.25GrossularCa3Al2(SiO4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25HenritermieriteCa3(Mn3+,Al)2(SiO4)2(OH)4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd
9.AD.25HibschiteCa3Al2(SiO4)3-x(OH)4xIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25HydroandraditeCa3Fe3+2(SiO4)3-x(OH)4x
9.AD.25KatoiteCa3Al2(SiO4)3-x(OH)4xIso.
9.AD.25KimzeyiteCa3(Zr,Ti)2((Si,Al,Fe3+)O4)3Iso.
9.AD.25KnorringiteMg3Cr2(SiO4)3Iso.
9.AD.25MajoriteMg3(Fe2+,Si,Al)2(SiO4)3Iso.
9.AD.25MorimotoiteCa3(Ti,Fe2+,Fe3+)2((Si,Fe3+)O4)3Iso.
9.AD.25PyropeMg3Al2(SiO4)3Iso.
9.AD.25SchorlomiteCa3(Ti,Fe3+)2((Si,Fe3+)O4)3Iso.
9.AD.25SpessartineMn2+3Al2(SiO4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25UvaroviteCa3Cr2(SiO4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25Wadalite(Ca,Mg)6(Al,Fe3+)4((Si,Al)O4)3O4Cl3Iso. 4 3m : I4 3d
9.AD.25HoltstamiteCa3(Al,Mn3+)2(SiO4)2(OH)4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd
9.AD.25KerimasiteCa3Zr2(SiO4)(Fe3+O4)2Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25ToturiteCa3Sn2(SiO4)(Fe3+O4)2Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25Momoiite(Mn2+,Ca)3V3+2(SiO4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25EltyubyuiteCa12Fe3+10Si4O32Cl6Iso. 4 3m : I4 3d
9.AD.25HutcheoniteCa3Ti2(SiAl2)O12Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.30Coffinite(U4+,Th)(SiO4)1-x(OH)4xTet.
9.AD.30HafnonHfSiO4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
9.AD.30ZirconZr(SiO4)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
9.AD.30Stetindite-(Ce)Ce(SiO4)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
9.AD.35HuttoniteThSiO4Mon.
9.AD.35Tombarthite-(Y)Y4(Si,H4)4O12-x(OH)4+2xMon.
9.AD.40EulytineBi4(SiO4)3Iso. 4 3m : I4 3d
9.AD.45ReiditeZrSiO4Tet. 4/m : I41/a

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide

51.5.2.1ZirconZr(SiO4)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
51.5.2.2HafnonHfSiO4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
51.5.2.4Coffinite(U4+,Th)(SiO4)1-x(OH)4xTet.
51.5.2.5Thorogummite(Th,U)(SiO4)1-x(OH)4xTet.
51.5.2.6Stetindite-(Ce)Ce(SiO4)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

14.11.2HuttoniteThSiO4Mon.
14.11.3UmbozeriteNa3Sr4Th[Si(O,OH)3-4]8Amor.
14.11.4Thornasite(Na,K)12Th3[Si8O19]4 · 18H2OTrig. 3m : R3m
14.11.5Yttrialite-(Y)(Y,Th)2Si2O7
14.11.6Edgarbaileyite(Hg-Hg)3Si2O7Mon.

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
Contains thorium and 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.

References for ThoriteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Berzelius, J.J. (1829): Über den Thorit ein neues Mineral und eine darin enthaltene neue Erde, die Thorerde. Annalen der Physik und Chemie, 91: 633-634
Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademiens Handlingar (1829), 1-30.
Esmark, [H.] M.T.. (1836): Thoriten, opdagen og beskreven af M.Thr. Esmark. Magazin for Naturvidenskaberne, 12, 77-78.
Acta Crystallographica: B34: 1074-1079.
Canadian Mineralogist (1989): 27: 643.

Internet Links for ThoriteHide

Localities for ThoriteHide

This 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.

Locality ListShow

Mineral and/or Locality  
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