Uranium-Bearing Niobotantalate (Petscheckite) – A New Mineral in Nigeria

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Author(s) Rotimi I. A | Obasi R. A.
Pages 316-321
Volume 1
Issue 6
Date June, 2012
Keywords Occurrence, Uranium-bearing niobotantalate, Petscheckite.
Abstract

The occurrence and physicochemical characteristics of uranium bearing niobotantalate (UBN) in a zoned pegmatite around Okene-Lokoja-Kabba roads junction, Kogi State Nigeria are investigated. The mineral occurs in the intermediate zone of the pegmatite in association with quartz, microcline and muscovite. Other associated minerals include beryl, columbite and tapiolite. The mineral found in the area has a very high radioactivity greater than 40x1500 counts per second (CPS). The uranium-bearing niobotantalate (UBN) mineral is generally brownish in colour with subvitreous luster and high specific gravity (4-5g/cm3). The specimens were analysed on microscan 9 wavelength dispersive electron probe analyzer at 20kv. The results show the oxides of: U(24.40-27.40% UO2), Nb(15.40-32.95%Nb2O5), Ta(11.64-34.47% Ta2O5), Th(2.44-3.06% ThO2), Pb (1.47-1.87%PbO) and Fe(6.13-8.41 FeO) respectively. The minor to trace elements include the rare earth, Al, Si, Ti, Mn, and W. The uranium-bearing niobotantalate is affected by a late stage uranium-rich fluid resulting in the crystallization of highly uraniferous veinlets within the mineral. A comparison of the chemical composition of the uranium-bearing niobotantalate mineral with that of petscheckite clearly indicates that the minerals belong to the same family and that the specimen investigated represents the occurrence of pescheckite in Nigeria.

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