Ecandrewsite, the zinc analog of ilmenite, from Little Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia, and the San Valentin mine, Sierra de Cartegena, Spain

WD BIRCH*, Ernst A J Burke, V. J. Wall, MA ETHERIDGE

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Ecandrewsite, the zinc analogue of ilmenite, is a new mineral which was first described from the Broken Hill lode in 1970 and discovered subsequently in ores from Little Broken Hill (New South Wales) and the San Valentin Mine, Spain. The name ‘ecandrewsite’ was sued in a partial description of the mineral in ‘Minerals of Broken Hill’ (1982), thereby establishing the Little Broken Hill locality, specifically the Melbourne Rockwell Mine, as the type locality. Microprobe analysis of ecandrewsite from the type locality gave ZnO 30.41 (wt. %), FeO (total Fe) 11.37, Mno 7.64, TiO2 50.12, total 99.6%, yielding an empirical formula of (Zn0.59Fe0.24Mn0.17)1.00Ti0.99O3 based on 3 oxygen atoms. All compositions from Little Broken Hill and San Valentin Mine are ferroan manganoan ecandrewsite. The strongest lines in the X-ray powder diffraction data are (d in Å, (hkil), I/Io):2.746,_(1041), 100; 2.545, (1120), 80; 1.867, (0224), 40; 3.734, (0112), 30; 1.470, (3030), 30; 1.723, (1126), 25. Ecandrewsite is hexagonal, space group R3 assigned from a structural study, with a = 5.090 (1), c = 14.036(2)Å, V = 314.6(3)Å3, Z = 6, D(calc.) = 4.99. The mineral is opaque, dark brown to black with a similar streak, and a submetallic lustre. In plane polarized light the reflection colour is greyish white with a pinkish tinge. Reflection pleochroism is weak, but ansiotropism is strong with colours from greenish grey to dark brownish grey. Reflectance data in air between 470 and 650µm are given. At the typical locality, ecandrewsite forms disseminated tabular euhedral grains up to 250 X 50µm in quartz-rich metasediments. Associated minerals include almandine-spessartine, ferroan gahnite and rutile. The name is for E.C. Andrew, pioneering geologist in the Broken Hill regions of New South Wales. Type material consisting of one grain is preserved in the Museum of Victoria (M35700). The mineral and name were approved by the IMA Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names in 1979.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-240
Number of pages4
JournalMineralogical Magazine
Issue number365
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1988
Externally publishedYes

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