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see pitchblendepitchblende
, dark, lustrous, heavy mineral, a source of radium and uranium. Largely natural uranium oxides, triuranium octaoxide (U3O8) and uranium dioxide (UO2
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a mineral, an anhydrous oxide of uranium (U4+) with the idealized formula UO2, which occurs only in synthetic materials. All natural uraninites contain UO3 along with UO2. The ratio of UO2 to UO3 is expressed by the value of the oxygen coefficient, which ranges from UO2.17 to UO2.92.

A distinction is made between uraninite proper, which occurs in the form of distinct crystals, pitchblende, which occurs in the form of cryptocrystalline collomorphic aggregates, and uranium oxides, which occur as friable earthy aggregates. Uraninite proper forms an isomorphic series with both thorianite, ThO2, and yttrocerianite, (Y,Ce)O2. In addition, all uraninites contain products of the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium: potassium, actinium, polonium, helium, lead, calcium, and zinc. Taking into account the most common admixtures, the formula for uraninite is (U4+ + U6+, Th, TR, Pb, Ca)O1.9–2.5.

Uraninite crystallizes in the isometric system. The structure of ideal uraninite is similar to that of fluorite. The symmetry of the crystal lattice in natural uraninites is diminished owing to the intrusion of uranyl groups UO2+ into the structure, resulting in a primitive isometric structure. The most commonly encountered crystal shapes are cubes, octahedrons, and combinations thereof.

A brittle mineral, uraninite is of black color and has a pitchlike luster. It has a hardness of 5–6 on Mohs’ scale and a density of 8,000–10,000 kg/m3 (6,000–9,200 kg/m3 for pitchblende).

Uraninite proper is a high-temperature mineral typical of granitic and syenite pegmatites in association with complex niobates, tantalates, and titanates of uranium (samarskite, columbite, pyrochlore) and with zircon and monazite. It also occurs in hydro-thermal, skarn, and sedimentary deposits. Pitchblende, which is formed primarily in low-temperature hydrothermal and sedimentary deposits, occurs in association with sulfides, arsenides, native bismuth, arsenic, silver, and carbonates. The other uranium oxides are especially typical of hydrothermal sulfide-uranium and sedimentary deposits.

Uraninite is easily altered in the oxidation zone and serves as the initial material for the formation of the hydroxides, silicates, phosphates, and other minerals of U6+. All the varieties of uraninite are ores of uranium. There are large uraninite deposits in Canada, the United States, Africa, Australia, and France.


Mineraly: Spravochnik, vol. 2, fasc. 2. Moscow, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


UO2 A black, brownish-black, or dark-brown radioactive mineral that is isometric in crystallization; often contains impurities such as thorium, radium, cerium, and yttrium metals, and lead; the chief ore of uranium; hardness is 5.5-6 on Mohs scale, and specific gravity of pure UO2 is 10.9, but that of most natural material is 9.7-7.5. Also known as coracite; ulrichite.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In these models, one kilogram of acidic saline water with fixed Cl: F ratio of 100 (solution compositions, see Table 2) was reacted with uraninite (60 mmol) and [U.sub.3][O.sub.8](s) (20 mmol) to investigate the relative effects of fluoride and chloride.
A feature display of rich uranium ores from Grafton, New Hampshire shows uraninite and gummite in strongly contrasting specimens.
From a petrographic point of view, the main granite facies was classified as a weakly altered alkaline-feldspar granite with two micas, muscovite being dominant over biotite The accessory mineral association is very complex: ilmenite, zircon, monazite, xenotime, apatite, uraninite, cassiterite and primary sulphides (Perez del Villar and de la Cruz, 1989).
The other associated hydrothermal minerals are epidore, titanite, chlorite, muscovite, tourmaline, and minor amounts of opaque minerals such as sphalerite, chalcopyrite, uraninite, and autunite.
Uranium dioxide or uranium(IV) oxide (UO2), also known as urania or uranous oxide, is an oxide of uranium, and is a black, radioactive, crystalline powder that naturally occurs in the mineral uraninite. It is used in nuclear fuel rods in nuclear reactors.
Uraninite is the only primary uranium mineral identified in mineralogical studies to-date and is therefore similar to the INCA deposit and is expected to be compatible with the process proposed for the Omahola Project.
It is radioactive and is associated with accessory hematite, muscovite and uraninite.
Pyrite, uraninite, cordierite, andalucite, monacite and zircon were also found as minor phases.
He discovered the new minerals yttrialite and thorogummite (at Barringer Hill, Texas) and aguilarite (at Guanajuato, Mexico) and was the namesake for the mineral "nivenite"--now considered a variety of uraninite.
The example in figure 5 is a set of electron images which show a uraninite crystal, partially pseudomorphized by carbonates, and a long microfissure crosscutting the rock matrix from the source term to a small area where U-silicates have been precipitated.
"Cleveite" a REE-bearing variety of uraninite was named for him by Nordenskiold in 1878.
apatite, aquamarine, ashanite, bimushite, bismutomicrolite, chrysoberyl, *cygrayite, epidote, ertixiite, fluorite, garnet, hiddenite, holmquistite, ilmenite, ishikawaite, manganotantalite, manganocolumbite, molybdenite, muscovite, phenakite, pollucite, polylithionite, pyrite, *qingheite, samarskite, scheelite, sphalerite, spodumene, staurolite, topaz, tourmaline, trilithionite, uraninite, zircon Labashan Hubei turquoise Laiyuan Hebei hematite, ludwigite Lamo Guangxi, apatite, galena, pyrite, quartz, Zhuang A.R.