Phosphate Minerals from Reaphook Hill, Flinders Ranges, South Australia

R. J. Hill and A. R. Milnes
Department of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Adelaide, South Australia
CSIRO, Division of Soils, Glen Osmond, South Australia

Summary: Several uncommon phosphate minerals including tarbuttite, parahopeite, scholzite, and collinsite occur in near-surface gossans at the Reaphook Hill zinc prospect. Electron-probe microanalyses of the tarbuttite and scholzite compare well with published analyses of specimens of these minerals from the type localities in Zambia and Bavaria respectively. However, microanalyses of the parahopeite are significantly different from published analyses of parahopeite, and suggest that it may be one member of an isomorphous series in which six-coordinated Zn can be replaced by other cations, including Fe, Mg, and Mn. Furthermore, crystals of the Reaphook Hill parahopeite are compositionally zoned with their centres enriched in Fe and Mn relative to the margins, which are enriched in Mg.

Zincian collinsite occurs at Reaphook Hill as concentric crusts composed of very fine grained radially oriented plates. Electron-probe microanalyses of this material are significantly different from published analyses of collinsite from the type locality in British Columbia: Zn instead of Fe occupies the divalent cation sites; this material may be part of an isomorphous series that includes fairfieldite. Microanalyses also indicate that the Reaphook Hill collinsite crusts are compositionally zoned such that Zn:Mg ratios vary from the base to the outer edges of the crusts. This zoning is interpreted as the result of variation in the availability of Zn and Mg during growth. Zoning of similar type, but due to variation in the Fe: Mg ratio, was observed in concentric crusts of collinsite from the type locality in British Columbia.

Mineralogical Magazine; June 1974 v. 39; no. 306; p. 684-695; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1974.039.306.06
© 1974, The Mineralogical Society
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