Lueshite, Pyrochlore and Monazite-(Ce) from Apatite-Dolomite Carbonatite, Lesnaya Varaka Complex, Kola Peninsula, Russia

A. R. Chakhmouradian and R. H. Mitchell
Department of Geology, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada P7B 5E1

Abstract: Apatite-dolomite carbonatite at Lesnaya Varaka, Kola Peninsula, Russia, hosts intricate mineral intergrowths composed of lueshite in the core and pyrochlore-group minerals in the rim. Lueshite is a primary Nb-bearing phase in the carbonatite and ranges in composition from cerian lueshite to almost pure NaNbO3. For comparison, the compositional variation of lueshite from the Kovdor and Sallanlatvi carbonatites is described. At Lesnaya Varaka, lueshite is replaced by nearly stoichiometric Na-Ca pyrochlore due to late-stage re-equilibration in the carbonatite system. X-ray powder diffraction data for both minerals are presented. Barian strontiopyrochlore, occurring as replacement mantles on Na-Ca pyrochlore, contains up to 43% Sr and 8–18% Ba at the A-site, and shows a high degree of hydration and strong ionic deficiency at the A- and Y-sites. This mineral is metamict and, upon heating, recrystallises to an aeschynite-type structure. Monazite-(Ce) found as minute crystals in fractures, represents the solid solution between monazite-(Ce) CePO4, brabantite CaTh(PO4)2 and SrTh(PO4)2. Our data indicate the high capacity of the monazite structure for Th and accompanying divalent cations at low temperatures and pressures that has a direct relevance to solving the problem of long-term conservation of radioactive wastes. Monazite-(Ce) and barian strontiopyrochlore are products of low-temperature hydrothermal or secondary (hypergene) alteration of the primary mineral assemblage of the carbonatite.

Keywords: lueshite • pyrochlore • strontiopyrochlore • monazite-(Ce) • apatite-dolomite carbonatite • Lesnaya Varaka complex • Kola Peninsula

Mineralogical Magazine; December 1998 v. 62; no. 6; p. 769-782; DOI: 10.1180/002646198548151
© 1998, The Mineralogical Society
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