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Żabińskiite, ideally Ca(Al0.5Ta0.5)(SiO4)O, a new mineral of the titanite group from the Piława Górna pegmatite, the Góry Sowie Block, southwestern Poland

  • Adam Pieczka (a1), Frank C. Hawthorne (a2), Chi Ma (a3), George R. Rossman (a3), Eligiusz Szełęg (a4), Adam Szuszkiewicz (a5), Krzysztof Turniak (a5), Krzysztof Nejbert (a6), Sławomir Ilnicki (a6), Philippe Buffat (a7) and Bogdan Rutkowski (a7)...

Żabińskiite, ideally Ca(Al0.5Ta0.5)(SiO4)O, was found in a Variscan granitic pegmatite at Piława Górna, Lower Silesia, SW Poland. The mineral occurs along with (Al,Ta,Nb)- and (Al,F)-bearing titanites, a pyrochlore-supergroupmineral and a K-mica in compositionally inhomogeneous aggregates, ∼120 μm × 70 μm in size, in a fractured crystal of zircon intergrown with polycrase-(Y) and euxenite-(Y). Żabińskiite is transparent, brittle, brownish, with a white streak, vitreous lustre and a Mohs hardness of ∼5. The calculated density for the refined crystal is equal to 3.897 g cm–3, but depends strongly on composition. The mineral is non-pleochroic, biaxial (–), with mean refractive indices ≥1.89. The (Al,Ta,Nb)-richest żabińskiite crystal,(Ca0.980Na0.015)∑=0.995(Al0.340Fe3+ 0.029Ti0.298V0.001Zr0.001Sn0.005Ta0.251Nb0.081)∑=1.005[(Si0.988Al0.012)O4.946F0.047(OH)0.007)∑=5.000];60.7 mol.% Ca[Al0.5(Ta,Nb)0.5](SiO4)O; is close in composition to previously described synthetic material. Żabińskiite is triclinic (space group symmetry A1) and has unit-cell parameters a = 7.031(2) Å, b = 8.692(2) Å,c = 6.561(2) Å, α = 89.712(11)°, β = 113.830(13)°, γ = 90.352(12)° and V = 366.77 (11) Å3. It is isostructural with triclinic titanite and bond-topologically identical with titanite and other minerals of the titanite group.Żabińskiite crystallized along with (Al,Ta,Nb)-bearing titanites at increasing Ti and Nb, and decreasing Ta activities, almost coevally with polycrase-(Y) and euxenite-(Y) from Ca-contaminated fluxed melts or early hydrothermal fluids.

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