The apatite group comprises three minerals:
All of these are anhydrous phosphates containing hydroxyl or halogen
Fluorapatite is the commonest mineral in the apatite group.
Properties of fluorapatite:
Specific gravity: 3.1 to 3.25
Colour: Colourless, yellow, green, blue and purple. Manganoan varieties are dark green and blue-green.
Solubility: Apatite is slightly soluble in sulphuric acid and moderately soluble in hydrochloric and nitric acid
Plutonic igneous environments
Apatite is a primary and secondary mineral, widely distributed
with important concentrations in carbonatites. It is the
rock-forming phosphate and a major mineral in lithified phosphate-rich sediments.
It occurs the oxidation zone of hypothermal
(high temperature) veins and
in Alpine cleft-type veins.
It is a common secondary mineral in high-temperature alteration zones (AofA).
Apatite is a common constituent of marble, skarn and magnetite deposits.
Apatite may also be found in quartzolite, granite, syenite, diorite, rhyolite, trachyte, andesite and basalt.
In the pegmatite at the Sapo mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil, apatite crystals are zoned, with a core of fluorapatite and an outer overgrowth of hydroxylapatite. They are associated with microcline, albite variety cleavelandite, quartz and muscovite (Min Rec 40.4.279-288).
At the Yates Prospect, Otter Lake, Quebec, Canada, it appears that fluorapatite is a primary mineral that crystallised from a carbonate melt (R&M 94.3.274-275).
Common impurities: OH,Cl,transition elements,La,Ce,Pr,Nd,Sm,Eu,Gd,Dy,Y,Er,Mn
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