Anhydrous phosphate containing halogen, apatite group
Epitaxial minerals: rutile, monazite and carbonate-rich apatite (Mindat)
Specific gravity: 3.1 to 3.25
Colour: Colourless, yellow, green, blue and purple. Manganoan varieties are dark green and blue-green
Solubility: Slightly soluble in sulphuric acid and moderately soluble in hydrochloric and nitric acids
Fluorapatite is the most common rock-forming phosphate mineral.
It occurs as an accessory in all types of igneous rocks, and is important in syenite, alkaline rocks, carbonatites and granite pegmatites. It also occurs in magnetite deposits, and is common in marble and skarn, alpine-type fissures and hydrothermal tin veins. It occurs in both regional and contact metamorphosed rocks, especially crystallised limestone associated with titanite, zircon, pyroxene, amphibole, spinel, vesuvianite and phlogopite, also in talc and chlorite schist, as deposits of marine origin, as replacent beds of limestone or coral via solutions derived from guano, as nodules disseminated in nearshore sediments and in coal measures. It is an essential component of sedimentary phosphorite, common as a detrital or diagenetic component in oolitic ironstone and phosphatic carbonate rocks and shale, and residual in laterite (Dana, HOM).
Other associated minerals include albite, diopside, forsterite, scapolite, chondrodite, calcite and magnetite (HOM, Mindat).
There are three co-type localities, the Minillas Mine, Tambillos mining district, La Serena, Elqui Province, Coquimbo, Chile, the Sauberg Mine, Ehrenfriedersdorf, Erzgebirgskreis, Saxony, Germany and the Holmbush Mine, Callington United Mines, Stokeclimsland, Cornwall, England, UK.
At Klemm's quarry, Moculta, South Australia, fluorapatite crystals to 3mm have been found scattered on mitridatite (AJM 17.1.16-17).
At Llallagua, Bolivia, fluorapatite occurred as a gangue mineral in cassiterite veins. Fluorapatite crystals have been found on quartz and ferberite crystals in many vugs. Most fluorapatite is covered by a crust of wavellite. Some crystals occur on a stannite matrix associated with jeanbandyite. Crystals filled with fine jamesonite needles have also been found (Min Rec 37-2.134).
In the Bancroft area, Ontario, Canada, fluorapatite crystals up to 45 cm long have been found in the calcite vein-dikes (R&M 94.5.412) .
At the poudrette quarry, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada, fluorapatite is exceptionally high in thorium content (R&M 95.2.164-165).
At Girardville, Quebec, Canada, fluorapatite is rare in the calcite-carbonatite vein. Typical parageneses include phlogopite, ilmenite, orthoclase and aegirine (R&M 88-5.431).
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).
At the Wutong mine, Guangxi, China, fluorapatite is intimately associated with rhodochrosite and fluorite (Min Rec 42-6.540).
At Yaogangxian, Hunan, China, fluorapatite is associated with arsenopyrite, bournonite, boulangerite, stannite, ferberite, chalcopyrite, quartz and fluorite (Min Rec 42-6.580-581 ).
At Diako, Kayes region, Mali, fluorapatite has been found with epidote and with garnet (Min Rec 42-3.243 ).
At Cerro de Mercado, Durango, Mexico, fluorapatite is found embedded in masses of sepiolite with quartz and chalcedony, and with augite crystals in breccia (Min Rec 42-5.477-484).
At Imilchil, Er Rachidia Province, Drâa-Tafilalet, Morocco, fluorapatite is found in hydrothermally altered syenite and nepheline syenite (R&M 90.244-256).
At Anemzi, Imilchil, Er Rachidia Province, Drâa-Tafilalet, Morocco, fluorapatite occurs with a wide rane of associated minerals, including microcline, chlorite, magnetite, titanite, actinolite, stilbite, arfvedsonite, calcite, epidote, prehnite, hematite and hedenbergite (R&M 90.244-256).
At Alchuri, Shigar Valley, Northern Areas, Pakistan, fluorapatite occurs on druses of clinozoisite, and commonly on beds of actinolite, and occasionally with diopside or epidote (Min Rec 37-6.535).
At Ekaterinburg, Ural mountains, Russia, fluorapatite occurs in mica schist with emerald and chrysoberyl (Dana).
At Palabora, Limpopo Province, South Africa, fluorapatite is a major constituent occurring in some of the cavities, associated with fluoborite and rarely with fluorite (R&M 92.5.438).
At Jumilla, Murcia, Spain, fluorapatite was found in andesite tuff (Dana).
In the Erongo, Namibia, miarolytic cavities fluorapatite is rare, but it has been found as crystals on quartz and schorl (Min Rec 37.5.402).
At the the Karo Mine, Block D, Merelani Hills, Arusha Region, Tanzania, fluorapatite is found which contains fluid inclusions, some of which contain graphite crystals (R&M 88.2.162 and 178-183).
At the Carrock mine, Caldbeck Fells, Cumbria, England, UK, fluorapatite crystals to 3 cm occur on a muscovite and quartz matrix, and crystals embedded in quartz with pyrite have been found (C&S).
At Tyllau Mwyn, Drws-y-nant, Gwynedd, Wales, UK, fluorapatite has been found in stilpnomelane - bearing calcite veins (MW).
At Prenteg, Tremadog, Gwynedd, Wales, UK, fluorapatite forms crystals to 1.5 mm associated with rutile, chamosite and albite (MW).
At the Moiliili Quarry, Honolulu, Oahu, Honolulu county, Hawaii, USA, fluorapatite forms thin, needlelike crystals within cavities of nepheline basalt, associated with augite and nepheline (R&M 92.3.226).
At the Emmons pegmatite, Greenwood, Oxford county, Maine, USA, fluorapatite occurs as crystals to 3 cm. The best crystals occur in vugs formed from alteration of beryl and on cleavelandite and muscovite crystals in miarolytic cavities. The fluorapatite is typically associated with bertrandite, cookeite and Fe/Mn oxides after siderite/rhodochrosite. The Emmons pegmatite is an example of a highly evolved boron-lithium-cesium-tantalum enriched pegmatite (R&M 94.6.507-508).
At the pegmatite at the Waisanen quarry, Greenwood, Oxford county, Maine, USA, fluorapatite occurs with a druse of quartz prisms and rare oxidised pyrite cubes on etched microcline and occasional muscovite books. In some cases late stage albite appears as an overgrowth on the microcline (R&M 91-2.179-180).
At Acushnet Quarry, Bristol County, Massachusetts, USA, fluorapatite has formed in an Alpine cleft. Hydrothermal fluids, associated with orogenic metamorphism, often deposit characteristic minerals, including apatite, in these clefts. The metamorphic rocks exposed in the Acushnet quarry are a mixture of schist, gneiss and intruded diorite. Fluorapatite is found here on a chlorite-covered matrix, associated with orthoclase varity adularia, albite variety pericline, calcite, epidote, muscovite, quartz, titanite, chabazite and stilbite (R&M 90.244-256)
At a small beryl-rich unnamed pegmatite at Dickinson county, Michigan, USA, the dike is well zoned with a massive quartz core, surrounded by beryl crystals, fluorapatite and niobium-tantalum species (R&M 90-5.446).
At the Chickering Mine, Walpole, Cheshire county, New Hampshire, USA, fluorapatite is found in cavities that formed by the dissolution of elbaite and, to a lesser extent, by the alteration of spodumene within a quartz matrix (R&M 90-5.416).
At the Adirondack mountains, New York, USA, fluorapatite occurs with with magnetite (Dana).
At the tourmaline locality at Gouverneur, St. Lawrence county, New York, USA, fluorapatite occurs rarely, with diopside and tremolite in pockets in calc-silicate rock (R&M 91.6.523).
At the Harder farm, Hammond, St Lawrence county, New York, USA, fluorapatite occurs in calcite (R&M 85.5.461).
At The Dafoe Property, Pierrepont, St Lawrence county, New York, USA, fluorapatite occurs abundantly on the surfaces of some tourmaline crystals (R&M 94.5.452-455).
At the Foote Mine, Kings Mountain, North Carolina, USA, fluorapatite is found as masses and crystals in unaltered spodumene-bearing pegmatites, and also as a hydrothermal mineral along fractures and in solution cavities throughout the pegmatites and surrounding country rocks. In the primary stage of mineralisation microcline, quartz and spodumene crystallised from the melt, with accessory fluorapatite, chlorite, muscovite, and pyrrhotite. The second stage was the hydrothermal alteration of the primary pegmatite minerals included leaching of elements and their enrichment in the hydrothermal fluids. The third stage was the precipitation of secondary phosphate and silicate minerals, the most abundant of which was fluorapatite. Fluorapatite is most commonly found with albite, fairfieldite and bikitaite (R&M 91-3.250-256).
At South Foster, Providence county, Rhode Island, USA, fluorapatite crystals have been found in a road cutting at the white schoolhouse on the hill just west of the town. They are developed along a contact line between fine grained granite and a small mass of crystalline limestone, in small open cavities associated with biotite and scapolite (AM7.28)
At the Clay Canyon variscite mine, Fairfield, Utah, USA, fluorapatite has been found as microcrystals in cavities cementing fragments of crandallite (Min Rec 41-4.338).
At the Belvidere Mountain Asbestos Quarries, Lowell/Eden, Vermont, USA, fluorapatite is fairly common in schist and gneiss. It occurs locally in the chlorite rock, and in the amphibolite it sporadically occurs as a relict mineral (R&M 90-6.533).
Common impurities: OH,Cl,TR,La,Ce,Pr,Nd,Sm,Eu,Gd,Dy,Y,Er,Mn
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