Formula: Fe2+Ti4+O3
Simple oxide, ilmenite group, titanium-bearing mineral


Picroilmenite is a magnesium-rich variety of ilmenite

Crystal System: Trigonal
Specific gravity: 4.68 to 4.76 measured, 4.789 calculated
Hardness: 5 to 6
Streak: Black to reddish brown
Colour: Black
Solubility: Slightly soluble in hydrochloric acid
Common impurities: Mn,Mg,V

Igneous environments
Metamorphic environments

Ilmenite is a high-temperature primary mineral that is a common accessory in igneous and metamorphic rocks. It is often concentrated in placers as "black sand" deposits (Webmin).
It may be found in anorthosite (R&M 93.2.146), basalt, gabbro, kimberlite and syenite. As a constituent of black sands it is associated with magnetite, rutile, zircon and monazite.

It is a mineral of the granulite facies.


At the Faraday mine, Faraday Township, Hastings county, Ontario, Canada, ilmenite to 30 kg occurs with magnetite of similar size (R&M 94.5.413) .

Amity, Town of Warwick, Orange county, New York, USA, is an area of granite intrusions into marble and associated gneiss. The marble is mostly composed of white crystalline calcite that often has small flakes or spheres of graphite and phlogopite. Ilmenite occurs as black metallic crystals to 3 cm associated with spinel, chondrodite and phlogopite in marble. (R&M 96.5.437).


Ilmenite may alter to hematite or rutile (AJM 18.2.26).

aenigmatite, anorthite and O2 to hedenbergite, albite, ilmenite and magnetite
½Na4[Fe2+10Ti2]O4[Si12O36] + CaAl2Si2O8 + ½O2 = CaFe2+Si2O6 + 2NaAlSi3O8 + Fe2+Ti4+O3 + Fe2+Fe3+2O4
(DHZ 2A p651)

amphibole, chlorite, paragonite, ilmenite, quartz and calcite to garnet, omphacite, rutile, H2O and CO2
NaCa2(Fe2Mg3)(AlSi7)O22(OH)2 + Mg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8 + 3NaAl2(Si3Al)O10(OH)2 + 4Fe2+Ti4+O3 + 9SiO2 + 4CaCO3 → 2(CaMg2Fe3)Al4(SiO4)6 + 4NaCaMgAl(Si2O6)2 + 4TiO2 + 8H2O + 4CO2
In low-grade rocks relatively rich in calcite the garnet-omphacite association may be due to reactions such as the above (DHZ 2A p453).

amphibole, clinozoisite, chlorite, albite, ilmenite and quartz to garnet, omphacite, rutile and H2O
NaCa2(Fe2Mg3)(AlSi7)O22(OH)2 + 2Ca2Al3[Si2o7][SiO4]O(OH) + Mg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8 + 3NaAlSi3O8 + 4Fe2+Ti4+O3 + 3SiO2 → 2(CaMg2Fe3)Al4(SiO4)6 + 4NaCaMgAl(Si2O6)2 + 4TiO2 + 6H2O
In low-grade rocks relatively poor in calcite the garnet-omphacite association may be developed by the above reaction (DHZ 2A p453).

augite, albite, pyroxene, anorthite and ilmenite to omphacite, garnet, quartz and rutile
2MgFe2+Si2O6 + Na(AlSi3O8) + Ca2Mg2Fe2+Fe3+AlSi5O18 + 2Ca(Al2Si2O8) + 2Fe2+Ti4+O3 → NaCa2MgFe2+Al(Si2O6)3 + (Ca2Mg3Fe2+4)(Fe3+Al5)(SiO4)9 + SiO2 + 2TiO2
This reaction occurs at high temperature and pressure (DHZ 2A p449).

titanomagnetite (ilmenite combined with magnetite), quartz, and aegirine-hedenbergite to aenigmatite, hedenbergite, magnetite and O2
6(Fe2+Ti4+O3 + Fe2+Fe3+2O4) + 12SiO2 + 12(NaFe3+Si2O6 + CaFe2+Si2O6) ⇌ 3Na4[Fe2+10Ti2]O4[Si12O36] + 12CaFe2+Si2O6 + 2Fe2+Fe3+2O4 + 5O2
(DHZ p652)

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