Baddeleyite

BADDELEYITE (from the name of J.Baddeley, who has delivered the first samples * EN: baddeleyite; DE: Baddeleyit; FR: baddeleyite; ES: badeleyita; RU: бадделеит) is the mineral of the sub-class of the simple oxides, ZrO2. It contains 96.5-99 % of ZrO2.

Baddeleyite

It crystallizes itself into the monoclinic crystal system; the crystal structure is coordinative. The crystals are short or long prismatic, flattened, less often tabular. There is characteristic the longitudinal hatching. There are frequent the polysynthetic or simple cruciform twin crystals. The variety of the baddeleyite, namely, the zirkon-favas, are the radiating colloform formations with the concentric zonation. Baddeleyite forms within these formations the tight intergrowths with the zircon and other minerals. The colour is brown, often the coloration is spotted or zonal, from the dark brown one to the yellowish brown one. It is brittle. The hardness is 6.5. The density is 5400±100 kilograms per cubic metre.

It may be found within the magnetite-pyroxenic and magnetite-forsterite-apatitic rocks (so-called phoscorites) and carbonatites (the Kovdorskoe deposit, within the USSR), less often within the gabbroids, skarns, and hydrothermal veins, which are associated with the alkaline rocks (the Poços de Caldas city, within Brazil). It has been noted within the volcanic ejections of Vesuvius. It concentrates itself within the littoral titanium-zirconium placer deposits. It is extracted from the hydrothermal veins and phoscorites (as the by-product).

Baddeleyite is the valuable mineral raw material. The largest deposit within the world is the Phalaborwa (South Africa). It is used during the production of the refractories, abrasives, ferroalloys, and for the obtainment of the metallic zirconium. It is beneficiated by the gravitational methods (spiral separators, concentration tables, and others) with the magnetic and electrical separation.

There is shown on the figure the baddeleyite (approximately ten-fold magnification), the Kovdorskoe deposit, within the Kola Peninsula, within the Russian Federation.