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Adding complexity to the garnet supergroup: monteneveite, Ca3Sb5+2(Fe3+2Fe2+)O12, a new mineral from the Monteneve mine, Bolzano Province, Italy

Journal article
Authors A. Karlsson
D. Holtstam
L. Bindi
P. Bonazzi
Matthias Konrad-Schmolke
Published in European Journal of Mineralogy
Volume 32
Issue 1
Pages 77-87
ISSN 0935-1221
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 77-87
Language en
Keywords complexity, crystal structure, garnet group, metamorphism, new mineral, oxic conditions, type locality, Bolzano, Italy, Passeier Valley, Trentino-Alto Adige
Subject categories Mineralogy


Monteneveite, ideally Ca3Sb5+2(Fe3+2Fe2+)O12, is a new member of the garnet supergroup (IMA 2018-060). The mineral was discovered in a small specimen belonging to the Swedish Museum of Natural History coming from the now abandoned Monteneve Pb-Zn mine in Passiria Valley, Bolzano Province, Alto Adige (South Tyrol), Italy. The specimen consists of mainly magnetite, sphalerite, tetrahedrite-(Fe) and oxycalcioroméite. Monteneveite occurs as black, subhedral crystals with adamantine lustre. They are equidimensional and up to 400 μm in size, with a subconchoidal fracture. Monteneveite is opaque, grey in reflected light, and isotropic under crossed polars. Measured reflectance values (%) at the four COM wavelengths are 12.6 (470 nm), 12.0 (546 nm), 11.6 (589 nm) and 11.4 (650 nm). The Vickers hardness (VHN100/ is 1141 kgmm-2, corresponding to H D 6:5-7, and the calculated density is 4.72(1) g cm-3. A mean of 10 electron microprobe analyses gave (wt %) CaO 23.67, FeO 3.75, Fe2O3 29.54, Sb2O5 39.81, SnO2 2.22, ZnO 2.29, MgO 0.15, MnO 0.03 and CoO 0.03. The crystal chemical formula calculated on the basis of a total of eight cations and 12 anions, and taking into account the available structural and spectroscopic data, is (Ca2:97Mg0:03)6D3:00 (Sb5+1.73Sn4+0.10Fe3+0.17)6D2.00(Fe3+2.43Fe2+0.37Zn0:20)6D3:00O12. The most significant chemical variations encountered in the sample are related to a substitution of the type Y Sn4CCZFe3CY Sb5CCZFe2C. Mössbauer data obtained at RT and 77K indicate the presence of tetrahedrally coordinated Fe2C. Raman spectroscopy demonstrates that there is no measurable hydrogarnet component in monteneveite. The six strongest Bragg peaks in the powder X-ray diffraction pattern are [d (Å), I (%), (hkl)]: 4.45, 100, (220); 3.147, 60, (400); 2.814, 40, (420); 2.571, 80, (422); 1.993, 40, (620); 1.683, 60, (642). Monteneveite is cubic, space group Ia-3d, with a D 12:6093(2) Å, V D 2004:8(1)Å3, and Z D 8. The crystal structure was refined up to R1 D 0:0197 for 305 reflections with Fo 4.Fo/ and 19 parameters. Monteneveite is related to the other Ca-, Sb- and Fe-bearing, nominally Si-free members of the bitikleite group, but it differs in that it is the only known garnet species with mixed trivalent and divalent cations (2 V 1) at the tetrahedral Z site. Textural and mineralogical evidence suggests that monteneveite formed during peak metamorphism (at ca. 600 C) during partial breakdown of tetrahedrite-(Fe) by reactions with carbonate, under relatively oxidizing conditions. The mineral is named after the type locality, the Monteneve (Schneeberg) mine. © Author(s) 2020.

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