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May-June 2014

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Who's Who in Mineral Names: Vadim Kazansky (1926–2013)

Kazanskyite, ideally Ba□TiNbNa3Ti(Si2O7)2O2(OH)2(H2O)4, is a new mineral from the Kirovskii mine, Mount Kukisvumchorr, Khibiny alkaline massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia. It occurs as flexible and commonly bent flakes 2–15 microns thick and up to 0.33 mm across (Camara, Sokolova, and Hawthorne 2011). It is colorless to pale tan, with a white streak and a vitreous luster. The crystal structure of kazanskyite is particularly interesting. It consists of a combination of a TS (titanium silicate) block and an I (intermediate) block. The TS block consists of HOH sheets (H is heteropolyhedral; O is octahedral). The TS block exhibits linkage and stereochemistry typical for Group-III (Ti = 3 atoms per formula unit) Ti-disilicate minerals. The TS block has two different H sheets where Si2O7 groups link to (5)-coordinated Ti and (6)-coordinated Nb polyhedra, respectively. There are two I blocks: the I1 block is a layer of Ba atoms; the I2 block consists of H2O groups. The TS and I blocks are topologically identical to those in nechelyustovite. Kazanskyite formed in a pegmatite as a result of hydrothermal activity. It is confined to the natrolite core where it is associated with rosettes of nechelyustovite (to 5 cm in diameter) that are composed of extremely fine (0.01–0.1-mm) flakes and lamellae, embedded in a matrix of natrolite or carbonate-hydroxylapatite. Other associated minerals are barytolamprophyllite, belovite-(La), belovite-(Ce), gaidonnayite, nenadkevichite, epididymite, apophyllite-(KF), and sphalerite.

Dr. Frank C. Hawthorne is Canada Research Chair in Crystallography and Mineralogy at the University of Manitoba. He was recipient of the 2008 Carnegie Mineralogical Award and the 2009 International Mineralogical Association Medal for excellence in mineralogical research.

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