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Sphene: Encyclopedia Arctica 10: Soviet North, Geography and General
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962


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SPHENE, a rare mineral exploited chiefly in the Khibiny (cf.) deposits
on the Kola Peninsula of the Soviet European Arctic, is found also in
the Shishim, Naziam and Ilmen Mts. of the Ural range, and near Sliudianka
station on the Trans-Siberian [: ] railroad in eastern Siberia. In
its pure form, it is CaTiSiO 5 , but is usually admixed with Fe 2 O 3 , MnO,
FeO, Al 2 O 3 and U 2 O 3 . It crystallizes in the [: ] monoclinic system as flat,
wedge-like, or, more rarely, columnar forms. It is usually, yellow, green
or brown to black in color. It may be translucent or semi-opaque. Three
types are 100 known: (1) sphene proper, translucent, chiefly greenish-yellow
crystals; (2) titanite - sphene of a brown to black color; and (3)
leukoxene, a pseu d omorphosis of titanite on titanitic hematite. It is of
magmatic and contact origin. It is used as a source of titanium and for
the preparation of titanic whites. It is not known whether its admix–
tures with uranium are exploited as a source of atomic energy.
William Mandel
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