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Rutherfordine is a mineral containing almost pure uranium carbonate (UO2CO3). It was discovered in 1906 and is named after Ernest Rutherford. It is found primarily in the Morogoro Region of Tanzania in Africa. It has been reported in Zaire and the Northern Territory of Australia. It appears as brownish, brownish yellow, white, light brown orange, or light yellow fluorescent encrustations. It is a secondary alteration product from uraninite. It crystallizes in the orthorhombic system in translucent lathlike, elongated, commonly radiating in fibrous masses, inpulverulent, earthy to very fine-grained dense masses. It has a specific gravity of 5.7 and exhibits two directions of cleavage. It is also known as diderichite.

Rutherfordine forms under acidic to neutral pH and is the only known mineral that contains only uranyl and carbonate. It was discovered by Marckwald (1906) and described as a mineral species by Frondel and Meyrowitz (1956). The structure of rutherfordine was provided by Christ and Clark (1955) and refined by Finch et al.(1999). As a carbonate, rutherfordine will react with acids, liberating carbon dioxide.


* Palache, C., H. Berman, and C. Frondel (1951) Dana’s system of mineralogy, 7th ed., v. II, pp. 274–275.
* Webmineral data
* Mindat with location data
* Uranium minerals

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