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Spray of becquerelite crystals with uranophane needles from the old Shinkolobwe mine
Category Oxide mineral
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification 4.GB.10
Crystal system Orthorhombic
Crystal class Pyramidal (mm2)
H-M symbol: (mm2)
Space group Pn21a
Unit cell a = 13.8378 Å,
b = 12.3781 Å,
c = 14.9238 Å; Z = 4
Colour Amber-yellow, golden to lemon-yellow, yellow-orange, brownish yellow
Crystal habit Tabular prismatic striated crystals exhibiting pseudohexagonal outline; coatings and fine-grained aggregates
Cleavage Perfect on {001}; imperfect on {101}, {010} and {110}
Tenacity Brittle
Mohs scale hardness 2.5
Lustre Adamantine to greasy
Streak Yellow
Diaphaneity Transparent
Specific gravity 5.09 - 5.2
Optical properties Biaxial (-)
Refractive index nα = 1.725 - 1.735 nβ = 1.815 - 1.825 nγ = 1.825 - 1.830
Birefringence δ = 0.100
Pleochroism X = colourless to pale yellow, Y = Z = yellow to deep yellow
2V angle Measured: 32°
Common impurities Commonly contains lead
Other characteristics Radioactive
References [1][2][3]

Becquerelite is a uranium mineral with the chemical formula: Ca(UO2)6O4(OH)6·8(H2O). It is a secondary mineral which contains calcium and is a bright yellow colour. It has a Mohs hardness of about 2.

It was named after the French physicist Antoine Henri Becquerel (1852–1908), who discovered radioactivity in 1896. Becquerelite contains about 70% Uranium in it.

It is mainly mined in Kasolo of the former Zaire, in the present day Democratic Republic of the Congo.