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Phosphate mineral

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Phosphate minerals are minerals that contain the tetrahedrally coordinated phosphate (PO43−) anion, sometimes with arsenate (AsO43−) and vanadate (VO43−) substitutions, along with chloride (Cl), fluoride (F), and hydroxide (OH) anions, that also fit into the crystal structure.

The phosphate class of minerals is a large and diverse group, however, only a few species are relatively common.


Thin section of apatite-rich carbonate in cross polarized transmitted light.

Phosphate rock has high concentration of phosphate minerals, most commonly from the apatite group of minerals. It is the major resource mined to produce phosphate fertilizers for the agricultural industry. Phosphate is also used in animal feed supplements, food preservatives, anti-corrosion agents, cosmetics, fungicides, ceramics, water treatment and metallurgy.

The production of fertilizer is the largest source responsible for minerals mined for their phosphate content.

Phosphate minerals are often used to control rust, and to prevent corrosion on ferrous materials applied with electrochemical conversion coatings.



Phosphate minerals include:

Nickel–Strunz classification -08- phosphates


IMA-CNMNC proposes a new hierarchical scheme (Mills et al., 2009). This list uses it to modify the classification of Nickel–Strunz (mindat.org, 10 ed, pending publication).

  • Abbreviations:
    • "*" – discredited (IMA/CNMNC status).
    • "?" – questionable/doubtful (IMA/CNMNC status).
    • "REE" – Rare-earth element (Sc, Y, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu)
    • "PGE" – Platinum-group element (Ru, Rh, Pd, Os, Ir, Pt)
    • 03.C Aluminofluorides, 06 Borates, 08 Vanadates (04.H V[5,6] Vanadates), 09 Silicates:
      • Neso: insular (from Greek νησος nēsos, island)
      • Soro: grouping (from Greek σωροῦ sōros, heap, mound (especially of corn))
      • Cyclo: ring
      • Ino: chain (from Greek ις [genitive: ινος inos], fibre)
      • Phyllo: sheet (from Greek φύλλον phyllon, leaf)
      • Tekto: three-dimensional framework
  • Nickel–Strunz code scheme: NN.XY.##x
    • NN: Nickel–Strunz mineral class number
    • X: Nickel–Strunz mineral division letter
    • Y: Nickel–Strunz mineral family letter
    • ##x: Nickel–Strunz mineral/group number, x add-on letter

Class: phosphates



  1. ^ "Arseniosiderite-Mitridatite Series". Mindat.org. Archived from the original on Jan 14, 2023.
  2. ^ "Arseniosiderite-Robertsite Series". Mindat.org. Archived from the original on Jan 13, 2023.