Billietite: Properties, Information

Billietite from Krunkelbach, Menzenschwand, Black Forest, Germany
Copyright: Stephan Wolfsried

Billietite is an uncommon mineral of Uranium that contains Barium. It usually occurs as clear yellow orthorhombic crystals. Billietite is Radioactive.  Billietite is named after Valere Louis Billiet, Belgian crystallographer at the University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium.

Billietite was discovered in the locality of the Shinkolobwe uranium mine in the Haut-Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Billietite from Krunkelbach, Menzenschwand, Black Forest, Germany
Photo: Joy Desor Mineralanalytik

Properties of Billietite

  • Formula: Ba(UO₂)₆O₄(OH)₆•8H₂O.
  • Cleavage: {001} perfect
  • Color: Yellow to golden-yellow, amber-yellow, orange-yellow
  • Crystal System:  Orthorhombic
  • Lustre: Adamantine
  • Specific Gravity: 5.28 - 5.36
  • Tenacity: Brittle.
  • Type Locality:  Shinkolobwe Mine, Shinkolobwe, Kambove District, Haut-Katanga, DR Congo
  • Association Mineral: Uranophane, fourmarierite, metatorbernite, rutherfordine, becquerelite, studtite, soddyite.
  • Occurrence: An uncommon alteration product of uraninite.
  • Name: Named in 1947 by Johannes F. Vaes in honor of Valère Louis Billiet, born Ghent, Belgium, February 14 1903; was in the resistance during WWII but was arrested; killed on May 3 1945 by an SS officer on board of the SS Ancona in the Bay of Neustedt, near Lubeck. Belgian crystallographer, University of Ghent, Belgium.

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