Nixonite, Na2Ti6O13, a new mineral from a metasomatized mantle garnet pyroxenite from the western Rae Craton, Darby kimberlite field, Canada

Chiara Anzolini*, Fei Wang, Garrett A. Harris, Andrew J. Locock, Dongzhou Zhang, Fabrizio Nestola, Luca Peruzzo, Steven D. Jacobsen, D. Graham Pearson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nixonite (IMA 2018-133), ideally Na2Ti6O13, is a new mineral found within a heavily metasomatized pyroxenite xenolith from the Darby kimberlite field, beneath the west-central Rae Craton, Canada. It occurs as microcrystalline aggregates, 15 to 40 mm in length. Nixonite is isostructural with jeppeite, K2Ti6O13, with a structure consisting of edge- and corner-shared titanium-centered octahedra that enclose alkali-metal ions. The Mohs hardness is estimated to be between 5 and 6 by comparison to jeppeite, and the calculated density is 3.51(1) g/cm3. Electron microprobe wavelength-dispersive spectroscopic analysis (average of 6 points) yielded: Na2O 6.87, K2O 5.67, CaO 0.57, TiO2 84.99, V2O3 0.31, Cr2O3 0.04, MnO 0.01, Fe2O3 0.26, SrO 0.07, total 98.79 wt%. The empirical formula, based on 13 O atoms, is: (Na1.24K0.67Ca0.06)Σ1.97 (Ti5.96V0.023Fe0.018)Σ6.00O13 with minor amounts of Cr and Mn. Nixonite is monoclinic, space group C2/m, with unit-cell parameters a = 15.3632(26) Å, b = 3.7782(7) Å, c = 9.1266(15) Å, b = 99.35(15)°, and V = 522.72(1) Å3, Z = 2. Based on the average of seven integrated multi-grain diffraction images, the strongest diffraction lines are [dobs in Å (I in %) (hkl)]: 3.02 (100) (310), 3.66 (75) (110), 7.57 (73) (200), 6.31 (68) (201), 2.96 (63) (311), 2.96 (63) (203), and 2.71 (62) (402). The five main Raman peaks of nixonite, in order of decreasing intensity, are at 863, 280, 664, 135, and 113 cm-1. Nixonite is named after Peter H. Nixon, a renowned scientist in the field of kimberlites and mantle xenoliths. Nixonite occurs within a pyroxenite xenolith in a kimberlite, in association with rutile, priderite, perovskite, freudenbergite, and ilmenite. This complex Na-K-Ti-rich metasomatic mineral assemblage may have been produced by a fractionated Na-rich kimberlitic melt that infiltrated a mantle-derived garnet pyroxenite and reacted with rutile during kimberlite crystallization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1336-1344
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Mineralogist
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Crystal structure
  • Jeppeite
  • Kimberlite
  • Mantle xenoliths
  • New mineral
  • Nixonite
  • Rae Craton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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