First report of eudialyte occurrence from the Sushina hill region, Purulia district, West Bengal


Eudialyte is a group of hydrated silicate minerals essentially consisting of Na and Zr with a very complex crystal structure, and generally associated with alkaline rocks. The complexity of the eudialyte structure can be understood from the fact that Na alone exist in five distinct sites and extensive solid solubility can occur in almost all cation sites, sometimes one element occupying multiple sites to the extent of exclusion of other elements. Structurally, eudialyte can be represented as Na15[M 1 ]6[M 2]3Zr3[M 3 ](Si25O73)(O,OH,H2O)3X2 (Johnsen and Grice, 1999), where M 1 and M 2 sites are occupied by Ca, Mn and Fe, M 3 by Nb and X by OH, Cl and F. In addition, cations like Al, Hf, W, Ta, Sr, Ba and various REEs get incorporated into the eudialyte structure by substitution, and additional site vacancies even may develop in order to maintain electrical neutrality. Eudialyte, approximately of the composition Na9Ca8Mn3Nb(Zr,Ce)3Si25O73(OH)2, has hydrothermally replaced albite in the nepheline syenite gneiss exposed south of the Sushina hill of Purulia district, West Bengal. The eudialyte contains ≈2.25 atom% Zr and 0.75 atom% Nb. In addition to eudialyte in nepheline syenite, an unknown Na-Zr silicate (NZS) has also replaced the albite crystals. The NZS contains ≈ 7 atom% Zr with a possible empirical formula of Na12Zr11Si36O95(OH)10. Surface exposures of these rocks are limited at Sushina hill, yet a detailed and systematic investigation on this enigmatic rock is warranted for they may turn out to be a resource for Zr.

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Correspondence to Amit Kumar Sen.

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Chakrabarty, A., Pruseth, K.L. & Sen, A.K. First report of eudialyte occurrence from the Sushina hill region, Purulia district, West Bengal. J Geol Soc India 77, 12–16 (2011).

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  • Eudialyte
  • Na-Zr silicate (NZS)
  • Agpaitic nepheline syenite
  • Sushina Hill