Ianthinite, rare uranium oxide mineral discovered in Mahbubnagar district - The Times of India HYDERABAD: The city-based Atomic Minerals Directorate has found deposits of Ianthinite, a rare mineral of uranium, at Akkavaram village of Atchampet mandal in Mahbubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh. Though Ianthinite has been known to science for the last 90 years it is for the first time that the uranium mineral is discovered in India. Ianthinite is a type of uranium oxide mineral that contains two types of uranium (U6+ and U4+). The discovery of Ianthinite in Atchampet mandal abutting the Nallamala forests may help geologists to explore more uranium resources in the region. Ianthinite has been discovered so far only from eight countries including the USA, Germany, and France. India now joins the elite club after the Akkavaram discovery. A team of researchers from Atomic Minerals Directorate comprising PS Parihar, SK Srivastava, Yamuna Singh, KK Parashar, PV Ramesh Babu, and R Viswanathan found Ianthinite from underneath Mahbubnagar granite deposits at Akkavaram village. Ianthinite was found in the form of tiny grains along with uraninite and uranophane, two radioactive minerals of uranium. Ianthinite was discovered in early 1920s from a uranium mine in Congo. But its presence in India was not known till the AMD team discovered it in Mahbubnagar district recently. The researchers published their finding in the latest issue of the Journal of Earth System Science (JESS) of the Indian Academy of Science. From geological point of view, Akkavaram falls in Srisailam sub-basin of Cuddapah basin, which is famous for significant presence of uranium resources. The AMD team found uranium mineralization in granitoids (a type of granite) and sandstone and grit in the area. The granitoids and sandstone/grit showed presence of triuranium octoxide (U3O8) up to 0.25 per cent and 0.031 per cent respectively. The researchers also found other minerals like anatase, rutile, microcline, biotite, and quartz from Akkavaram. "Ianthinite plays a key role in understanding the sequence of formation of complex assemblage of uranyl minerals, although its occurrence in nature is very rare. Its rarity in nature is mainly due to its instability in the presence of oxygen," the team pointed out in their research publication.