Ilmenorutile - Encyclopedia

    Class : Oxides and hydroxides
    Subclass : Oxides
    Crystal system : Tetragonal
    Chemistry : (Ti,Nb,Fe)TiO3
    Rarity : Uncommon

Ilmenorutile is an oxide of titanium, niobium and iron from granitic pegmatites, carbonatites and alluvial placers in which its inalterability ensures good conservation. It is considered a variety of rutile by the IMA. Ilmenorutile often contains tantalum and forms a series with strüverite, with tantalum dominating niobium. Its name comes from its place of discovery, the Ilmen Mountains (Russia) and its composition close to that of rutile. Ilmenorutile occurs in bipyramidal prismatic crystals, black in color, very frequently in intergrowth with columbite, sometimes ilmenite.

Main photo : Ilmenorutile from Tulare County, California, USA © Rob Lavinsky

Ilmenorutile of Manandona, Antsirabe, Vakinankaratra, Antananarivo, Madagascar
Ilmenorutile from Håverstad, Iveland, Agder, Norway © Knut Eldjarn
Ilmenorutile from Pret Basso Quarry, Piedmont, Italy © Beppe Finello
Ilmenorutile from Laacher See, Germany © Stephan Wolfsried

Ilmenorutile in the World

Decimetric crystals, the largest known, come from the pegmatites of Kenhardt in South Africa and Ampangabé in Madagascar, where they reach 10 cm and 13 cm respectively. Large crystals were extracted from the Brazilian pegmatite of Araçuai (Minas Gerais). Good specimens have been discovered in the Ilmen Mountains, near Miass (Russia) and in the Finnish pegmatites of Evje, Iveland and Tvedestrand. Other sites are known, notably in Italy, Japan, Norway, the USA and Mozambique.

Ilmenorutile in France

In France, ilmenorutile is reported at Aramits (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), at the Gwernavalou quarry (Côte-d'Armor) and at Corte (Haute-Corse).


No twins known for this mineral species.

Fakes and treatments

No fakes recorded for this mineral species.

Hardness : 6 to 6.5
Density : 4.23
Fracture : Conchoidal
Streak : Black

TP : Opaque
RI : -
Birefringence : -
Optical character : -
Pleochroism : None
Fluorescence : None

Solubility : -

Magnetism : ParamagneticRadioactivity : None to very low


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