Bastnasite (sometimes spelled bastnaesite) is one of the more common rare earth carbonate minerals. It is an important ore for the production of cerium, lanthanum and yttrium.
Although originally named for the first location it was found, Bastnas Mine, Riddarhyttan, Vastmanland, Sweden, subsequent deposits have been located in Norway, Malawi, Mongolia, Canada and California.
- Empirical Formula: Ce(CO3)F
- Color is pale white, tan, gray, brown, yellow and pink.
- Luster is pearly, vitreous, greasy to dull.
- Transparency: Crystals are translucent to opaque.
- Crystal System is hexagonal.
- Cleavage is distinct in one direction (basal) and poor in three directions (prismatic).
- Fracture is uneven.
- Hardness is 4 to 4.5.
- Specific Gravity is 4.7 to 5.0 (well above average)