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Essentially, an equatorial lone pair is generally the lowest energy because it is only strongly interacting with the two axial electron pairs, whereas axial lone pair strongly interacts the three equatorial electron pairs.
The major significance is that an equatorial lone pair will repulse the other equatorial atoms more strongly. Therefore the angle between the atoms should be smaller than what is normally expected if there were just equatorial atoms (and no lone pairs). This is due to the idea that lone pair-atom repulsions are stronger than atom-atom repulsions. Hope this helps!
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