What is Petalite?
- Petalite, a lithium aluminium tectosilicate, is an important ore mineral for lithium. It has a density of 2.4 g/cc, and a hardness of 6. Its colour is white, grey-white and more rarely light pink, and is a well-known occurrence at the Bikita mine, in Zimbabwe
- The petalite crystals do not accommodate much iron, so petalite deposits generally have a low iron content
- Whilst historically it has been mined for the glass-ceramic industry, petalite can also be processed to produce chemical grade lithium carbonate/hydroxide products for the rapidly-growing battery market, via conventional processing techniques used with spodumene.
Petalite at Sepeda
- X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) work on the Sepeda deposit has shown it to mainly contain petalite, with some associated spodumene
- The material appears to have very low muscovite mica content, which is advantageous from a processing perspective