Saturday, March 29, 2008

Zimbabwe

Pegmatites:

Prior to the imposition by the United Nations of economic sanctions against Rhodesia, Bikita Minerals was the dominant source of lithium minerals for direct use in glass, glass ceramics and enamels because of the low iron content of the minerals.

The deposit has an exceptionally high grade and comprises a classic zoned pegmatite at its southern end passing northwards into a complex mixture of petalite, quartz-spodumene intergrowth and small quantities of eucryptite. The lepidolite in the zoned section provided the feed for the production of about 30% of the United States Atomic Energy Commission’s lithium hydroxide stockpile. The deposit was initially evaluated on the basis that products would be hand-picked at +75mm and +25mm so all ore with smaller crystal sizes were ignored. Thus long sections of the strike length of the main pegmatite and a parallel spodumene pegmatite were not evaluated. Currently, the different minerals are separated by a heavy medium system with stockpiles of undersized material from earlier picking as the principal source.

Proved, probable and possible resources (grading 1.4% Li) were estimated by the Panel at 56,700 tonnes Li.

There is considerable upside potential in this figure and numerous petalite-containing pegmatites are known in Zimbabwe and there is no published data on reserves at the large Kamitivi tin-spodumene deposit located in the northwest of the country.

5 comments:

joninaz said...

Hope the govt. situation changes for the better.

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