Publication Type:

Book Chapter


Light metals 1998; proceedings of the technical sessions presented by the TMS aluminum committee at the TMS annual meeting, Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, Warrendale, PA, United States, Volume 1998, p.1303-1308 (1998)




beneficiation, Canada, Carbonates, chain silicates, Clinopyroxene, geochemistry, granites, igneous rocks, leaching, lithium ores, Manitoba, metal ores, mineral resources, Pegmatite, plutonic rocks, pyroxene group, silicates, spodumene, Western Canada


An ore sample from a pegmatite deposit at Wekusko Lake in northern Manitoba contained 1.70% lithium oxide, Li (sub 2) O. Scanning electron microscope analysis showed that lithium is present as spodumene at a concentration of approximately 7.4% Li (sub 2) O. The SEM micro-analysis identified that the Fe (sub 2) O (sub 3) concentration ranges between 0.94 and 1.64%. It was further found that potassium and sodium oxide concentrations in the spodumene are relatively low, 0.01% K (sub 2) O and 0.21% Na (sub 2) O. Major minerals associated with the spodumene are Na-feldspar, K-feldspar, and quartzite. Muscovite, apatite, and garnet are present at low concentrations. Despite its relatively high iron content, it is expected that this spodumene is suitable for the glass and chemical industry. The extraction process of lithium as Li (sub 2) CO (sub 3) from the ore consists of oleic acid froth flotation resulting in a concentrate containing around 6.6% Li (sub 2) O. A heat treatment at 1100 degrees C of the concentrate is subsequently applied in order to produce a chemically activated spodumene. Subsequently, the spodumene is subjected to sulphuric acid roasting, leaching, solution purification and precipitation of Li (sub 2) CO (sub 3) , containing above 98% Li (sub 2) CO (sub 3) .


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