Bikitaite

minerals

fluorapatite

fairfieldite

eucryptite

Formula: LiAlSi2O6.H2O
Tectosilicate (framework silicate), zeolite group
Specific gravity: 2.28 to 2.34
Hardness: 6
Streak: White
Colour: Colourless, white
Environments

Pegmatites

Bikitaite is one of very few very few lithium-bearing zeolites. It occurs as a late-formed mineral in fractures in lithium-rich granite pegmatites (Webmin, Mindat, HOM) and forms prior to stilbite (Dana). Common associates include albite, bavenite and quartz (Mindat).

Localities

At the type locality, the Nolan property, Bikita Area, Masvingo, Zimbabwe, bikitaite occurs in a granite pegmatite associated with eucryptite, quartz, petalite, feldspar, calcite, stilbite and allophane (HOM).

At King's mountain, North Carolina, USA, bikitaite is found in lithium-rich pegmatites occurring sparingly as single crystals in seams. The pegmatites are mined for spodumene. They are intruded into thin-layered amphibolite and fine-grained mica schist, and are mainly composed of microcline, albite, quartz, spodumene and muscovite. Minor fractures contain quartz, albite, rhodochrosite and a number of phosphates, including apatite, vivianite and fairfieldite. In several of these fractures bikitaite has been found in small amounts, associated with albite, quartz, apatite and fairfieldite (AM 53.1202).

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