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Wheal Jane Laboratory

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Lepidolite Specimen, chemical formula – K(Li, Al)3 (Si, Al)4 O10 (OH, F)2

Wheal Jane Laboratory is ideally placed to serve the mining world through experience in lithium analysis developed for over a decade helping clients in South America, Europe and Asia as well as closer to home in the UK.

We have now become a world leader in lithium analysis, not only by using standard instrumentation techniques such as ICP-OES, but by developing in-house fusion and digestion methods to deal with all lithium compounds.

Reserves of lithium are found in brine pools traditionally in South America and parts of the United States. Analysis of these brine solutions is reasonably straightforward using instrumentation such as ICP-OES, but ionisation effects need to be considered, and AAS is sometimes preferred. The other principal occurrence of lithium is in pegmatite minerals. These include lithium-bearing micas lepidolite and zinnwaldite, and various lithium aluminium silicates and phosphates, most commonly petalite, amblygonite and spodumene. Fusion and digestion methods are used to ensure complete dissolution of the samples before analysis, again by instrumentation.

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