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The Mineral lithiophilite

Large Lithiphilite Crystal

Lithiophilite is an end member of the Triphylite series, with Lithiophilite being the manganese-rich end member, and Triphylite being the iron-rich end member. Lithiophilite and Triphylite both commonly alter to secondary phosphates such as Vivianite, as well as to manganese and iron oxides.

Lithiophilite was named for its lithium content ("lithio"), and the Greek term, "philos", meaning friend, alluding to its composition of lithium as an integral component of its structure.

Chemical Formula

Li(Mn2+)PO4 

Color

Peach orange, yellow, yellowish-red, light pink, reddish brown, brown, gray

Crystal System

Orthorhombic

Properties

Streak
Colorless to light gray
Hardness
4
Transparency
Transparent to translucent
Specific Gravity
3.3 - 3.6
Luster
Vitreous, greasy
Cleavage
1,1;3,2
Fracture
Uneven
Tenacity
Brittle

Crystal Habits

Mostly in massive or compact form. Distinct crystals are uncommon, any they are usually tabular or prismatic with blocky form. Microcrystals may be well formed as thin, slender elongated crystals and groupings. Cleavage fragments also exist, with distinct crystal faces within massive forms or rough crystals in matrix.

Additional Information

Composition
Manganese iron phosphate, with a varying range of iron
In Group
Phosphates; True Phosphates
Striking Features
Cleavage habits and mode of occurrence
Environment
Lithium-rich granite pegmatites
Rock Type
Igneous

Other Names

Lithiophylite

Noteworthy Localities

Lithiophilite is not common, and good examples of this mineral are relatively scarce. Large crystals, replaced by black oxides have come from the Stewart Mine, Pala, Pala District, San Diego Co., California. Transparent microcrystals, in fully transparent form as elongated brown crystals, were found at the Foote Lithium Mine, Cleveland Co., North Carolina. In Connecticut, massive Lithiophilite has come from the Fillow Quarry, Branchville, Fairfield Co.; and the Strickland Quarry, Portland, Middlesex Co. Large, dark gray, altered crystals have come from the Emmons Quarry, Greenwood, Oxford Co., Maine.

Common Mineral Associations

Quartz, Albite, Lepidolite, Muscovite

lithiophilite Photos



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