Traditional lithium exploration focuses on hard rock exploration for spodumene, petalite and lepidolite. In the past, elemental analysis for lithium content was done at off-site laboratories, because field portable XRF (fpXRF) cannot measure low atomic number elements such as Li, Be, B, C, F, Na.
SciAps has introduced the world’s first and only handheld analyzer (Z-300) capable of providing in-field lithium analysis in a range of geological samples. The Z-300 utilizes the technique of laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and can analyze every element in the periodic table. The SciAps Z can be used to generate both quantitative multi-element analysis of samples as well as elemental distribution maps to better understand the distribution of important elements within specific minerals in a geological sample. The Z is particularly suited for in-field analysis of Lithium containing samples down to single digit ppm concentrations.
Brines and Salars
An alternative to hard rock exploration is to mine lithium brine deposits. Lithium brines are usually located in salars (i.e. underground reservoirs or salt flats). Salar brines contain dissolved salts such as lithium, potassium and sodium. It is estimated that 66% of global lithium reserves are found in salars.1
SciAps manufactures the Z-300 handheld LIBS analyzer now available for on-site analysis of lithium content in brines. The Z can be equipped with a dedicated App, and liquid sampling accessories. The App also reports sodium, magnesium, boron and potassium in the brines. Other elements may be added at any time by the user.
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