Hectorite is a clay closely related to
Hectorite Exploration and Identification:
Lithium in Sedimentary Rock
1 Canal Street ◊ Unit B1
Lawrence, MA 01840 USA
Tel: 978 687-1833 ◊ Fax: 978 945-0372
Copyright © 2012 Spectral Evolution, Inc
Pegmatites are the usual source for minerals associated with lithium:
spodumene, lepidolite, and petalite are common. Lithium can also be
extracted from brines in evaporite beds. And, finally lithium can also
be found in commercially viable amounts in sedimentary rocks that
contain the mineral hectorite.
Lithium is used primarily for industrial applications in lithium-ion
batteries, additives for iron, steel and aluminum production, lithium
greases and heat-resistant ceramics.
Hectorite is a slippery white clay, a smectite clay and an end-member
of the montmorillonite group. It contains magnesium and lithium but
only a very small amount of aluminum. First found in Hector,
California, hectorite may contain up to 1 - 1.2% lithium. Hectorite
shows distinctive absorption features at 1400nm and 1900nm similar
to other smectite clays including montmorillonite, and more
distinctive features at 2300 and 2380nm. Other less distinct
absorption features are sometimes found near 960nm and 1100nm.
Field identification and mineral mapping for hectorite exploration can
be done using the oreXpress high resolution/high sensitivity NIR
field spectrometer. The oreXpress covers the UV/VIS/NIR spectral
range from 350-2500nm. It is portable and lightweight with an all solid
state photodiode array design with no movable optical parts for
reliable rugged field use.
Take spectral measurements in the field with a contact probe for fast
and accurate mineral mapping. Two lithium-ion batteries provide
portable scanning power for the unit and the contact probe with its
built-in light source. There are two contact probe options: our
standard 10 mm mineral contact probe and the 3mm Miniprobe for
focusing on smaller sample features.
Optional EZ-ID mineral identification software matches to known
samples from two libraries of 1500 spectra and more than 600
minerals. Geologists can use EZ-ID's match regions and score tables
to unmix minerals within samples for better idenbtification of
EZ-ID mineral identification software matches your samples against two libraries of
more than 600 mineral spectra. Here you see a library sample of hectorite.