Detecting the Undetectable Lithium by pXRF


A portable XRF (pXRF) instrument can detect elements down to Mg (Z12).  Whilst pXRF cannot detect lithium (Z3) directly, it can detect elements associated with LCT Pegmatite mineralisation (opposite). 

Directly detecting this suite of elements on the pXRF and other elements associated with LCT pegmatites allows for an estimation of the lithium content in the sample. This is referred to as the Lithium Index.

Case Study 1

Rock chip samples laboratory analysed lithium vs Lithium Index calibration results from the Bruker S1 TITAN.

Blind pXRF test on Poseidon Nickel’s rock chip samples from Lake Johnstone returned a strong statistical correlation between laboratory assay results and the Lithium Index (opposite).

This is an exceptional outcome giving Poseidon confidence to apply cost effect and rapid analysis techniques on site” (POS: ASX 21st July 2016).

Case Study 2

Soil samples laboratory analysed lithium vs Lithium Index results from the Bruker S1 TITAN.

Blind test conducted on -250um soil samples collected over an LCT Pegmatite prospect (PEG008) returned a strong Lithium Index correlation (r2 = 0.84) when compared the laboratory results (opposite & below).

“Pioneer considers that this exploration strategy, utilising pXRF and laboratory analysis, is fit for purpose in the context of identifying potentially lithium-bearing pegmatites. In addition to being cost efficient, it ensures very rapid information turn-around”. (PIO: ASX 27th July 2016).

Lithium Index Calibration

The Lithium Index Calibration has been developed by Portable Spectral Services through the Australasian Bruker Authorised Application Centre and is available on the Bruker S1 TITAN portable XRF analyser.

The Lithium Index Calibration is optimised to detect critical elements present in LCT Pegmatites namely GaRb, Nb, Sn, Cs, Ta and Tl along with elements important to evaluate the fertility of granites, the nature of the host rocks include K, Ca, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Zn,, Zr along with Mg, Al, Si, P, S, V, As, Sr, Mo, Sb, Pb, Bi.

The Lithium Index Calibrations offers a proven and tested cost effective application for exploring and exploiting LCT Pegmatites with real time results displayed on the screen.

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