Bikitaite - Encyclopedia

    Class : Silicates
    Subclass : Tectosilicate
    Crystal System : Monoclinic
    Chemistry : LiAlSi2O6 H2O
    Rarity : Very rare

Bikitaite is the only currently known lithium zeolite. Chemically, it can be considered as a hydrated spodumene which forms before stilbite in lithium pegmatites. It owes its name to its place of discovery : Bikita, near Fort Victoria in Zimbabwe. Its crystals are flattened pseudo-orthorhombic prisms or strongly striated lamellar yellowish-white prisms, which can reach up to 10 cm, and sometimes grouped in radiate aggregates. It is a very accessory ore of lithium.

Main photo : Bitikaite from Foote Lithium Co. Mine, North Carolina, USA © Black Barnett

Bitikaite from Foote Lithium Co. Mine, North Carolina, USA © Rock Currier
Bitikaite from Foote Lithium Co. Mine, North Carolina, USA © Chinellato Matteo
Bitikaite from Foote Lithium Co. Mine, North Carolina, USA © Jason B. Smith
Bitikaite from Foote Lithium Co. Mine, North Carolina, USA © Stephan Wolfsried

Bitikaite in the World

It was considered extremely rare until the discovery of the large deposit of Bikita where, associated with quartz, calcite and eucryptite, it is exceptionally abundant and forms aggregates of crystals of several centimeters. American lithium pegmatites from Foote Lithium Co. (North Carolina) yielded transparent crystals up to 3 cm in length.


Bitikaite in France

Bikitaïte is not present in the French underground.

Twinning and special crystallizations

No known twin known for this mineral species.

Fakes and treatments

No fake or treatment recorded for this mineral species.



Hardness : 6
Density : 2.3
Fracture : Conchoidal
Trace : White



TP : Translucent to transparent
RI : 1.510 to 1.523
Birefringence : 0,013
Optical character : Biaxial -
Pleochroism : None
Fluorescence : None


Solubility : None

Magnetism : None
Radioactivity : None

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