The Jadar Li-B deposit, Serbia
Museum scientists are studying the genesis of the Jadar lithium-boron (Li-B) deposit in Serbia, which represents the type locality and only recorded occurrence of the mineral jadarite (Stanley et al, 2007). Their work will inform the development of better processing technologies and exploration models for this deposit type.
The Jadar deposit, discovered in 2004 by Rio Tinto, contains two unusual monoclinic boron-bearing minerals, jadarite (LiNaSiB3O7(OH)) and searlesite (Na(H2BSi2O7)). These minerals contain significantly more silicon dioxide than the other boron-bearing minerals, most notably colemanite, within which they occur.
The absence of these minerals in other intermontane lacustrine evaporite-type deposits suggests that the Jadar deposit was formed by atypical mineralisation processes. This project will investigate these processes with the aim of better understanding the genesis of such deposits.
We are investigating the mineralising processes that produce jadarite and searlesite, and identifying sources of lithium (Li), boron (B) and silicon dioxide (SiO2) in the system, in a bid to develop better processing and exploration technologies.
Critical elements projects
This project is part of the critical elements project within the Museum's sustainability initiative. Other projects include:
A centre for research into the geodynamics and metallogenesis of the former Soviet Union (FSU) and neighbouring territories.
Developing strategies for the sustainable and economical extraction of rare earth elements (REE).
Museum scientists are working to ensure the sustainable supply of raw materials for future generations in a major new project.