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Bavenite or bikitaite - Foote Lithium Mine, NC

Posted by Don Saathoff  
Don Saathoff January 03, 2018 06:36PM

Hello All,

I've been through Mindat's Foote mine pics a dozen times (maybe a slight exaggeration) and have settled on either bavenite or bikitaite as the ID of this little spray - it is just over a mm in diameter. Considering the habit (spray) I decided it is most likely bavenite but before I add to the database I'd like more opinions....

Don S
Reiner Mielke January 03, 2018 08:58PM
The modified terminations and striations along the length of the crystals suggests to me bikitaite not bavenite.
Don Saathoff January 03, 2018 09:35PM
Thanks, Reiner,
I shied away from bikitaite simply because of the orderliness of the spray. But, the striations were a reason for it's consideration. The terminations also seemed more regular (basal?). Any more suggestions, anybody?

Don S
Donald B Peck January 04, 2018 01:19AM
Hi Don;

Based on the terminations, I agree with Reiner. Do you have a petrographic scope? If you do, and there is a tiny xl somewhere else on the specimen that could be sacrificed, Bavinite will go to extinction with the long edge parallel to the cross-hairs. Biktaite, if the xl can lie so beta can be seen, will go to extinction about 25o off parallel. Alpha and gamma are too close to 90o to call. I have a feeling that the natural position will expose alpha, not beta. but . . . .

Don Saathoff January 04, 2018 01:59AM
Hello Don ,
Thank you for the information but I no longer have a petrographic 'scope. I will, however, add your bikitaite vote to the total!

Don S

edit: OK, after three days of fasting, a couple shots (or three) of good whiskey, my vision told me that Reiner & Don are right - I'm uploading the pic as bikitaite.....

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/2018 08:08PM by Don Saathoff.
Jason B. Smith January 29, 2018 09:23AM
Hi Don. Just got your message, sorry I don’t check them as often as I should. Actually what you have there is bertrandite. Bavenite never occurs in blades this thick at Foote and bikitaite, especially this small, will have obtuse chisel terminations. Also it never tends to grow in groups originating from a single point; typically they are found as single crystals even if there are quite a number of them. Attached is a quick phone photo of what bikitaite looks like when there are numerous, smaller xx.

Don Saathoff January 29, 2018 06:14PM
Thanks Jason!! I'll go in and edit my image with you as the reference...
I've got one more unk which I haven't been able to photograph yet (it's DEEP in a pocket), looks to me like a pale blue fluorapatite - I can see two prism face edges at the seemingly correct angles and a perfectly flat termination (if I'm looking at the xl correctly; it's embedded in matrix!).

Don S
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