selective fragmentation by high-voltage
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Liberation of Spodumene

The introduction of an electrodynamic fragmentation process allows the selective liberation of pegmatite lithium minerals using high voltage pulses. The high selectivity of the fragmentation is achieved through shock waves generated in the rock. High tensile stress in the areas of the pegmatite mineral crystal boundaries, inclusions or composite interfaces, causes the material to predominantly break at these boundaries.

Laboratory and technical tests were carried out on a lithium pegmatite sample from Finland. Electrodynamic fragmentation provided selective liberation of spodumene, with only a low amount of fines. The microscopic analysis indicated a very high degree of liberation. Most of the minerals of the raw material sample were specifically fragmented to their primary crystal size. Within the fraction of 2.5-5.0 mm, about 80 wt% of the particles consist of one mineral phase, e.g. quartz, feldspar or spodumene.