RUSSIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, VOL. 18, ES6002, doi:10.2205/2018ES000635, 2018
A. V. Tkachev, D. V. Rundqvist, N. A. Vishnevskaya
The intensity of lithium accumulation through geological time has been analyzed. For this purpose we used the data on mineral deposits which have already exploited or potentially are of economic interest and which contain at least $0.1 \times 10^6$ tons of Li$_2$O. Their formation was pronounced discrete and took place at various geological epochs from the Later Mesoarchean to Holocene. Each known supercontinent cycle differs in one way or another in the metallogeny of lithium. In the earliest cycles, Kenoran, Columbian, and Rodinian, exclusively pegmatite lithium deposits were generated. Moreover, this type is the only through one over the geological history, because such objects are also known in the Pangean and Amasian cycles. However, both the maximal number of such pegmatites and highest lithium grades are known for the oldest Kenoran cycle. This allows us to suppose that the Archean conditions were particularly favorable for lithium-bearing pegmatites. The lithium potential of the Pangean cycle also is mainly formed by pegmatites, except small part of resources related to lithium-fluorine (Li-F) rare-metal granites. The current Amasian cycle is far from the finish and the most diverse in types of lithium deposits. Pegmatites and Li-F granites in total contain only a tenth of the cycle's resources. Known in the Miocene-Quaternary only, the epithermal stratabound deposits and especially lithium-bearing brines in salars play a main role in the cycle. In spite of the lowest lithium contents, exactly the last type gives the maximal part in total resources, as well in lithium extraction, due to the relative simplicity and efficiency of used extraction technologies.
Received 24 May 2018; accepted 18 June 2018; published 13 November 2018.
Citation: Tkachev A. V., D. V. Rundqvist, N. A. Vishnevskaya (2018), Metallogeny of lithium through geological time, Russ. J. Earth Sci., 18, ES6002, doi:10.2205/2018ES000635.
Copyright 2018 by the Geophysical Center RAS.