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Leucite Mineral

Leucite Mineral:

Leucite mineral is found in grey, yellow-grey, white, and even in colorless form.

Leucite is another important rock-forming mineral of the feldspathoid group which includes potassium and aluminum tectosilicate and has a chemical formula KAlSi2O6. The name leucite has been derived from the Greek leucos for white, in allusion to its color. Specimens can also be colorless or gray. Crystals are common and can be up to 31 ⁄2 in (9 cm) wide. More often, leucite occurs as massive or granular aggregates or as disseminated grains. It is tetragonal at temperatures below 1,155°F (625°C) and cubic with trapezohedral crystals at higher temperatures. The trapezohedral form is preserved as the mineral cools and develops tetragonal symmetry. Leucite is found in potassium-rich and silica-poor igneous rocks. It is found with nepheline, sodalite, natrolite, analcime, and sodium and potassium-rich feldspars, and occurs worldwide. The physical properties of Leucite are as under;

  1. Physical Properties of Leucite:
    • It has an indistinct cleavage.
    • It is found either in colorless form or white, yellow grey, and grey colors.
    • It is found in translucent to transparent diaphaneity.
    • Fracture: Brittle – Conchoidal – Very brittle fracture producing small, conchoidal fragments
    • It hardness is 5.5 – 6 at moh’s scales.
    • It has vitereous lustre.
    • It has a specific gravity 2.45 to 2.50.
    • It is non-magnetic in nature.
    • It has a white streak.
    • It is a mineral of brittle tenacity.
  2. Occurrence of Leucite:
    • It is found naturally in igneous rocks along with Nepheline. All the minerals of feldspathoid groups are found in potassium-rich, silica-poor rocks of recent lavas.
  3. Uses of Leucite:
    • As Leucite possesses a high potassium content, therefore it is used as a fertilizer in countries where it is found in abundance, for instance, in Italy.
    • It is also used as a source of commercial alum.
  4. Countries where Leucite mineral is found:

Leucite is produced abundantly in the following countries ;

    • In 2019 the top exporters of Leucite, nepheline and nepheline syenite were Canada ($99.4M), Norway ($46.2M), United States ($4.94M), Belgium ($3.34M), and Spain ($2.89M).
    • The latest trade data of Leucite shows that nepheline and nepheline syenite are the world’s 3776th most traded product, with a total trade of $167M. Between 2018 and 2019 the exports of Leucite, nepheline and nepheline syenite decreased by -3.76%, from  $173M to $167M. Trade in Leucite, nepheline, and nepheline syenite represent 0.00092% of total world trade.

    • In 1919, the top importers of Leucites were United States, Germany, Netherland, Poland, and Spain.

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