The Big Whopper rare metals pegmatite, Separation Rapids, Ontario

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 94, No. 1049, 2001

G.H.K. Pearse, Equapolar Resource Consultants Inc., Ottawa, Ontario R.P. Taylor, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario

The Big Whopper, one of only four giant economic rare metal pegmatites worldwide, is set to become a producer of the highly valued lithium mineral petalite (LiAlSi4O10) used in glass, ceramics and the specialty glass-ceramics familiar as Corningware¨ and the new ceramic stovetops. The deposit has a strike length of 1.5 km, a width of up to 80 m and a resource, open in all directions, of 11.6 Mt, grading 25% petalite. It is amenable to open pit mining and Avalon Ventures Ltd. holds a patent on a flotation process that produces an exceptional quality petalite product. The project will also produce: superb quality Na-feldspar which, too, finds use in glass and ceramics; the unusual Rb-K-feldspar for high voltage porcelain insulators; tantalum, in high demand for electronics; lepidolite, an ore of rubidium; and mica and tin. A positive prefeasibility study has been completed and it remains only to undertake bulk sampling and a full feasibility study.
Mots Clés: Big Whopper, Rare metals, Pegmatites, Industrial minerals, Geology.