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Category Carbonate mineral
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification 5.AA.05
Crystal system Monoclinic
Crystal class Prismatic (2/m)
H-M symbol: (2/m)
Space group C2/c
Formula mass 73.89 g/mol
Color Colorless
Cleavage {100} perfect; {011} good
Tenacity Brittle
Mohs scale hardness 3
Streak White
Specific gravity 2.09
Optical properties Biaxial (–)
Refractive index nα = 1.4285, nβ = 1.5672, nγ = 1.5743
Birefringence δ = 0.1458
Pleochroism none
2V angle 25°
References [1][2][3]

Zabuyelite is the natural mineral form of lithium carbonate, with a formula Li2CO3. It was discovered in 1987 at Lake Zabuye, Tibet, after which it is named. It forms colorless vitreous monoclinic crystals.

It occurs as inclusions within halite in lithium rich evaporites and as solid phase in fluid inclusions in the mineral spodumene. Associated minerals include halite, gaylussite and northupite in the Tibet locality.[3]

In addition to the Tibetan salt lake it has been reported from Bikita and Kamativi in Zimbabwe, from Kings Mountain, Cleveland County, North Carolina, US and the Tanco pegmatite, Bernic Lake, Manitoba, Canada.[3]