Processing of petalite concentrate from the Bikita deposits in Zimbabwe for production of high purity Li2CO3
has been studied. XRF and ICP‐OES analysis showed that the concentrate consists of oxides of Li, Si and Al as
major components, with an average Li2O content of 4.10 %. XRD examination confirmed that the sample is a
petalite. Processing of the petalite involves roasting the pre‐heated concentrate with concentrated H2SO4
followed by water leaching of the resulting Li2SO4, solution purification and precipitation of Li2CO3. The
effects of roasting temperature, stirring speed, solid to liquid ratio, leaching temperature and time on the
lithium dissolution are reported. The dissolution rates are significantly influenced by roasting temperature
and stirring speed. Water‐washed lithium carbonate with a purity of 99.21 % (metal basis) was produced.
Synthesised and commercial Li2CO3 samples were characterised and compared using X‐ray diffraction (XRD)
and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA).