CategoryPhosphate minerals
(repeating unit)
IMA symbolLhp[1]
Strunz classification8.AB.10
Crystal systemOrthorhombic
Crystal classDipyramidal (mmm)
H-M symbol: (2/m 2/m 2/m)
Space groupPmnb (if holohedral)
ColorClove-brown, yellowish brown, honey-yellow, salmon-pink, blue-gray, gray
Crystal habitPrismatic – crystals shaped like slender prisms, stout prismatic, large single crystals, massive, oriented overgrowths
TwinningRare contact twins on {130}
Cleavage[100] perfect, [110] and [011] poor
Fractureuneven to conchoidal
Mohs scale hardness4–5
LusterVitreous to subresinous
StreakWhite to grayish white
DiaphaneityTransparent to translucent
Specific gravity3.445–3.50
Optical propertiesBiaxial (+), 2V = 65°
Refractive indexnα=1.669, nβ=1.673, nγ=1.682
Birefringenceδ =0.0130
PleochroismNone to weak

Lithiophilite is a mineral containing the element lithium. It is lithium manganese(II) phosphate with chemical formula LiMnPO4. It occurs in pegmatites often associated with triphylite, the iron end member in a solid solution series. The mineral with intermediate composition is known as sicklerite and has the chemical formula Li(Mn,Fe)PO4). The name lithiophilite is derived from the Greek philos (φιλός) "friend", as lithiophilite is usually found with lithium.[3]

Lithiophylite is a resinous reddish to yellowish brown mineral crystallizing in the orthorhombic system often as slender prisms. It is usually associated with lepidolite, beryl, quartz, albite, amblygonite, and spodumene of pegmatitic origin. It rather readily weathers to a variety of secondary manganese phosphates and oxides. It is a late-stage mineral in some complex granite pegmatites.[4] Members of the triphylite-lithiophilite series readily alter to secondary minerals.

The type locality is the Branchville Quarry, Branchville, Fairfield County, Connecticut where it was first reported in 1878.[3] The largest documented single crystal of lithiophilite was found in New Hampshire, US, measured 2.44×1.83×1.22 m3 and weighed about 20 tonnes.[5]

The synthetic form of triphylite, lithium iron phosphate, is a promising material for the production of lithium-ion batteries.


  1. ^ Warr, L.N. (2021). "IMA–CNMNC approved mineral symbols". Mineralogical Magazine. 85 (3): 291–320. Bibcode:2021MinM...85..291W. doi:10.1180/mgm.2021.43. S2CID 235729616.
  2. ^ Lithiophilite at WebMineral
  3. ^ a b c Lithiophilite at
  4. ^ a b Lithiophilite in Handbook of Mineralogy
  5. ^ P. C. Rickwood (1981). "The largest crystals" (PDF). American Mineralogist. 66: 885–907.