The Mineral ULEXITE
Chemistry: NaCaB5O6(OH)6-5H2O, Hydrated Sodium Calcium Borate Hydroxide
Agriculture field: Because of it's properties, ulexite gets great results on agriculture as a good component for making different micronutrients and fertilizers.
Talking about agriculture, ulexite can offer it's goodness both products for microfoliar aplications and fertilizers to soil aplications.
Fries: Calcined ulexite is also used to make fries not only to ceramic industry but also for fiberglass industry.
Boric acid and borax production: Ulexite is also a necessary element to make other products related to borates family. As for example:
To make borax (decahydrate borax, pentahydrate borax or anhydrous borax) or to make boric acid
Ulexite, like other borates, is a structurally complex mineral. The basic structure of ulexite contains chains of sodium, water and hydroxide octahedrons linked in endless chains. The chains are linked together by calcium, water, hydroxide and oxygen polyhedra and massive boron units. The basic boron unit has a formula of B5O6(OH)6 and a charge of negative three (-3). It is composed of three borate tetrahedrons and two borate triangular groups.
Ulexite is found with the mineral borax and is directly deposited in arid regions from the evaporation of water in intermittent lakes called playas. The playas form only during rainy seasons due to runoff from nearby mountains. The runoff is rich in the element boron and is highly concentrated by evaporation in the arid climate. Eventually the concentration is so great that crystals of ulexite, borax and other boron minerals form and accumulate to great thickness.
Color is white or gray to colorless.
Luster is silky.
Transparency crystals are transparent to translucent.
Crystal System is triclinic; bar 1
Crystal Habits include tufts of acicular crystals called "cotton balls". Also as vein-like masses of parallel fibrous crystals.
Cleavage is perfect in one direction.
Fracture is fibrous.
Hardness is 2 (softer than a fingernail)
Specific Gravity is approximately 1.97 (very low density)
Streak is white.
Associated Minerals are borax, colemanite, hydroboracite and other borate minerals.
Other Characteristics: similar borate minerals have an alkaline taste, while ulexite is tasteless.
Notable Occurrences include several localities in California and Nevada, USA; Uyuni Potosi Bolivia, Tarapaca, Chile and Kazakhstan.
Best Field Indicators are crystal habit, associations, locality, density,
unique optical property, and hardness.