Formation and Aggregation of Gold (Electrum) Nanoparticles in Epithermal Ores
AbstractHere, we review the concept that nanoparticles and colloids may have played a significant role in forming some types of hydrothermal ores deposits, particularly epithermal. This concept was first proposed almost a century ago but the development of new analytical technologies, lab experiments, and the discovery of new epithermal deposits where nanoparticles are evident have added credence to the “gold colloid theory”. Nanoparticles are defined to have at least one dimension <10−7 m, and may have different chemical and physical properties than the bulk solids. Colloids are typically <10−6 m in diameter and have the added characteristic that they are dispersed in another medium. In epithermal ore-forming solutions, gold or electrum nanoparticles nucleate from supersaturated hydrothermal solutions, and thus this is a “far-from-equilibrium” process. In some cases, gold nanoparticles may simply play a transitory role of aggregating to form much coarser-grained crystals, where all of the evidence of nanoparticles precursor phases is not preserved. However, in some epithermal ores, silica nanoparticles also formed, and their co-deposition with gold (electrum) nanoparticles preserved the gold aggregation features as self-organized “fractal” dendrites. Here, we review existing the data on gold and electrum nanoparticles in epithermal ores, present images of electrum nanoparticles and their aggregates, and discuss the significance of gold nanoparticles formation and aggregation in helping to produce some of the highest-grade gold ores in the world. View Full-Text
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Saunders, J.A.; Burke, M. Formation and Aggregation of Gold (Electrum) Nanoparticles in Epithermal Ores. Minerals 2017, 7, 163.
Saunders JA, Burke M. Formation and Aggregation of Gold (Electrum) Nanoparticles in Epithermal Ores. Minerals. 2017; 7(9):163.Chicago/Turabian Style
Saunders, James A.; Burke, Michelle. 2017. "Formation and Aggregation of Gold (Electrum) Nanoparticles in Epithermal Ores." Minerals 7, no. 9: 163.
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