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Minerals, Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) We show that the Fe-Mn-Cu ore deposit of Jbel Rhals (Morocco) has a polyphased metallogenic [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Rare Earth Element Phases in Bauxite Residue
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020077
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 15 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of present work was to provide mineralogical insight into the rare earth element (REE) phases in bauxite residue to improve REE recovering technologies. Experimental work was performed by electron probe microanalysis with energy dispersive as well as wavelength dispersive spectroscopy and
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The purpose of present work was to provide mineralogical insight into the rare earth element (REE) phases in bauxite residue to improve REE recovering technologies. Experimental work was performed by electron probe microanalysis with energy dispersive as well as wavelength dispersive spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. REEs are found as discrete mineral particles in bauxite residue. Their sizes range from <1 μm to about 40 μm. In bauxite residue, the most abundant REE bearing phases are light REE (LREE) ferrotitanates that form a solid solution between the phases with major compositions (REE,Ca,Na)(Ti,Fe)O3 and (Ca,Na)(Ti,Fe)O3. These are secondary phases formed during the Bayer process by an in-situ transformation of the precursor bauxite LREE phases. Compared to natural systems, the indicated solid solution resembles loparite-perovskite series. LREE particles often have a calcium ferrotitanate shell surrounding them that probably hinders their solubility. Minor amount of LREE carbonate and phosphate minerals as well as manganese-associated LREE phases are also present in bauxite residue. Heavy REEs occur in the same form as in bauxites, namely as yttrium phosphates. These results show that the Bayer process has an impact on the initial REE mineralogy contained in bauxite. Bauxite residue as well as selected bauxites are potentially good sources of REEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bauxite Deposits)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Dissolved Silica on Immobilization of Boron by Magnesium Oxide
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020076
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
The effect of silica on the immobilization reaction of boron by magnesium oxide was investigated by laboratory experiments. In the absence of silica, due to dissolution of the magnesium oxide, boron was removed from solutions by the precipitation of multiple magnesium borates. In
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The effect of silica on the immobilization reaction of boron by magnesium oxide was investigated by laboratory experiments. In the absence of silica, due to dissolution of the magnesium oxide, boron was removed from solutions by the precipitation of multiple magnesium borates. In the presence of silica, magnesium silica hydrate (M-S-H) was formed as a secondary mineral, which takes up boron. Here 11B magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) and Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FT-IR) data show that a part of the boron would be incorporated into M-S-H structures by isomorphic substitution of silicon. Another experiment where magnesium oxide and amorphous silica were reacted beforehand and boron was added later showed that the shorter the reaction time of the preceding reaction, the higher the sorption ratio of boron. That is, boron was incorporated into the M-S-H mainly by coprecipitation. The experiments in the study here show that the sorption of boron in the presence of silica is mainly due to the incorporation of boron during the formation of the M-S-H structure, which suggests that boron would not readily leach out, and that stable immobilization of boron can be expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Mineralogy)
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Open AccessArticle Structural Transition of Inorganic Silica–Carbonate Composites Towards Curved Lifelike Morphologies
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020075
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 18 February 2018
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Abstract
The self-assembly of alkaline earth carbonates in the presence of silica at high pH leads to a unique class of composite materials displaying a broad variety of self-assembled superstructures with complex morphologies. A detailed understanding of the formation process of these purely inorganic
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The self-assembly of alkaline earth carbonates in the presence of silica at high pH leads to a unique class of composite materials displaying a broad variety of self-assembled superstructures with complex morphologies. A detailed understanding of the formation process of these purely inorganic architectures is crucial for their implications in the context of primitive life detection as well as for their use in the synthesis of advanced biomimetic materials. Recently, great efforts have been made to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms driving self-assembly in these systems, resulting in a consistent model for morphogenesis at ambient conditions. In the present work, we build on this knowledge and investigate the influence of temperature, supersaturation, and an added multivalent cation as parameters by which the shape of the forming superstructures can be controlled. In particular, we focus on trumpet- and coral-like structures which quantitatively replace the well-characterised sheets and worm-like braids at elevated temperature and in the presence of additional ions, respectively. The observed morphological changes are discussed in light of the recently proposed formation mechanism with the aim to ultimately understand and control the major physicochemical factors governing the self-assembly process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Dynamic Surface Subsidence at the Underground Coal Mining Site in Velenje, Slovenia through Modified Sigmoidal Function
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020074
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 17 February 2018
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Abstract
In underground coal mining engineering, one of the most important tasks is to monitor, predict and manage the surface subsidence due to underground coal excavation. The impact of underground mining excavation reflects as subsidence of the overlying strata and the formation of surface
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In underground coal mining engineering, one of the most important tasks is to monitor, predict and manage the surface subsidence due to underground coal excavation. The impact of underground mining excavation reflects as subsidence of the overlying strata and the formation of surface depressions soon after excavation. The surface subsidence is one of many natural processes that exhibit a progression from small beginnings that accelerate and approach a climax over time. When detailed data is lacking, a logistic function is often used. In this paper, the analysis of the surface subsidence above underground mining sites in the Velenje Coal Mine by using a modified sigmoid function (surrogate of logistic function), with the common “S” shape, is introduced. Furthermore, the time estimation of the next and the final epoch measurement is considered. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Role of Volcano-Sedimentary Basins in the Formation of Greenstone-Granitoid Belts in the West African Craton: A Numerical Model
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020073
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 17 February 2018
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Abstract
Greenstone belts in the West African Craton (WAC) are separated by several generations of granitoids intruded at ca. 2.18–1.98 Ga. Simultaneous folding and exhumation play an important role in the formation of greenstone-granitoid belts. However, the overall tectonic regime and origin of granitoids
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Greenstone belts in the West African Craton (WAC) are separated by several generations of granitoids intruded at ca. 2.18–1.98 Ga. Simultaneous folding and exhumation play an important role in the formation of greenstone-granitoid belts. However, the overall tectonic regime and origin of granitoids remain controversial. In this study, we present the estimates of the mantle potential temperature (Tp) for the WAC, which yields values of about 1500–1600 °C, pressure estimates of initial and final melting yield values of about 3.7–5.2 GPa and 1–1.3 GPa, respectively. Subsequently, 2D thermo-mechanical models have been constructed to explore the width of volcano-sedimentary basin on spatial-temporal evolution of diapirs that emplaced in the lower-middle crust during compression. The models show that the width of the volcano-sediment layer plays an important role in the formation mechanisms of greenstone-granitoid belts. The lower crust beneath sedimentary sequences is deformed into a buckle fold during the first compressional stage, through which relief uplifts slowly. Subsequently, the buckle fold is further deformed into several individual folds. Diapirs made of lower crust rocks ascend and emplace in the middle-upper crust resulting from instability. Benefitting from the mantle temperature, the pressure estimates and the numerical modelling results, a new geodynamic model was constructed. This model indicates that a series of sheet-like granitoids possibly derived from either subducted mélanges, lower crust and/or mantle melting that are accumulated at depths of the subcontinental mantle would channel along diapirs before feeding the upper crust. When the granitoids arrive at the solidified lids of the diapirs, they would favour migrating horizontally and intrude into the upper crust through weakening zones between the diapirs. Our geodynamic model also suggests an asymmetry of structures between the upper and middle-lower crust, with the dome-like granitoids overlying high-grade sedimentary synforms and high-grade diapirs underlying low-grade greenstone belts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological Modelling)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Fluids in Macrocrystalline and Microcrystalline Quartz in Agate Using Thermogravimetry-Mass-Spectrometry
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020072
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 17 February 2018
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Abstract
Gaseous and liquid fluids in agates (banded chalcedony—SiO2) of different localities were investigated systematically by thermogravimetry-mass-spectrometry within a temperature range from 25 to 1450 °C, for the first time. Chalcedony and macrocrystalline quartz from twelve agate samples were investigated, from Germany
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Gaseous and liquid fluids in agates (banded chalcedony—SiO2) of different localities were investigated systematically by thermogravimetry-mass-spectrometry within a temperature range from 25 to 1450 °C, for the first time. Chalcedony and macrocrystalline quartz from twelve agate samples were investigated, from Germany (Schlottwitz, St. Egidien, Chemnitz and Zwickau), Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul), Scotland (Ayrshire) and the USA (Montana). They originate from mafic and felsic volcanic rocks as well as hydrothermal and sedimentary environments. The results were evaluated regarding compounds of hydrogen with fluorine, chlorine, nitrogen, carbon and sulphur. Additionally, oxygen compounds were recognized with hydrogen, fluorine, nitrogen, sulphur and carbon. The nature of the compounds was identified based on their mass-charge-ratio and the intensity ratios of the associated fragments. Due to interferences of different compounds with the same mass-charge-ratio, only H2O, HF, NO, S, SO, CO3—as well as several hydrocarbon compounds (for example CO32− or CO)—could be properly identified. The main degassing temperatures were detected at around 500 and 1000 °C. Generally, a difference between quartz and chalcedony regarding the composition of their fluids could not be found. The results indicate a silica source for the agate formation from aqueous solutions but also a possible role of fluorine compounds. Additionally, CO2 and other fluids were involved in the alteration of volcanic rocks and the mobilization and transport of SiO2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy of Quartz and Silica Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle Determination of Seismic Safety Zones during the Surface Mining Operation Development in the Case of the “Buvač” Open Pit
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020071
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 16 February 2018
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Abstract
Determination of the blasting safety area is a very important step in the process of drilling and blasting works, and the preparation of solid rock materials for loading. Through monitoring and analysis of the negative seismic effects to the objects and infrastructures around
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Determination of the blasting safety area is a very important step in the process of drilling and blasting works, and the preparation of solid rock materials for loading. Through monitoring and analysis of the negative seismic effects to the objects and infrastructures around and at the mine area, we were able to adapt the drilling and blasting parameters and organization of drilling and blasting operation according to the mining progress so that the affected infrastructures could be protected. This paper analyses the safety distances and model safety zones of drilling and blasting for the period 2013–2018 at the open pit at “Buvač”, Omarska. This mathematical calculation procedure can be used during the whole life of the mine. By monitoring of the blasting seismic influence in first years of the mine's work, as well as by using recorded vibration velocities, mathematical dependence of the important parameters can be defined. Additionally, the level and laws of distribution and intensity of the seismic activity can be defined. On one hand, those are known quantities of the explosive and the distances between blasting location and endangered objects. On the other hand, those are coefficients of the manner of blasting and the environment where blasting is done, K, as well as the coefficient of the weakening of seismic waves as they spread, n. With the usage of the allowed vibration velocities, based on certain safety criteria and mathematical formulas of laws of spreading and intensity of seismic influence for a concrete case, it is possible to calculate explosive quantities and distances, with numerically-defined values of parameter K and n. Minimum distances are calculated based on defined or projected explosive quantities. Additionally, we calculate the maximum allowed explosive quantities based on known distances which can be used based on projected drilling-blasting parameters. For the purpose of the planning of drilling and blasting it is possible to define the allowed explosive quantities or minimum allowed distances in any area of the surface pit from the aspect of seismic safety. In the indicated case, and based on the analysis results, it is shown that in some areas of mining works in the case of the “Buvač”, Omarska open pit, projected explosive quantities cannot be used. In some cases, it is even necessary to divide the explosive charge in blasting holes with additional delayers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Models of Determining the Parameters of Rock Mass Oscillation Equation with Experimental and Mass Blastings
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020070
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 16 February 2018
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Abstract
The explosion caused by detonation of explosive materials is followed by release of a large amount of energy. Whereby, a greater part of energy is used for rock destruction, and part of energy, in the form of seismic wave, is lost in the
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The explosion caused by detonation of explosive materials is followed by release of a large amount of energy. Whereby, a greater part of energy is used for rock destruction, and part of energy, in the form of seismic wave, is lost in the rock mass causing rock mass oscillation. Investigations of the character and behavior of the pattern of seismic wave indicate that the intensity and nature of the seismic wave are influenced by rock mass properties, and by blasting conditions. For evaluation and control of the seismic effect of blasting operations, the most commonly used equation is that of M.A. Sadovskii. Sadovskii’s equation defines the alteration in the velocity of rock mass oscillation depending on the distance, the quantity of explosives, blasting conditions and geological characteristics of the rock mass, and it is determined based on trial blasting for a specific work environment. Thus, this paper offers analysis of the method for determination of parameters of the rock mass oscillation equation, which are conditioned by rock mass properties and blasting conditions. Practical part of this paper includes the experimental research carried out at Majdanpek open pit, located in the northern part of eastern Serbia and the investigations carried out during mass blasting at Nepričava open pit, located in central Serbia. In this paper, parameters n and K from Sadovskii’s equation were determined in three ways—models in the given work environment. It was noted that, in practice, all three models can be successfully used to calculate the oscillation velocity of the rock masses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Prismatic to Asbestiform Offretite from Northern Italy: Occurrence, Morphology and Crystal-Chemistry of a New Potentially Hazardous Zeolite
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020069
Received: 21 January 2018 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 14 February 2018
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Abstract
A multi-methodological approach, based upon field investigation, morphological characterization, chemical analysis and structure refinement was applied to different samples of fibrous offretite, a new potentially hazardous zeolite recently discovered in northern Italy. Their morphology ranges from stocky-prismatic to asbestiform. All the investigated fibers
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A multi-methodological approach, based upon field investigation, morphological characterization, chemical analysis and structure refinement was applied to different samples of fibrous offretite, a new potentially hazardous zeolite recently discovered in northern Italy. Their morphology ranges from stocky-prismatic to asbestiform. All the investigated fibers may be considered as “inhalable”, and they are well within the range of the “more carcinogenic fibers” regarding diameter. As regards the length, the main mode observed in the asbestiform samples is 20–25 μm, and ~93% of the measured fibers are >5 μm and may be significantly associated with carcinogenesis also in terms of lengths. The chemical-structural features of the investigated fibers are comparable: the extra-framework cations K+, Mg2+ and Ca2+ are present in all samples in similar proportions, and refined cell parameters are similar among the samples. Offretite occurs in 60% of the investigated sites, with an estimated amount up to 75 vol % of the associated minerals. The presence of this mineral could be of concern for risk to human health, especially if one considers the vast number of quarries and mining-related activities that are operating in the zeolite host rocks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence, Crystal-Chemistry and Properties of Fibrous Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle Effective-Medium Inversion of Induced Polarization Data for Mineral Exploration and Mineral Discrimination: Case Study for the Copper Deposit in Mongolia
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020068
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 14 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper develops a novel method of 3D inversion of induced polarization (IP) survey data, based on a generalized effective-medium model of the IP effect (GEMTIP). The electrical parameters of the effective-conductivity model are determined by the intrinsic petrophysical and geometrical characteristics of
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This paper develops a novel method of 3D inversion of induced polarization (IP) survey data, based on a generalized effective-medium model of the IP effect (GEMTIP). The electrical parameters of the effective-conductivity model are determined by the intrinsic petrophysical and geometrical characteristics of composite media, such as the mineralization and/or fluid content of rocks and the matrix composition, porosity, anisotropy, and polarizability of formations. The GEMTIP model of multiphase conductive media provides a quantitative tool for evaluation of the type of mineralization, and the volume content of different minerals using electromagnetic (EM) data. The developed method takes into account the nonlinear nature of both electromagnetic induction and IP phenomena and inverts the EM data in the parameters of the GEMTIP model. The goal of the inversion is to determine the electrical conductivity and the intrinsic chargeability distributions, as well as the other parameters of the relaxation model simultaneously. The recovered parameters of the relaxation model can be used for the discrimination of different rocks, and in this way may provide an ability to distinguish between uneconomic mineral deposits and zones of economic mineralization using geophysical remote sensing technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mining and Mineral Exploration Geophysics)
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Open AccessArticle Nanoscale Study of Clausthalite-Bearing Symplectites in Cu-Au-(U) Ores: Implications for Ore Genesis
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020067
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
Symplectites comprising clausthalite (PbSe) and host Cu-(Fe)-sulphides (chalcocite, bornite, and chalcopyrite) are instructive for constraining the genesis of Cu-Au-(U) ores if adequately addressed at the nanoscale. The present study is carried out on samples representative of all three Cu-(Fe)-sulphides displaying clausthalite inclusions that
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Symplectites comprising clausthalite (PbSe) and host Cu-(Fe)-sulphides (chalcocite, bornite, and chalcopyrite) are instructive for constraining the genesis of Cu-Au-(U) ores if adequately addressed at the nanoscale. The present study is carried out on samples representative of all three Cu-(Fe)-sulphides displaying clausthalite inclusions that vary in size, from a few µm down to the nm-scale (<5 nm), as well as in morphology and inclusion density. A Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) study was undertaken on foils prepared by Focussed Ion Beam and included atom-scale High-Angle Annular Dark-Field Scanning TEM (HAADF-STEM) imaging. Emphasis is placed on phase relationships and their changes in speciation during cooling, as well as on boundaries between inclusions and host sulphide. Three species from the chalcocite group (Cu2–xS) are identified as 6a digenite superstructure, monoclinic chalcocite, and djurleite. Bornite is represented by superstructures, of which 2a and 4a are discussed here, placing constraints for ore formation at T > 265 °C. A minimum temperature of 165 °C is considered for clausthalite-bearing symplectites from the relationships with antiphase boundaries in 6a digenite. The results show that alongside rods, blebs, and needle-like grains of clausthalite within the chalcocite that likely formed via exsolution, a second, overprinting set of replacement textures, extending down to the nanoscale, occurs and affects the primary symplectites. In addition, other reactions between pre-existing Se, present in solid solution within the Cu-(Fe)-sulphides, and Pb, transported within a fluid phase, account for the formation of composite, commonly pore-attached PbSe and Bi-bearing nanoparticles within the chalcopyrite. The inferred reorganisation of PbSe nanoparticles into larger tetragonal superlattices represents a link between the solid solution and the symplectite formation and represents the first such example in natural materials. Epitaxial growth between clausthalite and monazite is further evidence for the interaction between pre-existing Cu ores and fluids carrying REE, P, and most likely Pb. In U-bearing ores, such Pb can form via decay of uranium within the ore, implying hydrothermal activity after the initial ore deposition. The U-Pb ages obtained for such ores therefore need to be carefully assessed as to whether they represent primary ore deposition or, more likely, an overprinting event. A latest phase of fluid infiltration is the recognised formation of Cu-selenide bellidoite (Cu2Se), as well as Fe oxides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Se-Bearing Minerals: Structure, Composition, and Origin)
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Open AccessArticle Depression Mechanism of Strontium Ions in Bastnaesite Flotation with Salicylhydroxamic Acid as Collector
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020066
Received: 3 January 2018 / Revised: 3 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
Metal ions are widely present in flotation pulp. Metal ions change solution chemistry and mineral surface properties, consequently affecting mineral flotation. In this work, the effect of strontium ions on bastnaesite flotation with salicylhydroxamic acid (SHA) was investigated by microflotation tests, contact angle
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Metal ions are widely present in flotation pulp. Metal ions change solution chemistry and mineral surface properties, consequently affecting mineral flotation. In this work, the effect of strontium ions on bastnaesite flotation with salicylhydroxamic acid (SHA) was investigated by microflotation tests, contact angle measurements, zeta-potential measurements, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis. Microflotation tests confirmed that the addition of strontium ions decreased bastnaesite floatability, compared with that in the absence of strontium ions. Contact angle measurements suggested that the pretreatment of strontium ions decreased SHA adsorption. Zeta potential measurements confirmed that the bastnaesite was depressed by the adsorption of positively charged strontium species, and the lower adsorption capacity of SHA onto the bastnaesite surfaces was obtained after modifying with strontium ions. XPS analysis demonstrated that strontium ions adsorbed onto the bastnaesite surfaces through the interaction between strontium ions and oxygen atoms of surface CeOH 0 groups. This occurrence hindered surface Ce sites which chelated with SHA and therefore, decreased bastnaesite floatability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Pyrophosphate-Inhibition of Apatite Formation Studied by In Situ X-Ray Diffraction
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020065
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
The pathways to crystals are still under debate, especially for materials relevant to biomineralization, such as calcium phosphate apatite known from bone and teeth. Pyrophosphate is widely used in biology to control apatite formation since it is a potent inhibitor of apatite crystallization.
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The pathways to crystals are still under debate, especially for materials relevant to biomineralization, such as calcium phosphate apatite known from bone and teeth. Pyrophosphate is widely used in biology to control apatite formation since it is a potent inhibitor of apatite crystallization. The impacts of pyrophosphate on apatite formation and crystallization kinetics are, however, not fully understood. Therefore, we studied apatite crystallization in water by synchrotron in situ X-ray diffraction. Crystallization was conducted from calcium chloride (0.2 M) and sodium phosphate (0.12 M) at pH 12 where hydrogen phosphate is the dominant phosphate species and at 60 °C to allow the synchrotron measurements to be conducted in a timely fashion. Following the formation of an initial amorphous phase, needle shaped crystals formed that had an octacalcium phosphate-like composition, but were too small to display the full 3D periodic structure of octacalcium phosphate. At later growth stages the crystals became apatitic, as revealed by changes in the lattice constant and calcium content. Pyrophosphate strongly inhibited nucleation of apatite and increased the onset of crystallization from minute to hour time scales. Pyrophosphate also reduced the rate of growth. Furthermore, when the pyrophosphate concentration exceeded ~1% of the calcium concentration, the resultant crystals had reduced size anisotropy suggesting that pyrophosphate interacts in a site-specific manner with the formation of apatite crystals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mobility and Attenuation Dynamics of Potentially Toxic Chemical Species at an Abandoned Copper Mine Tailings Dump
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020064
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
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Abstract
Large volumes of disposed mine tailings abound in several regions of South Africa, as a consequence of unregulated, unsustainable long years of mining activities. Tailings dumps occupy a large volume of valuable land, and present a potential risk for aquatic systems, through leaching
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Large volumes of disposed mine tailings abound in several regions of South Africa, as a consequence of unregulated, unsustainable long years of mining activities. Tailings dumps occupy a large volume of valuable land, and present a potential risk for aquatic systems, through leaching of potentially toxic chemical species. This paper reports on the evaluation of the geochemical processes controlling the mobility of potentially toxic chemical species within the tailings profile, and their potential risk with regard to surface and groundwater systems. Combination of X-ray fluorescence (XRF), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) techniques, show that the tailing profiles are uniform, weakly altered, and vary slightly with depth in both physical and geochemical properties, as well as mineralogical composition. Mineralogical analysis showed the following order of abundance: quartz > epidote > chlorite > muscovite > calcite > hematite within the tailings profiles. The neutralization of the dominant alumino-silicate minerals and the absence of sulfidic minerals, have produced medium alkaline pH conditions (7.97–8.37) at all depths and low concentrations of dissolved Cu (20.21–47.9 µg/L), Zn (0.88–1.80 µg/L), Pb (0.27–0.34 µg/L), and SO42− (15.71–55.94 mg/L) in the tailings profile leachates. The relative percentage leach for the potentially toxic chemical species was low in the aqueous phase (Ni 0.081%, Cu 0.006%, and Zn 0.05%). This indicates that the transport load of potentially toxic chemical species from tailings to the aqueous phase is very low. The precipitation of secondary hematite has an important known ability to trap and attenuate the mobility of potentially toxic chemical species (Cu, Zn, and Pb) by adsorption on the surface area. Geochemical modelling MINTEQA2 showed that the tailings leachates were below saturation regarding oxyhydroxide minerals, but oversaturated with Cu bearing mineral (i.e., cuprite). Most of the potentially toxic chemical species occur as free ions in the tailings leachates. The precipitation of secondary hematite and cuprite, and geochemical condition such as pH of the tailings were the main solubility and mobility controls for the potentially toxic chemical species, and their potential transfer from tailings to the aqueous phase. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Vanadium Transitions during Roasting-Leaching Process of Vanadium Extraction from Stone Coal
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020063
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 7 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 February 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
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Abstract
The vanadium occurrence in stone coal, water leaching, and acid leaching residue was investigated by energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) mapping and point analysis, and the vanadium transitions during roasting-leaching of stone coal were revealed. In the roasting process, vanadium-bearing muscovite is converted to
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The vanadium occurrence in stone coal, water leaching, and acid leaching residue was investigated by energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) mapping and point analysis, and the vanadium transitions during roasting-leaching of stone coal were revealed. In the roasting process, vanadium-bearing muscovite is converted to K-Na-feldspar, accompanying the liberation of vanadium. Most liberated vanadium reacts with sodium salt to generate water-soluble sodium vanadate, some reacts with calcite in stone coal to form water-insoluble calcium vanadate, and other liberated vanadium exists as free vanadium oxide. However, for coarse muscovite grains, the reaction of muscovite converted to K-Na-feldspar only occurs at the outer margin of muscovite grains, and the vanadium in the interior of muscovite grains is not liberated. During water leaching, the sodium vanadate is leached out. The calcium vanadate and free vanadium oxide are dissolved out in the process of acid leaching, and the vanadium, presenting in muscovite grains surrounded by K-Na-feldspar, still remains in the acid leaching residue. Two suggestions, including optimization of grinding-classification process and adopting microwave roasting, were proposed for improving vanadium recovery according to the vanadium transition rules. Full article
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