Open AccessArticle
Optimizing Performance of SABC Comminution Circuit of the Wushan Porphyry Copper Mine—A Practical Approach
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 127; doi:10.3390/min6040127 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This research is focused on the Phase I SABC milling circuit of the Wushan porphyry copper mine. Improvements to the existing circuit were targeted without any significant alterations to existing equipment or the SABC circuit. JKSimMet simulations were used to test various operating
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This research is focused on the Phase I SABC milling circuit of the Wushan porphyry copper mine. Improvements to the existing circuit were targeted without any significant alterations to existing equipment or the SABC circuit. JKSimMet simulations were used to test various operating and design conditions to improve the comminution process. Modifications to the SABC comminution circuit included an increase in the SAG mill ball charge from 8% to 10% v/v; an increase in the mill ball charge from 23% v/v to 27% v/v; an increase in the maximum operating power draw in the ball mill to 5800 kW; the replacement of the HP Series pebble crusher with a TC84 crusher; and the addition of a pebble bin. Following these improvements, an increase in circuit throughput, a reduction in energy consumption, and an increase in profitability were obtained. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Experiences and Future Challenges of Bioleaching Research in South Korea
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 128; doi:10.3390/min6040128 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This article addresses the state of the art of bioleaching research published in South Korean Journals. Our research team reviewed the available articles registered in the Korean Citation Index (KCI, Korean Journal Database) addressing the relevant aspects of bioleaching. We systematically categorized the
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This article addresses the state of the art of bioleaching research published in South Korean Journals. Our research team reviewed the available articles registered in the Korean Citation Index (KCI, Korean Journal Database) addressing the relevant aspects of bioleaching. We systematically categorized the target metal sources as follows: mine tailings, electronic waste, mineral ores and metal concentrates, spent catalysts, contaminated soil, and other materials. Molecular studies were also addressed in this review. The classification provided in the present manuscript details information about microbial species, parameters of operation (e.g., temperature, particle size, pH, and process length), and target metals to compare recoveries among the bioleaching processes. The findings show an increasing interest in the technology from research institutes and mineral processing-related companies over the last decade. The current research trends demonstrate that investigations are mainly focused on determining the optimum parameters of operations for different techniques and minor applications at the industrial scale, which opens the opportunity for greater technological developments. An overview of bioleaching of each metal substrate and opportunities for future research development are also included. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fibrous Platinum-Group Minerals in “Floating Chromitites” from the Loma Larga Ni-Laterite Deposit, Dominican Republic
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 126; doi:10.3390/min6040126 -
Abstract
This contribution reports on the observation of enigmatic fibrous platinum-group minerals (PGM) found within a chromitite body included in limonite (“floating chromitite”) from Ni-laterites in the Dominican Republic. Fibrous PGM have a Ru-Os-Ir-Fe dominated composition and are characterized by fibrous textures explained by
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This contribution reports on the observation of enigmatic fibrous platinum-group minerals (PGM) found within a chromitite body included in limonite (“floating chromitite”) from Ni-laterites in the Dominican Republic. Fibrous PGM have a Ru-Os-Ir-Fe dominated composition and are characterized by fibrous textures explained by grain-forming fibers which are significantly longer (1–5 µm) than they are wide (~100 nm). Back-scattered electron (BSE) images suggest that these nanofibers are platinum-group elements (PGE)-bearing and form <5 µm thick layers of bundles which are oriented orthogonal to grains’ surfaces. Trace amounts of Si are most likely associated with PGE-bearing nanofibers. One characteristic fibrous PGM was studied in detail: XRD analyses point to ruthenian hexaferrum. However, the unpolished fibrous PGM shows numerous complex textures on its surface which are suggestive for neoformation processes: (i) features suggesting growth of PGE-bearing nanofibers; (ii) occurrence of PGM nanoparticles within film material (biofilm?) associated with PGE-bearing nanofibers; (iii) a Si-rich and crater-like texture hosting PGM nanoparticles and an Ir-rich accumulation of irregular shape; (iv) complex PGM nanoparticles with ragged morphologies, resembling sponge spicules and (v) oval forms (<1 µm in diameter) with included PGM nanoparticles, similar to those observed in experiments with PGE-reducing bacteria. Fibrous PGM found in the limonite may have formed due to supergene (bio-)weathering of fibrous Mg-silicates which were incorporated into desulphurized laurite during stages of serpentinization. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Paleozoic–Mesozoic Porphyry Cu(Mo) and Mo(Cu) Deposits within the Southern Margin of the Siberian Craton: Geochemistry, Geochronology, and Petrogenesis (a Review)
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 125; doi:10.3390/min6040125 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The southern margin of the Siberian craton hosts numerous Cu(Mo) and Mo(Cu) porphyry deposits. This review provides the first comprehensive set of geological characteristics, geochronological data, petrochemistry, and Sr–Nd isotopic data of representative porphyry Cu(Mo) and Mo(Cu) deposits within the southern margin of
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The southern margin of the Siberian craton hosts numerous Cu(Mo) and Mo(Cu) porphyry deposits. This review provides the first comprehensive set of geological characteristics, geochronological data, petrochemistry, and Sr–Nd isotopic data of representative porphyry Cu(Mo) and Mo(Cu) deposits within the southern margin of the Siberian craton and discusses the igneous processes that controlled the evolution of these magmatic systems related to mineralization. Geochronological data show that these porphyry deposits have an eastward-younging trend evolving from the Early Paleozoic to Middle Mesozoic. The western part of the area (Altay-Sayan segment) hosts porphyry Cu and Mo–Cu deposits that generally formed in the Early Paleozoic time, whereas porphyry Cu–Mo deposits in the central part (Northern Mongolia) formed in the Late Paleozoic–Early Mesozoic. The geodynamic setting of the region during these mineralizing events is consistent with Early Paleozoic subduction of Paleo-Asian Ocean plate with the continuous accretion of oceanic components to the Siberian continent and Late Paleozoic–Early Mesozoic subduction of the west gulf of the Mongol–Okhotsk Ocean under the Siberian continent. The eastern part of the study area (Eastern Transbaikalia) hosts molybdenum-dominated Mo and Mo–Cu porphyry deposits that formed in the Jurassic. The regional geodynamic setting during this mineralizing process is related to the collision of the Siberian and North China–Mongolia continents during the closure of the central part of the Mongol–Okhotsk Ocean in the Jurassic. Available isotopic data show that the magmas related to porphyritic Cu–Mo and Mo–Cu mineralization during the Early Paleozoic and Late Paleozoic–Early Mesozoic were mainly derived from mantle materials. The generation of fertile melts, related to porphyritic Mo and Mo–Cu mineralization during the Jurassic involved variable amounts of metasomatized mantle source component, the ancient Precambrian crust, and the juvenile crust, contributed by mantle-derived magmatic underplating. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genesis and Multi-Episodic Alteration of Zircon-Bearing Chromitites from the Ayios Stefanos Mine, Othris Massif, Greece: Assessment of an Unconventional Hypothesis on the Origin of Zircon in Ophiolitic Chromitites
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 124; doi:10.3390/min6040124 -
Abstract
Several small chromium (Cr) ore bodies are hosted within a unit of tectonically thinned dunite in the retired Ayios Stefanos mine of the western Othris ophiolite complex in Greece. Chromium ores consist of tectonically imprinted bodies of semi-massive to massive, podiform and lenticular
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Several small chromium (Cr) ore bodies are hosted within a unit of tectonically thinned dunite in the retired Ayios Stefanos mine of the western Othris ophiolite complex in Greece. Chromium ores consist of tectonically imprinted bodies of semi-massive to massive, podiform and lenticular chromitites composed of chromian spinel [Cr-spinel] with high Cr# [Cr/(Cr + Al) = 0.51–0.66] and Mg# [Mg/(Mg + Fe2+) = 0.58–0.76], low Fe3+# [Fe3+/(Fe3+ + Fe2+) ≤ 0.43] and low TiO2 (≤0.21 wt %) content. This composition is characteristic of Cr-spinels in equilibrium with melts of intermediate affinity between island-arc tholeiites (IATs) and mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORBs). Several Cr-spinel crystals in these ores exhibit imperfect zones made up of spinel hosting oriented lamellae of Mg-silicates (mostly chlorite) locally overgrown by porous domains along grain boundaries and fractures. From the Cr-spinel core to the lamellae-rich rim Cr#, Mg# and Fe3+# generally increase (0.68–0.87, 0.78–0.88 and 0.55–0.80, respectively), whereas from the core or the spinel zones with oriented lamellae to the porous domains Mg# and Fe3+# generally decrease (0.45–0.74 and ≤0.51, correspondingly). The lamellae-rich rims formed at oxidizing conditions, whereas the porous rims resulted from a later reducing event. Several tiny (≤30 μm), subhedral to anhedral and elongated Zr-bearing silicate mineral grains were discovered mainly along open and healed fractures cutting Cr-spinel. Most of the Zr-bearing silicate minerals (30 out of 35 grains) were found in a chromitite boulder vastly intruded by a complex network of gabbroic dykes. The dominant Zr-bearing silicate phase is by far zircon displaying a homogeneous internal texture in cathodoluminescence (CL) images. Raman spectroscopy data indicate that zircons have experienced structural damage due to self-irradiation. Their trace-element contents suggest derivation from a plagioclase-bearing, low-SiO2 intermediate to mafic source. Combined micro-textural and minerochemical data repeat the possibility of zircon derivation from limited volumes of high-T fluids emanating from the gabbroic intrusions. Once zircon is precipitated in cracks, it may be altered to Ca-rich Zr-bearing silicate phases (i.e., armstrongite, calciocatapleiite). Almost all zircons in these samples show evidence of gains in solvent compounds (CaO, Al2O3 and FeO) possibly due to re-equilibration with late deuteric fluids. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quijarroite, Cu6HgPb2Bi4Se12, a New Selenide from the El Dragόn Mine, Bolivia
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 123; doi:10.3390/min6040123 -
Abstract
Quijarroite, ideally Cu6HgPb2Bi4Se12, is a new selenide species from the El Dragόn mine, Department of Potosí, Bolivia. It most frequently occurs as lath-shaped thin plates (up to 150 µm in length and 20 µm in
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Quijarroite, ideally Cu6HgPb2Bi4Se12, is a new selenide species from the El Dragόn mine, Department of Potosí, Bolivia. It most frequently occurs as lath-shaped thin plates (up to 150 µm in length and 20 µm in width) intimately (subparallel) intergrown with hansblockite, forming an angular network-like intersertal texture. Quijarroite is occasionally also present as sub- to anhedral grains up to 200 µm in length and 50 µm in width. It is non-fluorescent, black and opaque with a metallic luster and black streak. It is brittle, with an irregular fracture and no obvious cleavage and parting. In plane-polarized incident light, quijarroite is weakly pleochroic from cream to very slightly more brownish-cream, displaying no internal reflections. Between crossed polars, quijarroite is moderately anisotropic with pale orange-brown to blue rotation tints. Lamellar twinning on {110} is common; parquet twinning occurs rarely. The reflectance values in the air for the COM (Commission on Ore Mineralogy) standard wavelengths (R1 and R2) are: 46.7, 46.8 (470 nm), 47.4, 48.2 (546 nm), 47.1, 48.5 (589 nm), and 46.6, 48.7 (650 nm). Electron-microprobe analyses yielded a mean composition of Cu 13.34, Ag 1.02, Hg 7.67, Pb 16.87, Co 0.03, Ni 0.15, Bi 27.65, Se 33.52, total 100.24 wt %. The mean empirical formula, normalized to 25 apfu (atoms per formula unit), is (Cu5.84Ag0.26)Σ = 6.10(Hg1.06Ni0.07Co0.01)Σ = 1.14Pb2.27Bi3.68Se11.81 (n = 24). The simplified formula is Cu6HgPb2Bi4Se12. Quijarroite is orthorhombic, space group Pmn21, with a = 9.2413(8), b = 9.0206(7), c = 9.6219(8) Å, V = 802.1(1) Å3, Z = 1. The calculated density is 5.771 g·cm−3. The five strongest X-ray powder-diffraction lines (d in Å (I/I0) (hkl)) are: 5.36 (55) (111), 3.785 (60) (211), 3.291 (90) (022), 3.125 (100) (212), and 2.312 (50) (400). The crystal structure of quijarroite can be considered a galena derivative and could be derived from that of bournonite. It is a primary mineral, deposited from an oxidizing low-T hydrothermal fluid at a fSe2/fS2 ratio greater than unity. The new species has been approved by the IMA-CNMNC (2016-052) and is named for the Quijarro Province in Bolivia, in which the El Dragón mine is located. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Formation of Carbonate Nanoglobules by a Mixed Natural Culture under Hypersaline Conditions
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 122; doi:10.3390/min6040122 -
Abstract
The present study demonstrated formation of Ca and P rich nanoglobules by a mixed natural halophilic population enriched from hypersaline lake sediments in laboratory culture experiments. Nanoglobules consisting of complex mixture of Ca, P, O, and C with minor amount of Mg occurred
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The present study demonstrated formation of Ca and P rich nanoglobules by a mixed natural halophilic population enriched from hypersaline lake sediments in laboratory culture experiments. Nanoglobules consisting of complex mixture of Ca, P, O, and C with minor amount of Mg occurred in the external envelop of bacterial cell in the first week of incubation at various Mg+2/Ca+2 ratios and salinity at 30 °C. Unlike the control experiments (e.g., non-viable cells and without cells), later aggregation and transformation of nanoglobules caused the precipitation of calcium and/or magnesium carbonates in variable amount depending on the Mg+2/Ca+2 ratios of the medium after 37 days of incubation. By showing the nucleation of carbonates on bacterial nanoglobules closely associated with the cell surfaces of mixed natural population this study emphasis that formation of nanoglobules may not be specific to a microbial strain or to activity of a particular microbial group. Formation of carbonate nanoglobules under various conditions (e.g., Mg+2/Ca+2 ratios, salinity) with the same halophilic culture suggest that the although metabolic activity of bacteria have an influence on formation of nanoglobules the mineralogy of nanoglobules may be controlled by the physicochemical conditions of the precipitation solution and the rate of mineral precipitation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A New Experimental Approach to Improve the Quality of Low Grade Silica; The Combination of Indirect Ultrasound Irradiation with Reverse Flotation and Magnetic Separation
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 121; doi:10.3390/min6040121 -
Abstract
Removal of iron impurities in silica is one of the most important issues in the glass industry. The most noted impurities are surface coating and staining on silica particles; additionally, some cases of inclusions are observed. The prepared silica sample, for this research
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Removal of iron impurities in silica is one of the most important issues in the glass industry. The most noted impurities are surface coating and staining on silica particles; additionally, some cases of inclusions are observed. The prepared silica sample, for this research work, mostly was in the size range of 106–425 µm. Mineralogical studies indicated the existence of goethite, hematite, limonite and pyrite as the major iron impurities. The poor liberation degree of silica particles from clays encouraged the use of ultrasound irradiation to improve the efficiency of reverse flotation. The head sample contained 96.98% SiO2, 0.143% Fe2O3, 1.52% Al2O3, and 0.088% TiO2; Fe2O3 had to be reduced to below 0.04%. The reverse flotation tests were carried out with and without indirect ultrasound irradiation. The lowest Fe2O3 grade of the flotation yield was 0.058% and this was achieved using 2000 g/t of C4 collector with 15 min conditioning at neutral pH. C4 consisted of Aero 801, Aero 825, oleic acid and sodium oleate at equal dosage. As a result, a flowsheet was developed to include indirect ultrasound irradiation with reverse flotation and two stages of dry high intensity magnetic separation. In conclusion, the best product contained 98.43% SiO2, 0.034% Fe2O3, 0.90% Al2O3 and 0.051% TiO2. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mineralogy, Geochemistry and Fluid Inclusion Data from the Tumanpınarı Volcanic Rock-Hosted Fe-Mn-Ba Deposit, Balıkesir-Dursunbey, Turkey
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 120; doi:10.3390/min6040120 -
Abstract
The Tumanpınarı mineralization is a volcanic rock-hosted epithermal Fe-Mn-Ba deposit located in the southwestern part of Dursunbey, Balıkesir, Turkey. The deposit constitutes one of the most important deposits of the Havran-Dursunbey metallogenic sub-province in which numerous Early Miocene Fe-Mn-Ba deposits are distributed. The
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The Tumanpınarı mineralization is a volcanic rock-hosted epithermal Fe-Mn-Ba deposit located in the southwestern part of Dursunbey, Balıkesir, Turkey. The deposit constitutes one of the most important deposits of the Havran-Dursunbey metallogenic sub-province in which numerous Early Miocene Fe-Mn-Ba deposits are distributed. The ore occurs as open-space fillings in faults, fractures, and breccias in the andesite. Early hydrothermal activity was responsible for four types of hypogene alteration in decreasing intensity: silicification, sericitization, hematization and argillic alteration. The mineral assemblage includes pyrolusite, psilomelane, hematite, and barite as well as minor magnetite, manganite, poliannite, limonite, braunite, bixbyite, galena, pyrite, and goethite. Mineralogically, three ore types are recognized as pyrolusite + psilomelane + hematite + barite ore, pyrolusite + psilomelane + poliannite ore and barite + pyrolusite + psilomelane + hematite ore (barite-dominant ore). In addition to Fe, Mn and Ba, the ore contains substantial quantities of Pb, Zn, As. Chemically, the transition from fresh to altered rocks has little effect on the elemental levels for Si, Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, K, Rb, Sr and H2O. The homogenization temperature of fluid inclusions hosted in the main stage quartz and barite ranged from 113 to 410 °C with salinities ranging from 0.4 to 14.9 eq. wt % NaCl, respectively. Overall, the available data suggest that the deposits formed as the result of the interaction of two aqueous fluids: a higher-salinity fluid (probably magmatic) and a dilute meteoric fluid. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Iron Recovery from Discarded Copper Slag in a RHF Direct Reduction and Subsequent Grinding/Magnetic Separation Process
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 119; doi:10.3390/min6040119 -
Abstract
Studies on the direct reduction of carbon-bearing pellets made from discarded copper slag have been conducted in this paper. They include the influences of reduction coal content, limestone content, industrial sodium carbonate content, reduction temperature, reduction time and layers of carbon-bearing pellets on
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Studies on the direct reduction of carbon-bearing pellets made from discarded copper slag have been conducted in this paper. They include the influences of reduction coal content, limestone content, industrial sodium carbonate content, reduction temperature, reduction time and layers of carbon-bearing pellets on reduction effect. Finally, the optimum conditions have been obtained. The pilot scale experiment results show that the optimum conditions are the mass proportion of discarded copper slag, reduction coal, limestone and industrial sodium carbonate of 100:25:10:3, the reduction temperature of 1280 °C for the reduction time of 35 min, three layers (approximately 42 mm) of carbon-bearing pellets—this was the basis on which the pilot tests in a rotary hearth furnace (RHF) were conducted. The iron products obtained from the pilot tests under such conditions have an iron grade of 90.35% with an iron recovery rate of 89.70%. The mechanism research based on the analysis results of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) indicates that fayalite (2FeO·SiO2) and magnetite (Fe3O4) in the copper slag are reduced into metallic Fe in the direct reduction (DR) process, and the mass and heat transfer become stronger from the bottom to the top layer of the pellets, resulting in a rising iron recovery rate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mo and Ni Removal from Drinking Water Using Zeolitic Tuff from Jordan
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 116; doi:10.3390/min6040116 -
Abstract
Mo and Ni metals could be hazardous in natural waters. The initial Mo and Ni concentration in the sampled domestic drinking water of north Jordan is 550 and 110 μg/L, respectively. The efficiency of using natural faujasite–phillipsite and phillipsite–chabazite tuffs in removing Mo
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Mo and Ni metals could be hazardous in natural waters. The initial Mo and Ni concentration in the sampled domestic drinking water of north Jordan is 550 and 110 μg/L, respectively. The efficiency of using natural faujasite–phillipsite and phillipsite–chabazite tuffs in removing Mo and Ni from contaminated drinking water was tested. Batch experiments using different weights of the adsorbent were conducted at different contact times to determine the optimum conditions. The maximal uptake capacity of Mo from drinking water was equivalent to 440–420 μg/g adsorbent. The maximum removal efficiency of Mo by faujasite–phillipsite, phillipsite–chabazite, and the modified surfactant phillipsite–chabazite tuffs were 80%, 76%, and 78%, respectively. The proportional relationship between contact time and removal efficiency of Ni from water samples was observed. The maximum removal efficiency of Ni by the zeolitic tuffs is up to 90% compared to the original groundwater sample. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In Situ AFM Study of Crystal Growth on a Barite (001) Surface in BaSO4 Solutions at 30 °C
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 117; doi:10.3390/min6040117 -
Abstract
The growth behavior and kinetics of the barite (001) surface in supersaturated BaSO4 solutions (supersaturation index (SI) = 1.1–4.1) at 30 °C were investigated using in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM). At the lowest supersaturation, the growth behavior was mainly
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The growth behavior and kinetics of the barite (001) surface in supersaturated BaSO4 solutions (supersaturation index (SI) = 1.1–4.1) at 30 °C were investigated using in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM). At the lowest supersaturation, the growth behavior was mainly the advancement of the initial step edges and filling in of the etch pits formed in the water before the BaSO4 solution was injected. For solutions with higher supersaturation, the growth behavior was characterized by the advance of the <uv0> and [010] half-layer steps with two different advance rates and the formation of growth spirals with a rhombic to bow-shaped form and sector-shaped two-dimensional (2D) nuclei. The advance rates of the initial steps and the two steps of 2D nuclei were proportional to the SI. In contrast, the advance rates of the parallel steps with extremely short step spacing on growth spirals were proportional to SI2, indicating that the lateral growth rates of growth spirals were directly proportional to the step separations. This dependence of the advance rate of every step on the growth spirals on the step separations predicts that the growth rates along the [001] direction of the growth spirals were proportional to SI2 for lower supersaturations and to SI for higher supersaturations. The nucleation and growth rates of the 2D nuclei increased sharply for higher supersaturations using exponential functions. Using these kinetic equations, we predicted a critical supersaturation (SI ≈ 4.3) at which the main growth mechanism of the (001) face would change from a spiral growth to a 2D nucleation growth mechanism: therefore, the morphology of bulk crystals would change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Coupling Effect of Intruding Water and Inherent Gas on Coal Strength Based on the Improved (Mohr-Coulomb) Failure Criterion
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 118; doi:10.3390/min6040118 -
Abstract
When employing hydraulic processes to increase gas drainage efficiency in underground coal mines, coal seams become a three-phase medium, containing water intruding into the coal pores with the inherent occurrence of gas. This can change the stress state of the coal and cause
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When employing hydraulic processes to increase gas drainage efficiency in underground coal mines, coal seams become a three-phase medium, containing water intruding into the coal pores with the inherent occurrence of gas. This can change the stress state of the coal and cause instability. This work studied the mechanical properties of coal containing water and gas and derived an appropriate failure criterion. Based on mixture theory of unsaturated porous media, the effective stress of coal, considering the interaction of water and gas, was analyzed, and the failure criterion established by combining this with the Mohr–Coulomb criterion. By introducing the stress factor of matrix suction and using fitted curves of experimentally determined matrix suction and moisture content, the relationships between coal strength, gas pressure, and moisture content were determined. To verify the established strength theory, a series of triaxial compression strength tests of coal containing water and gas were carried out on samples taken from the Songzao, Pingdingshan, and Tashan mines in China. The experimental results correlated well with the theoretical predictions. The results showed a linear decrease in the peak strength of coal with increasing gas pressure and an exponential reduction in peak strength with increasing moisture content. The strength theory of coal containing water and gas can become an important part of multiphase medium damage theory. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Merelaniite, Mo4Pb4VSbS15, a New Molybdenum-Essential Member of the Cylindrite Group, from the Merelani Tanzanite Deposit, Lelatema Mountains, Manyara Region, Tanzania
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 115; doi:10.3390/min6040115 -
Abstract
Merelaniite is a new mineral from the tanzanite gem mines near Merelani, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania. It occurs sporadically as metallic dark gray cylindrical whiskers that are typically tens of micrometers in diameter and up to a millimeter long, although
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Merelaniite is a new mineral from the tanzanite gem mines near Merelani, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania. It occurs sporadically as metallic dark gray cylindrical whiskers that are typically tens of micrometers in diameter and up to a millimeter long, although a few whiskers up to 12 mm long have been observed. The most commonly associated minerals include zoisite (variety tanzanite), prehnite, stilbite, chabazite, tremolite, diopside, quartz, calcite, graphite, alabandite, and wurtzite. In reflected polarized light, polished sections of merelaniite are gray to white in color, show strong bireflectance and strong anisotropism with pale blue and orange-brown rotation tints. Electron microprobe analysis (n = 13), based on 15 anions per formula unit, gives the formula Mo4.33Pb4.00As0.10V0.86Sb0.43Bi0.33Mn0.05W0.05Cu0.03(S14.70Se0.30)Σ15, ideally Mo4Pb4VSbS15. An arsenic-rich variety has also been documented. X-ray diffraction, electron diffraction, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy show that merelaniite is a member of the cylindrite group, with alternating centered pseudo-tetragonal (Q) and pseudo-hexagonal (H) layers with respective PbS and MoS2 structure types. The Q and H layers are both triclinic with space group C1 or C1¯. The unit cell parameters for the Q layer are: a = 5.929(8) Å; b = 5.961(5) Å; c = 12.03(1) Å; α = 91.33(9); β = 90.88(5); γ = 91.79(4); V = 425(2) Å3; and Z = 4. For the H layer, a = 5.547(9) Å; b = 3.156(4) Å; c = 11.91(1) Å; α = 89.52(9); β = 92.13(5); γ = 90.18(4); V = 208(2) Å3; and Z = 2. Among naturally occurring minerals of the cylindrite homologous series, merelaniite represents the first Mo-essential member and the first case of triangular-prismatic coordination in the H layers. The strongest X-ray powder diffraction lines [d in Å (I/I0)] are 6.14 (30); 5.94 (60); 2.968 (25); 2.965 (100); 2.272 (40); 1.829 (30). The new mineral has been approved by the IMA CNMNC (2016-042) and is named after the locality of its discovery in honor of the local miners. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Selective Flotation of Calcite from Fluorite: A Novel Reagent Schedule
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 114; doi:10.3390/min6040114 -
Abstract
Fluorite is an important strategic mineral. In general, fluorite ores will contain a certain amount of calcite gangue mineral. Thus, they need to be separated from each other. For an economic separation, a reverse flotation process is used to float calcite gangue from
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Fluorite is an important strategic mineral. In general, fluorite ores will contain a certain amount of calcite gangue mineral. Thus, they need to be separated from each other. For an economic separation, a reverse flotation process is used to float calcite gangue from fluorite. However, little information on the separation is available. In this study, a novel reagent schedule using citric acid (CA) as the depressant, sodium fluoride (NaF) as the regulator and sulfoleic acid (SOA) as the collector, was developed to separate calcite from fluorite. The results demonstrated a high selectivity for the flotation of calcite from fluorite using this new reagent schedule. The best selective separation for a single mineral and mixed binary minerals was obtained when 200 mg/L of NaF, 50 mg/L of CA, and 6 mg/L of SOA were used at pH 9. In addition, a batch flotation experiment was carried out using a run-of-mine feed material. Selective separation was achieved with 85.18% calcite removal while only 11.2% of fluorite was lost. An attempt was made to understand the effect of the new reagent schedule on the flotation of calcite. The results from both microflotation and bench scale flotation demonstrated a great potential for industrial application using this novel reagent schedule to upgrade fluorite ore. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Au-Ag Mineralization in the Caribou Base-Metal VMS Deposit, New Brunswick; Examination of Micro-Scale Inter- and Intra-Sulphide Distribution and Its Relation to Geometallurgy
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 113; doi:10.3390/min6040113 -
Abstract
The Caribou Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit located in northeast New Brunswick represents a significant base-metal resource in the Bathurst Mining Camp. Zinc, Pb and Cu are the primary resources that are being extracted from this deposit; however, Au and Ag are important
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The Caribou Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit located in northeast New Brunswick represents a significant base-metal resource in the Bathurst Mining Camp. Zinc, Pb and Cu are the primary resources that are being extracted from this deposit; however, Au and Ag are important by-products that could help offset costs. This study used mineral liberation analysis supported further by in situ laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma-mass spectrometry methods to document variations in Au and Ag distribution between and within sulphide minerals. The variations in Ag and Au distribution provide critical inputs to the optimization of mineral processing design. The greatest influence on Au recovery at Caribou is the proportion of Au hosted in arsenopyrite and pyrite; consequently, considerable Au will report to the tailings. Silver recovery at Caribou is highly affected by the proportion of Ag hosted in galena and tetrahedrite-tennantite. Proximal to the vent complex, Ag values are primarily hosted in galena, whereas further from the vent complex, Ag values are likely primarily hosted in tetrahedrite-tennantite. Galena Ag values will report mostly to the Pb concentrate, while tetrahedrite-tennantite Ag values will report to the Cu concentrate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mapping of Sulfur Isotopes and Trace Elements in Sulfides by LA-(MC)-ICP-MS: Potential Analytical Problems, Improvements and Implications
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 110; doi:10.3390/min6040110 -
Abstract
Constraints on accurate quantitative trace element and sulfur (S) isotope analysis of sulfide minerals, especially pyrite, by laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) remain imperfectly understood at the present time. Mapping of S isotope distributions within a complex sample containing several minerals
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Constraints on accurate quantitative trace element and sulfur (S) isotope analysis of sulfide minerals, especially pyrite, by laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) remain imperfectly understood at the present time. Mapping of S isotope distributions within a complex sample containing several minerals requires an evaluation of the matrix effects and accuracy. Here, we apply LA-Q(quadrupole)-ICP-MS and LA-MC(multiple collector)-ICP-MS methods to analyze trace elements and S isotopes in sulfides. Spot analysis of S isotopes was conducted to evaluate the influence of matrix effects. The matrix effects from siderite and magnetite are deemed to be negligible in mapping analysis at the precision of this study. Both Fe and S were used as internal standard elements to normalize trace element concentrations in pyrite. Fe proved to be the better choice because the normalized counts per second ratio of trace elements with Fe is much more stable than if using S. A case study of a sulfide sample from the Chengmenshan Cu deposit, Jiangxi Province, South China, demonstrates the potential of combined S isotope and trace element mapping by LA-(MC)-ICP-MS. The results suggest that this deposit underwent multi-stage ore formation. Elements, including Au and Ag, were hosted in early-stage pyrite but were re-concentrated into multi-component sulfide assemblages during a late-stage hydrothermal event, which also led to crosscutting veins containing pyrite largely devoid of trace elements, except Se. Combining in situ S isotope and trace element analysis on the same sample represents a powerful tool for understanding ore-forming processes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Trace Element Analysis of Minerals in Magmatic-Hydrothermal Ores by Laser Ablation Inductively-Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry: Approaches and Opportunities
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 111; doi:10.3390/min6040111 -
Abstract
Laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) has rapidly established itself as the method of choice for generation of multi-element datasets for specific minerals, with broad applications in Earth science. Variation in absolute concentrations of different trace elements within common, widely distributed phases,
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Laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) has rapidly established itself as the method of choice for generation of multi-element datasets for specific minerals, with broad applications in Earth science. Variation in absolute concentrations of different trace elements within common, widely distributed phases, such as pyrite, iron-oxides (magnetite and hematite), and key accessory minerals, such as apatite and titanite, can be particularly valuable for understanding processes of ore formation, and when trace element distributions vary systematically within a mineral system, for a vector approach in mineral exploration. LA-ICP-MS trace element data can assist in element deportment and geometallurgical studies, providing proof of which minerals host key elements of economic relevance, or elements that are deleterious to various metallurgical processes. This contribution reviews recent advances in LA-ICP-MS methodology, reference standards, the application of the method to new mineral matrices, outstanding analytical uncertainties that impact on the quality and usefulness of trace element data, and future applications of the technique. We illustrate how data interpretation is highly dependent on an adequate understanding of prevailing mineral textures, geological history, and in some cases, crystal structure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Focused Ion Beam and Advanced Electron Microscopy for Minerals: Insights and Outlook from Bismuth Sulphosalts
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 112; doi:10.3390/min6040112 -
Abstract
This paper comprises a review of the rapidly expanding application of nanoscale mineral characterization methodology to the study of ore deposits. Utilising bismuth sulphosalt minerals from a reaction front in a skarn assemblage as an example, we illustrate how a complex problem in
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This paper comprises a review of the rapidly expanding application of nanoscale mineral characterization methodology to the study of ore deposits. Utilising bismuth sulphosalt minerals from a reaction front in a skarn assemblage as an example, we illustrate how a complex problem in ore petrology, can be approached at scales down to that of single atoms. We demonstrate the interpretive opportunities that can be realised by doing this for other minerals within their petrogenetic contexts. From an area defined as Au-rich within a sulphosalt-sulphide assemblage, and using samples prepared on a Focused Ion Beam–Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) platform, we identify mineral species and trace the evolution of their intergrowths down to the atomic scale. Our approach progresses from a petrographic and trace element study of a larger polished block, to high-resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and High Angle Annular Dark Field (HAADF) Scanning-TEM (STEM) studies. Lattice-scale heterogeneity imaged in HAADF STEM mode is expressed by changes in composition of unit cell slabs followed by nanoparticle formation and their growth into “veins”. We report a progressive transition from sulphosalt species which host lattice-bound Au (neyite, lillianite homologues; Pb-Bi-sulphosalts), to those that cannot accept Au (aikinite). This transition acts as a crystal structural barrier for Au. Fine particles of native gold track this progression over the scale of several hundred microns, leading to Au enrichment at the reaction front defined by an increase in the Cu gradient (several wt %), and abrupt changes in sulphosalt speciation from Pb-Bi-sulphosalts to aikinite. Atom-scale resolution imaging in HAADF STEM mode allows for the direct visualisation of the three component slabs in the neyite crystal structure, one of the largest and complex sulphosalts of boxwork-type. We show for the first time the presence of aikinite nanoparticles a few nanometres in size, occurring on distinct (111)PbS slabs in the neyite. This directly explains the non-stoichiometry of this phase, particularly with respect to Cu. Such non-stoichiometry is discussed elsewhere as defining distinct mineral species. The interplay between modular crystal structures and trace element behaviour, as discussed here for Au and Cu, has applications for other mineral systems. These include the incorporation and release of critical metals in sulphides, heavy elements (U, Pb, W) in iron oxides, the distribution of rare earth elements (REE), Y, and chalcophile elements (Mo, As) in calcic garnets, and the identification of nanometre-sized particles containing daughter products of radioactive decay in ores, concentrates, and tailings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Platinum-Group Minerals and Other Accessory Phases in Chromite Deposits of the Alapaevsk Ophiolite, Central Urals, Russia
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 108; doi:10.3390/min6040108 -
Abstract
An electron microprobe study has been carried out on platinum-group minerals, accessory phases, and chromite in several chromite deposits of the Alapaevsk ophiolite (Central Urals, Russia) namely the Bakanov Kluch, Kurmanovskoe, Lesnoe, 3-d Podyony Rudnik, Bol’shaya Kruglyshka, and Krest deposits. These deposits occur
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An electron microprobe study has been carried out on platinum-group minerals, accessory phases, and chromite in several chromite deposits of the Alapaevsk ophiolite (Central Urals, Russia) namely the Bakanov Kluch, Kurmanovskoe, Lesnoe, 3-d Podyony Rudnik, Bol’shaya Kruglyshka, and Krest deposits. These deposits occur in partially to totally serpentinized peridotites. The microprobe data shows that the chromite composition varies from Cr-rich to Al-rich. Tiny platinum-group minerals (PGM), 1–10 µm in size, have been found in the chromitites. The most abundant PGM is laurite, accompanied by minor cuproiridsite and alloys in the system Os–Ir–Ru. A small grain (about 20 μm) was found in the interstitial serpentine of the Bakanov Kluch chromitite, and its calculated stoichiometry corresponds to (Ni,Fe)5P. Olivine, occurring in the silicate matrix or included in fresh chromite, has a mantle-compatible composition in terms of major and minor elements. Several inclusions of amphibole, Na-rich phlogopite, and clinopyroxene have been identified. The bimodal Cr–Al composition of chromite probably corresponds to a vertical distribution in the ophiolite sequence, implying formation of Cr-rich chromitites in the deep mantle, and Al-rich chromitites close to the Moho-transition zone, in a supra-subduction setting. The presence of abundant hydrous silicate inclusions, such as amphibole and phlogopite, suggests that the Alapaevsk chromitites crystallized as a result of the interaction between a melt enriched in fluids and peridotites. Laurite and cuproiridsite are considered to be magmatic in origin, i.e., entrapped as solid phases during the crystallization of chromite at high temperatures. The sulfur fugacity was relatively high to allow the precipitation of Ir-bearing sulfides, but below the Os–OsS2 buffer. The alloys in the system Os–Ir–Ru are classified as secondary PGM, i.e., formed at low temperature during the serpentinization process. The (Ni,Fe)5P phase is the first occurrence of a Ni-phosphide in terrestrial samples. Its composition indicates that it may be a new mineral. However, the small size has, so far, prevented a crystallographic study to support this conclusion. Full article
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