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Open AccessArticle

Efflorescent Sulfate Crystallization on Fractured and Polished Colloform Pyrite Surfaces: A Migration Pathway of Trace Elements

1
Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
2
Faculty of Geology and Geography, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, 1504 Sofia, Bulgaria
3
Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions und Biodiversitätsforschung, 10115 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10010012
Received: 5 November 2019 / Revised: 18 December 2019 / Accepted: 19 December 2019 / Published: 21 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology 2019)
The colloform pyrite variety incorporates many trace elements that are released in the environment during rapid oxidation. Colloform pyrite from the Chiprovtsi silver–lead deposit in Bulgaria and its oxidation efflorescent products were studied using X-ray diffractometry, scanning electron microscopy, electron microprobe analysis, and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Pyrite is enriched with (in ppm): Co (0.1–964), Ni (1.8–3858), Cu (2.9–3188), Zn (3.1–77), Ag (1.2–1771), As (8179–52,787), Se (2.7–21.7), Sb (48–17792), Hg (4–2854), Tl (1.7–2336), Pb (13–7072), and Au (0.07–2.77). Gypsum, anhydrite, szomolnokite, halotrichite, römerite, copiapite, aluminocopiapite, magnesiocopiapite, coquimbite, aluminocoquimbite, voltaite, and ammoniomagnesiovoltaite were identified in the efflorescent sulfate assemblage. Sulfate minerals contain not only inherited elements from pyrite (Cr, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ag, In, As, Sb, Hg, Tl, and Pb), but also newly introduced elements (Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, K, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Mn, Ga, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Sn, Cs, Ba, REE, U, and Th). Voltaite group minerals, copiapite, magnesiocopiapite, and römerite incorporate most of the trace elements, especially the most hazardous As, Sb, Hg, and Tl. Colloform pyrite occurrence in the Chiprovtsi deposit is limited. Its association with marbles would further restrict the oxidation and release of hazardous elements into the environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: colloform pyrite; oxidation; efflorescent iron sulfates; LA-ICP-MS; trace elements in pyrite and sulfates; Chiprovtsi deposit colloform pyrite; oxidation; efflorescent iron sulfates; LA-ICP-MS; trace elements in pyrite and sulfates; Chiprovtsi deposit
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Dimitrova, D.; Mladenova, V.; Hecht, L. Efflorescent Sulfate Crystallization on Fractured and Polished Colloform Pyrite Surfaces: A Migration Pathway of Trace Elements. Minerals 2020, 10, 12.

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