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Open AccessArticle

Critical Elements in Supergene Phosphates: The Example of the Weathering Profile at the Gavà Neolithic Mines, Catalonia, Spain

1
Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona, Parc de la Ciutadella s/n, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
2
Departament de Mineralogia, Petrologia i Geologia Aplicada, Facultat de Ciències de la Terra, Universitat de Barcelona, Martí i Franquès s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
3
Museu de Gavà, Plaça de Dolors Clua 13, 08850 Gavà, Spain
4
Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán 04510, CDMX, Mexico
5
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Burgos, Calle Complutense 2, 09001 Burgos, Spain
6
Facultad de Educación, Universidad de Burgos, C/Villadiego 1, 09001 Burgos, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10010003
Received: 22 October 2019 / Revised: 5 December 2019 / Accepted: 13 December 2019 / Published: 18 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Deposits of Critical Elements)
The essential role of Critical Elements (CE) in 21st century economy has led to an increasing demand of these metals and promotes the exploration of non-conventional deposits such as weathering profiles. The present work is focused on the study of a weathering profile located at the Archaeological Park of the Gavà Neolithic Mines, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. In the Gavà deposit, acid and oxidising meteoric fluids generated intense weathering during the early Pleistocene, affecting series of Llandoverian black shales and associated syn-sedimentary phosphates. The circulation of these acid fluids at deeper levels of the profile generated supergene vein-like mineralisations comprised of secondary phosphates (e.g., variscite, perhamite, crandallite, phosphosiderite) and sulphates (e.g., jarosite, alunite). This supergene mineralisation is significantly enriched in certain CE (e.g., Ga, Sc, REE, In, Co and Sb) that were mobilised from host rock components and later hosted in the crystal lattice of supergene minerals. Weathering processes and corresponding supergene enrichment of CE at the Gavà deposit could be used as an example to determine exploration guidelines of CE in weathering profiles and associated supergene phosphates worldwide. View Full-Text
Keywords: critical elements; weathering; supergene mineralisation; phosphates; Gavà critical elements; weathering; supergene mineralisation; phosphates; Gavà
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Díaz-Acha, Y.; Campeny, M.; Tauler, E.; Bosch, J.; Melgarejo, J.C.; Camprubí, A.; Villanova-de-Benavent, C.; Jorge-Villar, S.E.; Díaz-Ontiveros, I.; Fernández-Lluch, D.; Proenza, J.A.; Andreazini, A.; Pastor, M. Critical Elements in Supergene Phosphates: The Example of the Weathering Profile at the Gavà Neolithic Mines, Catalonia, Spain. Minerals 2020, 10, 3.

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