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Open AccessArticle

Sandstone-Hosted Uranium Deposits as a Possible Source for Critical Elements: The Eureka Mine Case, Castell-Estaó, Catalonia

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ARC Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems (CCFS) and GEMOC, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia
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Departament de Mineralogia, Petrologia i Geologia Aplicada, Universitat de Barcelona, c/Martí i Franquès s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
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Geological Engineering Program, Faculty of Sciences and Engineering, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP), Av. Universitaria 1801, San Miguel, Lima-32, Peru
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School of Environment and Technology, Applied Geosciences Research and Enterprise Group, University of Brighton, Cockcroft Building, Lewes Road, Brighton BN4 2GJ, UK
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Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona, Parc de la Ciutadella s/n, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
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Innovation Academy for Earth Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10010034
Received: 3 December 2019 / Revised: 23 December 2019 / Accepted: 24 December 2019 / Published: 30 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Deposits of Critical Elements)
The Eureka deposit in Castell-estaó in the Catalan Pyrenees is a Cu–U–V deposit, hosted by Triassic red-bed sandstones, and classified here as a low-temperature, sandstone-hosted stratabound metamorphite U deposit. The main mineralisation is stratabound, related to coal-bearing units and produced during the Alpine deformation by migration of hydrothermal fluids. In this stage, the original sedimentary and diagenetic components (quartz and calcite, micas, hematite and locally apatite) were replaced by a complex sequence of roscoelite, fine-grained REE phosphates, sulphides and Ni–Co arsenides and sulpharsenides, Ag–Pb selenides, bismuth phases, sulphosalts and uraninite. The black shales of the Silurian sediments underlying the deposit and the nearby Carboniferous volcanoclastic rocks are interpreted as the source of the redox-sensitive elements concentrated in Eureka. The sulphur source is related to leaching of the evaporitic Keuper facies. The REE transport would be facilitated by SO4-rich solutions. The reduction of these solutions by interaction with organic matter resulted in the widespread precipitation of REE and redox-sensitive elements, including many critical metals (V, Bi, Sb, Co), whereas barite precipitated in the oxidized domains. The occurrence of similar enrichments in critical elements can be expected in other similar large uranium deposits, which could be a source of these elements as by-products. View Full-Text
Keywords: critical metals; redox-sensitive elements; red bed; metamorphite; vanadium; uranium; copper; rare earth elements; cobalt; nickel; selenium critical metals; redox-sensitive elements; red bed; metamorphite; vanadium; uranium; copper; rare earth elements; cobalt; nickel; selenium
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Castillo-Oliver, M.; Melgarejo, J.C.; Torró, L.; Villanova-de-Benavent, C.; Campeny, M.; Díaz-Acha, Y.; Amores-Casals, S.; Xu, J.; Proenza, J.; Tauler, E. Sandstone-Hosted Uranium Deposits as a Possible Source for Critical Elements: The Eureka Mine Case, Castell-Estaó, Catalonia. Minerals 2020, 10, 34.

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