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Minerals, Volume 10, Issue 8 (August 2020) – 81 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Vermiculite is a layered silicate mineral with 2:1 crystalline structure and a broad diversity in charged layers associated with numerous isomorphic substitutions, disorder effects, dehydration–rehydration ability and swelling processes. Vermiculites are more abundant and much cheaper compared to other clays, with the same benefits. Therefore, they represent an interesting mineral for numerous environmental, constructional and agricultural applications. In this article, nitric acid was used to exfoliate some vermiculites to a degree that dramatically increased their specific surface area and altered their iron content, and the effect was even greater for the thermoexfoliated vermiculite. The cover image shows a light microscope image for one of these exfoliated vermiculites. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling of the Pebble Mine Project Pit Lake and Downstream Environment after Mine Closure
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080727 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 931
Abstract
The Pebble Project in Alaska is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper deposits. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) proposes a 20-year open-pit extraction, sulfide flotation, and deposition of separated pyritic tailings and potentially acid-generating waste rock in the pit at closure. The [...] Read more.
The Pebble Project in Alaska is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper deposits. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) proposes a 20-year open-pit extraction, sulfide flotation, and deposition of separated pyritic tailings and potentially acid-generating waste rock in the pit at closure. The pit will require perpetual pump and treat management. We conducted geochemical and integrated groundwater–surface water modeling and streamflow mixing calculations to examine alternative conceptual models and future mine abandonment leading to failure of the water management scheme 100 years after mine closure. Using EIS source water chemistry and volumes and assuming a well-mixed pit lake, PHREEQC modeling predicts an acidic (pH 3.5) pit lake with elevated copper concentrations (130 mg/L) under post-closure conditions. The results are similar to water quality in the Berkeley Pit in Montana, USA, another porphyry copper deposit pit lake in rocks with low neutralization potential. Integrated groundwater–surface water modeling using MIKE SHE examined the effects of the failure mode for the proposed 20-year and reasonably foreseeable 78-year expansion. Simulations predict that if pumping fails, the 20-year pit lake will irreversibly overtop within 3 to 4 years and mix with the South Fork Koktuli River, which contains salmon spawning and rearing habitat. The 78-year pit lake overtops more rapidly, within 1 year, and discharges into Upper Talarik Creek. Mixing calculations for the 20-year pit show that this spillover would lead to exceedances of Alaska’s copper surface water criteria in the river by a factor of 500–1000 times at 35 miles downstream. The combined modeling efforts show the importance of examining long-term failure modes, especially in areas with high potential impacts to stream ecological services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Geochemistry of Mineral Deposits)
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Open AccessArticle
Rheology of Alkali-Activated Mortars: Influence of Particle Size and Nature of Aggregates
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080726 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 585
Abstract
The effect of two precursors (slag and fly ash), different particle size distribution, and three types of aggregate (siliceous sand, limestone, and recycled concrete) on alkali-activated material (AAM) mortar rheology were studied and compared to their effect on an ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) [...] Read more.
The effect of two precursors (slag and fly ash), different particle size distribution, and three types of aggregate (siliceous sand, limestone, and recycled concrete) on alkali-activated material (AAM) mortar rheology were studied and compared to their effect on an ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) mortar reference. Stress growth and flow curve tests were conducted to determine plastic viscosity and static and dynamic yield stress of the AAM and OPC mortars. In both OPC and AAM mortars, a reduction of the aggregate size induces a rise of the liquid demand to preserve the plastic consistency of the mortar. In general terms, an increase of the particle size of the siliceous aggregates leads to a decrease of the measured rheological parameters. The AAM mortars require higher liquid/solid ratios than OPC mortars to attain plastic consistency. AAM mortars proved to be more sensitive than OPC mortars to changes in aggregate nature. The partial replacement of the siliceous aggregates with up to 20% of recycled concrete aggregates induced no change in mixing liquid uptake, in either AAM or OPC mortars. All the AAM and OPC mortars studied fitted to the Bingham model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alkali Activated Materials: Advances, Innovations, Future Trends)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Historical Geophysical Materials in Searching for Cu-Ag Ore Deposits—A New Direction of Research
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080725 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 515
Abstract
This paper presents a new instrument in geological exploration, which uses historical geophysical data for the indication of potential zones of the occurrence of Cu-Ag ore, based on the example of the newly discovered Nowa Sól deposit in south-western Poland. Basic historical seismic [...] Read more.
This paper presents a new instrument in geological exploration, which uses historical geophysical data for the indication of potential zones of the occurrence of Cu-Ag ore, based on the example of the newly discovered Nowa Sól deposit in south-western Poland. Basic historical seismic and gravimetric data were applied along with transformed maps. The new method of effective reflection coefficients (ERC) allowed the utilization of archival seismic records for a more precise determination of the most vaguely traced interfaces within the Permian Zechstein unit. Compared to an amplitude-based seismic section, an ERC section is characterized by its highly increased resolution of imaging. The tracing of changes in the facies and the tectonics of Zechstein sediments, particularly in a zone of their contact with Rotliegend rocks, along with the new ERC method, enabled the establishing of precise locations of prospecting boreholes. The combined use of ERC and historical well logs also allowed more precise identification of the shape of oxidized areas and the adjacent orebodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Methods and Applications for Mineral Exploration, Volume II)
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Open AccessArticle
pXRF Measurements on Soil Samples for the Exploration of an Antimony Deposit: Example from the Vendean Antimony District (France)
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080724 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 717
Abstract
Mineral exploration is increasingly challenging in inhabited areas. To evaluate the potential of soil analysis by pXRF (portable X-ray fluorescence) as a low-footprint exploration technique, we revisited a historic Sb district in an agricultural area and performed shallow-soil sampling (Ah and B horizons) [...] Read more.
Mineral exploration is increasingly challenging in inhabited areas. To evaluate the potential of soil analysis by pXRF (portable X-ray fluorescence) as a low-footprint exploration technique, we revisited a historic Sb district in an agricultural area and performed shallow-soil sampling (Ah and B horizons) along profiles across known veins to capture the endogenic geochemical anomaly signals. Despite an expected bias between pXRF measurements and laboratory analyses, the former effectively located the Sb veins, especially when using their multi-element capabilities. Composition data processing (CoDa) and horizon-selective sampling significantly improved the method’s efficiency. On-site measurements allow dynamic sampling and mapping, helping with faster, cost-effective sample selection for further laboratory investigations. Based on this case study, where similar geochemical patterns were obtained for both horizons, application of an on-site approach to a humic horizon can increase survey efficiency and decrease impacts. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Editorial for the Special Issue “Properties of Melt and Minerals at High Pressures and High Temperature”
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080723 - 18 Aug 2020
Viewed by 481
Abstract
This Special Volume sets out to summarize knowledge in the rapidly developing area of the high-pressure and high-temperature properties and structure of silicate melts and minerals [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Production, Reserves, and Processing of Feldspar and Feldspathoid Rocks in the Czech Republic from 2005 to 2019—An Overview
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080722 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 798
Abstract
This paper aims to characterize and interpret the trends in reserves, resources, and mine production of feldspar and feldspathoid rocks during 2005–2019 in the Czech Republic. With over 101 Mt of total resources and 22 Mt of reserves, feldspar belongs to the crucial [...] Read more.
This paper aims to characterize and interpret the trends in reserves, resources, and mine production of feldspar and feldspathoid rocks during 2005–2019 in the Czech Republic. With over 101 Mt of total resources and 22 Mt of reserves, feldspar belongs to the crucial industrial minerals of the Czech Republic. With annual outputs of approximately 400–450 kt of feldspars and 20–35 kt of feldspathoid rocks (nepheline syenite), the Czech Republic ranks among the top European and world feldspar producers. Most of the production comes from leucocratic granitoid rocks (key active deposit: Krásno-Vysoký Kámen), followed by sedimentary rocks (key active deposit: Halámky), and granitic pegmatites (key active deposit: Luženičky). Nepheline syenite is mined at a single deposit. All deposits are extracted from open pits (quarries). Ongoing geological prospecting and exploration for new deposits are increasing available reserves and resources. The feldspar raw materials are used in the domestic glass and ceramic industries, while more than 50% is exported, generally to Poland and Germany. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Options for Remediation of Contaminated Mine Site Drainage Entering the River Teign, Southwest England
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080721 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1090
Abstract
The river Teign in Devon has come under scrutiny for failing to meet environmental quality standards for ecotoxic metals due to past mining operations. A disused mine known as Bridford Barytes mine, has been found to contribute a significant source of Zn, Cd [...] Read more.
The river Teign in Devon has come under scrutiny for failing to meet environmental quality standards for ecotoxic metals due to past mining operations. A disused mine known as Bridford Barytes mine, has been found to contribute a significant source of Zn, Cd and Pb to the river. Recently, studies have been focused on the remediation of such mine sites using low-cost treatment methods to help reduce metal loads to the river downstream. This paper explores the metal removal efficiency of red mud, a waste product from the aluminium industry, which has proven to be an attractive low-cost treatment method for adsorbing toxic metals. Adsorption kinetics and capacity experiments reveal metal removal efficiencies of up to 70% within the first 2 h when red mud is applied in pelletized form. Further, it highlights the potential of biochar, another effective adsorbent observed to remove >90% Zn using agricultural feedstock. Compliance of the Teign has been investigated by analysing dissolved metal concentrations and bioavailable fractions of Zn to assess if levels are of environmental concern. By applying a real-world application model, this study reveals that compressed pellets and agricultural biochar offer an effective, low-cost option to reducing metal concentrations and thus improving the quality of the river Teign. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Use of Abandoned Mines)
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Open AccessReview
New Data on the Isomorphism in Eudialyte-Group Minerals. 2. Crystal-Chemical Mechanisms of Blocky Isomorphism at the Key Sites
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080720 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 603
Abstract
The review considers various complex mechanisms of isomorphism in the eudialyte-group minerals, involving both key positions of the heteropolyhedral framework and extra-framework components. In most cases, so-called blocky isomorphism is realized when one group of atoms and ions is replaced by another one, [...] Read more.
The review considers various complex mechanisms of isomorphism in the eudialyte-group minerals, involving both key positions of the heteropolyhedral framework and extra-framework components. In most cases, so-called blocky isomorphism is realized when one group of atoms and ions is replaced by another one, which is accompanied by a change in the valence state and/or coordination numbers of cations. The uniqueness of these minerals lies in the fact that they exhibit ability to blocky isomorphism at several sites of high-force-strength cations belonging to the framework and at numerous sites of extra-framework cations and anions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study of the Eudialyte Group Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Formation of Natural Silicate Hydrates by the Interaction of Alkaline Seepage and Sediments Derived from Serpentinized Ultramafic Rocks at Narra, Palawan, the Philippines
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080719 - 17 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1043
Abstract
In radioactive waste disposal facilities, low-permeability engineered barrier materials are important for inhibiting radionuclide migration. However, dissolution–precipitation reactions under alkaline conditions change the permeability of engineered barriers. To understand long-term dissolution–precipitation reactions under alkaline conditions in chemically complex systems, trenches and drill holes [...] Read more.
In radioactive waste disposal facilities, low-permeability engineered barrier materials are important for inhibiting radionuclide migration. However, dissolution–precipitation reactions under alkaline conditions change the permeability of engineered barriers. To understand long-term dissolution–precipitation reactions under alkaline conditions in chemically complex systems, trenches and drill holes were excavated at Narra in Palawan, where alkaline fluids (pH > 11) have been naturally produced, seeping into clastic sediments derived from serpentinized ultramafic rocks and gabbro of Palawan ophiolite. Interaction between the alkaline seepage and clastic sediments, which have been deposited since 15,000 radiocarbon years before present (14C yr BP), led to dissolution of minerals and the precipitation of Si-bearing phases which were divided into two main categories: Fe-Mg-Si infillings and Ca-Si infillings. The former category was composed of iron-magnesium-silicate-hydrate (F-M-S-H) and a nontronite-like mineral and was widely recognized in the clastic sediments. The nontronite-like mineral likely formed by interaction between silicates and alkaline seepage mixed with infiltrated seawater, whereas F-M-S-H formed by the reaction of silicates with alkaline seepage in the absence of seawater infiltration. Ca-Si infillings included 14 Å tobermorite and were precipitated from alkaline seepage combined with the Ca and Si supplied by the dissolution of calcite and silicates in the clastic sediments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Insights into Serpentinites)
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Open AccessArticle
The Occurrence of Authigenic Clay Minerals in Alkaline-Saline Lakes, Pantanal Wetland (Nhecolândia Region, Brazil)
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080718 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 674
Abstract
Mg clay minerals are usually associated with carbonates in alkaline-saline environments, precipitated from solution and/or transformation from other minerals. The aim of this research is to identify the mineralogy and geochemistry of clay minerals in different alkaline lakes in the Nhecolândia region, the [...] Read more.
Mg clay minerals are usually associated with carbonates in alkaline-saline environments, precipitated from solution and/or transformation from other minerals. The aim of this research is to identify the mineralogy and geochemistry of clay minerals in different alkaline lakes in the Nhecolândia region, the southernmost region of the Pantanal wetland (Brazil). Sediment samples were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Water samples were analyzed, determining their main cations and anions, in order to understand their relationship with the clays. The analyses allowed classifying the water bodies as saline, oligosaline and freshwater lakes. The sediments are composed mainly of quartz and a fine-clay fraction, dominated by illite, kaolinite and smectite. The XRD results showed illite and smectite mixed-layered in the saline lakes at Barranco Alto farm, whereas at Nhumirim farm, trioctahedral smectite was only observed in one lake. The smectite minerals were normally identified coupled with calcite at the top of the sequences, associated with exopolymeric substances (EPS) in the lakes, suggesting that these minerals are precipitating due to the physical-chemical and biological conditions of the water bodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Diagenesis to Low-Grade Metamorphism)
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Open AccessArticle
DEM Simulation of Laboratory-Scale Jaw Crushing of a Gold-Bearing Ore Using a Particle Replacement Model
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 717; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080717 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 828
Abstract
The Discrete Element Method (DEM) is a numerical method that is able to simulate the mechanical behavior of bulk solids flow using spheres or polyhedral elements, offering a powerful tool for equipment design and optimization through modeling and simulation. The present work uses [...] Read more.
The Discrete Element Method (DEM) is a numerical method that is able to simulate the mechanical behavior of bulk solids flow using spheres or polyhedral elements, offering a powerful tool for equipment design and optimization through modeling and simulation. The present work uses a Particle Replacement Model (PRM) embedded in the software EDEM® to model and simulate operation of a laboratory-scale jaw crusher. The PRM was calibrated using data from single particle slow compression tests, whereas simulations of the jaw crusher were validated on the basis of experiments, with very good agreement. DEM simulations described the performance of the crusher in terms of throughput, product size distribution, compressive force on the jaws surface, reduction ratio, and energy consumption as a function of closed side setting and frequency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comminution in the Minerals Industry)
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Open AccessArticle
A Trace Element Classification Tree for Chalcopyrite from Oktyabrsk Deposit, Norilsk–Talnakh Ore District, Russia: LA-ICPMS Study
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 716; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080716 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 995
Abstract
The Oktyabrsk PGE-Cu-Ni deposit is one of the largest resources in the Norilsk–Talnakh ore district, Russia, and it is viewed as an ore giant on a global scale. It contains three types of ores: massive, disseminated and veinlet-disseminated. The two former ore types [...] Read more.
The Oktyabrsk PGE-Cu-Ni deposit is one of the largest resources in the Norilsk–Talnakh ore district, Russia, and it is viewed as an ore giant on a global scale. It contains three types of ores: massive, disseminated and veinlet-disseminated. The two former ore types were formed by a liquation process, whereas the latter was associated with fluid-induced selective metasomatic replacement of metamorphosed wall rocks. One of the major ore minerals in all ore types is chalcopyrite. In this study, we determined concentrations of trace elements in this mineral using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. It appeared that standard geochemical tools, such as plotting the data in the form of diagrams of normalized concentrations, binary and ternary plots, do not allow one to distinguish chalcopyrite from visually and genetically different ore types. In contrast, more advanced statistical methods such as cluster analysis show different groupings of elements for each ore type. Based on the element clustering, a classification tree was suggested, which allowed for the differentiation of massive, disseminated and veinlet-disseminated ore types of the Oktyabrsk deposit by Se, Te, Cd and Pb concentrations in chalcopyrite with a success rate of 86%. The general feature is that chalcopyrite of veinlet-disseminated ore is poorer in these elements compared to chalcopyrite of the two other ore types. Chalcopyrite of massive ore is poorer in Se and Te when compared to chalcopyrite of disseminated ore. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Formation of Sulfide Ores in PGE-Cu-Ni Deposits)
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Open AccessArticle
Decarbonation Reactions Involving Ankerite and Dolomite under upper Mantle P,T-Parameters: Experimental Modeling
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080715 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 619
Abstract
An experimental study aimed at the modeling of dolomite- and ankerite-involving decarbonation reactions, resulting in the CO2 fluid release and crystallization of Ca, Mg, Fe garnets, was carried out at a wide range of pressures and temperatures of the upper mantle. Experiments [...] Read more.
An experimental study aimed at the modeling of dolomite- and ankerite-involving decarbonation reactions, resulting in the CO2 fluid release and crystallization of Ca, Mg, Fe garnets, was carried out at a wide range of pressures and temperatures of the upper mantle. Experiments were performed using a multi-anvil high-pressure apparatus of a “split-sphere” type, in CaMg(CO3)2-Al2O3-SiO2 and Ca(Mg,Fe)(CO3)2-Al2O3-SiO2 systems (pressures of 3.0, 6.3 and 7.5 GPa, temperature range of 950–1550 °C, hematite buffered high-pressure cell). It was experimentally shown that decarbonation in the dolomite-bearing system occurred at 1100 ± 20 °C (3.0 GPa), 1320 ± 20 °C (6.3 GPa), and 1450 ± 20 °C (7.5 GPa). As demonstrated by mass spectrometry, the fluid composition was pure CO2. Composition of synthesized garnet was Prp83Grs17, with main Raman spectroscopic modes at 368–369, 559–562, and 912–920 cm−1. Decarbonation reactions in the ankerite-bearing system were realized at 1000 ± 20 °C (3.0 GPa), 1250 ± 20 °C (6.3 GPa), and 1400 ± 20 °C (7.5 GPa). As a result, the garnet of Grs25Alm40Prp35 composition with main Raman peaks at 349–350, 552, and 906–907 cm−1 was crystallized. It has been experimentally shown that, in the Earth’s mantle, dolomite and ankerite enter decarbonation reactions to form Ca, Mg, Fe garnet + CO2 assemblage at temperatures ~175–500 °C lower than CaCO3 does at constant pressures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behaviour of Volatiles and Fluid-Mobile Elements in Subduction Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Mineralogical Characteristics of Early Permian Paragonite-Bearing Coal (No. 3) in the Jinyuan Mine, Tengxian Coalfield, Shandong Province, Eastern China
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080714 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 777
Abstract
The Early Permian coal is of great value in the Tengxian Coalfield, Shandon Province, Eastern China. This work deals with the new data focusing on mineralogical characteristics in the Early Permian Shanxi Formation No. 3 coal from the Jinyuan Mine. The Jinyuan coal [...] Read more.
The Early Permian coal is of great value in the Tengxian Coalfield, Shandon Province, Eastern China. This work deals with the new data focusing on mineralogical characteristics in the Early Permian Shanxi Formation No. 3 coal from the Jinyuan Mine. The Jinyuan coal is a low ash and highly volatile A bituminous coal. Minerals in the No. 3 coal mainly comprise of kaolinite, ankerite, illite, calcite, siderite, and quartz, with varying compositions of trace amounts of pyrite, jarosite, bassanite, anatase, and rutile. According to mineral assemblage in the coal plies, three Types (A to C) can be identified in the No. 3 coal. The dominant minerals in Type A are poorly-ordered kaolinite, illite, quartz, pyrite, and jarosite. Type B is mainly composed of well-ordered kaolinite, illite, siderite, ankerite, and calcite. Type C, with just one sample (JY-3-7c), which contains high proportions of calcite (54%) and ankerite (34%). Terrigenous minerals are elevated in coal plies that typically have relatively high contents of ash yield. The formation of syngenetic pyrite was generally due to seawater, while the sulphate minerals (jarosite and coquimbite) were derived from the oxidation of pyrite. Epigenetic vein-like or fracture-fillings carbonate minerals (ankerite, calcite, and siderite), kaolinite, and pyrite, as well as authigenic quartz were derived from the influx of hydrothermal fluids during different periods, from the authigenic to epigenetic. The paragonite in the coal may have been formed by the precipitated from Na-rich hydrothermal fluids. No effects of magmatic intrusion on mineralogy were investigated in this research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Minerals in Coal and Coal Combustion Products)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Comparison of the Calcareous Shells of Belemnitida and Sepiida: Is the Cuttlebone Prong an Analogue of the Belemnite Rostrum Solidum?
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080713 - 12 Aug 2020
Viewed by 866
Abstract
The microstructure of the rostrum solidum of Jurassic belemnites is compared with that of Sepia cuttlebones, in order to examine possible convergences in their style of growth. For this study, transmitted and polarized light, cathodoluminescence, epifluorescence, scanning electron and backscattered electron microscopy have [...] Read more.
The microstructure of the rostrum solidum of Jurassic belemnites is compared with that of Sepia cuttlebones, in order to examine possible convergences in their style of growth. For this study, transmitted and polarized light, cathodoluminescence, epifluorescence, scanning electron and backscattered electron microscopy have been employed. Despite differences in the primary mineralogy of the studied belemnites and sepiids, calcite and aragonite, respectively, many similarities have been observed between the microstructure of the belemnite rostra and the prong of Sepia cuttlebone: (1) In both, crystals start growing from successive spherulites, from which crystals emerge radially towards the apex and the external walls, displaying internally micro-fibrous texture. (2) Both display concentric growth layering, comprising an alternation of organic-rich and organic-poor layers, which, in turn, is traverse by the radially-arranged micro-fibrous crystals. (3) The highest organic matter content and porosity have been observed along the apical area of the Sepia prong, similarly to that interpreted for belemnite rostra. The strong convergences observed suggest that the growth of belemnites occurred similarly to that of the prong of sepiids and that the Sepia prong is the analog of the belemnite rostrum. Additionally, non-classical crystallization processes are proposed to be involved in the formation Sepia endoskeleton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microtexture Characterization of Rocks and Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Predicting the Logarithmic Distribution Factors for Coprecipitation into an Organic Salt: Selection of Rare Earths into a Mixed Oxalate
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 712; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080712 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 650
Abstract
Thermodynamic modelling of a leaching system that involves concurrent precipitation depends on an understanding of how the metals distribute into the precipitate before an assessment of solubility can be made. It has been suggested in the past that a pair of rare earths [...] Read more.
Thermodynamic modelling of a leaching system that involves concurrent precipitation depends on an understanding of how the metals distribute into the precipitate before an assessment of solubility can be made. It has been suggested in the past that a pair of rare earths (A and B) in solution will separate from each other by oxalate precipitation according to a logarithmic distribution coefficient (λ), determined by the kinetics of the precipitation. By contrast, the present study hypothesises that λ may be approximated from thermodynamic terms, including the solubility product (KSp) of each rare earth oxalate and the stability constant (β1) for the mono-oxalato complex of each rare earth. The proposed model was used to calculate λ between pairs of rare earths. An experimental study was conducted to determine λ between selected pairs using homogenous precipitation through the hydrolysis of an oxalic acid ester, with fairly close agreement to the values under the proposed model. Though this model requires more thorough testing, as well as application to other organic salts, it may provide insight into distribution factors of a precipitate formed by a sequence of organic complexes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leaching of Rare Earth Elements from Various Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
Removal of Pollutants from an AMD from a Coal Mine by Neutralization/Precipitation Followed by “In Vivo” Biosorption Step with the Microalgae Scenedesmus sp.
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080711 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 798
Abstract
This work evaluates the benefits of a complementary treatment step of acid mine drainage (AMD) using the algae Scenedesmus sp. in terms of algae biomass production, residual metal removal, and the toxicity of the discharged water. Conventional treatment by neutralization/precipitation of an AMD [...] Read more.
This work evaluates the benefits of a complementary treatment step of acid mine drainage (AMD) using the algae Scenedesmus sp. in terms of algae biomass production, residual metal removal, and the toxicity of the discharged water. Conventional treatment by neutralization/precipitation of an AMD from a coal mine in Brazil was conducted with Ca(OH)2 at pH 8.7. Algal growth studies were performed in the treated AMD, with and without a nutrient supply. The raw effluent and treatments were compared in terms of residual concentration of metals and sulfate, conductivity, and toxicity with the Allium cepa and Daphnia magna test organisms. The results show that the conventional treatment allowed a major metal removal, reduction in the conductivity, and good indices in the toxicological parameters evaluated. The biosorption with in vivo microalgae improved the quality of the effluent for residual metals. No significant toxicity was observed to Allium cepa in all treatments performed, while the Daphnia magna test indicated a reduction in toxicity after the biosorption step. It was concluded that algae growth can be carried out in treated mine waters, providing algae biomass and helping to achieve the standards for water discharge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollutants in Acid Mine Drainage)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a More Descriptive Particle Breakage Probability Model
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080710 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 648
Abstract
Single-particle breakage test is becoming increasingly popular, as researchers seek to understand fracture response that is purely a function of the material being tested, instead of that which is based on the performance of the comminution device being used. To that end, an [...] Read more.
Single-particle breakage test is becoming increasingly popular, as researchers seek to understand fracture response that is purely a function of the material being tested, instead of that which is based on the performance of the comminution device being used. To that end, an empirical breakage probability model that builds on previous work was proposed. The experimental results demonstrate the significance of both energy input and the number of repeated breakage attempts. Four different materials were compared, to gain a better insight into the breakage response. This modelling work goes further from previous research of the authors, by showing that not only does size related threshold energy and repeated impacts characterize particle breakage properties, but each material exhibits unique trends in terms of how its threshold energy and its rate of deterioration varies with particle size and each impact, respectively. This behaviour can be attributed to the different mechanical characteristics of the material and their flaw distribution. The importance of these aspects was highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comminution in the Minerals Industry)
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Open AccessArticle
A Process Mineralogical Evaluation of Chromite at the Nkomati Nickel Mine, Uitkomst Complex, South Africa
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080709 - 12 Aug 2020
Viewed by 639
Abstract
A process mineralogical study based on three texturally and mineralogically different chromite-bearing ore types at the Nkomati nickel mine was undertaken, with focus on chromite. Chromite is a by-product of the Ni-Cu-Co-PGE ore at Nkomati Nickel mine. These being the PCMZ_MG (medium-grade Ni-Cu [...] Read more.
A process mineralogical study based on three texturally and mineralogically different chromite-bearing ore types at the Nkomati nickel mine was undertaken, with focus on chromite. Chromite is a by-product of the Ni-Cu-Co-PGE ore at Nkomati Nickel mine. These being the PCMZ_MG (medium-grade Ni-Cu sulphide silicate ore with disseminated chromite), PCMZ_HG (high-grade Ni-Cu sulphide silicate ore containing disseminated chromite) and MCHR (massive chromite unit) ore types. These were processed using benchtop flotation followed by gravity concentration using a shaking table at different grind sizes. Quantitative mineralogical data was obtained using a 600F Mineral Liberation Analyser for the unprocessed and processed ores at three selected target grinds. The Mineral Liberation Analyser data indicated that increased milling does not relate to increased chromite grades and recoveries, particularly for the disseminated PCMZ type ores based on laboratory-scale gravity concentration. The recovery is controlled largely by the chromite chemistry. The results also showed that the MCHR samples that underwent a pre-flotation stage before gravity separation had better Cr2O3 grades (45% to 47%) and recoveries (52% to 61%) than MCHR ore that did not undergo a pre-flotation stage, which recorded grades ranging from 44% to 46% and recoveries ranging from 43% to 60%. This holds promise for the blending of MCHR ores with the PCMZ ores. The PCMZ ores also displayed better Cr2O3 grades and recoveries at coarser grinds. The optimal target grind to process all three ore types is a P80 of 75 μm, which is the current grind size employed at Nkomati Nickel mine. Due to the low nickel price and grade the Nkomati Nickel mine is currently under care and maintenance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy)
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Open AccessArticle
Genesis of Two Types of Carbonaceous Material Associated with Gold Mineralization in the Bumo Deposit, Hainan Province, South China
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080708 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 831
Abstract
Carbonaceous material (CM) is common in meta-sediments and is generally interpreted to be intimately associated with gold mineralization. For the Bumo deposit in Hainan Province, South China, CM is mainly hosted by greenschist facies—to amphibolite-facies metamophic rocks of the Paleo—to the Mesoproterozoic Baoban [...] Read more.
Carbonaceous material (CM) is common in meta-sediments and is generally interpreted to be intimately associated with gold mineralization. For the Bumo deposit in Hainan Province, South China, CM is mainly hosted by greenschist facies—to amphibolite-facies metamophic rocks of the Paleo—to the Mesoproterozoic Baoban Group, and by auriferous veins which could be used as an important gold prospecting indicator. However, the genesis of CM and its relationship with gold mineralization are still unclear. From the field work and thin section observations two types of CM occur, i.e., layered and veinlet. The layered CM occurred in CM-bearing black shales, up to meters thick, and prevails in the deposit. More importantly, Au-bearing sulfides are commonly distributed along the boundary between the quartz veins and layered CM. In contrast, the veinlet CM, co-precipitated with native gold and sulfides, has the thickness of micro- to centi-meters, and these thin veins occur in quartz veins and hydrothermally altered rocks. In addition, layered CM has a stringy shape and laminate structure, while veinlet CM occurs as isometric particles based on the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) analysis. The Raman carbonaceous material geothermometer indicates that layered CM with a high maturity is formed at elevated temperatures of 400–550 °C, consistent with X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. In contrast, veinlet CM with a low maturity is formed at 200–350 °C and generally consistent with gold mineralization. In addition, layered CM has δ13C values ranging from −30 to −20%, demonstrating a biogenic origin. Consequently, it is interpreted that layered CM is formed by a pre-ore metamorphic event during Caledonian, and its reducing nature promotes gold precipitation via destabilization of aqueous Au complexes or facilitating sulfidation. Veinlet CM is of hydrothermal origin, and its precipitation modified the chemical conditions of ore fluids, leading to the destabilization of Au complexes, which therefore are favorable for mineralization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ore Genesis and Metamorphism: Geochemistry, Mineralogy, and Isotopes)
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Open AccessArticle
Effectiveness of Fly Ash and Red Mud as Strategies for Sustainable Acid Mine Drainage Management
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080707 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 826
Abstract
Acid mine drainage (AMD), red mud (RM) and coal fly ash (CFA) are potential high environmental pollution problems due to their acidity, toxic metals and sulphate contents. Treatment of acidic mine water requires the generation of enough alkalinity to neutralize the excess acidity. [...] Read more.
Acid mine drainage (AMD), red mud (RM) and coal fly ash (CFA) are potential high environmental pollution problems due to their acidity, toxic metals and sulphate contents. Treatment of acidic mine water requires the generation of enough alkalinity to neutralize the excess acidity. Therefore, red mud types from Germany and Greece were chosen for the neutralization of AMD from South Africa, where this problem is notorious. Because of the high alkalinity, German red mud is the most promising precipitation agent achieving the highest pH-values. CFA is less efficient for a neutralization and precipitation process. An increase in temperature increases the adsorption kinetics. The maximum pH-value of 6.0 can be reached by the addition of 100 g German red mud at 20 °C to AMD-water with an initial pH value of 1.9. German red mud removes 99% of the aluminium as aluminium hydroxide at pH 5.0. The rare earth elements (yttrium and cerium) are adsorbed by Greek red mud with an efficiency of 50% and 80% at 60 °C in 5 min, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Considerations About Bi and Pb in the Crystal Structure of Cu-Bearing Tourmaline
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080706 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 485
Abstract
Copper- and Mn-bearing elbaitic tourmaline (“Paraíba tourmaline”) sometimes contains significant amounts of Pb and Bi. Their position in the tourmaline crystal structure was studied with correlation analysis and bond valence calculations. Correlations between the F content and the X-site charge allow predicting the [...] Read more.
Copper- and Mn-bearing elbaitic tourmaline (“Paraíba tourmaline”) sometimes contains significant amounts of Pb and Bi. Their position in the tourmaline crystal structure was studied with correlation analysis and bond valence calculations. Correlations between the F content and the X-site charge allow predicting the X-site occupancy. Three sets of tourmaline analyses were studied: (1) Pb-rich tourmalines from the Minh Tien pegmatite, Vietnam; (2) Cu-, Pb- and Bi-bearing tourmalines from the Mulungu mine, Brazil; (3) Cu- and Bi-bearing tourmalines from the Alto dos Quintos mine, Brazil. Two correlations were plotted: (1) the charge by considering only Na1+, Ca2+ and K1+; (2) the charge by adding Pb2+ and Bi3+ to the X-site charge. When plotting correlations for the Minh Tien tourmalines, the correlation significantly improves by adding Pb2+ to the X site. For the Alto dos Quintos tourmalines, only a slight increase of the correlation coefficient is observed, while such a correlation for tourmalines from Mulungu interestingly shows a slight decrease of the correlation coefficient. Bond valence calculations revealed that Bi3+ and Pb2+ can indeed occupy the X site via BiLi(NaAl)−1, PbLi(NaCu)−1 and possibly PbCu(NaAl)−1 substitutions as seen in the investigated tourmaline samples. At the Y site, Pb4+ can be substituted via PbLi(AlCu)−1, and PbVO(AlVOH)−1, while Bi5+ does not have any stable arrangement in Cu-bearing fluor-elbaite. The occurrence of Pb4+ at the Y site could be one explanation for the results of the correlations of the Mulungu tourmalines. Another explanation could be that during the tourmaline crystallization some additional Bi and Pb came into the pegmatitic system and hence disturbed the correlation between the average X-site charge and the F content. Further plots of such correlations in “Paraíba tourmaline” samples might also help to distinguish between the worldwide localities of these rare and sought-after tourmalines. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Steel Slag Characterisation—Benefit of Coupling Chemical, Mineralogical and Magnetic Techniques
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080705 - 09 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 821
Abstract
Steel-making slag is largely used today in road construction and other applications, but significant volumes are landfilled and cannot be recycled for excessive contents in hazardous metals, such as chromium or vanadium. The long-term behaviour of this material is still little known, and [...] Read more.
Steel-making slag is largely used today in road construction and other applications, but significant volumes are landfilled and cannot be recycled for excessive contents in hazardous metals, such as chromium or vanadium. The long-term behaviour of this material is still little known, and the characterisation of large volume slag dumps remains an environmental challenge. In this study various analytical techniques are used to characterise Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) slag landfilled for several decades and exposed to chemical weathering and erosion. Coupling chemical, mineralogical and magnetic techniques helps to understand the relations between hazardous metals and mineral phases. A special interest is given to Fe-bearing minerals microstructure so as to link the magnetic properties of the material to its mineralogical composition. The studied slag presents high amounts of chromium (between 1 and 3 wt. %) and very high magnetic susceptibility values (near 60 × 10−6 m3/kg), explained by the presence of magnetite and a spinel solid solution. Some correlations are found between magnetic susceptibility and potentially hazardous metals, providing new perspectives for future environmental investigations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Aboveground and Belowground Colonization of Vegetation on a 17-Year-Old Cover with Capillary Barrier Effect Built on a Boreal Mine Tailings Storage Facility
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080704 - 08 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 775
Abstract
Acid mine drainage is an important environmental risk linked to the surface storage of reactive mine tailings. To manage this problem, a cover with a capillary barrier effect (CCBE) can be used. This oxygen barrier cover relies on maintaining a fine-grained material layer [...] Read more.
Acid mine drainage is an important environmental risk linked to the surface storage of reactive mine tailings. To manage this problem, a cover with a capillary barrier effect (CCBE) can be used. This oxygen barrier cover relies on maintaining a fine-grained material layer (moisture-retaining layer, MRL) with a high degree of saturation. CCBEs can be colonized by surrounding plants. Plant roots pump water and could impact CCBE’s performance. This performance is predicted with unsaturated water flow numerical models in which vegetation parameters can be included. Vegetation parameters may be specific in a CCBE environment. Therefore, analyzing and quantifying the vegetation that colonizes this type of cover is necessary. Plant colonization was investigated through cover and density surveys on 12 transects on a 17-year-old CCBE in the mixed forest of Quebec, Canada. Then, aboveground vegetation and root colonization intensity at three depths in the MRL were characterized on 25 plots of five dominant vegetation types (Salix, Populus, Alnus, Picea sp., and herbaceous species). The mean root length density under plots dominated by Salix sp. was higher than in the other plots. Root colonization of the MRL was concentrated in the first 10 cm and occurred under all woody and herbaceous species as well. This work quantitatively describes, for the first time, the vegetation colonizing a CCBE both at the above- and belowground levels. These data will be useful to better predict the long-term performance of this engineered reclamation cover. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Reclamation and Bio-Remediation of Former Mine Sites)
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Open AccessArticle
Formation of Spessartine and CO2 via Rhodochrosite Decarbonation along a Hot Subduction P-T Path
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080703 - 07 Aug 2020
Viewed by 626
Abstract
Experimental simulation of rhodochrosite-involving decarbonation reactions resulting in the formation of spessartine and CO2-fluid was performed in a wide range of pressures (P) and temperatures (T) corresponding to a hot subduction P-T path. Experiments were [...] Read more.
Experimental simulation of rhodochrosite-involving decarbonation reactions resulting in the formation of spessartine and CO2-fluid was performed in a wide range of pressures (P) and temperatures (T) corresponding to a hot subduction P-T path. Experiments were carried out using a multi-anvil high-pressure apparatus of a “split-sphere” type (BARS) in an MnCO3–SiO2–Al2O3 system (3.0–7.5 GPa, 850–1250 °C and 40–100 h.) with a specially designed high-pressure hematite buffered cell. It was experimentally demonstrated that decarbonation in the MnCO3–SiO2–Al2O3 system occurred at 870 ± 20 °C (3.0 GPa), 1070 ± 20 °C (6.3 GPa), and 1170 ± 20 °C (7.5 GPa). Main Raman spectroscopic modes of the synthesized spessartine were 349–350 (R), 552(υ2), and 906–907 (υ1) cm−1. As evidenced by mass spectrometry (IRMS) analysis, the fluid composition corresponded to pure CO2. It has been experimentally shown that rhodochrosite consumption to form spessartine + CO2 can occur at conditions close to those of a hot subduction P-T path but are 300–350 °C lower than pyrope + CO2 formation parameters at constant pressures. We suppose that the presence of rhodocrosite in the subducting slab, even as solid solution with Mg,Ca-carbonates, would result in a decrease of the decarbonation temperatures. Rhodochrosite decarbonation is an important reaction to explain the relationship between Mn-rich garnets and diamonds with subduction/crustal isotopic signature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behaviour of Volatiles and Fluid-Mobile Elements in Subduction Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Fedorite from Murun Alkaline Complex (Russia): Spectroscopy and Crystal Chemical Features
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080702 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 995
Abstract
Fedorite is a rare phyllosilicate, having a crystal structure characterized by SiO4-tetrahedral double layers located between continuous layers formed by edge-sharing (Ca,Na)-octahedra, and containing interlayer K, Na atoms and H2O molecules. A mineralogical-petrographic and detailed crystal-chemical study of fedorite [...] Read more.
Fedorite is a rare phyllosilicate, having a crystal structure characterized by SiO4-tetrahedral double layers located between continuous layers formed by edge-sharing (Ca,Na)-octahedra, and containing interlayer K, Na atoms and H2O molecules. A mineralogical-petrographic and detailed crystal-chemical study of fedorite specimens from three districts of the Murun alkaline complex was performed. The sequence of the crystallization of minerals in association with fedorite was established. The studied fedorite samples differ in the content of interlayer potassium and water molecules. A comparative analysis based on polyhedral characteristics and deformation parameters was carried out. For the first time, EPR, optical absorption and emission spectra were obtained for fedorite. The raspberry-red coloration of the mineral specimens could be attributed to the presence of Mn4+ ions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Alkali Roasting Pretreatment on Nickel Extraction from Limonite Ore by Using Dissolved SO2-Air
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080701 - 07 Aug 2020
Viewed by 671
Abstract
Extraction of limonite ore using dissolved SO2–air is an alternative hydrometallurgical method for nickel recovery. This process is carried out at atmospheric pressure and is shown to have good selectivity of nickel over iron, but with a low recovery yield. The [...] Read more.
Extraction of limonite ore using dissolved SO2–air is an alternative hydrometallurgical method for nickel recovery. This process is carried out at atmospheric pressure and is shown to have good selectivity of nickel over iron, but with a low recovery yield. The literature refers to the application of alkali roasting as pretreatment in laterite ore leaching to increase nickel recovery. Thus, this study aims to apply the combination method of alkali roasting and leaching to extract nickel from limonite ore (1.33% Ni, 46.61% Fe) from the Southeast Sulawesi region. Three alkali compounds were included in the study (NaOH, Na2CO3 and Na2SO4). The batch-leaching process was carried out at pH 1 and 3 and temperatures of 55 and 80 °C for 180 min. The leach liquors were sampled at 15, 60, 90 and 120 min, and concentrations of the extracted metals were measured by Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS). A mineralogy characterization of the raw ore and its residue after leaching was undertaken by using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), while the thermal decomposition behavior of the ore was characterized by Thermogravimetry Analyzer (TGA)/Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). The addition of Na2CO3, Na2SO4 and NaOH in the ore pretreatment increases nickel recovery from 14.80% without alkali roasting to 23.99%, 28.15% and 39.22%, respectively. The optimum extraction condition for nickel recovery is at pH 1 and a temperature of 80 °C. However, the highest Ni/Fe selectivity of 24,947 is obtained at pH 3 and a temperature of 80 °C, preceded by roasting in the absence of alkali. Compared to other hydrometallurgical processes, the process studied in this work exhibits lower recovery, but provides an alternative to extract nickel from low-grade limonite ore. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Processing of Alternative and Urban Ores)
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Open AccessArticle
Composition and Technological Properties of Clays for Structural Ceramics in Limpopo (South Africa)
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080700 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 680
Abstract
This study evaluated the potential of raw clays from the Mukondeni region for structural ceramics and pottery based on traditional firing techniques. Physical properties were identified by particle size distribution, consistency limits, and clay activity. Mineralogical and chemical properties were investigated by X-ray [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the potential of raw clays from the Mukondeni region for structural ceramics and pottery based on traditional firing techniques. Physical properties were identified by particle size distribution, consistency limits, and clay activity. Mineralogical and chemical properties were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF). Extruded clay bodies were fired at 900 °C. Technological characteristics were measured by weight loss (WL), bulk density (BD), dry linear shrinkage (DLS), fired linear shrinkage (FLS), water absorption (WA), and flexural strength (FS). The clays were low in <2 µm fractions (≤19%) and of medium to high plasticity with a clayey silt texture. Smectite was the dominant clay mineral while quartz and feldspar were major non clay minerals. The most abundant oxides were SiO2 (63.57–68.73%), Al2O3 (13.9–15.61%), and Fe2O3 (4.86–6.18%), whereas K2O, CaO, MgO, Na2O, TiO2, and P2O5 were depleted. Characterization based on the clay workability chart, Winkler’s diagram, and compositional ternary diagrams revealed acceptable extrusion properties and suitability for structural ceramics and earthenware. The clays showed acceptable WL, BD, LS, and WA, but unsatisfactory FS (≤1.08 MPa). Low mechanical strength was attributed to presence of smectites and inert nature of feldspar at 900 °C. Beneficiation through mixing with carbonate-rich raw materials is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Microstructure Investigation of Oil-Bearing Rhyolites: A Case Study from the Hailar Basin, NE China
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080699 - 06 Aug 2020
Viewed by 598
Abstract
Understanding the microstructure of rhyolites may greatly promote exploration efforts on rhyolitic hydrocarbon reservoirs; however, related studies are sparse. In this contribution, the microstructure and related porosity of oil-bearing rhyolitic lavas from the Hailar Basin (NE China) were investigated using a combination of [...] Read more.
Understanding the microstructure of rhyolites may greatly promote exploration efforts on rhyolitic hydrocarbon reservoirs; however, related studies are sparse. In this contribution, the microstructure and related porosity of oil-bearing rhyolitic lavas from the Hailar Basin (NE China) were investigated using a combination of optical microscopy, fluorescence image analysis, and scanning electron microscopy. The direct visual and quantitative analyses show that the rhyolites are heterogeneous and porous rocks and have complex microstructures. Phenocryst-rich rhyolitic lava, perlitic lava, and spherulitic rhyolite may be favorable targets for rhyolitic hydrocarbon exploration. For the phenocryst-rich rhyolitic lavas, embayment pores, cleavages, cavitational and shear fractures, and intracrystalline sieve pores are commonly observed in the phenocrysts; while flow-parallel laminar and micropores are ubiquitous in the groundmass. Perlitic lavas are characterized by the occurrence of numerous perlitic fractures which can also be produced in the glassy groundmass of other lavas. Spherulitic rhyolites mainly consist of small-sized (<1 mm) clustered or large-sized (>1 mm) isolated spherulites. Clustered spherulites are characterized by the development of interspherulite pores. Isolated spherulites contain numerous radiating micropores. Both types of spherulites may have water expulsion pores formed in the spherulite–glass border. The formation of the microstructure and related porosity of rhyolites is controlled by pre-, syn- (e.g., deuteric crystal dissolution, cavitation, ductile–brittle deformation, and high-T devitrification), and post-volcanic (e.g., hydration and low-T devitrification) processes. Although pores with diameters > 50 μm are often observed, small pores dominate in pore-size distribution. Small (<15 μm) and large (>300 μm) pores give the most volumetric contribution in most cases. Medium-sized pores with diameters ranging from ~150–300 μm are the least developed and contribute the least to the total volume. The results of this paper can be beneficial to further the understanding of the microstructure and pore system of rhyolites and may be applied to rhyolitic lava hydrocarbon reservoirs elsewhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microtexture Characterization of Rocks and Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Epithermal Mineralization in the Busang Southeast Zone, Indonesia: New Insight into the Au Prospect at the Center of the Bre-X Fraud
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080698 - 06 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1044
Abstract
The Busang mineral prospect in Kalimantan, Indonesia, was reported to host a large Au resource until 1997 when it was revealed that drill core samples had been deliberately and systematically contaminated (“salted”) with extraneous Au to falsify resource estimates. One month before the [...] Read more.
The Busang mineral prospect in Kalimantan, Indonesia, was reported to host a large Au resource until 1997 when it was revealed that drill core samples had been deliberately and systematically contaminated (“salted”) with extraneous Au to falsify resource estimates. One month before the fraud was uncovered, Dr. G. Milligan, then professor emeritus of geology, visited the site to collect a suite of core samples for academic study that was deemed representative of the host rocks, alteration, and mineralization of the Busang Southeast Zone. These samples were re-examined here by optical microscopy, electron microprobe (EMPA), whole-rock geochemistry, and fluid inclusion microthermometry to characterize the subsurface geology and hydrothermal mineralization, and to assess reasons why the system is of uneconomic character. The host rocks were variably altered calc-alkaline porphyritic subvolcanic diorites, typical of the lithological units along the mineralized trend in the Kalimantan Gold Belt. Early hydrothermal mineralization with quartz-sulfide (pyrite, chalcopyrite, Cu-sulfosalts) stockwork veinlets associated with pervasive phyllic and propylitic alteration was overprinted by crudely banded quartz-carbonate-sulfide/sulfosalt (pyrite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, galena, tennantite-tetrahedrite, bournonite-seligmannite) veins. The stockwork veins were associated with up to 140 ppb bulk rock Au, some of which was hosted by Cu-sulfosalts. Microthermometry on quartz-hosted aqueous fluid inclusion assemblages (FIA; n = 13) and single inclusions (non-FIA; n = 20) in quartz-carbonate-sulfide/sulfosalt veins yielded an overall range in homogenization temperatures (Th) between 179 °C and 366 °C and bulk salinities between 1.1 wt.% to 8.6 wt.% NaCl equivalent, with much smaller data ranges for individual FIA (e.g., FIA 3; 239.1 °C to 240.5 °C and 0.5 wt.% to 1.4 wt.% NaCl equivalent). Primary FIA along growth zones in quartz were identified, providing constraints on fluid characteristics at the time of quartz growth. Carbonate-hosted FIA (n = 3) and single inclusions (non-FIA; n = 3) in the same veins yielded Th between 254 °C and 343 °C and bulk salinities of 1.1 wt.% to 11.6 wt.% NaCl equivalent. Likewise, data ranges for individual FIA were much smaller. Many of the geological characteristics of the Busang Southeast Zone were compatible with a telescoped, intermediate-sulfidation epithermal system, having formed from diluted magmatic fluids that precipitated weak base metal mineralization. However, the system was unproductive with respect to Au and Ag, at least within the studied area. Of note, vein textures and fluid inclusion characteristics indicative of boiling or efficient fluid mixing—processes both considered critical for the formation of economic lode gold deposits—were absent in the samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Deposits)
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