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Minerals, Volume 11, Issue 10 (October 2021) – 124 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Close Range Photogrammetry (CRP), and low frequency (24 kHz) ultrasonic tomography complemented by petrographical analysis. The aim here is to assess the conservation state of an ancient marble column in the Basilica of San Saturnino, in the city of Cagliari (Italy). The high resolution 3D modelling of the studied artifact was computed starting from the integration of proximal sensing techniques, such as CRP based on the Structure from Motion (SfM) technique, which provided information on the geometrical anomalies and reflectivity of the investigated column surface. The inner parts of the studied body were inspected successfully by using 3D ultrasonic tomography. View this paper
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Review
Biomineralization in Polychaete Annelids: A Review
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101151 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1311
Abstract
Polychaete annelids are a very important group of calcifiers in the modern oceans. They can produce calcite, aragonite, and amorphous phosphates. Serpulids possess very diverse tube ultra-structures, several unique to them. Serpulid tubes are composed of aragonite or calcite or a mixture of [...] Read more.
Polychaete annelids are a very important group of calcifiers in the modern oceans. They can produce calcite, aragonite, and amorphous phosphates. Serpulids possess very diverse tube ultra-structures, several unique to them. Serpulid tubes are composed of aragonite or calcite or a mixture of both polymorphs. The serpulid tubes with complex oriented microstructures, such as lamello fibrillar, are exclusively calcitic, whereas tubes with prismatic structures can be composed either of calcite or aragonite. In serpulids, the calcareous opercula also have complex microstructures. Evolutionarily, calcitic serpulid taxa belong to one clade and the aragonitic taxa belong to another clade. Modern ocean acidification affects serpulid biomineralization. Serpulids are capable of biomineralization in extreme environments, such as the deepest part (hadal zone) of the ocean. The tubes of calcareous sabellids are aragonitic and have two layers, the inner irregular spherulitic prismatic layer and the outer spherulitic layer. The tube wall of cirratulids is composed of aragonitic lamellae with a spherulitic prismatic structure. In some other polychaetes, biominerals are formed in different parts of the animal body, such as chaetae or body shields, or occur within the body as granule-shaped or rod-shaped inclusions. Full article
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Article
Thermal Expansion and Polymorphism of Slawsonite SrAl2Si2O8
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1150; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101150 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1141
Abstract
Slawsonite’s (SrAl2Si2O8) structure evolutions depending on temperature (27–1000 °C) have been studied by in situ single-crystal X-ray diffraction. The SrO7 polyhedron expands regularly with the temperature increase. Silicon and aluminum cations are ordered in tetrahedral sites [...] Read more.
Slawsonite’s (SrAl2Si2O8) structure evolutions depending on temperature (27–1000 °C) have been studied by in situ single-crystal X-ray diffraction. The SrO7 polyhedron expands regularly with the temperature increase. Silicon and aluminum cations are ordered in tetrahedral sites of the studied slawsonite; no significant changes in their distribution as temperature increases were observed. Slawsonite demonstrates a relatively high volume thermal expansion (αV = 23 × 10−6 °C−1) with high anisotropy, typical for framework feldspar-related minerals and synthetic compounds. It was found that, contrary to previously published data, the crystal structure of slawsonite is stable in the studied temperature range and no phase transitions occur up to 1000 °C. The role of Ca and Ba substitution for Sr and Al/Si ordering on polymorphism of natural MAl2Si2O8 (M = Ca, Sr, Ba) is herein discussed. Full article
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Article
Uptake of Be(II) by Cement in Degradation Stage I: Wet-Chemistry and Molecular Dynamics Studies
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1149; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101149 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 893
Abstract
The uptake of beryllium by hardened cement paste (HCP, with CEM I 42,5 N BV/SR/LA type) in degradation stage I was investigated with a series of batch sorption experiments with 10−6 M ≤ [Be(II)]0 ≤ 10−2.5 M and 2 g·L [...] Read more.
The uptake of beryllium by hardened cement paste (HCP, with CEM I 42,5 N BV/SR/LA type) in degradation stage I was investigated with a series of batch sorption experiments with 10−6 M ≤ [Be(II)]0 ≤ 10−2.5 M and 2 g·L−1 ≤ [S/L] ≤ 50 g·L−1. All experiments were performed under Ar atmosphere at T = (22 ± 2) °C. Solubility limits calculated for α-Be(OH)2(cr) in the conditions of the cement pore water were used to define the experimental window in the sorption experiments. Beryllium sorbs strongly on HCP under all of the investigated conditions, with log Rd ≈ 5.5 (Rd in L⋅kg−1). Sorption isotherms show a linear behavior with a slope of ≈+1 (log [Be(II)]solid vs. log [Be(II)]aq) over four orders of magnitude (10−8 M ≤ [Be(II)]aq ≤ 10−4 M), which confirm that the uptake is controlled by sorption processes and that solubility phenomena do not play any role within the considered boundary conditions. The similar uptake observed for beryllium in calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) phases supports that the C-S-H phases are the main sink of Be(II) in cement. The strong uptake observed for Be(II) agrees with the findings reported for heavier metal ions, e.g., Zn(II), Eu(III), Am(III), or Th(IV). The exceptional sorption properties of beryllium can be partially explained by its small size, which result in a charge-to-size ratio (z/d) of the same order as Eu(III) or Am(III). Kinetic experiments confirm the slow uptake of Be(II), which is characterized by a two-step process. In analogy to other strongly sorbing metal ions such as Zn(II) or Th(IV), a fast surface complexation (t < 4 days) followed by a slower incorporation of Be(II) in the C-S-H structure (t ≥ 60 days) are proposed. The surface complexation was studied in detail with molecular dynamic simulations, and the most common surface species are identified and described. This work provides the first experimental evidence supporting the strong uptake of Be(II) by HCP in degradation stage I, further extending previous findings on C-S-H phases and HCP in degradation stage II. These results overcome previous conservative estimates assuming no or only a weak uptake in cementitious systems and represent a relevant contribution for the quantitative assessment on the retention/mobilization of beryllium in the context of nuclear waste disposal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cement Related Minerals—in Memory of Herbert Pöllmann)
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Article
The Potential Role of S-and Fe-Cycling Bacteria on the Formation of Fe-Bearing Mineral (Pyrite and Vivianite) in Alluvial Sediments from the Upper Chicamocha River Basin, Colombia
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101148 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1212
Abstract
S- and Fe-cycling bacteria can decisively affect the crystallization of Fe-bearing minerals in sediments from fluvial environments. We have studied the relationships between the Fe-bearing mineral assemblage and the bacterial community composition in the sediments rich in organic matter from the upper Chicamocha [...] Read more.
S- and Fe-cycling bacteria can decisively affect the crystallization of Fe-bearing minerals in sediments from fluvial environments. We have studied the relationships between the Fe-bearing mineral assemblage and the bacterial community composition in the sediments rich in organic matter from the upper Chicamocha river basin (Colombia). Rapid flowing sections of the river contain sediments that have a high redox potential, are poor in organic matter and are enriched in kaolinite and quartz. On the other hand, the mineral assemblage of the sediments deposited in the La Playa dam with a high content in organic matter is enriched in Fe-bearing minerals: (a) vivianite and pyrite in the permanently flooded sediments of the dam and (b) pyrite and goethite in the periodically emerged sediments. The bacterial community composition of these sediments reveals anthropic organic matter pollution processes and biodegradation associated with eutrophication. Moreover, periodically emerged sediments in the La Playa dam contain bacterial groups adapted to the alternation of dry and wet periods under oxic or anoxic conditions. Cell-shaped aggregates with a pyritic composition suggest that sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) communities were involved in the precipitation of Fe-sulfides. The precipitation of vivianite in the flooded sediments was favored by a greater availability of Fe(II), which promoted the iron-reducing bacteria (IRB) enrichment of the sediments. The presence of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB) in the flooded sediments and the activity of iron-oxidizing bacteria (IOB) in the periodically emerged sediments favored both pyrite crystallization under a high sulfide availability and the oxidation of microbially precipitated monosulfides. Moreover, IOB enhanced goethite formation in the periodically emerged sediments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microorganisms and Minerals in Natural and Engineered Environments)
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Article
Fluctuations in Graphitization of Coal Seam-Derived Natural Graphite upon Approaching the Qitianling Granite Intrusion, Hunan, China
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1147; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101147 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1132
Abstract
The Lutang graphite deposit in Chenzhou, Hunan province, China, is a well-known coal seam-derived graphite (graphite formed from coal during its natural evolution) deposit with proven reserves of 9.5 million tons and prospective reserves of around 20 million tons (2015 data). The graphite [...] Read more.
The Lutang graphite deposit in Chenzhou, Hunan province, China, is a well-known coal seam-derived graphite (graphite formed from coal during its natural evolution) deposit with proven reserves of 9.5 million tons and prospective reserves of around 20 million tons (2015 data). The graphite occurs at an andalusite bearing sericite quartz chlorite metamorphic mudstone around a c. 530 km2 Qitianling granite intrusion. A set of coal seam-derived graphite samples from the Lutang graphite deposit in Hunan was examined by geochemical, crystallographic, and spectroscopic techniques to assess changes in the degree of graphitization approaching the intrusion. The carbon content, degree of graphitization, and Raman spectral parameters of series coal seam-derived natural graphite samples show a fluctuating increase with increasing proximity to the granite intrusion. The profile of geological structural features has a close spatial correlation with the variations in the degree of graphitization of series coal seam-derived natural graphite, and a strain-enhanced graphitization model is proposed. Moreover, the geographical distribution and the degree of graphitization are positively related to changes in the iron content of chlorite, suggesting a graphitization process promoted by mineral catalysis during metamorphism. A close spatial relationship exists between graphite mineral and chlorite occurrences when approaching the intrusive mass. The results of this research are important for understanding the role of tectonic stress and mineral catalysis on the genesis of coal-derived graphite. Full article
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Article
Microbe-Mediated Mn Oxidation—A Proposed Model of Mineral Formation
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1146; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101146 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1479
Abstract
Manganese oxides occur in a wide range of environmental settings either as coatings on rocks, sediment, and soil particles, or as discrete grains. Although the production of biologically mediated Mn oxides is well established, relatively little is known about microbial-specific strategies for utilizing [...] Read more.
Manganese oxides occur in a wide range of environmental settings either as coatings on rocks, sediment, and soil particles, or as discrete grains. Although the production of biologically mediated Mn oxides is well established, relatively little is known about microbial-specific strategies for utilizing Mn in the environment and how these affect the morphology, structure, and chemistry of associated mineralizations. Defining such strategies and characterizing the associated mineral properties would contribute to a better understanding of their impact on the local environment and possibly facilitate evaluation of biogenicity in recent and past Mn accumulations. Here, we supplement field data from a Mn rock wall deposit in the Ytterby mine, Sweden, with data retrieved from culturing Mn oxidizers isolated from this site. Microscopic and spectroscopic techniques are used to characterize field site products and Mn precipitates generated by four isolated bacteria (Hydrogenophaga sp., Pedobacter sp., Rhizobium sp., and Nevskia sp.) and one fungal-bacterial co-culture (Cladosporium sp.—Hydrogenophaga sp. Rhizobium sp.—Nevskia sp.). Two of the isolates (Pedobacter sp. and Nevskia sp.) are previously unknown Mn oxidizers. At the field site, the onset of Mn oxide mineralization typically occurs in areas associated with globular wad-like particles and microbial traces. The particles serve as building blocks in the majority of the microstructures, either forming the base for further growth into laminated dendrites-botryoids or added as components to an existing structure. The most common nanoscale structures are networks of Mn oxide sheets structurally related to birnessite. The sheets are typically constructed of very few layers and elongated along the octahedral chains. In places, the sheets bend and curl under to give a scroll-like appearance. Culturing experiments show that growth conditions (biofilm or planktonic) affect the ability to oxidize Mn and that taxonomic affiliation influences crystallite size, structure, and average oxidation state as well as the onset location of Mn precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microorganisms and Minerals in Natural and Engineered Environments)
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Article
Renewable-Resource Technologies in Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises Providing Environmental Safety
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1145; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101145 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
The article addresses the issue of mining and industrial waste stored in tailings and heaps in mining areas, and it explores the existing, as well as new, ways of reducing its harmful impact on the environment. On the basis of the Russian experience [...] Read more.
The article addresses the issue of mining and industrial waste stored in tailings and heaps in mining areas, and it explores the existing, as well as new, ways of reducing its harmful impact on the environment. On the basis of the Russian experience in mining industry in Ural, it presents a process which makes it possible to eliminate the amassed hazardous waste, retrieve the valuable material (metals) stored in it, and use the remaining waste as backfill in order to both: store it underground (and not on the surface) and prevent the disasters caused by the collapse of the abandoned shafts, thus prolonging the functioning of the mining areas. The process includes preliminary activation treatment of materials found in industrial waste in a disintegrator to protect the environment from toxic pollution. The promising results of the experiment have been discussed, taking into account the complexities of economic evaluation of the idea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Valorization of Metallurgical and Mining Residues and Wastes)
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Article
Experimental Study on Failure Mechanical Properties of Two Kinds of Seafloor Massive Sulfides
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101144 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 823
Abstract
Remarkable hydrostatic pressures have a significant effect on the failure mechanical properties of seafloor minerals, which also affects the selection and development of mining excavation tools. In this paper, a Brazilian splitting test and triaxial compression test were adopted to investigate the strength [...] Read more.
Remarkable hydrostatic pressures have a significant effect on the failure mechanical properties of seafloor minerals, which also affects the selection and development of mining excavation tools. In this paper, a Brazilian splitting test and triaxial compression test were adopted to investigate the strength and deformation behavior of two kinds of seafloor massive sulfides (SMS) samples at a small-scale size. Based on the mineralogical characterization of the studied samples, the mechanical properties were preliminarily correlated with their internal structures and mineral compositions. Results indicate that there is a significant difference in the triaxial compression deformation properties between the two kinds of SMS samples and the geotechnical data are controlled by mineral type and composition, including porosity. In general, the triaxial compression process of the two kinds of samples included initial compaction, elastic stage, yield stage, failure stage and residual stage, and shows strain softening characteristics after the peak. With the increase in confining pressure, the strain-softening behavior of the white sample is mitigated and gradually changes into strain-hardening. The peak strength and peak strain of the two samples increased linearly with the increase in confining pressure within the confining pressure range of these tests, and the failure pattern of the specimens also changed from a typical brittle failure to a ductile failure. The results of this study provide data to support further understanding of different kinds of SMS, and are of great significance in the design of efficient SMS exploitation equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Deposits)
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Article
Effect of Commercial Amendments on Immobilization of Arsenic, Copper, and Zinc in Contaminated Soil: Comprehensive Assessing to Plant Uptake Combined with a Microbial Community Approach
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101143 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1188
Abstract
Identifying the proper chemical and biological materials as soil amendments is a great concern because they replace soil properties and subsequently change the soil quality. Hence, this study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a diverse range of soil amendments including bentonite [...] Read more.
Identifying the proper chemical and biological materials as soil amendments is a great concern because they replace soil properties and subsequently change the soil quality. Hence, this study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a diverse range of soil amendments including bentonite (B), talc (T), activated carbon (AC), and cornstarch (CS) in form of sole and composite on the immobilization and bioavailability of As, Cu, and Zn. The amendments were characterized by SEM, FT-IR, and XRF, and applied at 2% (w/w) in the experimental pots with an Asteraceae (i.e., lettuce) for 45 days to monitor plant growth parameters and soil microbial community. Soil pH from 6.1 ± 0.02 significantly increased in the amended soils with the maximum value found for TAC (7.4 ± 0.04). The results showed that soil amendments reduced easily in an exchangeable fractionation of As, Cu, and Zn with the maximum values found for BAC by 66.4%, AC by 84.2%, and T by 89.7% respectively. Adding B, T, AC, and their composites induced dry biomass of lettuce >40 wt.%, while CS and its composites did not affect the dry biomass of the plant. The average content of Cu and Zn in plant tissues decreased >45 wt.% in B, AC, and their composites amended soils; meanwhile, AC and its composites mitigated As uptake by >30 wt.% in lettuce. The results of Biolog Ecoplate showed that the amending soils improved the microbial community, especially for composites (e.g., TCS). The results demonstrated that adding composites amendments provided an efficient method for the immobilization of metals and metalloids, and also induced plant growth parameters and microbial community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Geochemistry in the Mining Environment)
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Article
Value of Rapid Mineralogical Monitoring of Copper Ores
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101142 - 17 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
An essential operation in the mineral processing of copper ores into concentrates is blending, as it guarantees a constant feed for the flotation cells, increases metal recovery rate and reduces tailings. In this study, copper ores from Huelva province (Spain) were investigated by [...] Read more.
An essential operation in the mineral processing of copper ores into concentrates is blending, as it guarantees a constant feed for the flotation cells, increases metal recovery rate and reduces tailings. In this study, copper ores from Huelva province (Spain) were investigated by quantitative XRD (X-ray diffraction) methods to optimize blending and detect penalty minerals, which can affect flotation and concentrate quality. The Rietveld method in combination with cluster analysis, PLSR and more traditional chemical analysis provide a more complete and in-depth characterization of the ore and the whole process. The mineralogical monitoring can be fully automated to enable real-time decision making. Full article
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Article
Hybrid Failure of Cemented Paste Backfill
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1141; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101141 - 17 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1326
Abstract
The hybrid failure is a coupled failure mechanism under the action of tensile and shear stresses. The failure is critical in cemented paste backfill (CPB) since there are no visible signs prior to the failure. Few studies have been conducted on the coupled [...] Read more.
The hybrid failure is a coupled failure mechanism under the action of tensile and shear stresses. The failure is critical in cemented paste backfill (CPB) since there are no visible signs prior to the failure. Few studies have been conducted on the coupled stress response of CPB. This is most likely due to a lack of suitable laboratory equipment and test procedures. This paper presents a new punching shear apparatus to evaluate the hybrid failure of CPB. We harness two-dimensional finite element analysis (FEA) for supplementing experimental study in providing stress transformation, deformation, and possible failure mechanisms. Our study suggests that the coupled stress is a combination of tensile and shear strength in function of the angle of the frustum. The strengths measured by the coupled stress are comparable to those measured by direct shear and tensile strength tests, in which the strength properties of CPB are curing time and binder content dependent. The FEA results substantiate the effectiveness of proposed model for predicting the hybrid failure of CPB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alkali-Activated Cements and Concretes)
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Article
Application of the Fractal Dimension Calculation Technique to Determine the Shape of Selected Monchepluton Intrusion Crystals (NE Fennoscandia)
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101140 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 845
Abstract
Thirty-eight samples of minerals from Paleoproterozoic Layered PGE Intrusion Monchepluton, located in NE Fennoscandia, were tested. An automated computational technique was used which involved counting the sides superimposed on vectorized graphics using separated crystal boundaries. The results were obtained for olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, [...] Read more.
Thirty-eight samples of minerals from Paleoproterozoic Layered PGE Intrusion Monchepluton, located in NE Fennoscandia, were tested. An automated computational technique was used which involved counting the sides superimposed on vectorized graphics using separated crystal boundaries. The results were obtained for olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, and plagioclase. On this basis, an interpretation of the mineral box fractal dimension was made, along with an interpretation of its nature in the rock in which it was found. The performed calculations were applied to the sampling positions, and maps of changes in fractal dimensions were prepared. The nature of the minerals studied was correlated with the type of rocks present in Monchepluton. Then, the fractal dimensions were scaled to a percentage scale determining the mean value for the euhedral crystal as 100%, and a map was obtained representing the advancement of secondary processes after summing these data for all four investigated minerals. This method was analyzed and its advantages and limitations shown. Full article
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Article
Nb–Ta Behaviour during Magma-to-Pegmatite Transformation Process: Record from Zircon Megacrysts in Pegmatite
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101139 - 17 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1033
Abstract
Due to the absence of early magma records in pegmatites, it is difficult to investigate the behavior of Nb and Ta during the transformation from magma to pegmatite melt. Zircon megacrysts in an NYF-type (Nb-Y-HREE-F) pegmatite from the Arabian Shield could be divided [...] Read more.
Due to the absence of early magma records in pegmatites, it is difficult to investigate the behavior of Nb and Ta during the transformation from magma to pegmatite melt. Zircon megacrysts in an NYF-type (Nb-Y-HREE-F) pegmatite from the Arabian Shield could be divided into three phases from core to margin. The Phase Ι zircon in the core of the zircon megacrysts had typical magma oscillatory zonation with ∑REE content from 300 to 400 ppm, Th/U ratios of less than 0.1 and Nb/Ta ratios of less than 1.0. Phase ΙΙ zircon had oscillatory zonation and was enriched with LREEs mostly with Th/U ratios of 0.1–0.2 and Nb/Ta ratios of 1.0–3.0. Phase ΙΙΙ unzoned zircon had the highest ∑REE content, from 8000 to 15,000 ppm, with Th/U ratios higher than 3.0 and Nb/Ta ratios higher than 5.0. The Hf-O isotopic composition was similar in the different phases of zircon with initial 176Hf/177Hf ratios of 0.28258–0.28277, εHf(t) values from 8.0 to 12.0 and δ18OVSMOW from +4.0‰ to +5.0‰. Zircon megacrysts in the NYF-type pegmatite from the Arabian Shield record the transformation from magma to pegmatite melt. Similar Hf-O isotopic compositions mean a closed magmatic system without contamination by external melt, rock or fluid. The proposed modeling shows that magma with low Nb and Ta concentrations and Nb/Ta ratios could evolve into residual pegmatite melt with a high Nb content and superchondrite Nb/Ta ratio during several stages of melt extraction and fractional crystallization of Ti-rich minerals, such as rutile and titanite. The Nb/Ta ratio can be used as an effective indicator of the transformation process from magma to pegmatite melt. Full article
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Article
On the Adsorption Mechanism of Humic Substances on Kaolinite and Their Microscopic Structure
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1138; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101138 - 17 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 997
Abstract
Soil organic matter (SOM) and various inorganic minerals represent key components of soils. During pedogenesis and due to biological activity these species interact, having a crucial impact on the formation of an aggregated soil structure with a hierarchical arrangement from nano to macro [...] Read more.
Soil organic matter (SOM) and various inorganic minerals represent key components of soils. During pedogenesis and due to biological activity these species interact, having a crucial impact on the formation of an aggregated soil structure with a hierarchical arrangement from nano to macro scale. In this process, the formation of organo–mineral microaggregates represents a dominant factor affecting soil functions and properties. This study focuses on the interactions between humic substances (HSs) and the mineral kaolinite as typical representatives of SOM and soil minerals. By performing classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on models of HSs and kaolinite, we demonstrate how two dominant but chemically different kaolinite surfaces affect the stability of HSs microaggregates. By analyzing volumetric, structural, and energetic properties of SOM–kaolinite models, we explain possible mechanisms of the formation of stable SOM–clay aggregates and show how a polarized environment affects the electrostatic interactions, stabilizing the microscopic structure of SOM–mineral aggregates. Our results showed that when stable aggregates of HSs are confined in kaolinite nanopores, their interactions with kaolinite surfaces disintegrate them into smaller subaggregates. These subaggregates are adsorbed more strongly on the polar aluminol surface of kaolinite compared to less the active hydrophobic siloxane surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Molecular Modeling of Clay Minerals Interfaces)
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Review
Phosphate Rocks: A Review of Sedimentary and Igneous Occurrences in Morocco
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101137 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5255
Abstract
Phosphate rocks are a vital resource for world food supply and security. They are the primary raw material for phosphoric acid and fertilizers used in agriculture, and are increasingly considered to be a potential source of rare earth elements. Phosphate rocks occur either [...] Read more.
Phosphate rocks are a vital resource for world food supply and security. They are the primary raw material for phosphoric acid and fertilizers used in agriculture, and are increasingly considered to be a potential source of rare earth elements. Phosphate rocks occur either as sedimentary deposits or igneous ores associated with alkaline rocks. In both cases, the genesis of high-grade phosphate rocks results from complex concentration mechanisms involving several (bio)geochemical processes. Some of these ore-forming processes remain poorly understood and subject to scientific debate. Morocco holds the world’s largest deposits of sedimentary phosphate rocks, and also possesses several alkaline complexes with the potential to bear igneous phosphate ores that are still largely underexplored. This paper summarizes the main geological features and driving processes of sedimentary and igneous phosphates, and discusses their global reserve/resource situation. It also provides a comprehensive review of the published data and information on Moroccan sedimentary and igneous phosphates. It reveals significant knowledge gaps and a lack of data, inter alia, regarding the geochemistry of phosphates and basin-scale correlations. Owing to the unique situation of Moroccan phosphates on the global market, they clearly deserve more thorough studies that may, in turn, help to constrain future resources and/or reserves, and answer outstanding questions on the genesis of phosphates. Full article
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Article
Historical Outline of Iron Mining and Production in the Area of Present-Day Poland
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1136; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101136 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 2203
Abstract
The article presents the history of iron ore mining and production in present-day Poland and takes into account mining and production techniques and the influence of mining on the development of the surrounding areas. Examples of development are presented for the most important [...] Read more.
The article presents the history of iron ore mining and production in present-day Poland and takes into account mining and production techniques and the influence of mining on the development of the surrounding areas. Examples of development are presented for the most important iron ore mining centers established since the period of the so-called Roman influences—Lower Silesia in the region of Tarchalice and the Świętokrzyskie region in the area of Góry Świętokrzyskie (Świętokrzyskie Mountains). The oldest traces of underground iron ore mining in Poland date back to the 7th–5th century B.C., and iron production dates back from the 1st century B.C. in the Częstochowa region where economically significant iron ore exploitation started in the 14th century and lasted until the 20th century. Studies showed that the development of iron ore mining in today’s Poland was associated with significant events in the country’s history, for example, with the expansion of a network of fortified castles in Silesia or with the industrial revolution. In each case, the increase in iron production resulted in the development and growth of the surrounding areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage)
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Article
Anisotropic Differences in the Thermal Conductivity of Rocks: A Summary from Core Measurement Data in East China
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1135; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101135 - 15 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 700
Abstract
The study of thermal conductivity anisotropy is of great importance for more accurate heat flow calculations, geodynamic studies, development and utilization of hot dry rock, and simulation of heat transfer in geological reservoirs of nuclear waste, and so on. To study the thermal [...] Read more.
The study of thermal conductivity anisotropy is of great importance for more accurate heat flow calculations, geodynamic studies, development and utilization of hot dry rock, and simulation of heat transfer in geological reservoirs of nuclear waste, and so on. To study the thermal conductivity anisotropy of rocks, 1158 cores from 60 boreholes in East China were tested for thermal conductivity, including thermal conductivity values parallel to (λ) and perpendicular to (λ) structural planes of basalt, mudstones, gneisses, sandstones, carbonates, evaporites, and metamorphic rocks. The thermal conductivity anisotropy is not obvious for sand, clay, and evaporate, and the average anisotropic factors of 1.19 ± 0.22, 1.18 ± 0.17, and 1.18 ± 0.17 for tuff/breccia, granitoid and contact metamorphic rocks, respectively, indicate that these three rocks have strong anisotropy characteristics. Finally, the effect of thermal conductivity anisotropy on heat flow is studied and discussed in detail, showing that the results of thermal conductivity tests have a significant effect on the calculation of heat flow and thermal structure, and the data show that a deviation of about 10% in thermal conductivity causes a deviation of about 11% in heat flow, which may lead to a misperception of deep thermal structure studies. The regular and anisotropic characteristics of thermal conductivity of various rocks in Eastern China obtained in this paper can provide parameter support for projects such as heat flow calculations, thermal structure studies, and geothermal resource development and utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Thermochemistry of Natural and Synthetic Minerals)
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Concept Paper
Assessment of Pre-Treatment Techniques for Coarse Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) Recycling
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101134 - 15 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
Waste electrical and electronic equipment or e-waste generation has been skyrocketing over the last decades. This poses waste management and value recovery challenges, especially in developing countries. Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are mainly employed in value recovery operations. Despite the high energy costs [...] Read more.
Waste electrical and electronic equipment or e-waste generation has been skyrocketing over the last decades. This poses waste management and value recovery challenges, especially in developing countries. Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are mainly employed in value recovery operations. Despite the high energy costs of generating crushed and milled particles of the order of several microns, those are employed in conventional hydrometallurgical techniques. Coarse PCB pieces (of order a few centimetres) based value recovery operations are not reported at the industrial scale as the complexities of the internal structure of PCBs limit efficient metal and non-metal separation. Since coarse PCB particles’ pre-treatment is of paramount importance to enhance metal and non-metal separations, thermal, mechanical, chemical and electrical pre-treatment techniques were extensively studied. It is quite evident that a single pre-treatment technique does not result in complete metal liberation and therefore several pre-treatment flowsheets were formulated for coarse PCB particles. Thermal, mechanical and chemical pre-treatments integrated flowsheets were derived and such flowsheets are seldom reported in the e-waste literature. The potential flowsheets need to be assessed considering socio-techno-economic considerations to yield the best available technologies (BAT). In the wider context, the results of this work could be useful for achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals. Full article
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Article
Determination of Potentially Harmful Element (PHE) Distribution in Water Bodies in Krugersdorp, a Mining City in the West Rand, Gauteng Province, South Africa
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1133; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101133 - 15 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1495
Abstract
The town of Krugersdorp in South Africa is the locus of an important wildlife game reserve, the Krugersdorp Game Reserve (KGR), which is juxtaposed by the (<1000 m) down-gradient of the large-scale gold mining outfits of Mintails Mogale Gold (MMG) and Rand Uranium [...] Read more.
The town of Krugersdorp in South Africa is the locus of an important wildlife game reserve, the Krugersdorp Game Reserve (KGR), which is juxtaposed by the (<1000 m) down-gradient of the large-scale gold mining outfits of Mintails Mogale Gold (MMG) and Rand Uranium (RU). The aim of the study was to determine the concentration levels of potentially harmful elements (PHEs) that have accumulated due to post-mining activities in the local water bodies in Krugersdorp and to use these data as a prerequisite and basis for formulation of the most appropriate remediation measures. Thirty water samples were collected and analysed in situ for: water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen (mgl−1), dissolved oxygen (%), total dissolved solids (TDS), oxidation/reduction potential (ORP), and electrical conductivity (EC). This was later followed by laboratory analyses of aliquots of the water samples by ICP-MS for twelve PHEs whose concentration ranges were: As (0.70–32.20), Ag (0.16–105.00), Al (1.00–41.00), Co (0.07–6.16), Cr (1.60–5.00), Cu (0.80–8.00), Fe (23.00–117.00), Mn (0.14–12 255.00), Ni (0.20–7.00), Pb (0.80–6.30), V (1.90–55.20), and Zn (2.20–783.00). Areas of the town where excessive concentration levels of these elements have negatively impacted the health of its wildlife population and surrounding ecosystems are identified, and credible mitigation measures proffered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment, Beneficiation, and Valorization of Acid Mine Drainage)
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Review
The Development History and Latest Progress of Deep-Sea Polymetallic Nodule Mining Technology
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1132; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101132 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3204
Abstract
Deep-sea polymetallic nodules are a mineral resource with potential for commercial development. Due to the unique deep-sea environment in which they are found, specialized technology and equipment are required for their extraction. In this paper, firstly, the development of deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining [...] Read more.
Deep-sea polymetallic nodules are a mineral resource with potential for commercial development. Due to the unique deep-sea environment in which they are found, specialized technology and equipment are required for their extraction. In this paper, firstly, the development of deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining technology is classified into three stages, and its characteristics are summarized. Moreover, the results from research into deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining technology are analyzed, including proposals for mining systems, research into key technologies, basic scientific problems, and proof of technical feasibility from sea tests. Secondly, the testing of the collector prototype and the environmental impact assessment study of Global Sea Mineral Resources NV, as well as the progress of the deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining test project in China, are introduced. On this basis, the opportunities and challenges brought by the fast-growing demand for electric vehicles to the development of deep-sea polymetallic mining technology is analyzed, and a possible technical scheme for a mining system and the trends in its development towards high reliability and high standards of environmental protection according to the requirements of commercial exploitation are explored. This provides a reference for the research and development of high-efficiency technology and equipment for the mining of deep-sea polymetallic nodules. Full article
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Article
Interface Sampling and Indicator Minerals for Detecting the Footprint of the Lancefield North Gold Deposit under the Permian Glacial Cover in Western Australia
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1131; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101131 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1217
Abstract
Areas under a thick Permian glacial cover in Western Australia formed as glaciers gouged fresh bedrock and deposited diamictites in disconnected valleys and basins. These areas now present the greatest challenge for mineral exploration in the northeast Yilgarn Craton. At the Lancefield North [...] Read more.
Areas under a thick Permian glacial cover in Western Australia formed as glaciers gouged fresh bedrock and deposited diamictites in disconnected valleys and basins. These areas now present the greatest challenge for mineral exploration in the northeast Yilgarn Craton. At the Lancefield North gold prospect, in the southern part of the Duketon Greenstone Belt, Permian diamictites on average 40 m thick cover unweathered basalt hosting gold mineralization. The basal Permian diamictites consist of fresh, very poorly sorted, angular to rounded, pebble- to boulder-sized, polymictic clasts supported by a matrix of coarse-grained sand and mud. The framework and matrix are cemented by calcite, dolomite, chlorite, and pyrite. These diamictites are stable under alkaline and reducing conditions below the water table. Detrital; fresh sulfides; gold; and opaque oxides, such as pyrite, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, arsenopyrite, gersdorffite, cobaltite, pentlandite, scheelite and galena, chromite, ilmenite, and magnetite, are identified in the framework and matrix of the fresh diamictites, and these are identical to those in the primary gold mineralization. Weathering of diamictites and oxidation of detrital and diagenetic sulfides above the water table produced several Fe- and Mn-rich redox fronts and secondary chalcocite and bornite. Interface sampling across the Archean–Permian unconformity shows Au, As, Zn, Ni, Co, and Cd anomalism over the mineralization compared to the background. However, these elements are low in concentration in the redox fronts, where Fe is correlated with As, Cu, Mo, and Sb and Mn is correlated with Co, Ni, and Ba. Gold shows elevated levels in the fresh basal diamictites and decreases in the weathered diamictites over the mineralization. A sampling at or near the Archean–Permian unconformity (interface sampling) only delineates gold mineralization, with no hydromorphic dispersion halo beyond the peripheries. At the Lancefield North prospect, the detrital indicator sulfides are mechanically dispersed up to 500 m to the east of the mineralization in the direction of ice flow. This dispersal distance is controlled by the rough topography of the Archean–Permian unconformity, and it may be greater, but the estimation of the actual distance of transport is limited by the distribution of drill hole locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Exploration in Weathered and Covered Terrains)
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Article
Powder XRD Study of Changes of Cd2+ Modified Clinoptilolite at Different Stages of the Ion Exchange Process
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101130 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 816
Abstract
Cadmium exchange on clinoptilolite is performed and structurally studied for different durations of the ion exchange process (2 h, 24 h, 72 h, 168 h, 12 days, 22 days) at room temperature and 90 °C. The distribution of Cd2+ ions in all [...] Read more.
Cadmium exchange on clinoptilolite is performed and structurally studied for different durations of the ion exchange process (2 h, 24 h, 72 h, 168 h, 12 days, 22 days) at room temperature and 90 °C. The distribution of Cd2+ ions in all samples is elucidated after exchange on clinoptilolite using powder XRD data processed by Rietveld structural software. Clinoptilolite is not selective for cadmium cations, but at 90 °C the exchange is ~2.5 cations per unit cell. At RT it reaches ~1.25 cations per unit cell being twice as low. The obtained maximum exchanged sample for 22 days 90 °C was structurally refined in order to find the cadmium positions in the clinoptilolite voids. The structural refinements of the occupations of the incoming and outgoing cations give an idea of how the intracrystalline diffusion is processed. A good correlation between results obtained by structural refinement of the Cd-exchanged samples and the data of the EDS measurements was achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue X-Ray Diffraction Crystalline Microstructure of Minerals)
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Article
A FORTRAN Program to Model Magnetic Gradient Tensor at High Susceptibility Using Contraction Integral Equation Method
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1129; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101129 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1362
Abstract
The magnetic gradient tensor provides a powerful tool for detecting magnetic bodies because of its ability to emphasize detailed features of the magnetic anomalies. To interpret field measurements obtained by magnetic gradiometry, the forward calculation of magnetic gradient fields is always necessary. In [...] Read more.
The magnetic gradient tensor provides a powerful tool for detecting magnetic bodies because of its ability to emphasize detailed features of the magnetic anomalies. To interpret field measurements obtained by magnetic gradiometry, the forward calculation of magnetic gradient fields is always necessary. In this paper, we present a contraction integral equation method to simulate the gradient fields produced by 3-D magnetic bodies of arbitrary shapes and high susceptibilities. The method employs rectangular prisms to approximate the source region with the assumption that the magnetization in each element is homogeneous. The gradient fields are first solved in the Fourier domain and then transformed into the spatial domain by 2-D Gauss-FFT. This calculation is performed iteratively until the required accuracy is reached. The convergence of the iterative procedure is ensured by a contraction operator. To facilitate application, we introduce a FORTRAN program to implement the algorithm. This program is intended for users who show interests in 3D magnetic modeling at high susceptibility. The performance of the program, including its computational accuracy, efficiency and convergence behavior, is tested by several models. Numerical results show that the code is computationally accurate and efficient, and performs well at a wide range of magnetic susceptibilities from 0 SI to 1000 SI. This work, therefore, provides a significant tool for 3D forward modeling of magnetic gradient fields at high susceptibility. Full article
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Article
Diagnosis of Problems in Truck Ore Transport Operations in Underground Mines Using Various Machine Learning Models and Data Collected by Internet of Things Systems
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1128; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101128 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1174
Abstract
This study proposes a method for diagnosing problems in truck ore transport operations in underground mines using four machine learning models (i.e., Gaussian naïve Bayes (GNB), k-nearest neighbor (kNN), support vector machine (SVM), and classification and regression tree (CART)) and data collected by [...] Read more.
This study proposes a method for diagnosing problems in truck ore transport operations in underground mines using four machine learning models (i.e., Gaussian naïve Bayes (GNB), k-nearest neighbor (kNN), support vector machine (SVM), and classification and regression tree (CART)) and data collected by an Internet of Things system. A limestone underground mine with an applied mine production management system (using a tablet computer and Bluetooth beacon) is selected as the research area, and log data related to the truck travel time are collected. The machine learning models are trained and verified using the collected data, and grid search through 5-fold cross-validation is performed to improve the prediction accuracy of the models. The accuracy of CART is highest when the parameters leaf and split are set to 1 and 4, respectively (94.1%). In the validation of the machine learning models performed using the validation dataset (1500), the accuracy of the CART was 94.6%, and the precision and recall were 93.5% and 95.7%, respectively. In addition, it is confirmed that the F1 score reaches values as high as 94.6%. Through field application and analysis, it is confirmed that the proposed CART model can be utilized as a tool for monitoring and diagnosing the status of truck ore transport operations. Full article
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Article
Study on Magnetite Ore Crushing Assisted by Microwave Irradiation
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1127; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101127 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1274
Abstract
High energy consumption in ore crushing brings great challenges to the mining industry. Microwave irradiation provides a promising solution for rock breaking. However, there is currently a lack of detailed understanding of the microwave parameters regarding magnetite ore. The purpose of this study [...] Read more.
High energy consumption in ore crushing brings great challenges to the mining industry. Microwave irradiation provides a promising solution for rock breaking. However, there is currently a lack of detailed understanding of the microwave parameters regarding magnetite ore. The purpose of this study is to fully understand the potential value of microwave irradiation applied in auxiliary crushing of magnetite ore. It is typically found that increasing power reduces the mechanical properties of ore, increasing energy utilization, and crushing degree, more than extending time. Based on wave impedance, this reveals the dependence of energy utilization on thermal damage. Increasing irradiation power, time and cooling rate will cause more transgranular cracks and cleavage tears in the crushed ore. Based on the separate microwave response of several minerals, the microwave-damage mechanism of magnetite ore is further demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy)
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Article
Preliminary Risk Assessment of Dam Failure at the Location of the Cukaru Peki Deposit, Bor (Serbia)
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1126; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101126 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1218
Abstract
Industrial waste landfills, as evidenced by frequent accidents occurring in recent years, are regarded as one of the most hazardous facilities in the world. For the adequate management of a landfill, risk assessments of dam failures should be performed before operations begin. This [...] Read more.
Industrial waste landfills, as evidenced by frequent accidents occurring in recent years, are regarded as one of the most hazardous facilities in the world. For the adequate management of a landfill, risk assessments of dam failures should be performed before operations begin. This paper deals with the preliminary risk assessment used for the tailings and pyrite concentrate storage facilities, as well as the drainage waters reservoir, which are currently at the development and construction stage in the Cukaru Peki deposit located in eastern Serbia. The research was conducted to establish the facts and level of risk at an early stage to allow for timely prevention of potential accidents and bring operational practice in line with design requirements. The annual failure probability was estimated using a semi-empirical method, based on the dam stability factor. While, the framework proposed by the New Zealand Society on Large Dams was applied to assess the consequences of potential failures. The risk was assessed as a function of accident probability and the severity of possible consequences, and a 7 × 7 risk matrix was applied for analysis and evaluation. The level of dam failure risk at the location of the Cukaru Peki deposit was preliminarily assessed as moderate and conditionally tolerable, based on a low estimated probability of accident and a significant severity of consequences. Once the operation of these facilities starts risk assessments should be regularly updated, in order to maintain this level, and in accordance with the current situation, the modelling of specific accident scenarios should be included. Full article
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Article
Coupled Thermodynamics and Phase Diagram Analysis of Gas-Duct Concretion Formation in Pyro-Processing Ironmaking and Steelmaking Dust
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101125 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 833
Abstract
In recent years, the steel industry has accumulated approximately 100 million tons of dust annually, severely threatening the environment. Rotary kiln technology is one of the main industrial methods used to process this dust. However, some substances in flue gas congeal on the [...] Read more.
In recent years, the steel industry has accumulated approximately 100 million tons of dust annually, severely threatening the environment. Rotary kiln technology is one of the main industrial methods used to process this dust. However, some substances in flue gas congeal on the cooling wall of the gas duct and seriously affect production. In this study, the properties and formation mechanisms of the coagulum were investigated on the basis of experimental and thermodynamic analyses. The experimental results showed that the coagulum is mainly composed of chlorides (KCl, NaCl, and ZnCl2), oxides (ZnO, FeO), and carbon, with three structures: lumps, fibers, and particles. Based on a thermodynamic analysis, a reasonable explanation was proposed to clarify the formation mechanism. The liquid phase (a eutectic system of KCl–NaCl–ZnCl2), dendrites (KCl, NaCl), and particles (ZnO, FeO, C) were found to act as binders, stiffeners, and aggregates in the coagulum, respectively, constituting a composite structure. Liquids acting as binders are essential for coagulum formation, and dendrites and particles strengthen this effect. Furthermore, the eutectic system of chlorides plays a crucial role in coagulum formation. The results of the present study offer a theoretical understanding of gas-duct coagulation and will provide guidance for adopting alleviation measures. Full article
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Article
Cld-St-And-Bearing Assemblages in the Central Southalpine Basement: Markers of an Evolving Thermal Regime during Variscan Convergence
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1124; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101124 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1465
Abstract
Multiscale structural analysis is carried out to explore the sequence of superposed pre-Alpine chloritoid–staurolite–andalusite metamorphic assemblages in the polydeformed Variscan basement of the upper Val Camonica, in the central Southalpine domain. The dominant fabric in the upper Val Camonica basement is the late-Variscan [...] Read more.
Multiscale structural analysis is carried out to explore the sequence of superposed pre-Alpine chloritoid–staurolite–andalusite metamorphic assemblages in the polydeformed Variscan basement of the upper Val Camonica, in the central Southalpine domain. The dominant fabric in the upper Val Camonica basement is the late-Variscan S2 foliation, marked by greenschist facies minerals and truncated by the base of Permian siliciclastic sequences. The intersection with the sedimentary strata defines a Permian age limit on the pre-Alpine tectono–metamorphic evolution and exhumation of the Variscan basement. The detailed structural survey revealed that the older S1 foliation was locally preserved in low-strained domains. S1 is a composite fabric resulting from combining S1a and S1b: in the metapelites, S1a was supported by chloritoid, garnet, and biotite and developed before S1b, which was marked by staurolite, garnet, and biotite. S1a and S1b developed at intermediate pressure amphibolite facies conditions during the Variscan convergence, S1a at T = 520–550 °C and P ≃ 0.8 GPa, S1b at T = 550–650 °C and P = 0.4–0.7 GPa. The special feature of the upper Val Camonica metapelites is andalusite, which formed between the late D1b and early D2 tectonic events. Andalusite developed at T = 520–580 °C and P = 0.2–0.4 GPa in pre-Permian times, after the peak of the Variscan collision and before the exhumation of the Variscan basement and the subsequent deposition of the Permian covers. It follows that the upper Val Camonica andalusite has a different age and tectonic significance as compared to that of other pre-Alpine andalusite occurrences in the Alps, where andalusite mostly developed during exhumation of high-temperature basement rocks in Permian–Triassic times. Full article
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Article
Simulation to Recover Niobium and Tantalum from the Tin Slags of the Old Penouta Mine: A Case Study
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1123; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101123 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1384
Abstract
Demand for niobium and tantalum is increasing exponentially as these are essential ingredients for the manufacture of, among others, capacitors in technological devices and ferroniobium. Mine tailings rich in such elements could constitute an important source of Nb and Ta in the future [...] Read more.
Demand for niobium and tantalum is increasing exponentially as these are essential ingredients for the manufacture of, among others, capacitors in technological devices and ferroniobium. Mine tailings rich in such elements could constitute an important source of Nb and Ta in the future and alleviate potential supply risks. This paper evaluates the possibility of recovering niobium and tantalum from the slags generated during the tin beneficiation process of mine tailings from the old Penouta mine, located in Spain. To do so, a simulation of the processes required to beneficiate and refine both elements is carried out. After carbothermic tin reduction, the slags are sent to a hydrometallurgical process where niobium oxide and tantalum oxide are obtained at the end. Reagents, water, and energy consumption, in addition to emissions, effluents, and product yields, are assessed. Certain factors were identified as critical, and recirculation was encouraged in the model to maximise production and minimise reagents’ use and wastes. With this simulation, considering 3000 production hours per year, the metal output from the tailings of the old mine could cover around 1% and 7.4% of the world annual Nb and Ta demand, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollution and Remediation in Mining and Metallurgical Districts)
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Article
Concealed-Fault Detection in Low-Amplitude Tectonic Area—An Example of Tight Sandstone Reservoirs
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1122; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101122 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 755
Abstract
Fault detection is important to seismic interpretation, especially for tight oil and gas reservoirs. Generally speaking, large-scale faults can be accurately imaged and are easy to detect by conventional methods, but the concealed ones in low-amplitude structural regions are difficult to find. In [...] Read more.
Fault detection is important to seismic interpretation, especially for tight oil and gas reservoirs. Generally speaking, large-scale faults can be accurately imaged and are easy to detect by conventional methods, but the concealed ones in low-amplitude structural regions are difficult to find. In these areas, the scale and displacement of concealed faults are usually very small. Due to the good uniform and weak amplitude disturbances in the seismic events, the traditional discontinuity attributes extracted from seismic data are always not effective. This is because the discontinuous features of large faults are very significant, and the weak anomalies caused by hidden faults are very close to the continuous background. This paper takes a tight sandstone reservoir in the Ordos Basin of China as an example to explore the detection method of subtle faults in low-amplitude structural areas. With the phase congruency analysis method, we extract edge features from the post-stack coherence attributes to identify hidden faults. Practice shows that this idea has outstanding performance in mining hidden fracture features and improving the accuracy of fracture recognition. The results successfully predict a shear fault zone in the northeast of the work area, find a new fracture zone in the center of the survey and a series of hidden faults in non-target strata. It would be beneficial to extend the strata and area of oil and gas reservoirs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Studies of Seismic Reservoir Characterization)
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