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Minerals, Volume 14, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 88 articles

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25 pages, 11824 KiB  
Article
Occurrence of Differences between Alkali and Alkaline Earth Metals (AAEMs), Including Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium, in the Maceral Groups of the Xiheishan Coal, Zhundong Coalfield, Xinjiang, China
by Kexin Che, Jiaxin Li, Qingfeng Lu, Fengjun Shao, Wenlong Wang, Wenfeng Wang and Xin He
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050525 (registering DOI) - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 99
Abstract
This study investigated the differences and correlation between the occurrence characteristics of alkali and alkaline earth metals (AAEMs) among different maceral groups in high-alkali, high-inertinite coal, and provides scientific guidance for the co-separation of AAEMs and inertinite groups in Xinjiang coal. The total [...] Read more.
This study investigated the differences and correlation between the occurrence characteristics of alkali and alkaline earth metals (AAEMs) among different maceral groups in high-alkali, high-inertinite coal, and provides scientific guidance for the co-separation of AAEMs and inertinite groups in Xinjiang coal. The total AAEMs of inertinite-enriched samples were significantly higher than those in raw coals and vitrinite-enriched samples. Five-step sequential extraction showed that Na mainly occurs as water-soluble sodium (Na-Water) in raw coal and inertinite-enriched samples, accounting for about 53% of the total content, while it exists as organic sodium (Na-NH4Cl and Na-EDTA) in vitrinite-enriched samples, accounting for about 52% of the total content. Ca and Mg are both mainly present in organic form (Ca/Mg-NH4Cl and Ca/Mg-EDTA) in all the samples, with slightly higher proportions present in vitrinite-enriched samples. The contents of K are low in all the samples, which exist in an insoluble state (K-I). Combined microscopy and SEM-EDS analyses have revealed that the localized enrichment of Na in raw coal and inertinite-enriched samples occurs in the inertinite cell cavity, which primarily exists as NaHCO3 combined with quartz crystals, with a maximum content of up to 5.85 wt%. In this study, although EDS spectra could not directly characterize organic Ca and Mg, dolomite and calcite minerals were repeatedly found in the inertinite cell cavity. Moreover, the contents of Ca and Mg in the vitrinite-enriched samples were significantly lower than those in the other samples, which suggests that Ca and Mg are enriched with the inertinite groups. The localized enrichment of AAEMs could not be detected in any of the vitrinite-enriched samples. In summary, though there are significant differences between the occurrence modes of AAEMs in different maceral groups of high-alkali coal, AAEMs have a strong affinity with inertinite, which may be due to the inertinite’s abundant pore structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Deposits)
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23 pages, 3543 KiB  
Article
Tracing the Origin and Magmatic Evolution of the Rejuvenated Volcanism in Santa Clara Island, Juan Fernández Ridge, SE Pacific
by Javier Reyes, Luis E. Lara, Vanessa Sutherland, Nicolás Aguirre, Carlos Orellana, Folkmar Hauff and Kaj Hoernle
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050524 (registering DOI) - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 106
Abstract
Oceanic intraplate volcanoes sometimes experience late-stage eruptive activity known as rejuvenated volcanism, and contrasting interpretations for its petrogenesis depend on the compositional characteristics. In the Juan Fernández Ridge (JFR), a volcanic chain approximately 800 km in length emplaced on the Nazca Plate, some [...] Read more.
Oceanic intraplate volcanoes sometimes experience late-stage eruptive activity known as rejuvenated volcanism, and contrasting interpretations for its petrogenesis depend on the compositional characteristics. In the Juan Fernández Ridge (JFR), a volcanic chain approximately 800 km in length emplaced on the Nazca Plate, some subaerial occurrences of rejuvenated volcanism have been recognized on the Robinson Crusoe and Santa Clara Islands, both part of the same deeply eroded shield volcano complex. This study aims to understand the origin and magmatic evolution of rejuvenated volcanism on Santa Clara Island, emplaced after ~2.15 Ma of quiescence above the shield sequence, mainly via the analysis of unpublished geochemical and isotopic data. Field reconnaissance identified two nearly coeval rejuvenated sequences on Santa Clara Island: Bahía W (BW) and Morro Spartan (MS), both formed by basanitic and picro-basaltic lava flows with brecciated levels and local intercalations of sedimentary and pyroclastic deposits. In comparison to the chemical signature of the preceding shield-building stage (comprised mainly of basalts and picrites), the two rejuvenated sequences exhibit a notable enrichment in incompatible elements, but the Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopes are very similar to the FOZO mantle endmember, with an apparent additional contribution of HIMU and EM1 components. The geochemistry of lavas revealed the involvement of various processes, including contamination by ultramafic xenoliths, high-pressure fractional crystallization of olivine and clinopyroxene, and potential partial assimilation of oceanic lithospheric components. While the oceanic lithosphere has been considered as a potential source, the isotopic data from Santa Clara lies outside of the mixing curve between depleted mantle (DM, here represented by the North Chile Rise and the East Pacific Rise) and the previous shield stage, suggesting that a lithospheric mantle is not the primary source for the rejuvenated stage volcanism. Therefore, we favor an origin of the rejuvenated volcanism from the mantle plume forming the JFR, supported by similarities in isotopic signatures with the shield stage and high values of 208Pb/204Pb (only comparable to San Félix—San Ambrosio in the vicinity of JFR), implying the presence of a regional source with radiogenic 208Pb/204Pb isotope ratios. In addition, isotopic variations are subparallel to the mixing line between HIMU and EM1 components, whose participation in different proportions might explain the observed trends. In conclusion, we propose that the source of the rejuvenated volcanism on Santa Clara Island is a heterogeneous mantle plume, the same one that fed the shield stage. The rejuvenated volcanism is derived from a secondary melting zone away from the main axis of the plume. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology)
22 pages, 13002 KiB  
Article
Study on Sulfide Ore Dust Dispersion and Dust Reduction Measures Based on Simulation
by Zijun Li, Pengyu Hu and Yuanyuan Xu
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050523 (registering DOI) - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 157
Abstract
Sulfide ore dust is at risk of explosion. To analyze the concentration distribution of sulfide ore dust in the ore loading, transporting, and unloading operations, the migration and dispersion processes of sulfide ore dust were simulated by using FLUENT software and taking the [...] Read more.
Sulfide ore dust is at risk of explosion. To analyze the concentration distribution of sulfide ore dust in the ore loading, transporting, and unloading operations, the migration and dispersion processes of sulfide ore dust were simulated by using FLUENT software and taking the dust generation rate, roadway air velocity, and dust source position as variables. The concentration of sulfide ore dust was analyzed from the four-dimensional perspective of time and space. The results show that the maximum concentration of sulfide ore dust is determined by the dust generation rate. The roadway air velocity exhibits dual effects on the migration and deposition of sulfide ore dust. The ore loading position significantly impacts the distribution of sulfide ore dust, manifesting in varying degrees of superposition effects. Based on the results, this paper proposes a comprehensive dust reduction measure in the form of water curtain and dynamic ventilation, effectively minimizing the concentration of sulfide mine dust within the roadway. Full article
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33 pages, 20526 KiB  
Article
Genesis of Rare Metal Granites in the Nubian Shield: Tectonic Control and Magmatic and Metasomatic Processes
by Mohamed Zaki Khedr, Saif M. Abo Khashaba, Eiichi Takazawa, Safaa M. Hassan, Mokhles K. Azer, N. H. El-Shibiny, Kamal Abdelrahman and Yuji Ichiyama
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050522 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 215
Abstract
The Igla Ahmr region in the Central Eastern Desert (CED) of Egypt comprises mainly syenogranites and alkali feldspar granites, with a few tonalite xenoliths. The mineral potential maps were presented in order to convert the concentrations of total rare earth elements (REEs) and [...] Read more.
The Igla Ahmr region in the Central Eastern Desert (CED) of Egypt comprises mainly syenogranites and alkali feldspar granites, with a few tonalite xenoliths. The mineral potential maps were presented in order to convert the concentrations of total rare earth elements (REEs) and associated elements such as Zr, Nb, Ga, Y, Sc, Ta, Mo, U, and Th into mappable exploration criteria based on the line density, five alteration indices, random forest (RF) machine learning, and the weighted sum model (WSM). According to petrography and geochemical analysis, random forest (RF) gives the best result and represents new locations for rare metal mineralization compared with the WSM. The studied tonalites resemble I-type granites and were crystallized from mantle-derived magmas that were contaminated by crustal materials via assimilation, while the alkali feldspar granites and syenogranites are peraluminous A-type granites. The tonalites are the old phase and are considered a transitional stage from I-type to A-type, whereas the A-type granites have evolved from the I-type ones. Their calculated zircon saturation temperature TZr ranges from 717 °C to 820 °C at pressure < 4 kbar and depth < 14 km in relatively oxidized conditions. The A-type granites have high SiO2 (71.46–77.22 wt.%), high total alkali (up to 9 wt.%), Zr (up to 482 ppm), FeOt/(FeOt + MgO) ratios > 0.86, A/CNK ratios > 1, Al2O3 + CaO < 15 wt.%, and high ΣREEs (230 ppm), but low CaO and MgO and negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 0.24–0.43). These chemical features resemble those of post-collisional rare metal A-type granites in the Arabian-Nubian Shield (ANS). The parent magma of these A-type granites was possibly derived from the partial melting of the I-type tonalitic protolith during lithospheric delamination, followed by severe fractional crystallization in the upper crust in the post-collisional setting. Their rare metal-bearing minerals, including zircon, apatite, titanite, and rutile, are of magmatic origin, while allanite, xenotime, parisite, and betafite are hydrothermal in origin. The rare metal mineralization in the Igla Ahmr granites is possibly attributed to: (1) essential components of both parental peraluminous melts and magmatic-emanated fluids that have caused metasomatism, leading to rare metal enrichment in the Igla Ahmr granites during the interaction between rocks and fluids, and (2) structural control of rare metals by the major NW–SE structures (Najd trend) and conjugate N–S and NE–SW faults, which all are channels for hydrothermal fluids that in turn have led to hydrothermal alteration. This explains why rare metal mineralization in granites is affected by hydrothermal alteration, including silicification, phyllic alteration, sericitization, kaolinitization, and chloritization. Full article
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15 pages, 3821 KiB  
Article
Role of Calcium Chloride on the Eluting Process of Residual Ammonium from Weathered Crust Elution-Deposited Rare Earth Ore Tailings
by Jian Feng, Xiaoyan Wu, Fang Zhou and Ruan Chi
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050521 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 212
Abstract
A large amount of ammonium salt leaching agent will remain in the leaching site of weathered crust elution-deposited rare earth ore (WREOs). The release of residual ammonium (RA) will seriously affect the water system ecology of the mining area, and it is urgent [...] Read more.
A large amount of ammonium salt leaching agent will remain in the leaching site of weathered crust elution-deposited rare earth ore (WREOs). The release of residual ammonium (RA) will seriously affect the water system ecology of the mining area, and it is urgent to control it. In this paper, column eluting was used to simulate the eluting process of RA in rare earth (RE) ore tailings, and the effects of calcium chloride concentration, eluting temperature, liquid-solid ratio, eluent pH and eluent flow rate on the eluting process of RA in rare earth ore tailings were discussed. It was found that calcium chloride could effectively elute the RA from ore tailings. Eluting agent pH almost had no effect on the eluting process of RA in the pH range of 4–6, and a greater impact on it at pH 8. The flow rate could effectively enhance the elution efficiency. The optimum conditions were calcium ion concentration of 0.1 mol/L, liquid-solid ratio of 2:1, pH 4–6, flow rate of 0.6 mL/min and elution at room temperature. At this time, the elution efficiency of RA was 91.85%. The eluting process of RA in ore tailings was controlled by the inner particle diffusing according to the kinetic analysis. The reaction order was 0.368, and the activation energy of the reaction is 12.450 kJ/mol. This will provide a theoretical basis and technical support for the efficient eluting process of residual ammonium in the leaching site of WREOs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Efficient Recovery/Extraction of Rare Earth Resources)
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20 pages, 5892 KiB  
Article
Geochemistry and Geochronology of the Huangcha Pluton and Tectonic Significance
by Shuping Cao, Lun Li, Chonghui Yang and Yongqiang Yang
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050520 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 224
Abstract
The Zanhuang Complex is situated on the eastern margin of the Trans-North China Orogen, with the Huangcha Pluton being a constituent of this complex. To ascertain the nature of the approximately 2.5-billion-year-old Huangcha Pluton, crucial evidence for understanding its extensional setting was sought [...] Read more.
The Zanhuang Complex is situated on the eastern margin of the Trans-North China Orogen, with the Huangcha Pluton being a constituent of this complex. To ascertain the nature of the approximately 2.5-billion-year-old Huangcha Pluton, crucial evidence for understanding its extensional setting was sought through petrogenesis and dating investigations. LA-ICP-MS dating of zircon from the granite yielded an age of (2488 ± 6) Ma. Primarily composed of porphyritic monzonite with sporadic melanocratic enclaves, the Pluton’s phenocrysts are predominantly feldspar with minor quartz. The granite exhibits high SiO2 content (72.64%–74.16%) and alkali levels, with Na2O + K2O ranging from 7.59% to 9.07%, classifying it as a shoshonitic series with a slightly peraluminous feature. Enrichment in large-ion lithophile (LIL) elements (Rb, Th, and U) and depletion in Sr, V, Cr, Co, and Ni were observed, with high Rb/Sr and Ga/Al ratios ranging from 0.73 to 2.72 and 2.75 × 10−4 to 3.11 × 10−4, respectively. The rock exhibits high εNd(t) values, ranging from −0.06 to 0.88, with TDM2 ages falling between 2.79 and 2.87 billion years. Zircon grains display 176Hf/177Hf ratios ranging from 0.281266 to 0.281412 and εHf(t) values spanning from 0.96 to 6.18, calculated using the 207Pb/206Pb age. It is suggested that the Huangcha Pluton represents A-type granite formed via anatexis of the Neoarchean TTG in an extensional setting following orogenic processes. The formation of the Huangcha Pluton further corroborates the stabilization of the North China Craton towards the end of the Neoarchean. This finding supports the hypothesis that the North China Craton may belong to the Rae-family cratons, sharing similar magmatic and tectono-metamorphic records around ~2.5 billion years ago. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geochemistry and Geochronology of High-Grade Metamorphic Rocks)
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12 pages, 3712 KiB  
Article
Vegetation Changes and Dynamics of the Climate Variables in Southern Thailand over the Past 1500 Years
by Jian Wang, Lijuan Sha, Jin He, Xinnan Zhao, Rui Zhang, Baojun Yang and Hai Cheng
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050519 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 241
Abstract
The Indo-Pacific, a vast biogeographic of Earth, is influenced by both the Indian and East Asian monsoons. Despite its geographical importance, this region has been less studied compared to East Asia and India. Here, we present speleothem records from southern Thailand that cover [...] Read more.
The Indo-Pacific, a vast biogeographic of Earth, is influenced by both the Indian and East Asian monsoons. Despite its geographical importance, this region has been less studied compared to East Asia and India. Here, we present speleothem records from southern Thailand that cover the last 1500 years, including a hiatus during the Little Ice Age, providing insights into the interactions among climate dynamics, human influences, and ecological responses to climate change. Notably, our records lack the characteristic cold and warm periods observed in other regions, such as the Dark Ages Cold Period and Medieval Warm Period, which may reflect the complexity of the tropical climate system or the region’s unique topography. The analysis reveals a link between ENSO multi-decadal variability and hydroclimate conditions in southern Thailand, as evidenced by speleothem δ18O. Furthermore, a comparison between speleothem δ13C and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) indicates significant vegetation changes in the last three decades, corresponding with increased atmospheric CO2 levels and expansion of agricultural land due to human activities during the Current Warm Period. Additionally, our study suggests that an abrupt increase in sea surface temperatures may enhance vegetation growth in the Indo-Pacific by influencing atmospheric circulation and increasing precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry)
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14 pages, 977 KiB  
Article
Selective Recovery of Gold from E-Waste Recycling Plants’ Waste Fractions: Waste-to-Resource Transition
by Svetlana Zueva, Nicolò Maria Ippolito, Marco Passadoro, Pietro Romano, Francesco Ferella and Francesco Vegliò
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050518 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 210
Abstract
Electronic waste grows globally at a rate of 5% annually, which makes electronic waste recycling (WEEE recycling) an urgent task aimed at achieving (i) environmental protection and (ii) the preservation of mineral resources through the re-introduction of strategic metals into the market. As [...] Read more.
Electronic waste grows globally at a rate of 5% annually, which makes electronic waste recycling (WEEE recycling) an urgent task aimed at achieving (i) environmental protection and (ii) the preservation of mineral resources through the re-introduction of strategic metals into the market. As it turns out, WEEE recycling produces further waste, called WEEE secondary waste, which still contains valuable metals such as gold, silver, and copper. This study assessed the economic viability of recovering these metals and identified the most promising targets and approaches. WEEE secondary waste produced at a plant in southern Europe was sampled and examined for this purpose. The study methods included an ANOVA (analysis of variance) and an OCCP (orthogonal central composition plan). Over 90% gold, silver, and copper extraction was achieved with hydrochloric acid leaching in sodium hypochlorite with sodium chlorite as an oxidizing agent at 60 °C. The significance of the variation in the response for each factor, calculated using the Yates algorithm, demonstrates that by excluding sodium chloride and optimizing the doses of hydrochloric acid and sodium hypochlorite, gold can be selectively recovered through the leaching process. The scenario of HCl (2.5M)/NaClO (5%) leaching results in the maximum extraction effect of Au (91.6%) at the lowest concentrations of Ag and Cu (37–44%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy)
22 pages, 4710 KiB  
Article
Genesis of the Baiyun Gold Deposit in Northeast Hubei Province, China: Insights from In Situ Trace Elements and S-Fe Isotopes of Sulfide
by Weifang Song, Jianzhong Liu, Yuanbing Zou, Xingping Liu, Taocheng Long, Jiandong Zhu, Shengbo Fu, Song Chen, Yangfu Xiong, Runjie Zhou, Jingjing You, Xinqi Zhou, Zaixi Yang and Jie Fang
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050517 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 260
Abstract
The Baiyun gold deposit is a medium-sized deposit in northeastern Hubei around the southern margin of the Tongbai-Dabie metallogenic belt. However, its genesis has not been determined. The metallogenic process of the Baiyun gold deposit can be divided into three stages: quartz + [...] Read more.
The Baiyun gold deposit is a medium-sized deposit in northeastern Hubei around the southern margin of the Tongbai-Dabie metallogenic belt. However, its genesis has not been determined. The metallogenic process of the Baiyun gold deposit can be divided into three stages: quartz + feldspar, quartz + native gold + electrum + polymetallic sulfides, and quartz + pyrite + calcite + iron dolomite + illite. In this study, LA-ICP-MS was used for in situ trace element and isotope analyses in the main and late ore stage hydrothermal sulfides to evaluate the genesis and evolution of ore-forming fluids. Gold is positively correlated with Ag, Cu, Pb, Zn, and Te and the Co/Ni ratio is greater than 1. The S isotope values of Py1 and Py2 are −0.23–3.04‰ and 1.27–6.09‰, respectively. As mineralization progressed, S isotope values increased. In situ S isotope values of the two types of galena symbiotic with pyrite in the main metallogenic stage are 2.97–3.47‰. In situ Fe isotopic values of pyrite are −0.05–0.82‰; values in the two stages are similar without significant fractionation. We inferred that the Baiyun gold deposit formed via magmatic mineralization related to the subduction of the Pacific Plate during the Yanshanian. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Low-Temperature Mineralogy and Geochemistry)
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18 pages, 10677 KiB  
Article
Monitoring the Geopolymerization Reaction of Geopolymer Foams Using 29Si and 27Al MAS NMR
by Ghizlane Moutaoukil, Isabel Sobrados, Saliha Alehyen and M’hamed Taibi
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050516 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 231
Abstract
This study aims to investigate the geopolymerization reaction of geopolymer foams produced with three different foaming agents: aluminum powder, zinc powder, and hydrogen peroxide. The geopolymerization reaction of geopolymer foam was monitored using the 27Al and 29Si magic angle spinning (MAS) [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the geopolymerization reaction of geopolymer foams produced with three different foaming agents: aluminum powder, zinc powder, and hydrogen peroxide. The geopolymerization reaction of geopolymer foam was monitored using the 27Al and 29Si magic angle spinning (MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy technique. 27Al MAS-NMR was used to monitor the reaction at an early stage, while 29Si and 27Al MAS-NMR analyses were employed at specific time intervals of 3, 6, 10, 15, and 28 days to examine the changes that occurred in the formed gel over time. We discussed in detail how the type of foaming agent used and the duration of the reaction both influence the quantity of gel formed and the amount of remnant fly ash. Our findings indicate that the type of foaming agent used affects the formation and structure of the gel, with aluminum powder leading to the highest gel formation. Additionally, the duration of the reaction plays a significant role in determining the quantity of remnant fly ash, with longer reaction times resulting in decreased fly ash content. This study sheds light on the relevance of understanding the role of foaming agents in the geopolymerization reactions of geopolymer foams and the influence of reaction time on the formed gel properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NMR Spectroscopy in Mineralogy and Crystal Structures: 2nd Edition)
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14 pages, 15286 KiB  
Article
New Rock Magnetism and Magnetic Fabrics Studies on the Late Triassic Volcanic Rocks from Qaidam Block, Northern Tibetan Plateau
by Ruiyang Chai, Yanan Zhou, Teng Wang, Xin Cheng, Bitian Wei, Nan Jiang, Dongmeng Zhang, Longyun Xing, Pengfei Wang, Dongwei Liu, Ziwei Bian and Hanning Wu
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 515; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050515 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 220
Abstract
The Qaidam Block, located at the northern Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, is a pivotal area in unraveling the closure time of the Kunlun Ocean basin which might have recorded the transformation process between the Proto-Tethys and Paleo-Tethys Ocean basins. However, the late Triassic position of [...] Read more.
The Qaidam Block, located at the northern Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, is a pivotal area in unraveling the closure time of the Kunlun Ocean basin which might have recorded the transformation process between the Proto-Tethys and Paleo-Tethys Ocean basins. However, the late Triassic position of the Qaidam Block remains enigmatic, largely due to the scarcity of paleomagnetic data essential for quantitatively determining its paleolatitude. The widespread presence of the Elashan formation, particularly along the southern periphery of the Qaidam block, presents good material for conducting paleomagnetic work. Nevertheless, the primary magnetic carriers preserved within the Elashan formation might be influenced by multiple tectonic thermal events, particularly those associated with collisions between southern blocks and the Qaidam Block. Here we present rock magnetism and magnetic fabrics studies to identify the content and composition of magnetic minerals within the Elashan formation. The rock magnetic and petrologic results show that the magnetic carriers in the samples from the Elashan formation are dominated by magnetite with a small amount of goethite, pyrrhotite, and hematite. The results of Anisotropy in Magnetic Susceptibility indicate that the south of the Longwalangku section might not be obviously influenced by the tectonic events. Our results also provided guidance for future paleomagnetic research, emphasizing the importance of conducting further sampling away from adjacent faults, particularly in the southern Longwalangku area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Paleomagnetism and Rock Magnetism in Geochronology)
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13 pages, 3749 KiB  
Article
Source Analysis and Bioavailability of Soil Cadmium in Poyang Lake Plain of China Based on Principal Component Analysis and Positive Definite Matrix Factor
by Bangyong Wen, Hongyu Jiang, Yuan Gao, Qiangqiang Zhou and Haiman Qie
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050514 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 216
Abstract
In order to identify the source and bioavailability of soil Cd in the alluvial geological high background area, 3799 topsoil samples and 140 root soil samples were collected from the Jiulong area on the south bank of Poyang Lake, Jiangxi Province. The results [...] Read more.
In order to identify the source and bioavailability of soil Cd in the alluvial geological high background area, 3799 topsoil samples and 140 root soil samples were collected from the Jiulong area on the south bank of Poyang Lake, Jiangxi Province. The results confidently indicate that the range of topsoil Cd content is 0.02~8.12 ppm, with an exceedance rate of 14.6%. It is noteworthy that exceedance points were mostly distributed in quaternary sediments. The geostatistical analysis clearly shows that the spatial distribution characteristic of topsoil Cd is higher in the north and lower in the south. The area with extremely high values (>90% quantile) is predominantly located in the tidal flat and low-lying areas of the mainstream of the Xinjiang River. The PCA analysis confirms that the main source of topsoil Cd is man-made activities related to industry and mining. Soil Cd is primarily derived from upstream industrial and mining discharge (58.5%), as revealed by the PMF model analysis. The active Cd content in root soil is 77 ppb, with higher levels observed in the north and lower levels in the south. These findings suggest a significant risk of Cd diffusion along the upstream stream and deposition in the low-lying parts of the north. It is worth noting that Cd’s bioavailability and active forms in paddy fields are the highest, which can have a detrimental effect on food security. The correlation analysis suggests that genetic sources primarily control the bioavailability of soil Cd, followed by soil physicochemical properties such as SOC, Fe-Al oxides, and soil texture. Preventing source pollution and cutting off water system transmission are effective methods for preventing and controlling soil Cd pollution. These methods ensure the safety of cultivated land in the lakeside area of Poyang Lake Plain. Full article
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16 pages, 3817 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Properties of Expansive Backfill Material Based on Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Fly Ash and Coal Gangue
by Zhen Wang, Honglin Liu, Yuanxin Zhang, Zhiwen Chen, Rumeng Zhao, Yongyong Jia, Mingchao Yong and Guodong Li
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050513 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 227
Abstract
To realize the large-scale utilization of municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) fly ash in the field of building materials and to reduce the cost of coal mine backfill mining, the effects of the mixing ratio of cementitious materials, the particle size distribution of [...] Read more.
To realize the large-scale utilization of municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) fly ash in the field of building materials and to reduce the cost of coal mine backfill mining, the effects of the mixing ratio of cementitious materials, the particle size distribution of aggregates, and the amount and mass concentration of cementitious materials on the properties of backfill materials were experimentally investigated, and the microstructure of the hydration products was analyzed. The results showed that as the mass ratio of MSWI fly ash to bottom ash increased, the rate of expansion of the cementitious system continued to increase, and the compressive strength of the cementitious system continued to decrease. The Al (aluminum) and AlN (aluminum nitride) in the fly ash reacted with water to generate gas, causing the expansion of the cementitious materials; NaOH increased the alkalinity of the solution, which promoted the formation of more bubbles, thereby improving the expansion performance of the cementitious material. When the content of NaOH was 0.9%, the sample rate of expansion could reach 15.9%. The addition of CaCl2 promoted the early hydration reaction of the cementitious material, forming a dense microstructure, thus improving the early strength and rate of expansion of the cementitious material. The compressive strength of the backfill body increased as the fractal dimension of the aggregate particles increased, and the particle grading scheme of group S1 was optimal. The 1-day, 3-day, and 28-day strengths of the backfill body of group S1 reached 0.72 MPa, 1.43 MPa, and 3.26 MPa, respectively. It is recommended to choose a backfill paste concentration ranging between 78.5% and 80% and a reasonable amount of cementitious material between 20% and 25%. After the MSWI fly ash was prepared as a backfill material, the leaching of potentially harmful elements in the fly ash was greatly reduced, and the concentration of dioxin was reduced to 13 ng TEQ/kg. This was attributed to the dilution of the cement, the physical encapsulation of gel products, and the isomorphous replacement of Ca2+ in calcium aluminate chloride hydrate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy)
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27 pages, 12972 KiB  
Article
Characteristics and Genetic Mechanism of Granite Weathering Crust of Songnan Low Uplift, Qiongdongnan Basin, South China Sea
by Zhiyu Li, Jianhua Guo and Shiqing Wu
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050512 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 263
Abstract
Recently, a large-scale gas reservoir was discovered in granitic buried hills of the Songnan Low Uplift in the Qiongdongnan Basin. However, the strong heterogeneity of granite reservoirs limits further exploration and evaluation. Based on observations of sixty core samples and sixty thin sections, [...] Read more.
Recently, a large-scale gas reservoir was discovered in granitic buried hills of the Songnan Low Uplift in the Qiongdongnan Basin. However, the strong heterogeneity of granite reservoirs limits further exploration and evaluation. Based on observations of sixty core samples and sixty thin sections, mineral composition, zircon dating, apatite fission tracks, physical properties, image logs, outcrop surveys and seismic interpretations, the characteristics of granite weathering crust of the Songnan Low Uplift are analyzed, and its controlling factors and evolution process are evaluated. The results show that weathered granite in the study area can be divided into several zones, from top to bottom: eluvium–slope zone, sandy zone, weathered fracture zone and horizontal undercurrent vuggy zone. The reservoirs in the eluvium–slope zone are dominated by microfissures and intergranular dissolution pores and have an average porosity of 4.68% and permeability of 2.34 md; the reservoirs in the sandy zone are composed of intergranular and intragranular dissolution pores and have an average porosity of 11.46% and permeability of 4.99 md; the reservoirs in the weathered fracture zone consist of various fractures and have an average porosity of 3.91% and permeability of 2.5 md; the reservoirs in the horizontal undercurrent vuggy zone are subhorizontal fractures and vugs and have an average porosity of 2.7% and permeability of 0.23 md. The development of granite reservoirs is jointly influenced by petrology and minerals, long-term exposure in a warm humid paleoclimate, faults, diverse topographies and shallow buried depth. Based on the above, our study establishes a development model of weathering crust and suggests that only the gentle slope and platform remain strongly weathered zones. After undergoing a complex evolution process of formation–destruction/denudation–regeneration–preservation, the current weathering crust of the Songnan Low Uplift is finally established. The results of this study have important theoretical and application value for the hydrocarbon exploration of buried hills in the Qiongdongnan Basin and provide a reference example for other granite reservoirs worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Deposits)
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25 pages, 14193 KiB  
Article
Agates of the Lece Volcanic Complex (Serbia): Mineralogical and Geochemical Characteristics
by Zoran Miladinović, Vladimir Simić, Nenad Nikolić, Nataša Jović Orsini and Milena Rosić
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050511 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 317
Abstract
Agate veins and nodules occur in the Lece Volcanic Complex (Oligocene-Miocene) situated in the south of Serbia and occupying an area of 700 km2. This volcanic complex is composed predominantly of andesites, with sporadic occurrences of andesite-basalts, dacites and latites, and [...] Read more.
Agate veins and nodules occur in the Lece Volcanic Complex (Oligocene-Miocene) situated in the south of Serbia and occupying an area of 700 km2. This volcanic complex is composed predominantly of andesites, with sporadic occurrences of andesite-basalts, dacites and latites, and features agate formations that have been very little investigated. This study focuses on five selected agate occurrences within the Lece Volcanic Complex, employing optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray powder diffraction analysis, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). In three localities (Rasovača, Mehane, and Ždraljevići), agate mineralization is directly related to distinct fault zones with strong local brecciation. In the other two localities (Vlasovo and Sokolov Vis), the agate is found in nodular form and does not show any connection with fracture zones. The silica phases of the Lece volcanic agates consist of cristobalite and tridymite, length-fast chalcedony, quartzine (length-slow chalcedony), and macrocrystalline quartz. Vein agates show a frequent alternation between length-fast chalcedony and quartz bands. Nodular agates consist primarily of length-fast chalcedony, occasionally containing notable quantities of opal-CT, absent in vein agates. Microtextures present in vein agates include crustiform, colloform, comb, mosaic, flamboyant, and pseudo-bladed. Jigsaw puzzle quartz microtexture supports the recrystallization of previously deposited silica in the form of opal or chalcedony from hydrothermal fluids. Growth lines in euhedral quartz (Bambauer quartz) point to agate formations in varying physicochemical conditions. These features indicate epithermal conditions during the formation of hydrothermal vein agates. Due to intense hydrothermal activity, vein agate host rocks are intensively silicified. Vein agates are also enriched with typical ore metallic elements (especially Pb, Co, As, Sb, and W), indicating genetic relation with the formation of polymetallic ore deposits of the Lece Volcanic Complex. In contrast, nodular agates have a higher content of major elements of host rocks (Al2O3, MgO, CaO, Na2O, and K2O), most probably mobilized from volcanic host rocks. Organic matter, present in both vein and nodular agate with filamentous forms found only in nodular agate, suggests formation in near-surface conditions. Full article
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11 pages, 654 KiB  
Article
Comparison of the Application of High-Resolution Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (HR-ICP-MS) and Collision/Reaction Cell Technology of Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-CCT-MS) in the Determination of Selenium in Coal-Bearing Strata
by Shumao Zhao, Rongkun Jia, Qiuchan Han, Niande Shang, Kaiyan Teng and Jiawei Feng
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050510 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 214
Abstract
Selenium, a trace element of significant importance for human health and the environment, can be introduced into the environment through coal combustion. Accurate determination of selenium in coal and coal-bearing strata is essential for implementing effective management strategies and control measures to minimize [...] Read more.
Selenium, a trace element of significant importance for human health and the environment, can be introduced into the environment through coal combustion. Accurate determination of selenium in coal and coal-bearing strata is essential for implementing effective management strategies and control measures to minimize potential risks to human health and the environment. This study introduces an improved approach for the determination of 77Se in the medium resolution mode using HR-ICP-MS, effectively separating interference from doubly charged ions and enabling precise determination of selenium in coal-bearing strata. The relative errors of the standard reference samples obtained by HR-ICP-MS are between 0.65% and 6.33%, comparing to that of ICP-CCT-MS (1.58%–17.27%), prove the reliability of this method. Additionally, the X (bar)—S control charts obtained from HR-ICP-MS compared to ICP-CCT-MS demonstrate the superior stability of HR-ICP-MS in continuous determination. Consequently, though ICP-CCT-MS has better instrumental stability reflected through the internal standard recovery (ICP-CCT-MS:104.81%; HR-ICP-MS:80.54%), HR-ICP-MS is recommended as the preferred method for selenium determination in coal-bearing strata because of its high accuracy and good stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selenium, Tellurium and Precious Metal Mineralogy)
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22 pages, 5816 KiB  
Article
Significance of Sonic Velocities in Limestones and Dolostones: A Comprehensive Study Revealing Limited Impact of Mineralogy
by Ralf J. Weger, Gregor T. Baechle, Shouwen Shen and Gregor P. Eberli
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050509 (registering DOI) - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 351
Abstract
Seismic reflection data and implicitly sonic velocity are undoubtedly the most important source of information for large-scale subsurface characterization. Yet, deriving reservoir and fluid flow properties from acoustic data is still challenging in carbonates, which display large acoustic velocity variations that contest many [...] Read more.
Seismic reflection data and implicitly sonic velocity are undoubtedly the most important source of information for large-scale subsurface characterization. Yet, deriving reservoir and fluid flow properties from acoustic data is still challenging in carbonates, which display large acoustic velocity variations that contest many of the conventional assumptions regarding wave propagation in porous media. In this comprehensive study on 370 carbonate samples (247 limestones and 123 dolomites), we re-evaluate the impact of mineral velocity on bulk rock acoustic properties of dolomite and limestone by assessing the link between sonic velocity and the rock’s pore geometry. We quantify pore size and pore network complexity using parameters from both digital image analysis (DIA) and the extended Biot theory (EBT). We then compare DIA and EBT parameters to assess the impact of pore network geometry versus mineral velocity on the acoustic velocity of carbonate rocks. We explore the usefulness of EBT parameter γk in improving permeability estimates. Published values of velocity indicate that dolomites exhibit higher velocities than limestones at any given porosity. Our laboratory measurements of acoustic velocity, however, reveal that both dolomites and limestones show extreme variations in sonic velocities where samples with compressional velocity of ~5000 m/s may range in porosity from 5% to 25% and samples with porosity of ~20% may range in velocity from ~4000 m/s to 5700 m/s. Through the quantitative assessment of the pore network in our samples we document that pore network geometry has much more impact on the acoustic velocity of carbonates than variations in mineralogy, in this case dolomite and calcite. Most of the dolostone samples studied are dominated by small pores, resulting in relatively low velocities for their given porosity, while limestones with similar velocity–porosity values often possess simpler pore networks with larger pores. This pore size difference offsets the faster velocity of dolomite. The extended Biot theory parameter γk, captures this variation in pore size and internal geometry and exhibits a strong correlation to specific surface. Moreover, γk captures the impact of internal pore geometry on acoustic velocity, providing the basis for challenging existing assumptions regarding the importance of mineral velocity. By quantifying internal geometry, γk can improve permeability estimates in reservoir characterization and enhance evaluations of producibility and injectability. With that, it has direct implications on general geophysics, hydrocarbon exploration, and CCS initiatives. Full article
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19 pages, 2658 KiB  
Review
Use of Natural Zeolite Clinoptilolite in the Preparation of Photocatalysts and Its Role in Photocatalytic Activity
by Jelena Pavlović and Nevenka Rajić
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050508 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 212
Abstract
The use of natural zeolite clinoptilolite in preparing photocatalysts and its function in photocatalysis are discussed in this review. The importance of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) and the potential of heterogeneous photocatalysis in removing environmental pollutants are emphasized. The review focuses on the [...] Read more.
The use of natural zeolite clinoptilolite in preparing photocatalysts and its function in photocatalysis are discussed in this review. The importance of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) and the potential of heterogeneous photocatalysis in removing environmental pollutants are emphasized. The review focuses on the synergistic effects of clinoptilolite with semiconductors (TiO2, ZnO, CuO, SnO2, and NiO) to prepare stable and active photocatalysts, highlighting recent advancements in this field. It explores clinoptilolite’s structural characteristics, highlighting its microporous nature, adaptable framework, and improved textural properties due to acid and alkali treatments. Particle size, crystal phase, and calcination temperature are three key synthesis parameters that affect photocatalytic activity and are highlighted in the discussion of these parameters and their methods. A discussion is held regarding the processes and mechanisms of photocatalytic degradation of different organic compounds under varying irradiation conditions, including UV, visible, and ambient sunlight. Clinoptilolite is vital in improving supported semiconductor oxides’ photocatalytic efficiencies, which aid in pollutant degradation and environmental remediation. Full article
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20 pages, 16805 KiB  
Article
Mineral Assemblages and Ore-Forming Physicochemical Conditions of the La’erma and Qiongmo Au–Se Deposits in the Western Qinling Orogen, Central China
by Jiajun Liu, Guoming Weng, Emmanuel John M. Carranza, Degao Zhai, Yinhong Wang, Fangfang Zhang, Shen Gao and Lei Xu
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050507 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 307
Abstract
The La’erma and Qiongmo Au–Se deposits are characterized by a paragenetic Au–Se association hosted in the siliceous formation of the Cambrian Taiyangding Group in the western Qinling Orogen, central China. The La’erma and Qiongmo Au–Se deposits, which are considered to be the Carlin [...] Read more.
The La’erma and Qiongmo Au–Se deposits are characterized by a paragenetic Au–Se association hosted in the siliceous formation of the Cambrian Taiyangding Group in the western Qinling Orogen, central China. The La’erma and Qiongmo Au–Se deposits, which are considered to be the Carlin gold deposits, comprise a variety of selenides, native gold, and stibnite coexisting with baryte. Four stages have been recognized: sage I comprises pyrite and quartz with minor stibnite; stage II is composed mainly of sulfides; stage III is composed mainly of selenides; and stage IV is dominated by quartz–baryte–dickite. Stages II and III are the main metallogenic stages. Based on changes in mineral assemblages, combined with fluid inclusions and thermodynamic data, we evaluated the physicochemical conditions of the main metallogenic stages. The logfS2 values of ore-forming fluids at stage II ranged between −10.44 and −14.60 with logfSe2 being less than −10.70. Comparably, during stage III, which is characterized by numerous selenides, the logfS2 and logfSe2 ranged from −7.13 to −12.20 and −13.98 to −8.82, respectively. The occurrence of baryte during the mineralization suggests a consistently oxidizing condition, which can effectively remove Au from fluids. More importantly, this study emphasizes that the oxidizing condition was only a fundamental prerequisite for the deposition of selenides, and a high ∑Se/S ratio of the fluid ultimately controlled the precipitation of selenides. In the La’erma and Qiongmo deposits, intense water–rock reactions occurred as ore-forming fluids flowed into the Se-rich siliceous formations, resulting in an increase in the ∑Se/S ratio of the fluid and in the precipitation of selenides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selenium, Tellurium and Precious Metal Mineralogy)
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18 pages, 6167 KiB  
Article
Source and Migration Pathways of Heavy Metals in Soils from an Iron Mine in Baotou City, China
by Changyu Wang, Danhong Xu, Yongli Li, Wenhui Zhou, Peng Bian and Siyuan Zhang
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050506 - 12 May 2024
Viewed by 458
Abstract
The exploitation of iron ore could cause heavy metals pollution in the soils, which threatens the ecosystem and human health. In this study, soil, stream sediment, tailings, rock, and atmospheric deposition samples were collected from an iron mine in Baotou City. The concentrations [...] Read more.
The exploitation of iron ore could cause heavy metals pollution in the soils, which threatens the ecosystem and human health. In this study, soil, stream sediment, tailings, rock, and atmospheric deposition samples were collected from an iron mine in Baotou City. The concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Zn, Al2O3, CaO, K2O, MgO, Na2O, SiO2, and Fe2O3, as well as the mineral composition and heavy metal speciation of the samples, were analyzed for pollution assessment and source identification of heavy metals. The results reveal that the concentration of Cu in the soils was significantly higher than the background value, and an unpolluted to moderately polluted state was the main pollution level. By analyzing the relationship between Cu/Al2O3 and CaO in different samples, as well as the characteristics of the chemical index of alteration (CIA), mineral composition, and the chemical speciation of Cu in soils and profiles, the results suggest that tailings were the source of Cu pollution in soils. The distribution characteristics of Cu and CaO in stream sediments indicated that hydraulic transport may be one of the main migration pathways. In addition, wind transport may also be a pathway of migration. Full article
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13 pages, 4396 KiB  
Article
Twinning Impact on the Structure and Hypotheses on the Growth Mechanism of Kermesite: Insights from Yunnan, China
by Hong Yu, Denghong Wang, Zeying Zhu, Wenyuan Li, Dong Wang, Zhenyu Chen, Yike Li and Changhui Ke
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050505 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 277
Abstract
Kermesite (Sb2S2O), a needle-like unstable secondary oxysulfide, has made visible advancements in optimizing its triclinic crystal system through twinning discovery. However, research on twinning behavior at micro and nano scales, including its growth mechanisms and impact on kermesite morphologies, [...] Read more.
Kermesite (Sb2S2O), a needle-like unstable secondary oxysulfide, has made visible advancements in optimizing its triclinic crystal system through twinning discovery. However, research on twinning behavior at micro and nano scales, including its growth mechanisms and impact on kermesite morphologies, remains notably scarce. Our study focuses on kermesite crystal clusters from a private collection in Yunnan, China, confirming the chemical formula as Sb2S1.97O1.03 through EPMA. Single-crystal XRD yielded refined unit cell parameters (a = 8.153(5) Å, b = 10.717(7) Å, c = 5.796(3) Å; α = 102.836(10)°, β = 110.556(8)°, γ = 100.999(12)°), revealing space group P1¯ with Z = 4 and indicating twinning with a ratio of 27.4%. Remarkably, a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) provided the first direct observation of twinning in natural kermesite, revealing rotational twins with varying widths and lengths (ranging from 100 nm to several millimeters). Analysis and simulation elucidated that rotational twins, generated by a 180° rotation, align with the mineral’s elongation direction along the [Sb2S2O4]n chains (a-axis), challenging the conventional long-axis direction (b-axis) for crystal growth. This study proposes a symbiotic relationship between kermesite growth and twinning, suggesting that the observed X-shaped growth in crystal clusters results from the collaboration of single crystals (growing along b) and twins (growing along a) in the unit cell. These findings contribute to our understanding of kermesite’s structural complexities and the potential growth and formation mechanism of crystal clusters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbeam Analysis Characterization in Petrogenesis and Ore Deposit)
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17 pages, 6015 KiB  
Article
Acid Leaching of La and Ce from Ferrocarbonatite-Related REE Ores
by Diego Alejandro Tamayo-Soriano, Ma. de Jesus Soria-Aguilar, Nallely Guadalupe Picazo-Rodríguez, Antonia Martínez-Luévanos, Francisco Raul Carrillo-Pedroza, Ulises Figueroa-López and Jesús Leobardo Valenzuela García
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050504 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 367
Abstract
Rare earth elements comprise a group of 17 chemically similar elements, which increases the difficulty of separating them by traditional methods. For this reason, hydrometallurgy has been the most used method. However, it is important to evaluate the efficiency of the leaching processes [...] Read more.
Rare earth elements comprise a group of 17 chemically similar elements, which increases the difficulty of separating them by traditional methods. For this reason, hydrometallurgy has been the most used method. However, it is important to evaluate the efficiency of the leaching processes used because, in addition to depending on the operating parameters of the leaching, they also depend on the mineralogical composition of the sample. In the present work, the extraction of Ce and La contained in the ferrocarbonatite mineral from the north of Mexico was studied. For the leaching tests, several leaching agents were used (HCl, H2SO4, HNO3, and H3PO4 in different concentrations (0.5 [M], 1 [M], 1.5 [M]) and the temperature was modified to 20, 40, and 60 °C. A maximum recovery of 70% for Ce and La was obtained using HCl 1M in 4 h. The results of the kinetic study of the experiments showed that the best fitting model according to these kinetic models was the SCM controlled by a chemical reaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery of Rare Earth Elements Minerals: 2nd Edition)
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24 pages, 66960 KiB  
Article
Morphostructural, Chemical and Genetic Features of Native Gold in Brown Coals from the Yerkovetsky Deposit, Far East Russia
by Veronika I. Rozhdestvina and Galina A. Palyanova
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050503 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 384
Abstract
We studied the morphostructural features and chemical composition of micron and submicron particles of native gold from brown coals and overcoal sediments of the Yerkovetsky deposit (Zeya-Bureya sedimentary basin, Far East Russia). The samples of coal and host rocks in the form of [...] Read more.
We studied the morphostructural features and chemical composition of micron and submicron particles of native gold from brown coals and overcoal sediments of the Yerkovetsky deposit (Zeya-Bureya sedimentary basin, Far East Russia). The samples of coal and host rocks in the form of thin sections, as well as coal particles and grains of native gold obtained during the process of dispersion and the fractionation of loose and crushed samples divided according to size and density, were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy in combination with X-ray microanalysis, involving various visualization modes. It was revealed that native gold is syngenetic with the mineralization of brown coals, and microphases dispersed in the minerals of overcoal loose and sandy-clay sediments were the source of native gold. In coal, gold is accumulated at the stages of formation (alluvial and eolian, including terrigenous and ionogenic subtypes) and the diagenesis of coal deposits (ground-infiltration subtype). A significant part of the mineralization process of coals and the formation of microparticles of native gold was contributed to by the descending water infiltration of polycomponent colloid solutions. During the dehydration of hydroxysiliconized iron-based hydrogels, mineral phases have an unstable composition and floccular structure and contain submicron gold particles. The coatings of all gold microparticles have identical origin and composition. Coal beds that border host rocks are an open system with a constant inflow of the substance, which leads to the gradual formation of polycomponent aggregated particles in micro cavities. Part of the gold in coals occurs as sulfur-bearing complexes dissolved in pore water. The key factor in the migration and deposition of gold in coals is the inorganic substances involved in the processes of coal mineralization. Organic substances play a more passive role and have medium-forming, fractionating (colloid, molecular, and ionic sieves), and accumulation functions. Full article
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23 pages, 9658 KiB  
Article
Reduction of an Ilmenite Concentrate by Using a Novel CO2/CH4 Thermal Plasma Torch
by Mohammed El Khalloufi, Gervais Soucy, Jonathan Lapointe and Mathieu Paquet
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050502 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 383
Abstract
Plasma technology has emerged as a very helpful tool in a variety of sectors, notably metallurgy. Innovators and scientists are focused on the problem of finding a more ecologically friendly way of extracting titanium and iron metal from natural ilmenite concentrate for industrial [...] Read more.
Plasma technology has emerged as a very helpful tool in a variety of sectors, notably metallurgy. Innovators and scientists are focused on the problem of finding a more ecologically friendly way of extracting titanium and iron metal from natural ilmenite concentrate for industrial applications. A direct current (DC) plasma torch operating at atmospheric pressure is used in this study to describe a decarbonization process for reducing an ilmenite concentrate. The plasma gases employed in this torch are CO2 and CH4. The molar ratio of the gases may be crucial for achieving a satisfactory reduction of the ilmenite concentrate. As a result, two molar ratios for CO2/CH4 have been chosen: 1:1 and 2:1. During torch operation, a thin layer of graphite is formed on the cathode to establish a protective barrier, prolonging the cathode’s life. The material was analyzed using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS). The output gases were analyzed using mass spectrometry (MS). In addition, a thermodynamic analysis was performed to predict the development of thermodynamically stable phases. An economic assessment (including capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenditures (OPEX)) and a carbon balance were developed with the feasibility of the piloting in mind. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pyrometallurgy of Minerals and Ores)
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23 pages, 15745 KiB  
Article
An Integrated Petrographic, Geomatic and Geophysical Approach for the Characterization of the Carbonate Rocks of the Calcari di Cagliari Formation
by Giuseppe Casula, Silvana Fais, Francesco Cuccuru, Maria Giovanna Bianchi and Paola Ligas
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050501 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 327
Abstract
Non-invasive techniques, such as close-range photogrammetry (CRP) and 3D ultrasonic tomography complemented with optical and scanning electron microscopy and mercury porosimetry, were applied to characterize the carbonate rock samples of the Calcari di Cagliari formation. The integrated approach started with the computation of [...] Read more.
Non-invasive techniques, such as close-range photogrammetry (CRP) and 3D ultrasonic tomography complemented with optical and scanning electron microscopy and mercury porosimetry, were applied to characterize the carbonate rock samples of the Calcari di Cagliari formation. The integrated approach started with the computation of high-resolution 3D models of the carbonate samples using the CRP technique to produce 3D high-resolution models texturized both with natural colors and intensity. Starting from the 3D models from previous techniques, a 3D ultrasonic tomography on each rock sample was accurately planned and carried out in order to detect the elastic properties of such rocks and relate them to textural heterogeneity or internal defects. The results indicate that the relationship between longitudinal velocity and rock properties is complex even in the same carbonate formation. Understanding the relationship between the geomatic and geophysical responses in the investigated rock properties, such as textural characteristics and especially structure and geometry of pores, type of pores, tortuosity and cementing material, is important for many practical applications and especially in the diagnostic process of the conservation state of monumental structures. The integration of the above non-invasive techniques complemented by petrographical–petrophysical data proved to be a powerful method to associate each lithotype with a different susceptibility to degradation. The results presented in this paper demonstrate that the proposed integrated use of complementary methodologies would guarantee the reproducibility of the measurements both at the laboratory and field scale for the monitoring in time of the rock condition while giving a useful contribution in making decisions on an appropriate remedial strategy. Full article
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15 pages, 10640 KiB  
Article
Interpretable Machine Learning for Geochemical Anomaly Delineation in the Yuanbo Nang District, Gansu Province, China
by Shuai Zhang, Emmanuel John M. Carranza, Changliang Fu, Wenzhi Zhang and Xiang Qin
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050500 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 411
Abstract
Machine learning (ML) has shown its effectiveness in handling multi-geoinformation. Yet, the black-box nature of ML algorithms has restricted their widespread adoption in the domain of mineral prospectivity mapping (MPM). In this paper, methods for interpreting ML model predictions are introduced to aid [...] Read more.
Machine learning (ML) has shown its effectiveness in handling multi-geoinformation. Yet, the black-box nature of ML algorithms has restricted their widespread adoption in the domain of mineral prospectivity mapping (MPM). In this paper, methods for interpreting ML model predictions are introduced to aid ML-based MPM, with the goal of extracting richer insights from the ML modeling of an exploration geochemical dataset. The partial dependence plot (PDP) and accumulated local effect (ALE) plot, along with the SHAP value analysis, were utilized to demonstrate the application of random forest (RF) modeling within both regression and classification frameworks. Initially, the random forest regression (RFR) model established the relationship between the concentrations of Au and those of elements such as As, Sb, and Hg in the study area, and from this model, the most important geochemical elements and their quantitative relationships with Au were revealed by their contributions in the modeling through PDP and ALE analyses. Secondly, the RF classification modeling established the relationships of mineralization occurrences (i.e., known mineral deposits) with geochemical elements (i.e., Au, As, Sb, Hg, Cu, Pb, Zn, and Ag), as did RFR modeling. The most important geochemical elements for indicating regional Au mineralization and the trajectories of PDP and ALE reached a consensus that As and Sb contributed the most, both in the regression and classification modeling, with regard to Au mineralization. Finally, the SHAP values illustrated the behavior of the training samples (i.e., known mineral deposits) in RF modeling, and the resulting prospectivity map was evaluated using receiver operating characteristics. Full article
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14 pages, 7359 KiB  
Article
Phase Transformation of Arsenic, Antimony and Lead in High-Grade Copper Matte Converting
by Wenkai Qu, Yingbao Yang, Shiwei Zhou, Yonggang Wei and Bo Li
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050499 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 341
Abstract
The duration of the high-grade matte converting process is short, the amount of slag is small, and it is difficult for the original impurity removal operation in the low-grade matte converting process to meet the current production demand. Because the removal method for [...] Read more.
The duration of the high-grade matte converting process is short, the amount of slag is small, and it is difficult for the original impurity removal operation in the low-grade matte converting process to meet the current production demand. Because the removal method for impurity elements during high-grade matte converting is unclear, the phase transformation of impurity elements during this process is investigated in this study. The results show that arsenic exists mainly in the form of FeAsO4 and As2O5, antimony in the form of Sb and Sb2O5, and lead in the form of PbS and PbO in high-grade matte. During the converting process, arsenic and antimony mainly exist in the melt in the form of oxides and gradually aggregate into large particles with increasing copper content in the melt. Lead exists in matte in the form of PbS until the end of the converting process, and PbS is not completely oxidized until the matte converted to blister copper phase. The phase transformation characteristics of copper, iron, sulfur and impurity elements in the process of high-grade matte converting were revealed. This study provides a theoretical reference for the formulation of an efficient impurity removal scheme for the converting process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pyrometallurgy of Minerals and Ores)
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30 pages, 40890 KiB  
Article
The Ballynoe Stratiform Barite Deposit, Silvermines, County Tipperary, Ireland
by Colin J. Andrew
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050498 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 386
Abstract
The Ballynoe barite deposit is a conformable, mineralised horizon of Lower Carboniferous age overlying a diastem and mass faunal extinction demarking the transition from a quiet water environment to one of dynamic sedimentation. The geometry of the barite orebody correlates with the palaeotopography [...] Read more.
The Ballynoe barite deposit is a conformable, mineralised horizon of Lower Carboniferous age overlying a diastem and mass faunal extinction demarking the transition from a quiet water environment to one of dynamic sedimentation. The geometry of the barite orebody correlates with the palaeotopography of the footwall, which acted as an important control over the lateral extent, thickness, and nature of the mineralisation. Sedimentary features within the barite horizon suggest that it was precipitated in the form of a cryptocrystalline mud which underwent major diagenetic modification resulting in extensive stylolitisation, recrystallisation, and remobilisation. There is abundant and compelling geological and isotopic evidence for early local exhalation from the presence of a hydrothermal vent fauna consisting of delicately pyritised worm tubes and haematised filaments of apparent microbial origin. The worm tubes are remarkably similar to examples from modern and ancient volcanic-hosted massive sulphide deposits, and the filamentous microfossils have similarities to modern Fe-oxidising bacteria. Strontium in the barite has an 87Sr/86Sr ratio indistinguishable from seawater between 350 and 344 Ma whilst oxygen isotopes from barite and chert suggest a diagenetic origin in equilibrium with such seawater around 60–70 °C. Fluid inclusion studies have shown that, in general, low temperature inclusions are very saline (20%–25%) whilst at higher homogenisation temperatures they are more dilute (9%–12%). Full article
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15 pages, 7670 KiB  
Article
Controls on Soft Tissue and Cellular Preservation in Late Eocene and Oligocene Vertebrate Fossils from the White River and Arikaree Groups of Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming
by John E. Gallucci, Grace Woolslayer, Kelsey Barker, Brian Kibelstis, Allison R. Tumarkin-Deratzian, Paul V. Ullmann, David E. Grandstaff and Dennis O. Terry, Jr.
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050497 - 8 May 2024
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Abstract
Previous studies on microtaphonomy have identified multiple types of organic microstructures in fossil vertebrates from a variety of time periods and past environmental settings. This study investigates potential taphonomic, paleoenvironmental, and paleoclimatic controls on soft tissue and cellular preservation in fossil bone. To [...] Read more.
Previous studies on microtaphonomy have identified multiple types of organic microstructures in fossil vertebrates from a variety of time periods and past environmental settings. This study investigates potential taphonomic, paleoenvironmental, and paleoclimatic controls on soft tissue and cellular preservation in fossil bone. To this end, fifteen vertebrate fossils were studied: eight fossils collected from the Oligocene Sharps Formation of the Arikaree Group in Badlands National Park, South Dakota, and seven fossils from formations in the underlying White River Group, including the Oligocene Brule Formation of Badlands National Park, and the Eocene Chadron Formation of Flagstaff Rim, Wyoming; Toadstool Geologic Park, Nebraska; and Badlands National Park, South Dakota. A portion of each fossil was demineralized to identify any organic microstructures preserved within the fossils. We investigated several factors which may have influenced cellular/soft tissue decay and/or preservation pathways, including taxonomic identity, paleoclimatic conditions, depositional environment, and general diagenetic history (as interpreted through thin section analysis). Soft tissue microstructures were preserved in all fossil samples, and cellular structures morphologically consistent with osteocytes were recovered from 11 of the 15 fossil specimens. Preservation of these microstructures was found to be independent of taxonomy, paleoclimate regime, apatite crystallinity, depositional environment, and general diagenetic history, indicating that biogeochemical reactions operating within microenvironments within skeletal tissues, such as within individual osteocyte lacunae or Haversian canals, may exert stronger controls on soft tissue and biomolecular decay or stabilization than external environmental (or climatic) conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Bone Diagenesis)
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16 pages, 6976 KiB  
Article
Geology and Geochronology of Magmatic–Hydrothermal Breccia Pipes in the Yixingzhai Gold Deposit: Implications for Ore Genesis and Regional Exploration
by Li-Zhong Zhang, Wen-Sheng Gao and Xiao-Dong Deng
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050496 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 386
Abstract
Magmatic–hydrothermal breccia pipes are widespread in numerous major porphyry and epithermal gold deposits globally, representing significant repositories of metal resources and serving as potential indicators for exploration targeting. More than ten breccia pipes occur in the Central Taihangshan District (CTD) of the North [...] Read more.
Magmatic–hydrothermal breccia pipes are widespread in numerous major porphyry and epithermal gold deposits globally, representing significant repositories of metal resources and serving as potential indicators for exploration targeting. More than ten breccia pipes occur in the Central Taihangshan District (CTD) of the North China Craton. Some of these breccia pipes host gold mineralization and are proposed to be related to the adjacent lode gold mineralization. However, the lack of detailed geological constraints make this hypothesis ambiguous. To address this, the present study conducted comprehensive field observations, drill core logging, an in situ sulfur isotope analysis of pyrite, and the 40Ar/39Ar dating of adularia along a 1400 m section of the Tietangdong breccia pipe at Yixingzhai. Three distinct breccia facies were identified at Tietangdong, exhibiting variable proportions across the entire section, including a massive skarn breccia; polymictic, skarn matrix-supported breccia; and polymictic, intrusive rock cement chaotic breccia. Furthermore, adularia 40Ar/39Ar dating indicates a syn-/post-gold mineralization age of 136 ± 1.5 Ma, coinciding with the age of post-breccia felsite dike. The deepest sampled pyrite displays δ34S values of ~2.7‰, strongly indicating a magmatic–hydrothermal signature. These results, when combined with the geological, geochronological, and isotopic studies on the adjacent lode gold mineralization, further suggest a close genetic relationship between the breccia pipes and the lode Au mineralization, paving the way for their utilization as effective indicators for gold targeting within the CTD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Mineral Chemistry to Characterize Ore-Forming Processes)
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