Next Issue
Previous Issue

Table of Contents

Minerals, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2016)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-33
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Raman Investigations to Identify Corallium rubrum in Iron Age Jewelry and Ornaments
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020056
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 1 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1906 | PDF Full-text (8358 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
During the Central European Iron Age, more specifically between 600 and 100 BC, red precious corals (Corallium rubrum) became very popular in many regions, often associated with the so-called (early) Celts. Red corals are ideally suited to investigate several key questions [...] Read more.
During the Central European Iron Age, more specifically between 600 and 100 BC, red precious corals (Corallium rubrum) became very popular in many regions, often associated with the so-called (early) Celts. Red corals are ideally suited to investigate several key questions of Iron Age research, like trade patterns or social and economic structures. While it is fairly easy to distinguish modern C. rubrum from bone, ivory or shells, archaeologists are confronted with ancient, hence altered, artifacts. Due to ageing processes, archaeological corals lose their intensive red color and shiny surface and can easily be confused with these other light colored materials. We propose a non-destructive multi-stage approach to identify archaeological corals amongst other biominerals used as ornament during the central European Iron Age with emphasis on optical examination and mobile Raman spectroscopy. Our investigations suggest that the noticeably high amount of misidentifications or at least uncertain material declarations existing in museums or even in the literature (around 15%) could be overcome by the proposed approach. Furthermore, the range of different materials is higher than previously expected in archaeological research. This finding has implications for contemporary concepts of social structures and distribution networks during the Iron Age. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Reflectance Spectral Characteristics of Minerals in the Mboukoumassi Sylvite Deposit, Kouilou Province, Congo
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020055
Received: 20 March 2016 / Revised: 29 April 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1902 | PDF Full-text (6820 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study presents reflectance spectra, determined with an ASD Inc. TerraSpec® spectrometer, of five types of ore and gangue minerals from the Mboukoumassi sylvite deposit, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The spectral absorption features, with peaks at 999, 1077, 1206, 1237, 1524, [...] Read more.
This study presents reflectance spectra, determined with an ASD Inc. TerraSpec® spectrometer, of five types of ore and gangue minerals from the Mboukoumassi sylvite deposit, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The spectral absorption features, with peaks at 999, 1077, 1206, 1237, 1524, and 1765 nm, of the ore mineral carnallite were found to be different from those of gangue minerals. Spectral comparison among carnallite samples from different sylvite deposits suggests that, in contrast to spectral shapes, the absorption features of carnallite are highly reproducible. Heating of carnallite to 400 and 750°C, and comparing the spectra of heated and non-heated samples, indicates that spectral absorption is related to lattice hydration or addition of hydroxyl. Since carnallite undergoes deliquescence easily, the absorption features of carnallite in the 350–2500 nm spectrum could serve as a robust tool for carnallite identification and separation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Novel Biotechnological Approaches for the Recovery of Metals from Primary and Secondary Resources
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020054
Received: 7 April 2016 / Revised: 19 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 13 June 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1875 | PDF Full-text (707 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microorganisms have developed various mechanisms to deal with metals, thus providing numerous tools that can be used in biohydrometallurgical processes. “Biomining” processes—including bioleaching and biooxidation processes—facilitate the degradation of minerals, accompanied by a release of metals. These processes are especially attractive for low-grade [...] Read more.
Microorganisms have developed various mechanisms to deal with metals, thus providing numerous tools that can be used in biohydrometallurgical processes. “Biomining” processes—including bioleaching and biooxidation processes—facilitate the degradation of minerals, accompanied by a release of metals. These processes are especially attractive for low-grade ores and are used on an industrial scale mainly for sulfidic ores. In biosorption processes, biomass or certain biomolecules are used to bind and concentrate selected ions or other molecules from aqueous solutions. Biosorptive materials can be an environmentally friendly and efficient alternative to conventional materials, such as ion exchange resins. Other interesting mechanisms are bioaccumulation, bioflotation, bioprecipitation, and biomineralisation. Although these processes are well-known and have been studied in detail during the last decades, the recent strong progress of biotechnologies (e.g., genetic engineering and molecule design), as well as their combination with novel developments in material sciences (e.g., nanotechnologies) facilitate new strategies for the application of biotechnologies in mineral processing. The article gives a summary of current activities in this field that are being performed in our group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnologies and Mining)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Roasting Temperature on the Flotation Properties of Muscovite
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020053
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 18 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1438 | PDF Full-text (7459 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Roasting and flotation are common techniques used in mineral processing, and they have increasingly been combined for the pre-concentration of muscovite from stone coal. The research was mainly to study flotation properties of muscovite after roasting at 200, 400, 600, 800 and 1000 [...] Read more.
Roasting and flotation are common techniques used in mineral processing, and they have increasingly been combined for the pre-concentration of muscovite from stone coal. The research was mainly to study flotation properties of muscovite after roasting at 200, 400, 600, 800 and 1000 °C, respectively. The changes of chemical and physical properties of muscovite during the roasting process were investigated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectrum (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Zeta potential measurements, particle size analysis, and the BET surface area measurements. The results indicated that the dehydroxylation of crystal structure took place at temperatures over 600 °C. A large number of hydroxyl groups were removed from the crystal structure of muscovite at 600–1000 °C. The layer structure, surface element distribution, and electrical properties of muscovite remained after roasting. The flotation recovery of roasted muscovite samples increased with the increase in roasting temperature in the same flotation system, because the specific surface and the adsorption capacity of dodecylamine (DDA) were reduced when roasting temperature was over 600 °C. A suitable roasting temperature and dosage of reagents can be provided for the roasting-flotation of muscovite. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Geoenvironmental Characterisation of Heap Leach Materials at Abandoned Mines: Croydon Au-Mines, QLD, Australia
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020052
Received: 10 April 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1714 | PDF Full-text (4494 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Heap leaching is a well-established metallurgical technology which allows metal recovery (e.g., Au, Cu, U) from low-grade ores. However, spent heap leach materials remaining at abandoned or historic mine sites may represent a potential source of contamination. At the Croydon Au-mines, heap leaching [...] Read more.
Heap leaching is a well-established metallurgical technology which allows metal recovery (e.g., Au, Cu, U) from low-grade ores. However, spent heap leach materials remaining at abandoned or historic mine sites may represent a potential source of contamination. At the Croydon Au-mines, heap leaching operations (1984–1985) were performed on mineralized rhyolites hosting sulphides including pyrite, galena, arsenopyrite and minor sphalerite. Characterization of spent heap leach materials (n = 14) was performed using established geochemical and mineralogical techniques, supplemented by automated mineralogical evaluations. Whilst these materials contained low sulphide-sulphur (0.08 to 0.41 wt %) and returned innocuous paste pH values (pH 5.1 to 8.6), they were classified uncertain by net acid producing potential/net acid generating criteria. This was likely due to the reaction of secondary mineral phases (i.e., beudantite, hidalgoite, kintoreite and Fe-As-Pb oxides) during these tests. It is hypothesised that during heap leaching, gangue sulphides have differentially reacted with the cyanide lixiviant, pre-conditioning the formation of these complex secondary phases during surficial oxidation, after heap leaching termination. These materials are considered to represent a moderate geoenvironmental risk as dissolved Pb in basal leachates is in excess of the World Health Organization (WHO 2006) guideline values. Considering this, these materials should be included in ongoing rehabilitation works at the site. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Preventive Replacement Decisions for Dragline Components Using Reliability Analysis
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020051
Received: 30 January 2016 / Revised: 18 May 2016 / Accepted: 20 May 2016 / Published: 30 May 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1703 | PDF Full-text (2006 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reliability-based maintenance policies allow qualitative and quantitative evaluation of system downtimes via revealing main causes of breakdowns and discussing required preventive activities against failures. Application of preventive maintenance is especially important for mining machineries since production is highly affected from machinery breakdowns. Overburden [...] Read more.
Reliability-based maintenance policies allow qualitative and quantitative evaluation of system downtimes via revealing main causes of breakdowns and discussing required preventive activities against failures. Application of preventive maintenance is especially important for mining machineries since production is highly affected from machinery breakdowns. Overburden stripping operations are one of the integral parts in surface coal mine productions. Draglines are extensively utilized in overburden stripping operations and they achieve earthmoving activities with bucket capacities up to 168 m3. The massive structure and operational severity of these machines increase the importance of performance awareness for individual working components. Research on draglines is rarely observed in the literature and maintenance studies for these earthmovers have been generally ignored. On this basis, this paper offered a comprehensive reliability assessment for two draglines currently operating in the Tunçbilek coal mine and discussed preventive replacement for wear-out components of the draglines considering cost factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers of Surface Mining Research)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Leaching Behavior and Potential Environmental Effects of Trace Elements in Coal Gangue of an Open-Cast Coal Mine Area, Inner Mongolia, China
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020050
Received: 28 February 2016 / Revised: 5 May 2016 / Accepted: 6 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1783 | PDF Full-text (3400 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to better understand the role of coal gangue in potential environmental and ecological risks, the leaching behavior of trace elements from coal gangue has been investigated in an open-cast coal mine, Inner Mongolia, China. Four comparative column leaching experiments were conducted [...] Read more.
In order to better understand the role of coal gangue in potential environmental and ecological risks, the leaching behavior of trace elements from coal gangue has been investigated in an open-cast coal mine, Inner Mongolia, China. Four comparative column leaching experiments were conducted to investigate the impacts of leaching time, pH values and sample amount on the leaching behavior of trace elements. Enrichment factors (EF), maximum leached amount (Lam), maximum leachability (Lrm), effects range low (ERL) and effects range median (ERM) were employed to evaluate potential environmental and ecological hazards resulting from the leaching behavior of environment-sensitive trace elements from coal gangue. Leaching time and sample amount display important effects on trace element concentrations, leached amounts and leachability. The pH values exhibit a weak influence on the leaching behavior of the selected trace elements (e.g., As, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, Cd, Sn, Pb and Hg). The coal gangue are enriched in As, Co, Se and Pb and, in particular, show higher environmental pollution levels of As and Se (EF > 2). Lam values suggest that all of the elements investigated do not show potential risk to soils and vegetation, but have a high hazard risk for ground water. Elements including Ni, As, Cr and Zn are inclined to show high or moderate biological toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Coal) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Microbiological Advances in Biohydrometallurgy
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020049
Received: 4 April 2016 / Revised: 3 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 1850 | PDF Full-text (1520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The most exciting advances in biohydrometallurgy are occurring in the field of microbiology. The two main technologies employed in biohydrometallurgy, agitated tanks for the processing of refractory concentrates and heaps and dumps for the processing of low-grade ores, are technologically sound and widely [...] Read more.
The most exciting advances in biohydrometallurgy are occurring in the field of microbiology. The two main technologies employed in biohydrometallurgy, agitated tanks for the processing of refractory concentrates and heaps and dumps for the processing of low-grade ores, are technologically sound and widely practised at commercial scale, but their development began at a time when very little was known of the microorganisms that assisted metals extraction from sulfide ores. During and subsequent to those developments it has been shown that microbial communities in metals extraction are more diverse than originally thought, and extremely robust and adaptable to different and variable environments. Recent advances in genomics and proteomics, exploiting hugely increased computing power and speed, have made it possible to describe not only which microorganisms are present in bioleaching systems, but also what physiological functions are being exercised. The body of knowledge being acquired through the application of molecular biology methods will be used increasingly to monitor microbial behaviour, optimise conditions for more appropriate microbiological activity and/or infer the “microbiological health” of bioreactors (tanks and heaps). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnologies and Mining)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Study of Digging Productivity of an Electric Rope Shovel for Different Operators
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020048
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 26 April 2016 / Accepted: 13 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
Viewed by 1733 | PDF Full-text (3255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A performance monitoring study of an electric rope shovel operating in an open pit coal mine was conducted. As the mining industry moves toward higher productivity, profitability and predictability, the need for more reliable, productive and efficient mining shovels increases. Consequently, it is [...] Read more.
A performance monitoring study of an electric rope shovel operating in an open pit coal mine was conducted. As the mining industry moves toward higher productivity, profitability and predictability, the need for more reliable, productive and efficient mining shovels increases. Consequently, it is critical to study the productivity of these machines and to understand the effect of different operational parameters on that. In this paper a clustering analysis is performed to classify shovel digging effort and behaviour based on digging energy, dig time and payload per pass. Then the influence of the operator on the digging efficiency and productivity of the machine is analyzed with a focus on operator technique during digging. A statistical analysis is conducted on different cycle time components (dig time, swing time, return time) for different operators. In addition to time components, swing and return angles as well as loading rate and mucking rate are observed and analyzed. The results of this study help to understand the effect of different operators on the digging productivity of the shovel and then to set the best operator practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers of Surface Mining Research)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Geochemistry and Mineralogy of Tuff in Zhongliangshan Mine, Chongqing, Southwestern China
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020047
Received: 30 January 2016 / Revised: 5 May 2016 / Accepted: 11 May 2016 / Published: 20 May 2016
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1843 | PDF Full-text (5449 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Coal-bearing strata that host rare metal deposits are currently a hot issue in the field of coal geology. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the mineralogy, geochemistry, and potential economic significance of rare metals in the late Permian tuff in Zhongliangshan [...] Read more.
Coal-bearing strata that host rare metal deposits are currently a hot issue in the field of coal geology. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the mineralogy, geochemistry, and potential economic significance of rare metals in the late Permian tuff in Zhongliangshan mine, Chongqing, southwestern China. The methods applied in this study are X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF), inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) plus Siroquant, and scanning electron microscopy in conjunction with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDX). The results indicate that some trace elements including Li, Be, Sc, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, Zr, Nb, Cd, Sb, REE, Hf, Ta, Re, Th, and U are enriched in the tuff from Zhongliangshan mine. The minerals in the tuff mainly include kaolinite, illite, pyrite, anatase, calcite, gypsum, quartz, and traces of minerals such as zircon, florencite, jarosite, and barite. The tuff is of mafic volcanic origin with features of alkali basalt. Some minerals including florencite, gypsum, barite and a portion of anatase and zircon have been derived from hydrothermal solutions. It is suggested that Zhongliangshan tuff is a potential polymetallic ore and the recovery of these valuable elements needs to be further investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Coal) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Chromite Composition and Accessory Minerals in Chromitites from Sulawesi, Indonesia: Their Genetic Significance
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020046
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 20 May 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2367 | PDF Full-text (8792 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several chromite deposits located in the in the South and Southeast Arms of Sulawesi, Indonesia, have been investigated by electron microprobe. According to the variation of the Cr# = Cr/(Cr + Fe3+), the chromite composition varies from Cr-rich to Al-rich. Small [...] Read more.
Several chromite deposits located in the in the South and Southeast Arms of Sulawesi, Indonesia, have been investigated by electron microprobe. According to the variation of the Cr# = Cr/(Cr + Fe3+), the chromite composition varies from Cr-rich to Al-rich. Small platinum-group minerals (PGM), 1–10 μm in size, occur in the chromitites. The most abundant PGM is laurite, which has been found included in fresh chromite or in contact with chlorite along cracks in the chromite. Laurite forms polygonal crystals, and it occurs as a single phase or in association with amphibole, chlorite, Co-pentlandite and apatite. Small blebs of irarsite (less than 2 μm across) have been found associated with grains of awaruite and Co-pentlandite in the chlorite gangue of the chromitites. Grains of olivine, occurring in the silicate matrix or included in fresh chromite, have been analyzed. They show a composition typical of mantle-hosted olivine. The bimodal composition and the slight enrichment in TiO2 observed in some chromitites suggest a vertical zonation due to the fractionation of a single batch magma with an initial boninitic composition during its ascent, in a supra-subduction zone. This observation implies the accumulation of Cr-rich chromitites at deep mantle levels and the formation of the Al-rich chromitites close or above the Moho-transition zone. All of the laurites are considered to be magmatic in origin, i.e., entrapped as solid phases during the crystallization of chromite at temperature of around 1200 °C and a sulfur fugacity below the sulfur saturation. Irarsite possibly represents a low temperature, less than 400 °C, exsolution product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research on Accessory Minerals)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Clay Mineralogy of Coal-Hosted Nb-Zr-REE-Ga Mineralized Beds from Late Permian Strata, Eastern Yunnan, SW China: Implications for Paleotemperature and Origin of the Micro-Quartz
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020045
Received: 24 January 2016 / Revised: 17 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 May 2016 / Published: 17 May 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2224 | PDF Full-text (4191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The clay mineralogy of pyroclastic Nb(Ta)-Zr(Hf)-REE-Ga mineralization in Late Permian coal-bearing strata from eastern Yunnan Province; southwest China was investigated in this study. Samples from XW and LK drill holes in this area were analyzed using XRD (X-ray diffraction) and SEM (scanning electronic [...] Read more.
The clay mineralogy of pyroclastic Nb(Ta)-Zr(Hf)-REE-Ga mineralization in Late Permian coal-bearing strata from eastern Yunnan Province; southwest China was investigated in this study. Samples from XW and LK drill holes in this area were analyzed using XRD (X-ray diffraction) and SEM (scanning electronic microscope). Results show that clay minerals in the Nb-Zr-REE-Ga mineralized samples are composed of mixed layer illite/smectite (I/S); kaolinite and berthierine. I/S is the major component among the clay assemblages. The source volcanic ashes controlled the modes of occurrence of the clay minerals. Volcanic ash-originated kaolinite and berthierine occur as vermicular and angular particles, respectively. I/S is confined to the matrix and is derived from illitization of smectite which was derived from the original volcanic ashes. Other types of clay minerals including I/S and berthierine precipitated from hydrothermal solutions were found within plant cells; and coexisting with angular berthierine and vermicular kaolinite. Inferred from the fact that most of the I/S is R1 ordered with one case of the R3 I/S; the paleo-diagenetic temperature could be up to 180 °C but mostly 100–160 °C. The micro-crystalline quartz grains (<10 µm) closely associated with I/S were observed under SEM and were most likely the product of desiliconization during illitization of smectite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Coal) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Molecularly-Limited Fractal Surface Area of Mineral Powders
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020044
Received: 24 February 2016 / Revised: 27 April 2016 / Accepted: 9 May 2016 / Published: 13 May 2016
Viewed by 1343 | PDF Full-text (2638 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The topic of the specific surface area (SSA) of powders is not sufficiently described in the literature in spite of its nontrivial contribution to adsorption and dissolution processes. Fractal geometry provides a way to determine this parameter via relation SSA ~ x( [...] Read more.
The topic of the specific surface area (SSA) of powders is not sufficiently described in the literature in spite of its nontrivial contribution to adsorption and dissolution processes. Fractal geometry provides a way to determine this parameter via relation SSA ~ x(D − 3)s(2 − D), where x (m) is the particle size and s (m) is a scale. Such a relation respects nano-, micro-, or macro-topography on the surface. Within this theory, the fractal dimension 2 ≤ D < 3 and scale parameter s plays a significant role. The parameter D may be determined from BET or dissolution measurements on several samples, changing the powder particle sizes or sizes of adsorbate molecules. If the fractality of the surface is high, the SSA does not depend on the particle size distribution and vice versa. In this paper, the SSA parameter is analyzed from the point of view of adsorption and dissolution processes. In the case of adsorption, a new equation for the SSA, depending on the term (2 − D)∙(s2sBET)/sBET, is derived, where sBET and s2 are effective cross-sectional diameters for BET and new adsorbates. Determination of the SSA for the dissolution process appears to be very complicated, since the fractality of the surface may change in the process. Nevertheless, the presented equations have good application potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Surface Science and Nanogeoscience)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study on the Microstructure Evolution of Mixed Disposal Paste in Surface Subsidence Areas
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020043
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2016 / Accepted: 3 May 2016 / Published: 9 May 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1518 | PDF Full-text (8351 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The integrated disposal of surface subsidence pits and surface solid waste can be realized by backfilling a surface subsidence area with a paste made from the solid wastes of mines, such as tailings and waste rock. The microstructures of these wastes determine the [...] Read more.
The integrated disposal of surface subsidence pits and surface solid waste can be realized by backfilling a surface subsidence area with a paste made from the solid wastes of mines, such as tailings and waste rock. The microstructures of these wastes determine the macroscopic properties of a paste backfill. This paper presents an experimental study on the internal structure evolution of pasty fluid mixed with different waste rock concentrations (10%, 30%, and 50%) and cement dosages (1% and 2%) under damage. To this end, a real-time computed tomography (CT) scan is conducted using medical CT and a small loading device. Results show that UCS (uniaxial compressive strength) increases when the amount of cement increases. Given a constant amount of cement, UCS increases first and then decreases as waste rock content increases. UCS is maximized at 551 kPa when the waste rock content is 30%. The paste body is a typical medium used to investigate initial damage, which mainly consists of microholes, pores, and microcracks. The initial damages also exhibit a high degree of random inhomogeneity. After loading, cracks are initiated and expand gradually from the original damage location until the overall damages are generated. The mesostructure evolution model of the paste body is divided into six categories, and this mesostructure is reasonable when the waste rock content is 30%. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Sn-Bearing Minerals and Associated Sphalerite from Lead-Zinc Deposits, Kosovo: An Electron Microprobe and LA-ICP-MS Study
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020042
Received: 9 March 2016 / Revised: 26 April 2016 / Accepted: 28 April 2016 / Published: 6 May 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1824 | PDF Full-text (3582 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stannite group minerals (ferrokësterite and stannite) occur in small amounts in association with sulfides in hydrothermal Pb-Zn deposits in Kosovo. The chemical composition of sphalerite co-existing with Sn-bearing minerals has been investigated using laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Flat Sn-spectra suggest [...] Read more.
Stannite group minerals (ferrokësterite and stannite) occur in small amounts in association with sulfides in hydrothermal Pb-Zn deposits in Kosovo. The chemical composition of sphalerite co-existing with Sn-bearing minerals has been investigated using laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Flat Sn-spectra suggest that Sn is bound in the sphalerite lattice or as nanoincluions. Sphalerite from Stan Terg, overgrown by ferrokësterite, contains the lowest Sn content (few ppm) and have been precipitated before Sn-enrichment in the fluids. The highest value of Sn (520 ppm) of Stan Terg sphalerite was obtained directly close to the ferrokësterite rim, and indicates a rapid increase of Sn in the hydrothermal fluids. Significantly higher values of Sn in sphalerite were obtained from other deposits: 1600 ppm (Artana), up to 663 ppm (Kizhnica), up to 2800 ppm (Drazhnje). Stannite-sphalerite geothermometry revealed the following ore-forming temperatures for the Kosovo mineralization: 240–390 °C for Stan Terg, 240–370 °C for Artana, >340 °C for Kizhnica, and 245–295 °C for Drazhnje. Sphalerite and stannite group minerals precipitated simultaneously during cooling from reduced hydrothermal fluids and under low-sulfidation fluid states. Fluctuations in physico-chemical fluid conditions are evidenced by the presence of stannite group minerals along growth zones in sphalerite and may be related to short interval of magmatic pulses during ore deposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research on Accessory Minerals)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Role of Fungi in the Biomineralization of Calcite
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020041
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 25 April 2016 / Accepted: 28 April 2016 / Published: 5 May 2016
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2617 | PDF Full-text (9840 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the field of microbial biomineralization, much of the scientific attention is focused on processes carried out by prokaryotes, in particular bacteria, even though fungi are also known to be involved in biogeochemical cycles in numerous ways. They are traditionally recognized as key [...] Read more.
In the field of microbial biomineralization, much of the scientific attention is focused on processes carried out by prokaryotes, in particular bacteria, even though fungi are also known to be involved in biogeochemical cycles in numerous ways. They are traditionally recognized as key players in organic matter recycling, as nutrient suppliers via mineral weathering, as well as large producers of organic acids such as oxalic acid for instance, an activity leading to the genesis of various metal complexes such as metal-oxalate. Their implications in the transformation of various mineral and metallic compounds has been widely acknowledged during the last decade, however, currently, their contribution to the genesis of a common biomineral, calcite, needs to be more thoroughly documented. Calcite is observed in many ecosystems and plays an essential role in the biogeochemical cycles of both carbon (C) and calcium (Ca). It may be physicochemical or biogenic in origin and numerous organisms have been recognized to control or induce its biomineralization. While fungi have often been suspected of being involved in this process in terrestrial environments, only scarce information supports this hypothesis in natural settings. As a result, calcite biomineralization by microbes is still largely attributed to bacteria at present. However, in some terrestrial environments there are particular calcitic habits that have been described as being fungal in origin. In addition to this, several studies dealing with axenic cultures of fungi have demonstrated the ability of fungi to produce calcite. Examples of fungal biomineralization range from induced to organomineralization processes. More examples of calcite biomineralization related to direct fungal activity, or at least to their presence, have been described within the last decade. However, the peculiar mechanisms leading to calcite biomineralization by fungi remain incompletely understood and more research is necessary, posing new exciting questions linked to microbial biomineralization processes. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Modes of Occurrence and Abundance of Trace Elements in Pennsylvanian Coals from the Pingshuo Mine, Ningwu Coalfield, Shanxi Province, China
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020040
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2016 / Accepted: 15 April 2016 / Published: 27 April 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1395 | PDF Full-text (4118 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Pingshuo Mine is an important coal mine of the Ningwu coalfield in northern Shanxi Province, China. To investigate the mineralogy and geochemistry of Pingshuo coals, core samples from the mineable No. 4 coals were collected. The minerals, major element oxides, and trace [...] Read more.
The Pingshuo Mine is an important coal mine of the Ningwu coalfield in northern Shanxi Province, China. To investigate the mineralogy and geochemistry of Pingshuo coals, core samples from the mineable No. 4 coals were collected. The minerals, major element oxides, and trace elements were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), LTA-XRD in combination with Siroquant software, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and ICP-CCT-MS (As and Se). The minerals in the Pennsylvanian coals from the Pingshuo Mine dominantly consist of kaolinite and boehmite, with minor amounts of siderite, anatase, goyazite, calcite, apatite and florencite. Major-element oxides including SiO2 (9.54 wt %), Al2O3 (9.68 wt %), and TiO2 (0.63 wt %), as well as trace elements including Hg (449.63 ng/g), Zr (285.95 μg/g), Cu (36.72 μg/g), Ga (18.47 μg/g), Se (5.99 μg/g), Cd (0.43 μg/g), Hf (7.14 μg/g), and Pb (40.63 μg/g) are enriched in the coal. Lithium and Hg present strong positive correlations with ash yield and SiO2, indicating an inorganic affinity. Elements Sr, Ba, Be, As and Ga have strong positive correlations with CaO and P2O5, indicating that most of these elements may be either associated with phosphates and carbonates or have an inorganic–organic affinity. Some of the Zr and Hf may occur in anatase due to their strong positive correlations with TiO2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Coal) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Study on the Selection of Comminution Circuits for a Magnetite Ore in Eastern Hebei, China
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020039
Received: 18 December 2015 / Revised: 15 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 26 April 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1330 | PDF Full-text (2239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Standard drop weight, SMC, and Bond ball work index tests have been conducted to investigate the comminution circuit of a magnetite ore located in Eastern Hebei, China. In addition, simulations based on JKSimMet and Morrell models have been performed to compare the specific [...] Read more.
Standard drop weight, SMC, and Bond ball work index tests have been conducted to investigate the comminution circuit of a magnetite ore located in Eastern Hebei, China. In addition, simulations based on JKSimMet and Morrell models have been performed to compare the specific energy consumption of various comminution circuits. According to the desired capacity and the ore communition characteristics observed, a simulation was conducted to determine the size and driving power of the grinding mills. The SMC and Bond ball work index experiments as well as the Morrell model indicated that the order of the specific energy consumption of comminution was “Jaw crusher + HPGR mill + ball mill” < “Jaw crusher + ball mill”< “SAG mill + ball mill”. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessTechnical Note
Beneficiation of a Sedimentary Phosphate Ore by a Combination of Spiral Gravity and Direct-Reverse Flotation
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020038
Received: 1 February 2016 / Revised: 29 March 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1967 | PDF Full-text (3589 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In China, direct-reverse flotation is proved to be applicable to most phosphate ores. However, because the ratio of froth product is generally high, current direct-reverse technology faces challenges in terms of high reagent consumptions and cost. A new gravity and flotation combined process [...] Read more.
In China, direct-reverse flotation is proved to be applicable to most phosphate ores. However, because the ratio of froth product is generally high, current direct-reverse technology faces challenges in terms of high reagent consumptions and cost. A new gravity and flotation combined process has been developed for the recovery of collophanite from sedimentary phosphate ore from the beneficiation plant of Hubei, China. In this process, 53% of the collophanite was firstly recovered by gravity separation, reducing the mass flow to direct flotation. The gravity tailing was the feed for the direct flotation. The flotation concentrate, mixed with gravity concentrate, was then subjected to reverse flotation. A final concentrate with a grade of 30.41% P2O5 at a recovery of 91.5% was produced from the feed analyzing 21.55% P2O5. Compared to the conventional direct-reverse flotation 86.1% recovery at 31.69% P2O5, it was found that pre-recovery of collophanite by spiral separation could significantly reduce the flotation reagent consumption and lead to improved overall collophanite recovery. The benefits of the new process in terms of cost savings were also discussed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Fungal Iron Biomineralization in Río Tinto
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020037
Received: 1 January 2016 / Revised: 30 March 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 18 April 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1462 | PDF Full-text (4221 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although there are many studies on biomineralization processes, most of them focus on the role of prokaryotes. As fungi play an important role in different geological and biogeochemical processes, it was considered of interest to evaluate their role in a natural extreme acidic [...] Read more.
Although there are many studies on biomineralization processes, most of them focus on the role of prokaryotes. As fungi play an important role in different geological and biogeochemical processes, it was considered of interest to evaluate their role in a natural extreme acidic environment, Río Tinto, which has a high level of fungal diversity and a high concentration of metals. In this work we report, for the first time, the generation of iron oxyhydroxide minerals by the fungal community in a specific location of the Tinto basin. Using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and High Angle Angular Dark Field coupled with Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (HAADF-STEM) and Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX), we observed fungal structures involved in the formation of iron oxyhydroxide minerals in mineralized sediment samples from the Río Tinto basin. Although Río Tinto waters are supersaturated in these minerals, they do not precipitate due to their slow precipitation kinetics. The presence of fungi, which simply provide charged surfaces for metal binding, favors the precipitation of Fe oxyhydroxides by overcoming these kinetic barriers. These results prove that the fungal community of Río Tinto participates very actively in the geochemical processes that take place there. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Seasonal Microbial Population Shifts in a Bioremediation System Treating Metal and Sulfate-Rich Seepage
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020036
Received: 1 February 2016 / Revised: 1 April 2016 / Accepted: 1 April 2016 / Published: 12 April 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1528 | PDF Full-text (1268 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Biochemical reactors (BCRs) using complex organics for bioremediation of mine-influenced water must operate successfully year round. In cold climates, where many mines in Canada are located, survival of the important microorganisms through the winter months is a concern. In this work, broad phylogenetic [...] Read more.
Biochemical reactors (BCRs) using complex organics for bioremediation of mine-influenced water must operate successfully year round. In cold climates, where many mines in Canada are located, survival of the important microorganisms through the winter months is a concern. In this work, broad phylogenetic surveys, using metagenomics, of the microbial populations in pulp mill biosolids used to remediate metal leachate containing As, Zn, Cd and sulfate were performed to see if the types of microorganisms present changed over the seasons of one year (August 2008 to July 2009). Despite temperature variations between 0 and 17 °C the overall structure of the microbial population was fairly consistent. A cyclical pattern in relative abundance was detected in certain taxa. These included fermenter-related groups, which were out of phase with other taxa such as Desulfobulbus that represented potential consumers of fermentation byproducts. Sulfate-reducers in the BCR biosolids were closely related to psychrotolerant species. Temperature was not a factor that shaped the microbial population structure within the BCR biosolids. Kinetics of organic matter degradation by these microbes and the rate of supply of organic carbon to sulfate-reducers would likely affect the metal removal rates at different temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnologies and Mining)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Fate of Trace Elements in Yanshan Coal during Fast Pyrolysis
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020035
Received: 8 January 2016 / Revised: 28 March 2016 / Accepted: 31 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1731 | PDF Full-text (806 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, a high-sulfur and high-ash yield coal sample obtained from the Yanshan coalfield in Yunnan, China was analyzed. A series of char samples was obtained by pyrolysis at various temperatures (300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, and 900 °C) and at [...] Read more.
In this study, a high-sulfur and high-ash yield coal sample obtained from the Yanshan coalfield in Yunnan, China was analyzed. A series of char samples was obtained by pyrolysis at various temperatures (300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, and 900 °C) and at a fast heating rate (1000 °C/min). A comprehensive investigation using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), a mercury analyzer, ion-selective electrode (ISE) measurements, X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was performed to reveal the effects of the pyrolysis temperature on the transformation behavior of trace elements (TEs) and the change in the mineralogical characteristics and functional groups in the samples. The results show that the TE concentrations in the raw coal are higher than the average contents of Chinese coal. The concentrations of Be, Li, and U in the char samples are higher than those in raw coal, while the opposite was observed for As, Ga, Hg, and Rb. The F and Se concentrations are initially higher but decrease with pyrolysis temperature, which is likely caused by associated fracturing with fluoride and selenide minerals. Uranium shows the highest enrichment degree, and Hg shows the highest volatilization degree compared to the other studied TEs. As the temperature increases, the number of OH groups decreases, and the mineral composition changes; for example, pyrite decomposes, while oldhamite and hematite occur in the chars. It is suggested that the behavior and fate of TEs in coal during fast pyrolysis are synergistically influenced by self-characteristic modes of occurrence and mineralogical characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Coal) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Apatite Biominerals
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020034
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 5 April 2016
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2551 | PDF Full-text (2777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Calcium phosphate apatites offer outstanding biological adaptability that can be attributed to their specific physico-chemical and structural properties. The aim of this review is to summarize and discuss the specific characteristics of calcium phosphate apatite biominerals in vertebrate hard tissues (bone, dentine and [...] Read more.
Calcium phosphate apatites offer outstanding biological adaptability that can be attributed to their specific physico-chemical and structural properties. The aim of this review is to summarize and discuss the specific characteristics of calcium phosphate apatite biominerals in vertebrate hard tissues (bone, dentine and enamel). Firstly, the structural, elemental and chemical compositions of apatite biominerals will be summarized, followed by the presentation of the actual conception of the fine structure of synthetic and biological apatites, which is essentially based on the existence of a hydrated layer at the surface of the nanocrystals. The conditions of the formation of these biominerals and the hypothesis of the existence of apatite precursors will be discussed. Then, we will examine the evolution of apatite biominerals, especially during bone and enamel aging and also focus on the adaptability of apatite biominerals to the biological function of their related hard tissues. Finally, the diagenetic evolution of apatite fossils will be analyzed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Petříčekite, CuSe2, a New Member of the Marcasite Group from the Předbořice Deposit, Central Bohemia Region, Czech Republic
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020033
Received: 9 March 2016 / Revised: 26 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 1 April 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2405 | PDF Full-text (6990 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Petříčekite, ideally CuSe2, is a new mineral from the Předbořice deposit, Central Bohemia Region, Czech Republic. It occurs as rare inclusions, up to 150 μm across, in large eucairite grains closely associated with athabascaite/klockmannite and unknown selenide phases. Petříčekite is opaque [...] Read more.
Petříčekite, ideally CuSe2, is a new mineral from the Předbořice deposit, Central Bohemia Region, Czech Republic. It occurs as rare inclusions, up to 150 μm across, in large eucairite grains closely associated with athabascaite/klockmannite and unknown selenide phases. Petříčekite is opaque with a metallic luster and shows a black streak. It is brittle; the Vickers hardness (VHN15) is 33 kg/mm2 (range: 28–40 kg/mm2) (Mohs hardness of ~2–2½). In reflected light, petříčekite is pale blue grey to pale pinkish, weakly pleochroic and weakly bireflectant from slightly blue-grey to slightly pinkish-grey. Under crossed polars, it is anisotropic with light grey-blue to light pink rotation tints. Internal reflections are absent. Reflectance percentages for the four COM (Commission on Ore Mineralogy) wavelengths (Rmin and Rmax) are 42.35, 41.8 (470 nm), 42.0, 42.2 (546 nm), 41.9, 42.35 (589 nm) and 42.05, 42.85 (650 nm), respectively. Petříčekite is orthorhombic, space group Pnnm, with a = 4.918(2) Å; b = 6.001(2) Å; c = 3.670(1) Å; V = 108.31(1) Å3; Z = 2. The crystal structure (R1 = 0.0336 for 159 reflections with I > 2σ(I)) belongs to the marcasite-type structure. It consists of edge-sharing chains of CuSe6 octahedra parallel to [001] linked by sharing Se2 dimers. The Se–Se bonds are all parallel to (001). The five strongest powder-diffraction lines (d in Å (I/I0) (hkl)) are: 2.938 (70) (101); 2.639 (100) (111); 2.563 (85) (120); 1.935 (70) (211); 1.834 (30) (002). The mean of nine electron-microprobe analyses on the crystal used for the structural study gave Ag 0.22(13), Cu 15.39(15), Hg 0.01(3), Pb 0.03(2), Fe 12.18(10), Pd 0.11(4), S 0.09(1), Se 71.61(29) and total 99.64(41) wt %, corresponding on the basis of a total of three atoms, to (Cu0.53Fe0.48)Σ1.01(Se1.98S0.01)Σ1.99. Additional crystals exhibiting higher Cu contents (up to 0.74 a.p.f.u.) were also investigated. The new mineral has been approved by the IMA-NMNC Commission (2015-111) and named after Václav Petříček, renowned crystallographer of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague. Optical, compositional and structural properties confirm that nearly pure petříčekite also formed as late-stage mineral in the Se mineralization at El Dragón, Bolivia. It has end-member composition, Cu0.99Se2.00 (n = 5), and is typically associated with krut’aite of ideal composition, native selenium and goethite. Finally, optical and chemical data indicate that pure petříčekite is likely present also at Sierra de Cacheuta, Argentina. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research on Accessory Minerals)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Morphology and Composition of Microspheres in Fly Ash from the Luohuang Power Plant, Chongqing, Southwestern China
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020030
Received: 9 December 2015 / Revised: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 29 January 2016 / Published: 1 April 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1846 | PDF Full-text (3022 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In order to effectively raise both utilization rate and additional value of fly ash, X-Ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-Ray spectrometer (EDS) were used to investigate the morphology, and chemical and mineral composition of the microspheres in fly ash [...] Read more.
In order to effectively raise both utilization rate and additional value of fly ash, X-Ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-Ray spectrometer (EDS) were used to investigate the morphology, and chemical and mineral composition of the microspheres in fly ash from the Luohuang coal-fired power plant, Chongqing, southwestern China. The majority of fly ash particles are various types of microspheres, including porous microsphere, plerospheres (hollow microspheres surrounding sub-microspheres or mineral fragments) and magnetic ferrospheres. Maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) crystals with spinel octahedron structure regularly distribute on the surfaces of ferrospheres, which explained the source of their strong magnetism that would facilitate the separation and classification of these magnetic ferrospheres from the fly ash. Microspheres in Luohuang fly ash generally are characterized by an elemental transition through their cross-section: the inner layer consists of Si and O; the chemical component of the middle layer is Si, Al, Fe, Ti, Ca and O; and the Fe-O mass (maghemite or hematite) composes the outer layer (ferrosphere). Studies on composition and morphological characteristics of microspheres in fly ash would provide important information on the utilization of fly ash, especially in the field of materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Coal) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommentary
Notes on Contributions to the Science of Rare Earth Element Enrichment in Coal and Coal Combustion Byproducts
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020032
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 4 March 2016 / Accepted: 25 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
Cited by 60 | Viewed by 2349 | PDF Full-text (791 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Coal and coal combustion byproducts can have significant concentrations of lanthanides (rare earth elements). Rare earths are vital in the production of modern electronics and optics, among other uses. Enrichment in coals may have been a function of a number of processes, with [...] Read more.
Coal and coal combustion byproducts can have significant concentrations of lanthanides (rare earth elements). Rare earths are vital in the production of modern electronics and optics, among other uses. Enrichment in coals may have been a function of a number of processes, with contributions from volcanic ash falls being among the most significant mechanisms. In this paper, we discuss some of the important coal-based deposits in China and the US and critique classification systems used to evaluate the relative value of the rare earth concentrations and the distribution of the elements within the coals and coal combustion byproducts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Coal) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Restraining Sodium Volatilization in the Ferric Bauxite Direct Reduction System
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020031
Received: 27 December 2015 / Revised: 22 February 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1451 | PDF Full-text (7317 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Direct reduction is an emerging utilization technology of ferric bauxite. However, it requires much more sodium carbonate than ordinary bauxite does. The volatilization is one of the most significant parts of sodium carbonate consumption, as reported in previous studies. Based on the new [...] Read more.
Direct reduction is an emerging utilization technology of ferric bauxite. However, it requires much more sodium carbonate than ordinary bauxite does. The volatilization is one of the most significant parts of sodium carbonate consumption, as reported in previous studies. Based on the new direct reduction method for utilization of ferric bauxite, this paper has systematically investigated factors including heating temperature, heating time, and sodium carbonate dosage influencing sodium volatilization. For the purpose of reducing sodium volatilization, the Box–Benhken design was employed, and the possibility of separating iron and sodium after direct reduction was also investigated. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Mineralogical Characteristics of Late Permian Coals from the Yueliangtian Coal Mine, Guizhou, Southwestern China
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020029
Received: 6 December 2015 / Revised: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1723 | PDF Full-text (15198 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reports the mineralogical compositions of super-low-sulfur (Yueliangtian 6-upper (YLT6U)) and high-sulfur (Yueliangtian 6-lower (YLT6L)) coals of the Late Permian No. 6 coal seam from the Yueliangtian coal mine, Guizhou, southwestern China. The mineral assemblages and morphology were detected and observed by [...] Read more.
This paper reports the mineralogical compositions of super-low-sulfur (Yueliangtian 6-upper (YLT6U)) and high-sulfur (Yueliangtian 6-lower (YLT6L)) coals of the Late Permian No. 6 coal seam from the Yueliangtian coal mine, Guizhou, southwestern China. The mineral assemblages and morphology were detected and observed by X-ray diffractogram (XRD), optical microscopy and field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) in conjunction with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer. Major minerals in the coal samples, partings and host rocks (roof and floor strata) include calcite, quartz, kaolinite, mixed-layer illite/smectite, chlorite and pyrite and, to a lesser extent, chamosite, anatase and apatite. The Emeishan basalt and silicic rocks in the Kangdian Upland are the sediment source for the Yueliangtian coals. It was found that there are several modes of chamosite occurrence, and precursor minerals, such as anatase, had been corroded by Ti-rich hydrothermal solutions. The modes of occurrence of minerals present in the coal were controlled by the injection of different types of hydrothermal fluids during different deposition stages. The presence of abundant pyrite and extremely high total sulfur contents in the YLT6L coal are in sharp contrast to those in the YLT6U coal, suggesting that seawater invaded the peat swamp of the YLT6L coal and terminated at the YLT6U-9p sampling interval. High-temperature quartz, vermicular kaolinite and chloritized biotite were observed in the partings and roof strata. The three partings and floor strata of the No. 6 coal seam from the Yueliangtian coal mine appear to have been derived from felsic volcanic ash. Four factors, including sediment-source region, multi-stage injections of hydrothermal fluids, seawater influence and volcanic ash input, were responsible for the mineralogical characteristics of the Yueliangtian coals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Coal) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Geochemical Characteristics of Trace Elements in the No. 6 Coal Seam from the Chuancaogedan Mine, Jungar Coalfield, Inner Mongolia, China
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020028
Received: 19 November 2015 / Revised: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1548 | PDF Full-text (12281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fourteen samples of No. 6 coal seam were obtained from the Chuancaogedan Mine, Jungar Coalfield, Inner Mongolia, China. The samples were analyzed by optical microscopic observation, X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDS), inductively coupled plasma mass [...] Read more.
Fourteen samples of No. 6 coal seam were obtained from the Chuancaogedan Mine, Jungar Coalfield, Inner Mongolia, China. The samples were analyzed by optical microscopic observation, X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDS), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) methods. The minerals mainly consist of kaolinite, pyrite, quartz, and calcite. The results of XRF and ICP-MS analyses indicate that the No. 6 coals from Chuancaogedan Mine are higher in Al2O3, P2O5, Zn, Sr, Li, Ga, Zr, Gd, Hf, Pb, Th, and U contents, but have a lower SiO2/Al2O3 ratio, compared to common Chinese coals. The contents of Zn, Sr, Li, Ga, Zr, Gd, Hf, Pb, Th, and U are higher than those of world hard coals. The results of cluster analyses show that the most probable carrier of strontium in the coal is gorceixite; Lithium mainly occurs in clay minerals; gallium mainly occurs in inorganic association, including the clay minerals and diaspore; cadmium mainly occurs in sphalerite; and lead in the No. 6 coal may be associated with pyrite. Potentially valuable elements (e.g., Al, Li, and Ga) might be recovered as byproducts from coal ash. Other harmful elements (e.g., P, Pb, and U) may cause environmental impact during coal processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Coal) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Minerals in the Ash and Slag from Oxygen-Enriched Underground Coal Gasification
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6020027
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 19 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2203 | PDF Full-text (9732 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Underground coal gasification (UCG) is a promising option for the recovery of low-rank and inaccessible coal resources. Detailed mineralogical information is essential to understand underground reaction conditions far from the surface and optimize the operation parameters during the UCG process. It is also [...] Read more.
Underground coal gasification (UCG) is a promising option for the recovery of low-rank and inaccessible coal resources. Detailed mineralogical information is essential to understand underground reaction conditions far from the surface and optimize the operation parameters during the UCG process. It is also significant in identifying the environmental effects of UCG residue. In this paper, with regard to the underground gasification of lignite, UCG slag was prepared through simulation tests of oxygen-enriched gasification under different atmospheric conditions, and the minerals were identified by X-Ray diffraction (XRD) and a scanning electron microscope coupled to an energy-dispersive spectrometer (SEM-EDS). Thermodynamic calculations performed using FactSage 6.4 were used to help to understand the transformation of minerals. The results indicate that an increased oxygen concentration is beneficial to the reformation of mineral crystal after ash fusion and the resulting crystal structures of minerals also tend to be more orderly. The dominant minerals in 60%-O2 and 80%-O2 UCG slag include anorthite, pyroxene, and gehlenite, while amorphous substances almost disappear. In addition, with increasing oxygen content, mullite might react with the calcium oxide existed in the slag to generate anorthite, which could then serve as a calcium source for the formation of gehlenite. In 80%-O2 UCG slag, the iron-bearing mineral is transformed from sekaninaite to pyroxene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Coal) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Minerals EISSN 2075-163X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top