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.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited