Editor's Choice Articles

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Article
Relative Abundance and Compositional Variation of Silicates, Oxides and Phosphates in the W-Sn-Rich Lodes of the Panasqueira Mine (Portugal): Implications for the Ore-Forming Process
Minerals 2020, 10(6), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10060551 - 19 Jun 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Panasqueira is a world-class W-Sn-Cu lode-type deposit located in Portugal. It consists of a dense swarm of subhorizontal quartz lodes criss-crossed by several ENE–WSW and N–S fault zones, bordering Late Variscan granite and hosted in Late Ediacaran—Early Cambrian metasediments. The relative abundance and [...] Read more.
Panasqueira is a world-class W-Sn-Cu lode-type deposit located in Portugal. It consists of a dense swarm of subhorizontal quartz lodes criss-crossed by several ENE–WSW and N–S fault zones, bordering Late Variscan granite and hosted in Late Ediacaran—Early Cambrian metasediments. The relative abundance and compositional variation (assessed with EPMA) of the main silicates, oxides and phosphates forming the quartz lodes and their margins were examined, aiming to explore: (i) mineral and geochemical zonation at the mine scale; and (ii) some conclusions on the chemical nature of prevalent fluid inflows and T-conditions of mineral deposition. Quartz lodes nearby or far from the known greisen-granite cupola display significant differences, reflecting multiple fluid influxes of somewhat distinct composition related to various opening and closing events extending for several My, ranging from an early “oxide–silicate stage” (OSS) to a “main sulfide stage” (MSS), and further on to a post-ore carbonate stage (POCS); however, a rejuvenation event occurred after MSS. The onset of OSS was placed at ca. 299 ± 5 Ma and the rejuvenation event at ca. 292 Ma. The OSS was confined to ≈500 ≤ T ≤ 320 °C, following rutile and tourmaline growth under ≈640 ≤ T ≤ 540 °C (depending on aSiO2). The rejuvenation event (≈440–450 °C) preceded a late chlorite growth (≈250–270 °C) and the progression towards POCS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Granite-Related Mineralization Systems)
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Article
Leaching Kinetics of Weathered Crust Elution-Deposited Rare Earth Ore with Compound Ammonium Carboxylate
Minerals 2020, 10(6), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10060516 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Due to the special properties of the ammonium salts, ammonium acetate and ammonium citrate were used to explore the best leaching conditions of rare earth with compound ammonium carboxylate. This paper explored the influence of the molar ratio, ammonium concentration, experimental temperature, and [...] Read more.
Due to the special properties of the ammonium salts, ammonium acetate and ammonium citrate were used to explore the best leaching conditions of rare earth with compound ammonium carboxylate. This paper explored the influence of the molar ratio, ammonium concentration, experimental temperature, and pH of the compound leaching agents on the leaching efficiency of rare earth and aluminum, and it analyzed the leaching process based on the leaching kinetics, which provides a new method for leaching rare earth from the weathered crust elution-deposited rare earth ore. The results showed that under the conditions where the molar ratio of ammonium acetate and ammonium citrate was 7:3 and the ammonium concentration was 0.15 mol/L, the leaching efficiency of rare earth was the highest when the pH of leaching agent was 4.0 and the experimental temperature was 313 K. Meanwhile, when CH3COONH4 and (NH4)3Cit were used to leach rare earth ore, the leaching reaction kinetics equation of rare earth and aluminum were obtained. In the temperature range of 283–323 K, the apparent activation energy of rare earth was 14.89 kJ/mol and that of aluminum was 19.17 kJ/mol. The reaction order of rare earth was 0.98 and that of aluminum was 0.79. The results were in accordance with the shrinking core model and indicate that the concentration of the leaching agent had a greater influence on rare earth than aluminum. This process can reduce the use of ammonium salt, and it is of great significance to extract rare earth elements from weathered crust elution-deposited rare earth ore and improve the utilization rate of resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Chemistry in Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy)
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Article
IR Features of Hydrous Mg2SiO4-Ringwoodite, Unannealed and Annealed at 200–600 °C and 1 atm, with Implications to Hydrogen Defects and Water-Coupled Cation Disorder
Minerals 2020, 10(6), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10060499 - 30 May 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Three batches of Mg2SiO4-ringwoodites (Mg-Rw) with different water contents (CH2O = ~1019(238), 5500(229) and 16,307(1219) ppm) were synthesized by using conventional high-P experimental techniques. Thirteen thin sections with different thicknesses (~14–113 μm) were prepared from them [...] Read more.
Three batches of Mg2SiO4-ringwoodites (Mg-Rw) with different water contents (CH2O = ~1019(238), 5500(229) and 16,307(1219) ppm) were synthesized by using conventional high-P experimental techniques. Thirteen thin sections with different thicknesses (~14–113 μm) were prepared from them and examined for water-related IR peaks using unpolarized infrared spectra at ambient P-T conditions, leading to the observation of 15 IR peaks at ~3682, 3407, 3348, 3278, 3100, 2849, 2660, 2556, 2448, 1352, 1347, 1307, 1282, 1194 and 1186 cm−1. These IR peaks suggest multiple types of hydrogen defects in hydrous Mg-Rw. We have attributed the IR peaks at ~3680, 3650–3000 and 3000–2000 cm−1, respectively, to the hydrogen defects [VSi(OH)4], [VMg(OH)2MgSiSiMg] and [VMg(OH)2]. Combining these IR features with the chemical characteristics of hydrous Rw, we have revealed that the hydrogen defects [VMg(OH)2MgSiSiMg] are dominant in hydrous Rw at high P-T conditions, and the defects [VSi(OH)4] and [VMg(OH)2] play negligible roles. Extensive IR measurements were performed on seven thin sections annealed for several times at T of 200–600 °C and quickly quenched to room T. They display many significant variations, including an absorption enhancement of the peak at ~3680 cm−1, two new peaks occurring at ~3510 and 3461 cm−1, remarkable intensifications of the peaks at ~3405 and 3345 cm−1 and significant absorption reductions of the peaks at ~2500 cm−1. These phenomena imply significant hydrogen migration among different crystallographic sites and rearrangement of the O-H dipoles in hydrous Mg-Rw at high T. From the IR spectra obtained for hydrous Rw both unannealed and annealed at high T, we further infer that substantial amounts of cation disorder should be present in hydrous Rw at the P-T conditions of the mantle transition zone, as required by the formation of the hydrogen defects [VMg(OH)2MgSiSiMg]. The Mg-Si disorder may have very large effects on the physical and chemical properties of Rw, as exampled by its disproportional effects on the unit-cell volume and thermal expansivity. Full article
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Article
Seismic Wave Speeds Derived from Nuclear Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering for Comparison with Seismological Observations
Minerals 2020, 10(4), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10040331 - 08 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Nuclear resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (NRIXS) experiments have been applied to Earth materials, and the Debye speed is often related to the material’s seismic wave speeds. However, for anisotropic samples, the Debye speed extracted from NRIXS measurements is not equal to the Debye [...] Read more.
Nuclear resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (NRIXS) experiments have been applied to Earth materials, and the Debye speed is often related to the material’s seismic wave speeds. However, for anisotropic samples, the Debye speed extracted from NRIXS measurements is not equal to the Debye speed obtained using the material’s isotropic seismic wave speeds. The latter provides an upper bound for the Debye speed of the material. Consequently, the acoustic wave speeds estimated from the Debye speed extracted from NRIXS (Nuclear Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering) measurements are underestimated compared to the material’s true seismic wave speeds. To illustrate the differences, the effects of various assumptions used to estimate the Debye speed, as well as seismic wave speeds, are examined with iron alloys at Earth’s inner core conditions. For the case of pure iron, the variation of the crystal orientation relative to the incoming X-ray beam causes a 40 % variation in the measured Debye speed, and leads to 3% and 31% underestimation in the compressional and shear wave speeds, respectively. Based upon various iron alloys, the error in the inferred seismic shear wave speed strongly depends upon the strength of anisotropy that can be quantified. We can also derive Debye speeds based upon seismological observations such as the PREM (Preliminary Reference Earth Model) and inner core anisotropy model. We show that these seismically derived Debye speeds are upper bounds for Debye speeds obtained from NRIXS experiments and that interpretation of the Debye speeds from the NRIXS measurements in terms of seismic wave speeds should be done with utmost caution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Physics—In Memory of Orson Anderson)
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Article
Xenophyllite, Na4Fe7(PO4)6, an Exotic Meteoritic Phosphate: New Mineral Description, Na-ions Mobility and Electrochemical Implications
Minerals 2020, 10(4), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10040300 - 27 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Xenophyllite, ideally Na4Fe7(PO4)6, is a rare meteoritic phosphate found in phosphide-phosphate assemblages confined to troilite nodules of the Augustinovka iron meteorite (medium octahedrite, IIIAB). The mineral occurs as tiny lamella up to 0.15 mm long [...] Read more.
Xenophyllite, ideally Na4Fe7(PO4)6, is a rare meteoritic phosphate found in phosphide-phosphate assemblages confined to troilite nodules of the Augustinovka iron meteorite (medium octahedrite, IIIAB). The mineral occurs as tiny lamella up to 0.15 mm long cross-cutting millimeter-sized grains of sarcopside, Fe3(PO4)2, associated with schreibersite, chromite and pentlandite. Xenophyllite is translucent, has a bluish-green to grey-green color and vitreous lustre. Moh’s hardness is 3.5–4. Cleavage is perfect on {001}. Measured density is 3.58(5) g/cm3. The mineral is biaxial (−), 2V 10–20°, with refractive indexes: α 1.675(2), β 1.681(2), γ 1.681 (2). Chemical composition of the holotype specimen (electron microprobe, wt.%) is: Na2O 10.9, K2O 0.4, MnO 5.8, FeO 42.1, Cr2O3 0.8, P2O5 40.7, total 100.7, corresponding to the empirical formula (Na3.67K0.09)Σ3.76(Fe2+6.12Mn2+0.85Cr0.11)Σ7.08P5.99O24.00. Xenophyllite is triclinic, P1 or P-1, a 9.643(6), b 9.633(5), c 17.645(11) Å; α 88.26(5), β 88.16(5), γ 64.83(5)°, V 1482(2) Å3, Z = 3. The toichiome C-centered subcell has the following dimensions: a 16.257(9), b 10.318(8), c 6.257(9) Å, β = 112.77(9)°, V 968(2) Å3, Z = 2. Xenophyllite is structurally related to synthetic phosphate Kna3Fe7(PO4)6 having a channel-type structure, and galileiite, NaFe4(PO4)3. The variations of chemical composition of xenophyllite ranging from Na4Fe7(PO4)6 to almost Na2Fe8(PO4)6 are accounted for by Na-ions mobility. The latter property makes xenophyllite a promising prototype for cathode materials used in sodium-ion batteries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy of Meteorites)
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Article
In Situ Hyperspectral Raman Imaging of Ternesite Formation and Decomposition at High Temperatures
Minerals 2020, 10(3), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10030287 - 21 Mar 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Knowledge of the high-temperature properties of ternesite (Ca5(SiO4)2SO4) is becoming increasingly interesting for industry in different ways. On the one hand, the high-temperature product has recently been observed to have cementitious properties. Therefore, its formation [...] Read more.
Knowledge of the high-temperature properties of ternesite (Ca5(SiO4)2SO4) is becoming increasingly interesting for industry in different ways. On the one hand, the high-temperature product has recently been observed to have cementitious properties. Therefore, its formation and hydration characteristics have become an important field of research in the cement industry. On the other hand, it forms as sinter deposits in industrial kilns, where it can create serious problems during kiln operation. Here, we present two highlights of in situ Raman spectroscopic experiments that were designed to study the high-temperature stability of ternesite. First, the spectra of a natural ternesite crystal were recorded from 25 to 1230 °C, which revealed a phase transformation of ternesite to the high-temperature polymorph of dicalcium silicate (α’L-Ca2SiO4), while the sulfur is degassed. With a heating rate of 10 °C/h, the transformation started at about 730 °C and was completed at 1120 °C. Using in situ hyperspectral Raman imaging with a micrometer-scale spatial resolution, we were able to monitor the solid-state reactions and, in particular, the formation properties of ternesite in the model system CaO-SiO2-CaSO4. In these multi-phase experiments, ternesite was found to be stable between 930 to 1020–1100 °C. Both ternesite and α’L-Ca2SiO4 were found to co-exist at high temperatures. Furthermore, the results of the experiments indicate that whether or not ternesite or dicalcium silicate crystallizes during quenching to room temperature depends on the reaction progress and possibly on the gas fugacity and composition in the furnace. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Raman Spectroscopy of Minerals)
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Article
The Crystallinity of Apatite in Contact with Metamict Pyrochlore from the Silver Crater Mine, ON, Canada
Minerals 2020, 10(3), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10030244 - 07 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The purpose of this work is to evaluate the long-term effects of radiation on the structure of naturally occurring apatite in the hope of assessing its potential for use as a solid nuclear waste form for actinide sequestration over geologically relevant timescales. When [...] Read more.
The purpose of this work is to evaluate the long-term effects of radiation on the structure of naturally occurring apatite in the hope of assessing its potential for use as a solid nuclear waste form for actinide sequestration over geologically relevant timescales. When a crystal is exposed to radioactivity from unstable constituent atoms undergoing decay, the crystal’s structure may become damaged. Crystalline materials rendered partially or wholly amorphous in this way are deemed “partially metamict” or “metamict” respectively. Intimate proximity of a non-radioactive mineral to a radioactive one may also cause damage in the former, evident, for example, in pleochroic haloes surrounding zircon inclusions in micas. Radiation damage may be repaired through the process of annealing. Experimental evidence suggests that apatite may anneal during alpha particle bombardment (termed “self-annealing”), which, combined with a low solubility in aqueous fluids and propensity to incorporate actinide elements, makes this mineral a promising phase for nuclear waste storage. Apatite evaluated in this study occurs in a Grenville-aged crustal carbonatite at the Silver Crater Mine in direct contact with U-bearing pyrochlore (var. betafite)—a highly radioactive mineral. Stable isotope analyses of calcite from the carbonatite yield δ18O and δ13C consistent with other similar deposits in the Grenville Province. Although apatite and betafite imaged using cathodoluminescence (CL) show textures indicative of fracture-controlled alteration, Pb isotope analyses of betafite from the Silver Crater Mine reported in previous work are consistent with a model of long term Pb loss from diffusion, suggesting the alteration was not recent. Thus, it is interpreted that these minerals remained juxtaposed with no further metamorphic overprint for ≈1.0 Ga, and therefore provide an ideal opportunity to study the effects of natural, actinide-sourced radiation on the apatite structure over long timescales. Through broad and focused X-ray beam analyses and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) mapping, the pyrochlore is shown to be completely metamict—exhibiting no discernible diffraction associated with crystallinity. Meanwhile, apatite evaluated with these methods is confirmed to be highly crystalline with no detectable radiation damage. However, the depth of α-decay damage is not well-understood, with reported depths ranging from tens of microns to just a few nanometers. EBSD, a surface sensitive technique, was therefore used to evaluate the crystallinity of apatite surfaces which had been in direct contact with radioactive pyrochlore, and the entire volume of small apatite crystals whose cores may have received significant radiation doses. The EBSD results demonstrate that apatite remains crystalline, as derived from sharp and correctly-indexed Kikuchi patterns, even on surfaces in direct contact with a highly radioactive source for prolonged periods in natural systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals of the Southern Grenville Province)
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Article
The Formation of Barite and Celestite through the Replacement of Gypsum
Minerals 2020, 10(2), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10020189 - 19 Feb 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Barite (BaSO4) and celestite (SrSO4) are the end-members of a nearly ideal solid solution. Most of the exploitable deposits of celestite occur associated with evaporitic sediments which consist of gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) or anhydrite (CaSO4 [...] Read more.
Barite (BaSO4) and celestite (SrSO4) are the end-members of a nearly ideal solid solution. Most of the exploitable deposits of celestite occur associated with evaporitic sediments which consist of gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) or anhydrite (CaSO4). Barite, despite having a broader geological distribution is rarely present in these deposits. In this work, we present an experimental study of the interaction between gypsum crystals and aqueous solutions that bear Sr or Ba. This interaction leads to the development of dissolution-crystallization reactions that result in the pseudomorphic replacement of the gypsum crystals by aggregates of celestite or barite, respectively. The monitoring of both replacement reactions shows that they take place at very different rates. Millimeter-sized gypsum crystals in contact with a 0.5 M SrCl2 solution are completely replaced by celestite aggregates in less than 1 day. In contrast, only a thin barite rim replaces gypsum after seven days of interaction of the latter with a 0.5 M BaCl2 solution. We interpret that this marked difference in the kinetics of the two replacement reactions relates the different orientational relationship that exists between the crystals of the two replacing phases and the gypsum substrate. This influence is further modulated by the specific crystal habit of each secondary phase. Thus, the formation of a thin oriented layer of platy barite crystals effectively armors the gypsum surface and prevents its interaction with the Ba-bearing solution, thereby strongly hindering the progress of the replacement reaction. In contrast, the random orientation of celestite crystals with respect to gypsum guarantees that a significant volume of porosity contained in the celestite layer is interconnected, facilitating the continuous communication between the gypsum surface and the fluid phase and guaranteeing the progress of the gypsum-by-celestite replacement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Barite)
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Article
Microbial Origin of the Organic Matter Preserved in the Cayo Coco Lagoonal Network, Cuba
Minerals 2020, 10(2), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10020143 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The southern part of the tropical Cayo Coco Island (Cuba) hosts a complex, highly evaporative and marine-fed lagoonal network. In the easternmost lagoon of this network, hypersaline conditions favour the development of complex sedimentary microbial ecosystems within the water column at the bottom [...] Read more.
The southern part of the tropical Cayo Coco Island (Cuba) hosts a complex, highly evaporative and marine-fed lagoonal network. In the easternmost lagoon of this network, hypersaline conditions favour the development of complex sedimentary microbial ecosystems within the water column at the bottom water-sediment interface and on the shore. Some of these ecosystems are producing microbial mats and biofilms with variable mineralisation rates, depending on their location. Since the mineralisation of these microbial deposits is rare, the sedimentary record does not provide a direct window on the evolution of these ecosystems or their distribution through space and time. However, microbial deposits also produce copious amounts of organic matter, which may be used to decipher any microbial-related origin within the sedimentary record. Microbial mats and biofilms were identified as the potential source of organic material in addition to the surrounding mangrove, soils and suspended particulate matter (SPM). The origin and evolution of the sedimentary organic matter preserved within the lagoonal sediments has been analysed using geochemical parameters such as elemental (TOC, TN and [C/N]atomic ratio) and isotopic (δ13Corg and δ15NTN) signals on four sedimentary cores retrieved from different locations in the lagoon and compared with the geochemical signatures of the potential sources. Despite the high potential for organic matter accumulation in the studied lagoon, the TOC and TN downcore values in sediments that were analysed (i.e., micritic muds and bioclastic sands) remain very low compared to the sediment-water interface. The relative contributions of the different potential sources of organic matter were estimated using [C/N]atomic ratios and δ13Corg values. The δ15NTN signature was discarded as a source signature as it records synsedimentary, early diagenetic, secondary evolution of the nitrogen signal associated with OM remineralisation (i.e., denitrification). Finally, among the microbial deposits, the slime recognised in the permanently submersed zone of the waterbody appears to be the main contributor to the organic matter preserved within the sediments of the lagoon. SPM, mainly composed of microbial-rich particles, also contribute and cannot be ruled out as a source. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbialites: Preservation of Extant and Extinct Systems)
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Article
Insight into the Influence of Surface Roughness on the Wettability of Apatite and Dolomite
Minerals 2020, 10(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10020114 - 28 Jan 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
Surface roughness has an important influence on the wettability of particles. This paper is an innovative exploration to control the surface wettability of apatite and dolomite from the perspective of roughness in the background of phosphate flotation. Roughness characteristics of apatite and dolomite [...] Read more.
Surface roughness has an important influence on the wettability of particles. This paper is an innovative exploration to control the surface wettability of apatite and dolomite from the perspective of roughness in the background of phosphate flotation. Roughness characteristics of apatite and dolomite particles and its effects on wettability were investigated with surface roughness, contact angle measurements, and SEM analysis. The relationship between surface energy and wettability of different roughness surfaces was also discussed. The results indicated that the influence of roughness on apatite and dolomite particles showed the same regularity, and wettability increased with the increasing roughness for hydrophilic surfaces, while the wettability decreased for hydrophobic surfaces. The influence of roughness on wettability can be well explained by Wenzel and Cassie models, and the surface energy of different rough surfaces had a strong correlation with their wettability. When sodium oleate was added after acid treatment, the apatite was hydrophilic, while the dolomite was hydrophobic; the difference in wettability between them became greater as surface roughness increased. Thus, it can be predicted that the selective separation of dolomite and apatite under acid reverse flotation conditions can be strengthened by increasing the mineral surface roughness during comminution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Chemistry in Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy)
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Article
Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy—An Emerging Analytical Tool for Mineral Exploration
Minerals 2019, 9(12), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9120718 - 20 Nov 2019
Cited by 22
Abstract
The mineral exploration industry requires new methods and tools to address the challenges of declining mineral reserves and increasing discovery costs. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) represents an emerging geochemical tool for mineral exploration that can provide rapid, in situ, compositional analysis and high-resolution [...] Read more.
The mineral exploration industry requires new methods and tools to address the challenges of declining mineral reserves and increasing discovery costs. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) represents an emerging geochemical tool for mineral exploration that can provide rapid, in situ, compositional analysis and high-resolution imaging in both laboratory and field and settings. We demonstrate through a review of previously published research and our new results how LIBS can be applied to qualitative element detection for geochemical fingerprinting, sample classification, and discrimination, as well as quantitative geochemical analysis, rock characterization by grain size analysis, and in situ geochemical imaging. LIBS can detect elements with low atomic number (i.e., light elements), some of which are important pathfinder elements for mineral exploration and/or are classified as critical commodities for emerging green technologies. LIBS data can be acquired in situ, facilitating the interpretation of geochemical data in a mineralogical context, which is important for unraveling the complex geological history of most ore systems. LIBS technology is available as a handheld analyzer, thus providing a field capability to acquire low-cost geochemical analyses in real time. As a consequence, LIBS has wide potential to be utilized in mineral exploration, prospect evaluation, and deposit exploitation quality control. LIBS is ideally suited for field exploration programs that would benefit from rapid chemical analysis under ambient environmental conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Methods and Applications for Mineral Exploration)
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Article
Mineralogical Transformations of Heated Serpentine and Their Impact on Dissolution during Aqueous-Phase Mineral Carbonation Reaction in Flue Gas Conditions
Minerals 2019, 9(11), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9110680 - 03 Nov 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Mineral carbonation is known to be among the most efficient ways to reduce the anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide. Serpentine minerals (Mg3Si2O5(OH)4), have shown great potential for carbonation. A way to improve yield is to [...] Read more.
Mineral carbonation is known to be among the most efficient ways to reduce the anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide. Serpentine minerals (Mg3Si2O5(OH)4), have shown great potential for carbonation. A way to improve yield is to thermally activate serpentine minerals prior to the carbonation reaction. This step is of great importance as it controls Mg2+ leaching, one of the carbonation reaction limiting factors. Previous studies have focused on the optimization of the thermal activation by determining the ideal activation temperature. However, to date, none of these studies have considered the impacts of the thermal activation on the efficiency of the aqueous-phase mineral carbonation at ambient temperature and moderate pressure in flue gas conditions. Several residence times and temperatures of activation have been tested to evaluate their impact on serpentine dissolution in conditions similar to mineral carbonation. The mineralogical composition of the treated solids has been studied using X-ray diffraction coupled with a quantification using the Rietveld refinement method. A novel approach in order to quantify the meta-serpentine formed during dehydroxylation is introduced. The most suitable mineral assemblage for carbonation is found to be a mixture of the different amorphous phases identified. This study highlights the importance of the mineralogical assemblage obtained during the dehydroxylation process and its impact on the magnesium availability during dissolution in the carbonation reaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological and Mineralogical Sequestration of CO2)
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Article
Improving the Quality of Ferruginous Chromite Concentrates Via Physical Separation Methods
Minerals 2019, 9(11), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9110667 - 29 Oct 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The low chromium-to-iron ratio of chromite ores is an important issue in some chromite deposits. The value of the chromite ore is indeed dictated in the market by its iron, as well as its chromium content. In the present study, a chromite concentrate [...] Read more.
The low chromium-to-iron ratio of chromite ores is an important issue in some chromite deposits. The value of the chromite ore is indeed dictated in the market by its iron, as well as its chromium content. In the present study, a chromite concentrate was reprocessed by gravity (spiral concentrator) and magnetic separation to enhance the chromium-to-iron ratio. Also, detailed characterization studies including automated mineralogy were carried out to better understand the nature of the samples. Enhancing the chromium-to-iron ratio was achieved by using advanced spiral separators which will be discussed in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Separation and Enrichment)
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Article
Equations of State for the Deep Earth: Some Fundamental Considerations
Minerals 2019, 9(10), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9100636 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
None of the 40+ equations that have been proposed to describe material properties at the pressures of the Earth’s core and mantle have escaped serious criticism. In this paper, some basic algebraic and thermodynamic constraints are reviewed, with the conclusion that the next [...] Read more.
None of the 40+ equations that have been proposed to describe material properties at the pressures of the Earth’s core and mantle have escaped serious criticism. In this paper, some basic algebraic and thermodynamic constraints are reviewed, with the conclusion that the next step should be a re-examination of the relationship between the dependence of the bulk modulus, K, on pressure, P, that is K d K / d P , and the normalized (dimensionless) pressure, P / K . A linear relationship between 1 / K and P / K terminating at the infinite pressure asymptote, at which these quantities become equal, has been used for analysing properties at extreme pressure, but may be inadequate for calculations requiring precise derivatives of an equation of state. A new analysis indicates that d ( 1 / K ) / d ( P / K ) increases with compression (or P / K ), but there are, at present, no reliable equations representing this. Relationships between higher derivatives of K and the thermodynamic Grüneisen parameter offer the prospect of a resolution of the problem and hence a new generation of fundamentally-based equations of state. Although an earlier conclusion that a completely general ‘universal’ equation is not possible, in principle, is confirmed in this study, the fundamental relationships present strong constraints for the forms of other proposed equations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Physics—In Memory of Orson Anderson)
Article
Experimental Simulation of the Self-Trapping Mechanism for CO2 Sequestration into Marine Sediments
Minerals 2019, 9(10), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9100579 - 24 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
CO2 hydrates are ice-like solid lattice compounds composed of hydrogen-bonded cages of water molecules that encapsulate guest CO2 molecules. The formation of CO2 hydrates in unconsolidated sediments significantly decreases their permeability and increases their stiffness. CO2 hydrate-bearing sediments can, [...] Read more.
CO2 hydrates are ice-like solid lattice compounds composed of hydrogen-bonded cages of water molecules that encapsulate guest CO2 molecules. The formation of CO2 hydrates in unconsolidated sediments significantly decreases their permeability and increases their stiffness. CO2 hydrate-bearing sediments can, therefore, act as cap-rocks and prevent CO2 leakage from a CO2-stored layer. In this study, we conducted an experimental simulation of CO2 geological storage into marine unconsolidated sediments. CO2 hydrates formed during the CO2 liquid injection process and prevented any upward flow of CO2. Temperature, pressure, P-wave velocity, and electrical resistance were measured during the experiment, and their measurement results verified the occurrence of the self-trapping effect induced by CO2 hydrate formation. Several analyses using the experimental results revealed that CO2 hydrate bearing-sediments have a considerable sealing capacity. Minimum breakthrough pressure and maximum absolute permeability are estimated to be 0.71 MPa and 5.55 × 10−4 darcys, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological and Mineralogical Sequestration of CO2)
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Article
Emeralds from the Most Important Occurrences: Chemical and Spectroscopic Data
Minerals 2019, 9(9), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9090561 - 17 Sep 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
The present study applied LA–ICP-MS on gem-quality emeralds from the most important sources (Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Russia, Zambia and Zimbabwe). It revealed that emeralds from Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia and Madagascar have a relatively lower lithium content (7Li < 200 [...] Read more.
The present study applied LA–ICP-MS on gem-quality emeralds from the most important sources (Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Russia, Zambia and Zimbabwe). It revealed that emeralds from Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia and Madagascar have a relatively lower lithium content (7Li < 200 ppmw) compared to emeralds from other places (7Li > 250 ppmw). Alkali element contents as well as scandium, manganese, cobalt, nickel, zinc and gallium can further help us in obtaining accurate origin information for these emeralds. UV-Vis spectroscopy can aid in the separation of emeralds from Colombia and Afghanistan from these obtained from the other sources as the latter present pronounced iron-related bands. Intense Type-II water vibrations are observed in the infrared spectra of emeralds from Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as in some samples from Afghanistan and Ethiopia, which contain higher alkali contents. A band at 2818 cm−1, supposedly attributed to chlorine, was observed only in emeralds from Colombia and Afghanistan. Samples with medium to high alkalis from Ethiopia, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe can also be separated from the others by Raman spectroscopy based on the lower or equal relative intensity of the Type I water band at around 3608 cm−1 compared to the Type II water band at around 3598 cm−1 band (with some samples from Afghanistan, Brazil and Russia presenting equal relative intensities). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Article
Implications of Hf Isotopes for the Evolution of the Mantle Source of Magmas Associated with the Giant El Teniente Cu-Mo Megabreccia Deposit, Central Chile
Minerals 2019, 9(9), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9090550 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
We have determined the Hf isotopic compositions of 12 samples associated with the giant El Teniente Cu-Mo megabreccia deposit, central Chile. The samples range in age from ≥8.9 to 2.3 Ma and provide information about the temporal evolution of their magmatic sources from [...] Read more.
We have determined the Hf isotopic compositions of 12 samples associated with the giant El Teniente Cu-Mo megabreccia deposit, central Chile. The samples range in age from ≥8.9 to 2.3 Ma and provide information about the temporal evolution of their magmatic sources from the Late Miocene to Pliocene. Together with previously published data, the new analysis indicates a temporal decrease of 10 εHf(t) units, from +11.6 down to +1.6, in the 12.7 m.y. from 15 to 2.3 Ma. These variations imply increasing incorporation of continental crust through time in the magmas that formed these rocks. The fact that the samples include mantle-derived olivine basalts and olivine lamprophyres suggests that these continental components were incorporated into their mantle source, and not by intra-crustal contamination (MASH). We attribute the increase, between the Middle Miocene and Pliocene, of crustal components in the subarc mantle source below El Teniente to be due to increased rates of subduction erosion and transport of crust into the mantle. The deposit formed above a large, long-lived, vertically zoned magma chamber that developed due to compressive deformation and persisted between ~7 to 4.6 Ma. Progressively more hydrous mantle-derived mafic magmas feed this chamber from below, providing heat, H2O, S and metals, but no unique “fertile” Cu-rich magma was involved in the formation of the deposit. As the volume of these mantle-derived magmas decreased from the Late Miocene into the Pliocene, the chamber crystallized and solidified, producing felsic plutons and large metal-rich magmatic-hydrothermal breccias that emplaced Cu and S into the older (≥8.9 Ma) mafic host rocks of this megabreccia deposit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Magmatic Activity in Generation of Ore Deposits)
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Article
Age and Origin of Silicocarbonate Pegmatites of the Adirondack Region
Minerals 2019, 9(9), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9090508 - 23 Aug 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Silicocarbonate pegmatites from the southern Grenville Province have provided exceptionally large crystal specimens for more than a century. Their mineral parageneses include euhedral calc–silicate minerals such as amphibole, clinopyroxene, and scapolite within a calcite matrix. Crystals can reach a meter or more in [...] Read more.
Silicocarbonate pegmatites from the southern Grenville Province have provided exceptionally large crystal specimens for more than a century. Their mineral parageneses include euhedral calc–silicate minerals such as amphibole, clinopyroxene, and scapolite within a calcite matrix. Crystals can reach a meter or more in long dimension. Minor and locally abundant phases reflect local bedrock compositions and include albite, apatite, perthitic microcline, phlogopite, zircon, tourmaline, titanite, danburite, uraninite, sulfides, and many other minerals. Across the Adirondack Region, individual exposures are of limited aerial extent (<10,000 m2), crosscut metasedimentary rocks, especially calc–silicate gneisses and marbles, are undeformed and are spatially and temporally associated with granitic pegmatites. Zircon U–Pb results include both Shawinigan (circa 1165 Ma) and Ottawan (circa 1050 Ma) intrusion ages, separated by the Carthage-Colton shear zone. Those of Shawinigan age (Lowlands) correspond with the timing of voluminous A-type granitic magmatism, whereas Ottawan ages (Highlands) are temporally related to orogenic collapse, voluminous leucogranite and granitic pegmatite intrusion, iron and garnet ore development, and pervasive localized hydrothermal alteration. Inherited zircon, where present, reflects the broad range of igneous and detrital ages of surrounding rocks. Carbon and oxygen isotopic ratios from calcite plot within a restricted field away from igneous carbonatite values to those of typical sedimentary carbonates and local marbles. Collectively, these exposures represent a continuum between vein-dyke and skarn occurrences involving the anatexis of metasedimentary country rocks. Those of Ottawan age can be tied to movement and fluid flow along structures accommodating orogenic collapse, particularly the Carthage-Colton shear zone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals of the Southern Grenville Province)
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Article
Hydrothermal Alteration of Eudialyte-Hosted Critical Metal Deposits: Fluid Source and Implications for Deposit Grade
Minerals 2019, 9(7), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9070422 - 10 Jul 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Eudialyte-hosted critical metal deposits potentially represent major sources of rare earth elements (REE), zirconium and niobium. Here, we study the chemical and isotopic composition of fresh and altered eudialyte in nepheline syenite from the Ilímaussaq Complex, Greenland, one of the world’s largest known [...] Read more.
Eudialyte-hosted critical metal deposits potentially represent major sources of rare earth elements (REE), zirconium and niobium. Here, we study the chemical and isotopic composition of fresh and altered eudialyte in nepheline syenite from the Ilímaussaq Complex, Greenland, one of the world’s largest known eudialyte-hosted deposits. Late-magmatic hydrothermal alteration caused partial replacement of primary magmatic eudialyte by complex pseudomorph assemblages of secondary Zr-, Nb-, and REE-minerals. Three secondary assemblage types are characterised by the zirconosilicates catapleiite, gittinsite and zircon, respectively, of which the catapleiite type is most common. To investigate elemental exchange associated with alteration and to constrain the nature of the metasomatic fluids, we compare trace elements and Sm/Nd isotope compositions of unaltered eudialyte crystals and their replaced counterparts from five syenite samples (three catapleiite-type, one gittinsite-type, and one zircon-type assemblage). Trace element budgets for the catapleiite-type pseudomorphs indicate a 15–30% loss of REE, Ta, Nb, Zr, Sr and Y relative to fresh eudialyte. Moreover, the gittinsite- and zircon-type assemblages record preferential heavy REE (HREE) depletion (≤50%), suggesting that the metasomatic fluids mobilised high field strength elements. Initial Nd isotope ratios of unaltered eudialyte and catapleiite- and gittinsite-type pseudomorphs are indistinguishable, confirming a magmatic fluid origin. However, a higher initial ratio and stronger HREE depletion in the zircon-type pseudomorphs suggests a different source for the zircon-forming fluid. Although alteration reduces the metal budget of the original eudialyte volume, we infer that these elements re-precipitate nearby in the same rock. Alteration, therefore, might have little effect on overall grade but preferentially separates heavy and light REE into different phases. Targeted processing of the alteration products may access individual rare earth families (heavy vs. light) and other metals (Zr, Nb, Ta) more effectively than processing the fresh rock. Full article
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Article
The Genetic Association between Quartz Vein- and Greisen-Type Mineralization at the Maoping W–Sn Deposit, Southern Jiangxi, China: Insights from Zircon and Cassiterite U–Pb Ages and Cassiterite Trace Element Composition
Minerals 2019, 9(7), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9070411 - 04 Jul 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
The large-scale Maoping W–Sn deposit in the Gannan metallogenic belt of the eastern Nanling Range, South China, spatially associated with the Maoping granite pluton, hosts total ore reserves of 103,000 t WO3 and 50,000 t Sn. Two different types of mineralization developed [...] Read more.
The large-scale Maoping W–Sn deposit in the Gannan metallogenic belt of the eastern Nanling Range, South China, spatially associated with the Maoping granite pluton, hosts total ore reserves of 103,000 t WO3 and 50,000 t Sn. Two different types of mineralization developed in this deposit: Upper quartz vein-type mineralization, mostly within the Cambrian metamorphosed sandstone and slate, and underneath greisen-type mineralization within the Maoping granite. Cassiterites from both types of mineralization coexist with wolframite. Here we report for the first time in situ U–Pb data on cassiterite and zircon of the Maoping deposit obtained by LA-ICP-MS. Cassiterite from quartz vein and greisen yielded weighted average 206Pb/238U ages of 156.8 ± 1.5 Ma and 156.9 ± 1.4 Ma, respectively, which indicates that the two types of mineralization formed roughly at the same time. In addition, the two mineralization ages are consistent with the emplacement age of the Maoping granite (159.0 ± 1.5 Ma) within error, suggesting a close temporal and genetic link between W–Sn mineralization and granitic magmatism. The two types of mineralization formed at the same magmatic-hydrothermal event. Cassiterite from both types of mineralization shows high Fe, Ta, and Zr contents with a low Zr/Hf ratio, suggesting that the ore-forming fluid should be derived from the highly differentiated Maoping granite pluton. Cassiterite in greisen has higher contents of Nb and Ta but a lower concentration of Ti compared with that in quartz vein, indicating that the formation temperature of greisen-type mineralization is little higher than that of quartz-vein-type mineralization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Chronology Studies of Ore Deposits)
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Article
Iron Control in Atmospheric Acid Laterite Leaching
Minerals 2019, 9(7), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9070404 - 30 Jun 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Iron control in the atmospheric acid leaching (AL) of nickel laterite was evaluated in this study. The aim was to decrease acid consumption and iron dissolution by iron precipitation during nickel leaching. The combined acid leaching and iron precipitation process involves direct acid [...] Read more.
Iron control in the atmospheric acid leaching (AL) of nickel laterite was evaluated in this study. The aim was to decrease acid consumption and iron dissolution by iron precipitation during nickel leaching. The combined acid leaching and iron precipitation process involves direct acid leaching of the limonite type of laterite followed by a simultaneous iron precipitation and nickel leaching step. Iron precipitation as jarosite is carried out by using nickel containing silicate laterite for neutralization. Acid is generated in the jarosite precipitation reaction, and it dissolves nickel and other metals like magnesium from the silicate laterite. Leaching tests were carried out using three laterite samples from the Agios Ioannis, Evia Island, and Kastoria mines in Greece. Relatively low acid consumption was achieved during the combined precipitation and acid leaching tests. The acid consumption was approximately 0.4 kg acid per kg laterite, whereas the acid consumption in direct acid leaching of the same laterite samples was approximately 0.6–0.8 kg acid per kg laterite. Iron dissolution was only 1.5–3% during the combined precipitation and acid leaching tests, whereas in direct acid leaching it was 15–30% with the Agios Ioannis and Evia Island samples and 80% with the Kastoria sample. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Hydro- and Biohydrometallurgy)
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Communication
The Atomic Arrangement of Cr-rich Tourmaline from the #1 Mine, Balmat, St. Lawrence County, New York, USA
Minerals 2019, 9(7), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9070398 - 28 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Chromium-bearing tourmalines are rare. Chromium-rich tourmaline from the northwestern part of the Adirondack Mountains in the Adirondack Lowlands is among the most chromium-rich tourmalines found to date. The mineral, with >21.0 wt. % Cr2O3, is from the marble-hosted talc–tremolite–cummingtonite [...] Read more.
Chromium-bearing tourmalines are rare. Chromium-rich tourmaline from the northwestern part of the Adirondack Mountains in the Adirondack Lowlands is among the most chromium-rich tourmalines found to date. The mineral, with >21.0 wt. % Cr2O3, is from the marble-hosted talc–tremolite–cummingtonite schist in the #1 mine in Balmat, St. Lawrence County, New York. The atomic arrangement of the sample (a = 16.0242(3) Å, c = 7.3002(2) Å) was refined to R1 = 0.0139. The composition, from chemical analyses and optimization of the formula, is X(Ca0.22Na0.69K0.01) Y(Cr3+1.68Mg0.80Ti0.13V0.06Mn0.02Fe0.02Li0.29) Z(Al3.11Cr3+1.18Mg1.70Fe0.01) T(Si5.93Al0.07) B3O27 OH3.99 F0.01. There has been extensive debate over the ordering of Cr3+ between the tourmaline Y and Z octahedral sites. Recent work has suggested that, at low concentrations (<~1.03 apfu), the substituent Cr3+ is ordered into the Y-site, whereas, at greater concentrations, the substituent is disordered over both octahedral sites. An analysis of nine recently published, high-precision structures of chromium-bearing tourmaline, in combination with the Adirondack tourmaline, suggests that structural changes to the Y-site at low concentrations of Cr3+ induce changes in the Z-site that make it more amenable to incorporation of the Cr3+ substituents by increasing <Z–O>. The bond lengths change to lower the bond-valence sum of Cr3+ in the Z-site of the chromium-dravite, making that site more amenable to the substituent. Calculations suggest that the Z-site begins to accept substituent Cr3+ when the bond valence sum of that ion in Z reduces to a value of ~3.36 valence units. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals of the Southern Grenville Province)
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Article
Elemental Compositions of Smectites Reveal Detailed Sediment Provenance Changes during Glacial and Interglacial Periods: The Southern Drake Passage and Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica
Minerals 2019, 9(5), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9050322 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Variations in clay mineral assemblages have been widely used to understand changes in sediment provenance during glacial and interglacial periods. Smectite clay minerals, however, have a range of various elemental compositions that possibly originated from multiple different sources. Therefore, it might be crucial [...] Read more.
Variations in clay mineral assemblages have been widely used to understand changes in sediment provenance during glacial and interglacial periods. Smectite clay minerals, however, have a range of various elemental compositions that possibly originated from multiple different sources. Therefore, it might be crucial to distinguish the various types of smectites by analyzing their elemental composition in order to verify the sediment provenances with certainty. This hypothesis was tested for the clay mineral characteristics in a marine sediment core from the southern Drake Passage (GC05-DP02). Rare earth elements and ε N d data had previously indicated that fine grained detritus was supplied from the Weddell Sea to the core site during interglacial periods, when the sediments contained more Al-rich smectite (montmorillonite). Indeed, marine sediments collected close to the Larsen Ice Shelf on the eastern Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf, western Weddell Sea embayment, show more Al-rich smectite components as compared with other possible West Antarctic sources, such as the Ross Sea embayment or King George Island, South Shetland Islands. Furthermore, two types of smectite (Al-rich and Al-poor) were identified in core GC360 from the Bellingshausen Sea shelf, suggesting that during glacial periods some sediment is derived from subglacial erosion of underlying pre-Oligocene sedimentary strata containing predominantly Al-rich montmorillonite. This finding reveals different sources for smectites in sediments deposited at site GC360 during the last glacial period and during the present interglacial that show only minor differences in smectite contents. For the interglacial period, two groups of smectite with a wide range of Al-rich and Mg–Fe-rich were identified, which indicate delivery from two different sources: (1) the detritus with high contents of Mg–Fe-rich smectite supplied from Beethoven Peninsula, southwestern Alexander island and (2) the detritus with higher contents of Al-rich smectite (montmorillonite) possibly derived from the subglacial reworking of pre-Oligocene sedimentary strata. These results demonstrate that the elemental compositions of smectites can be used to differentiate the sources of smectites in marine sediments, which is an important tool to define sediment provenance in detail, when down-core changes observed in clay mineral assemblages are interpreted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clays and Micro-Organisms: From Nature to Industry)
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Article
A Bat-Optimized One-Class Support Vector Machine for Mineral Prospectivity Mapping
Minerals 2019, 9(5), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9050317 - 23 May 2019
Cited by 12
Abstract
One-class support vector machine (OCSVM) is an efficient data-driven mineral prospectivity mapping model. Since the parameters of OCSVM directly affect the performance of the model, it is necessary to optimize the parameters of OCSVM in mineral prospectivity mapping. Trial and error method is [...] Read more.
One-class support vector machine (OCSVM) is an efficient data-driven mineral prospectivity mapping model. Since the parameters of OCSVM directly affect the performance of the model, it is necessary to optimize the parameters of OCSVM in mineral prospectivity mapping. Trial and error method is usually used to determine the “optimal” parameters of OCSVM. However, it is difficult to find the globally optimal parameters by the trial and error method. By combining OCSVM with the bat algorithm, the intialization parameters of the OCSVM can be automatically optimized. The combined model is called bat-optimized OCSVM. In this model, the area under the curve (AUC) of OCSVM is taken as the fitness value of the objective function optimized by the bat algorithm, the value ranges of the initialization parameters of OCSVM are used to specify the search space of bat population, and the optimal parameters of OCSVM are automatically determined through the iterative search process of the bat algorithm. The bat-optimized OCSVMs were used to map mineral prospectivity of the Helong district, Jilin Province, China, and compared with the OCSVM initialized by the default parameters (i.e., common OCSVM) and the OCSVM optimized by trial and error. The results show that (a) the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of the trial and error-optimized OCSVM is intersected with those of the bat-optimized OCSVMs and (b) the ROC curves of the optimized OCSVMs slightly dominate that of the common OCSVM in the ROC space. The area under the curves (AUCs) of the common and trial and error-optimized OCSVMs (0.8268 and 0.8566) are smaller than those of the bat-optimized ones (0.8649 and 0.8644). The optimal threshold for extracting mineral targets was determined by using the Youden index. The mineral targets predicted by the common and trial and error-optimized OCSVMs account for 29.61% and 18.66% of the study area respectively, and contain 93% and 86% of the known mineral deposits. The mineral targets predicted by the bat-optimized OCSVMs account for 19.84% and 14.22% of the study area respectively, and also contain 93% and 86% of the known mineral deposits. Therefore, we have 0.93/0.2961 = 3.1408 < 0.86/0.1866 = 4.6088 < 0.93/0.1984 = 4.6875 < 0.86/0.1422 = 6.0478, indicating that the bat-optimized OCSVMs perform slightly better than the common and trial and error-optimized OCSVMs in mineral prospectivity mapping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Methods and Applications for Mineral Exploration)
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Article
Spatial and Temporal Controls on the Distribution of Indium in Xenothermal Vein-Deposits: The Huari Huari District, Potosí, Bolivia
Minerals 2019, 9(5), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9050304 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
The Huari Huari deposit, Potosí Department in SW Bolivia, hosts polymetallic stratiform and vein mineralization of Miocene age with significant concentrations of the critical metal indium (In). Vein mineralization records document early crystallization of quartz and cassiterite followed by prominent associations of sulfides [...] Read more.
The Huari Huari deposit, Potosí Department in SW Bolivia, hosts polymetallic stratiform and vein mineralization of Miocene age with significant concentrations of the critical metal indium (In). Vein mineralization records document early crystallization of quartz and cassiterite followed by prominent associations of sulfides and sulfosalts. The earliest sulfide was arsenopyrite, followed by pyrrhotite, and progressively giving way to pyrite as the main iron sulfide, whereas Cu–Ag–Pb sulfosalts constitute late hypogene associations. Sphalerite is the chief ore mineral, and its crystallization is extended during most of the mineralization lifespan as evidenced by its initial cocrystallization with pyrrhotine, then with pyrite, and finally with Ag–Pb sulfosalts. The composition of sphalerite varies from early to late generations with a continuous decrease in FeS that attests to a decrease in temperature, which is constrained to vary from ~450 to <200 °C, and/or an increase in f(S2), both congruent with the described paragenetic sequence. Indium concentrated mostly in the structure of Fe-rich sphalerite (up to 3.49 wt. %) and stannite (up to 2.64 wt. %) as limited solid solutions with roquesite in the (Zn,Fe)S–Cu2FeSnS4–CuInS2 pseudoternary system. In sphalerite, In shows a strong positive correlation with Cu at Cu/In = 1, suggesting its incorporation via a (Cu+ + In3+) ↔ 2Zn2+ coupled substitution, and it does not correlate with Fe. In stannite, In shows a moderate, negative correlation with Cu and Sn, and an In3+ ↔ (Cu+ + ½ Sn4+) coupled substitution is suggested. Coexisting sphalerite and stannite yielded the highest In concentrations and crystallized at temperatures between 350 and 250 °C. Copper activity probably played a major role in the accumulation of In in the structure of sphalerite since In-bearing sphalerite coexisted with the deposition of stannite, shows high concentrations of Cu (up to 0.13 atoms per formula unit (a.p.f.u.)) in its structure, and hosts exsolutions of stannite and chalcopyrite. Distribution on the district scale of In suggests an input of hydrothermal fluids richer in Cu in the central position of the mineralizing system, represented by the Antón Bravo vein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Deposits of Critical Elements)
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Article
Numerical Simulation of Flow Field Characteristics and Separation Performance Test of Multi-Product Hydrocyclone
Minerals 2019, 9(5), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9050300 - 16 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
A traditional hydrocyclone can only generate two products with different size fractions after one classification, which does not meet the fine classification requirements for narrow size fractions. In order to achieve the fine classification, a multi-product hydrocyclone with double-overflow-pipe structure was designed in [...] Read more.
A traditional hydrocyclone can only generate two products with different size fractions after one classification, which does not meet the fine classification requirements for narrow size fractions. In order to achieve the fine classification, a multi-product hydrocyclone with double-overflow-pipe structure was designed in this study. In this work, numerical simulation and experimental test methods were used to study the internal flow field characteristics and distribution characteristics of the product size fraction. The simulation results showed that in contrast with the traditional single overflow pipe, there were two turns in the internal axial velocity direction of the hydrocyclone with the double-overflow-pipe structure. Meanwhile, the influence rule of the diameter of the underflow outlet on the flow field characteristics was obtained through numerical simulation. From the test, five products with different size fractions were obtained after one classification and the influence rule of the diameter of the underflow outlet on the size fraction distribution of multi-products was also obtained. This work provides a feasible research idea for obtaining the fine classification of multiple products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Separation and Enrichment)
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Article
Laboratory Scale Investigations on Heap (Bio)leaching of Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Bottom Ash
Minerals 2019, 9(5), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9050290 - 11 May 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash (MSWI BA) is the main output of the municipal solid waste incineration process, both in mass and volume. It contains some heavy metals that possess market value, but may also limit the utilization of the material. This [...] Read more.
Municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash (MSWI BA) is the main output of the municipal solid waste incineration process, both in mass and volume. It contains some heavy metals that possess market value, but may also limit the utilization of the material. This study illustrates a robust and simple heap leaching method for recovering zinc and copper from MSWI BA. Moreover, the effect of autotrophic and acidophilic bioleaching microorganisms in the system was studied. Leaching yields for zinc and copper varied between 18–53% and 6–44%, respectively. For intensified copper dissolution, aeration and possibly iron oxidizing bacteria caused clear benefits. The MSWI BA was challenging to treat. The main components, iron and aluminum, dissolved easily and unwantedly, decreasing the quality of pregnant leach solution. Moreover, the physical nature and the extreme heterogeneity of the material caused operative requirements for the heap leaching. Nevertheless, with optimized parameters, heap leaching may offer a proper solution for MSWI BA treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Hydro- and Biohydrometallurgy)
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Article
Geostatistical Determination of Ore Shoot Plunge and Structural Control of the Sizhuang World-Class Epizonal Orogenic Gold Deposit, Jiaodong Peninsula, China
Minerals 2019, 9(4), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9040214 - 04 Apr 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
The Jiaodong Peninsula in eastern China is the third largest gold-mining area and one of the most important orogenic gold provinces in the world. Ore shoots plunging in specific orientations are a ubiquitous feature of the Jiaodong lode deposits. The Sizhuang gold deposit, [...] Read more.
The Jiaodong Peninsula in eastern China is the third largest gold-mining area and one of the most important orogenic gold provinces in the world. Ore shoots plunging in specific orientations are a ubiquitous feature of the Jiaodong lode deposits. The Sizhuang gold deposit, located in northwestern Jiaodong, is characterized by orebodies of different occurrences. The orientation of ore shoots has remained unresolved for a long time. In this paper, geostatistical tools were used to determine the plunge and structural control of ore shoots in the Sizhuang deposit. The ellipses determined by variogram modeling reveal the anisotropy of mineralization, plus the shape, size, and orientation of individual ore shoots. The long axes of the anisotropy ellipses trend NE or SEE and plunge 48° NE down the dip. However, individual ore shoots plunge almost perpendicular to the plunge of the ore deposit as a whole. This geometry is interpreted to have resulted from two periods of fluid flow parallel to two sets of striations that we identified on ore-controlling faults. Thrust-related lineations with a sinistral strike-slip component were associated with early-stage mineralization. This was overprinted by dextral and normal movement of the ore-controlling fault that controlled the late-stage mineralization. This kinematic switch caused a change in the upflow direction of ore-forming fluid, which in turn controlled the orientation of the large-scale orebodies and the subvertical plunge of individual ore shoots. Thus, a regional transition from NW-to-SE-trending compression to NW-to-SE-trending extension is interpreted as the geodynamic background of the ore-forming process. This research exemplifies an effective exploration strategy for studying the structural control of the geometry, orientation, and grade distribution of orebodies via the integration of geostatistical tools and structural analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymetallic Metallogenic System)
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Article
Volcanic-Derived Placers as a Potential Resource of Rare Earth Elements: The Aksu Diamas Case Study, Turkey
Minerals 2019, 9(4), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9040208 - 30 Mar 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Rare earth elements (REE) are essential raw materials used in modern technology. Current production of REE is dominated by hard-rock mining, particularly in China, which typically requires high energy input. In order to expand the resource base of the REE, it is important [...] Read more.
Rare earth elements (REE) are essential raw materials used in modern technology. Current production of REE is dominated by hard-rock mining, particularly in China, which typically requires high energy input. In order to expand the resource base of the REE, it is important to determine what alternative sources exist. REE placers have been known for many years, and require less energy than mining of hard rock, but the REE ore minerals are typically derived from eroded granitic rocks and are commonly radioactive. Other types of REE placers, such as those derived from volcanic activity, are rare. The Aksu Diamas heavy mineral placer in Turkey has been assessed for potential REE extraction as a by-product of magnetite production, but its genesis was not previously well understood. REE at Aksu Diamas are hosted in an array of mineral phases, including apatite, chevkinite group minerals (CGM), monazite, allanite and britholite, which are concentrated in lenses and channels in unconsolidated Quaternary sands. Fingerprinting of pyroxene, CGM, magnetite and zircon have identified the source of the placer as the nearby Gölcük alkaline volcanic complex, which has a history of eruption throughout the Plio-Quaternary. Heavy minerals were eroded from tephra and reworked into basinal sediments. This type of deposit may represent a potential resource of REE in other areas of alkaline volcanism. Full article
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Article
Occurrence of Graphite-Like Carbon in Podiform Chromitites of Greece and Its Genetic Significance
Minerals 2019, 9(3), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9030152 - 03 Mar 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The role of post-magmatic processes in the composition of chromitites hosted in ophiolite complexes, the origin of super-reduced phases, and factors controlling the carbon recycling in a supra-subduction zone environment are still unclear. The present contribution compiles the first scanning electron microscope/energy-dispersive (SEM/EDS) [...] Read more.
The role of post-magmatic processes in the composition of chromitites hosted in ophiolite complexes, the origin of super-reduced phases, and factors controlling the carbon recycling in a supra-subduction zone environment are still unclear. The present contribution compiles the first scanning electron microscope/energy-dispersive (SEM/EDS) data on graphite-like amorphous carbon, with geochemical and mineral chemistry data, from chromitites of the Skyros, Othrys, Pindos, and Veria ophiolites (Greece). The aim of this study was the delineation of potential relationships between the modified composition of chromite and the role of redox conditions, during the long-term evolution of chromitites in a supra-subduction zone environment. Chromitites are characterized by a strong brittle (cataclastic) texture and the presence of phases indicative of super-reducing phases, such as Fe–Ni–Cr-alloys, awaruite (Ni3Fe), and heazlewoodite (Ni3S2). Carbon-bearing assemblages are better revealed on Au-coated unpolished sections. Graphite occurs in association with hydrous silicates (chlorite, serpentine) and Fe2+-chromite, as inclusions in chromite, filling cracks within chromite, or as nodule-like graphite aggregates. X-ray spectra of graphite–silicate aggregates showed the presence of C, Si, Mg, Al, O in variable proportions, and occasionally K and Ca. The extremely low fO2 during serpentinization facilitated the occurrence of methane in microfractures of chromitites, the precipitation of super-reducing phases (metal alloys, awaruite, heazlewoodite), and graphite. In addition, although the origin of Fe–Cu–Ni-sulfides in ultramafic parts of ophiolite complexes is still unclear, in the case of the Othrys chromitites, potential reduction-induced sulfide and/or carbon saturation may drive formation of sulfide ores and graphite-bearing chromitites. The presented data on chromitites covering a wide range in platinum-group element (PGE) content, from less than 100 ppb in the Othrys to 25 ppm ΣPGE in the Veria ores, showed similarity in the abundance of graphite-like carbon. The lack of any relationship between graphite (and probably methane) and the PGE content may be related to the occurrence of the (Ru–Os–Ir) minerals in chromitites, which occur mostly as oxides/hydroxides, and to lesser amounts of laurite, with pure Ru instead activating the stable CO2 molecule and reducing it to methane (experimental data from literature). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spinel Group Minerals)
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Article
Selective Separation of Hematite by a Synthesized Depressant in Various Scales of Anionic Reverse Flotation
Minerals 2019, 9(2), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020124 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Demand for high-quality iron concentrate is significantly increasing around the world. Thus, the development of the techniques for a selective separation and rejection of typical associated minerals in the iron oxide ores, such as phosphorous minerals (mainly apatite group), is a high priority. [...] Read more.
Demand for high-quality iron concentrate is significantly increasing around the world. Thus, the development of the techniques for a selective separation and rejection of typical associated minerals in the iron oxide ores, such as phosphorous minerals (mainly apatite group), is a high priority. Reverse anionic flotation by using sodium silicate (SS) as an iron oxide depressant is one of the techniques for iron ore processing. This investigation is going to present a synthesized reagent “sodium co-silicate (SCS)” for hematite depression through a reverse anionic flotation. The main hypothesis is the selective depression of hematite and, simultaneously, modification of the pulp pH by SCS. Various flotation experiments, including micro-flotation, and batch flotation of laboratory and industrial scales, were conducted in order to compare the depression selectivity of SS versus SCS. Outcomes of flotation tests at the different flotation scales demonstrated that hematite depression by SCS is around 3.3% higher than by SS. Based on flotation experiment outcomes, it was concluded that SCS can modify the pH of the process at ~9.5, and the plant reagents (including NaOH, Na2CO3, and SS gel) can be replaced by just SCS, which can also lead to a higher efficiency in the plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flotation Reagents)
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Article
Carbon Sources and the Graphitization of Carbonaceous Matter in Precambrian Rocks of the Keivy Terrane (Kola Peninsula, Russia)
Minerals 2019, 9(2), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020094 - 08 Feb 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
The Precambrian rocks of the Keivy Terrane reveal five types of carbonaceous matter (CM): Fine-grained, flaky, nest, vein, and spherulitic. These types differ in their distribution character, carbon isotope composition, and graphitization temperatures calculated by the Raman spectra of carbonaceous material (RSCM) geothermometry. [...] Read more.
The Precambrian rocks of the Keivy Terrane reveal five types of carbonaceous matter (CM): Fine-grained, flaky, nest, vein, and spherulitic. These types differ in their distribution character, carbon isotope composition, and graphitization temperatures calculated by the Raman spectra of carbonaceous material (RSCM) geothermometry. Supracrustal rocks of the Keivy Terrane contain extremely isotopically light (δ13CPDB = –43 ± 3‰) carbon. Presumably, its source was a methane–aqueous fluid. According to temperature calculations, this carbon matter and the host strata underwent at least two stages of metamorphism in the west of the Keivy Terrane and one stage in the east. The CM isotope signatures of several samples of kyanite schists (δ13CPDB = –33 ± 5‰) are close to those of oils and oil source rocks, and they indicate an additional carbon reservoir. Thus, in the Keivy territory, an oil-and-gas bearing basin has existed. Heavy carbon (δ13CPDB = −8 ± 3‰) precipitated from an aqueous CO2-rich fluid is derived from either the lower crust or the mantle. This fluid probably migrated from the Keivy alkaline granites into the surrounding rocks previously enriched with “methanogenic” carbon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy of Natural Graphite)
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Article
Controls on the Distribution of Invisible and Visible Gold in the Orogenic Gold Deposits of the Yangshan Gold Belt, West Qinling Orogen, China
Minerals 2019, 9(2), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020092 - 04 Feb 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Six orogenic gold deposits constitute the Yangshan gold belt in the West Qinling Orogen. Gold is mostly invisible in solid solution or in the sulfide lattice, with minor visible gold associated with stibnite and in quartz-calcite veins. Detailed textural and trace-element analysis of [...] Read more.
Six orogenic gold deposits constitute the Yangshan gold belt in the West Qinling Orogen. Gold is mostly invisible in solid solution or in the sulfide lattice, with minor visible gold associated with stibnite and in quartz-calcite veins. Detailed textural and trace-element analysis of sulfides in terms of a newly-erected paragenetic sequence for these deposits, together with previously published data, demonstrate that early magmatic-hydrothermal pyrite in granitic dike host-rocks has much higher Au contents than diagenetic pyrite in metasedimentary host rocks, but lower contents of As, Au, and Cu than ore-stage pyrite. Combined with sulfur isotope data, replacement textures in the gold ores indicate that the auriferous ore-fluids post-dated the granitic dikes and were not magmatic-hydrothermal in origin. There is a strong correlation between the relative activities of S and As and their total abundances in the ore fluid and the siting of gold in the Yangshan gold ores. Mass balance calculations indicate that there is no necessity to invoke remobilization processes to explain the occurrence of gold in the ores. The only exception is the Py1-2 replacement of Py1m, where fluid-mediated coupled dissolution-reprecipitation reactions may have occurred to exchange Au between the two pyrite phases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymetallic Metallogenic System)
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Article
Fingerprinting Paranesti Rubies through Oxygen Isotopes
Minerals 2019, 9(2), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020091 - 03 Feb 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
In this study, the oxygen isotope (δ18O) composition of pink to red gem-quality rubies from Paranesti, Greece was investigated using in-situ secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) and laser-fluorination techniques. Paranesti rubies have a narrow range of δ18O values between [...] Read more.
In this study, the oxygen isotope (δ18O) composition of pink to red gem-quality rubies from Paranesti, Greece was investigated using in-situ secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) and laser-fluorination techniques. Paranesti rubies have a narrow range of δ18O values between ~0 and +1‰ and represent one of only a few cases worldwide where δ18O signatures can be used to distinguish them from other localities. SIMS analyses from this study and previous work by the authors suggests that the rubies formed under metamorphic/metasomatic conditions involving deeply penetrating meteoric waters along major crustal structures associated with the Nestos Shear Zone. SIMS analyses also revealed slight variations in δ18O composition for two outcrops located just ~500 m apart: PAR-1 with a mean value of 1.0‰ ± 0.42‰ and PAR-5 with a mean value of 0.14‰ ± 0.24‰. This work adds to the growing use of in-situ methods to determine the origin of gem-quality corundum and re-confirms its usefulness in geographic “fingerprinting”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Article
Gem Corundum Deposits of Greece: Geology, Mineralogy and Genesis
Minerals 2019, 9(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9010049 - 15 Jan 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
Greece contains several gem corundum deposits set within diverse geological settings, mostly within the Rhodope (Xanthi and Drama areas) and Attico-Cycladic (Naxos and Ikaria islands) tectono-metamorphic units. In the Xanthi area, the sapphire (pink, blue to purple) deposits are stratiform, occurring within marble [...] Read more.
Greece contains several gem corundum deposits set within diverse geological settings, mostly within the Rhodope (Xanthi and Drama areas) and Attico-Cycladic (Naxos and Ikaria islands) tectono-metamorphic units. In the Xanthi area, the sapphire (pink, blue to purple) deposits are stratiform, occurring within marble layers alternating with amphibolites. Deep red rubies in the Paranesti-Drama area are restricted to boudinaged lenses of Al-rich metapyroxenites alternating with amphibolites and gneisses. Both occurrences are oriented parallel to the ultra-high pressure/high pressure (UHP/HP) Nestos suture zone. On central Naxos Island, colored sapphires are associated with desilicated granite pegmatites intruding ultramafic lithologies (plumasites), occurring either within the pegmatites themselves or associated metasomatic reaction zones. In contrast, on southern Naxos and Ikaria Islands, blue sapphires occur in extensional fissures within Mesozoic metabauxites hosted in marbles. Mineral inclusions in corundums are in equilibrium and/or postdate corundum crystallization and comprise: spinel and pargasite (Paranesti), spinel, zircon (Xanthi), margarite, zircon, apatite, diaspore, phlogopite and chlorite (Naxos) and chloritoid, ilmenite, hematite, ulvospinel, rutile and zircon (Ikaria). The main chromophore elements within the Greek corundums show a wide range in concentration: the Fe contents vary from (average values) 1099 ppm in the blue sapphires of Xanthi, 424 ppm in the pink sapphires of Xanthi, 2654 ppm for Paranesti rubies, 4326 ppm for the Ikaria sapphires, 3706 for southern Naxos blue sapphires, 4777 for purple and 3301 for pink sapphire from Naxos plumasite, and finally 4677 to 1532 for blue to colorless sapphires from Naxos plumasites, respectively. The Ti concentrations (average values) are very low in rubies from Paranesti (41 ppm), with values of 2871 ppm and 509 in the blue and pink sapphires of Xanthi, respectively, of 1263 ppm for the Ikaria blue sapphires, and 520 ppm, 181 ppm in Naxos purple, pink sapphires, respectively. The blue to colorless sapphires from Naxos plumasites contain 1944 to 264 ppm Ti, respectively. The very high Ti contents of the Xanthi blue sapphires may reflect submicroscopic rutile inclusions. The Cr (average values) ranges from 4 to 691 ppm in the blue, purple and pink colored corundums from Naxos plumasite, is quite fixed (222 ppm) for Ikaria sapphires, ranges from 90 to 297 ppm in the blue and pink sapphires from Xanthi, reaches 9142 ppm in the corundums of Paranesti, with highest values of 15,347 ppm in deep red colored varieties. Each occurrence has both unique mineral assemblage and trace element chemistry (with variable Fe/Mg, Ga/Mg, Ga/Cr and Fe/Ti ratios). Additionally, oxygen isotope compositions confirm their geological typology, i.e., with, respectively δ18O of 4.9 ± 0.2‰ for sapphire in plumasite, 20.5‰ for sapphire in marble and 1‰ for ruby in mafics. The fluid inclusions study evidenced water free CO2 dominant fluids with traces of CH4 or N2, and low CO2 densities (0.46 and 0.67 g/cm3), which were probably trapped after the metamorphic peak. The Paranesti, Xanthi and central Naxos corundum deposits can be classified as metamorphic sensu stricto (s.s.) and metasomatic, respectively, those from southern Naxos and Ikaria display atypical magmatic signature indicating a hydrothermal origin. Greek corundums are characterized by wide color variation, homogeneity of the color hues, and transparency, and can be considered as potential gemstones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Article
Crystallization Behaviour of Iron-Hydroxide Sulphates by Aging under Ambient Temperature Conditions
Minerals 2019, 9(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9010027 - 05 Jan 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The crystallization behaviour of jarosite and schwertmannite has been studied by precipitation-aging experiments performed using different parent-solution concentrations at acidic conditions and ambient temperature. Schwertmannite exhibits low crystallinity and is the only mineral identified during low-concentration (LC) experiments. However, in high-concentration (HC) experiments, [...] Read more.
The crystallization behaviour of jarosite and schwertmannite has been studied by precipitation-aging experiments performed using different parent-solution concentrations at acidic conditions and ambient temperature. Schwertmannite exhibits low crystallinity and is the only mineral identified during low-concentration (LC) experiments. However, in high-concentration (HC) experiments, a relatively rapid Ostwald ripening process leads to the transformation of schwertmannite into natrojarosite. The presence of sodium modifies the morphology and stability of the obtained phases. TEM observations reveal that schwertmannite particles consist of disoriented nanodomains (~6 nm) spread in an amorphous mass. In contrast, natrojarosite particles exhibit a single-domain, highly crystalline core, with the crystallinity decreasing from core to rim. The thermal behaviour of these phases depends on both their composition and their degree of crystallinity. TG and DTG analyses show that, below 500 °C, the amount of structural water is clearly higher in schwertmannite than in natrojarosite. The present results highlight the role of the ripening processes in epigenetic conditions and could be important in interpreting the formation of jarosite in Earth and Martian surface environments. Full article
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Article
Counter-Current Leaching of Low-Grade Laterites with Hydrochloric Acid and Proposed Purification Options of Pregnant Solution
Minerals 2018, 8(12), 599; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8120599 - 18 Dec 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
A hydrochloric acid hydrometallurgical process was evaluated for Ni and Co extraction from a low-grade saprolitic laterite. The main characteristics of the process were (i) the application of a counter-current mode of operation as the main leaching step (CCL), and (ii) the treatment [...] Read more.
A hydrochloric acid hydrometallurgical process was evaluated for Ni and Co extraction from a low-grade saprolitic laterite. The main characteristics of the process were (i) the application of a counter-current mode of operation as the main leaching step (CCL), and (ii) the treatment of pregnant leach solution (PLS) with a series of simple precipitation steps. It was found that, during CCL, co-dissolution of Fe was maintained at very low levels, i.e., about 0.6%, which improved the effectiveness of the subsequent PLS purification step. The treatment of PLS involved an initial precipitation step for the removal of trivalent metals, Fe, Al, and Cr, using Mg(OH)2. The process steps that followed aimed at separating Ni and Co from Mn and the alkaline earths Mg and Ca, by a combination of repetitive oxidative precipitation and dissolution steps. Magnesium and calcium remained in the aqueous phase, Mn was removed as a solid residue of Mn(III)–Mn(IV) oxides, while Ni and Co were recovered as a separate aqueous stream. It was found that the overall Ni and Co recoveries were 40% and 38%, respectively. About 45% of Ni and 37% of Co remained in the leach residue, while 15% Ni and 20% Co were lost in the Mn oxides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Hydro- and Biohydrometallurgy)
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Article
The Effect of Petrographic Characteristics and Physico-Mechanical Properties of Aggregates on the Quality of Concrete
Minerals 2018, 8(12), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8120577 - 08 Dec 2018
Cited by 21
Abstract
This paper examines the effect of the aggregate type on concrete strength, and more specifically, how the petrographic characteristics of various aggregate rocks as well as their physico-mechanical properties influences the durability of C 25/30 strength class concrete. The studied aggregate rocks were [...] Read more.
This paper examines the effect of the aggregate type on concrete strength, and more specifically, how the petrographic characteristics of various aggregate rocks as well as their physico-mechanical properties influences the durability of C 25/30 strength class concrete. The studied aggregate rocks were derived from Veria-Naousa and Edessa ophiolitic complexes as well as granodiorite and albitite rocks from their surrounding areas in central Macedonia (Greece). Concretes were produced with constant volume proportions, workability, mixing and curing conditions using different sizes of each aggregate type. Aggregates were mixed both in dry and water saturated states in concretes. Six different types of aggregates were examined and classified in three district groups according to their physicomechanical properties, petrographic characteristics and surface texture. The classification in groups after the concrete compressive strength test verified the initial classification in the same three groups. Group I (ultramafic rocks) presented the lowest concrete strengths, depending on their high alteration degree and the low mechanical properties of ultramafic aggregates. Group II (mafic rocks and granodiorite) presented a wide range of concrete strengths, depending on different petrographic characteristics and mechanical properties. Group III (albite rocks) presented the highest concrete strengths, depending on their lowest alteration degree and their highest mechanical properties. Therefore, mineralogy and microstructure of the coarse aggregates affected the final strength of the concrete specimens. Full article
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Article
Geochemistry and Mineralogy of Rare Earth Elements (REE) in Bauxitic Ores of the Catalan Coastal Range, NE Spain
Minerals 2018, 8(12), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8120562 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
Karst bauxite deposits are currently investigated as a new resource for rare earth elements (REE) in order to avoid present and future supply shortfalls of these critical metals. The present work focuses on the geochemistry and mineralogy of the REE in karst bauxite [...] Read more.
Karst bauxite deposits are currently investigated as a new resource for rare earth elements (REE) in order to avoid present and future supply shortfalls of these critical metals. The present work focuses on the geochemistry and mineralogy of the REE in karst bauxite deposits of the Catalan Coastal Range (CCR), NE-Spain. It is revealed that the studied bauxitic ores have a dominant breccia and local ooido-pisoidic and pelitomorphic texture. The bauxitic ores are mostly composed of kaolinite and hematite, as well as of lesser amounts of boehmite, diaspore, rutile and calcite. The mineralogy and major element composition indicate incomplete bauxitization of an argillaceous precursor material possibly derived from the erosion of the Mesozoic Ebro massif paleo-high. The studied bauxites are characterized by ∑REE (including Sc, Y) between 286 and 820 ppm (av. 483 ppm) and light REE to heavy REE (LREE/HREE) ratios up to 10.6. REE are mainly concentrated in phosphate minerals, identified as monazite-(Ce) and xenotime-(Y) of detrital origin and unidentified REE-phosphates of a possible authigenic origin. REE remobilization presumably took place under acidic conditions, whereas REE entrapment in the form of precipitation of authigenic rare earth minerals from percolating solutions was related to neutral to slightly alkaline conditions. During the bauxitization process no significant REE fractionation took place and the REE distribution pattern of the bauxitic ores was governed by the REE budget of the precursor material. Finally, adsorption as a main REE scavenging mechanism in the studied CCR bauxite deposits should not be considered, since the presented data did not reveal significant REE contents in Fe-and Mn-oxyhydroxides and clay minerals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Deposits of Critical Elements)
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Article
“Zero-Waste”: A Sustainable Approach on Pyrometallurgical Processing of Manganese Nodule Slags
Minerals 2018, 8(12), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8120544 - 23 Nov 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
A continuously growing demand for valuable non-ferrous metals and therefore an increase in their prices at the metal exchanges makes it necessary and profitable to investigate alternative metal resources. Polymetallic deep-sea nodules contain cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum and nickel, and are highly abundant [...] Read more.
A continuously growing demand for valuable non-ferrous metals and therefore an increase in their prices at the metal exchanges makes it necessary and profitable to investigate alternative metal resources. Polymetallic deep-sea nodules contain cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum and nickel, and are highly abundant on the sea floor. Developing a metallurgical process to recover the metal content from manganese nodules can close the predicted supply gap of critical metals like cobalt. This paper investigated a potential extraction process for valuable metals from manganese nodules supplied by the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources. The samples originated from the German license area of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone in the Pacific Ocean. Due to a low concentration of valuable metals in nodules, a pyrometallurgical enrichment step was carried out to separate cobalt, copper, molybdenum and nickel in a metallic phase. The manganese was discarded in the slag and recovered in a second smelting step as ferromanganese. To aid the experiments, FactSageTM was used for thermodynamic modeling of the smelting steps. To increase metal yields and to alter the composition of the metal alloys, different fluxes were investigated. The final slag after two reduction steps were heavy-metal free and a utilization as a mineral product was desired to ensure a zero-waste process. Full article
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Article
Underground Vertical Seismic Profiling with Conventional and Fiber-Optic Systems for Exploration in the Kylylahti Polymetallic Mine, Eastern Finland
Minerals 2018, 8(11), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8110538 - 20 Nov 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Seismic reflection methods have been used for the exploration of mineral resources for several decades. However, despite their unmatched spatial resolution and depth penetration, they only have played a minor role in mineral discoveries so far. Instead, mining and exploration companies have traditionally [...] Read more.
Seismic reflection methods have been used for the exploration of mineral resources for several decades. However, despite their unmatched spatial resolution and depth penetration, they only have played a minor role in mineral discoveries so far. Instead, mining and exploration companies have traditionally focused more on the use of potential field, electric and electromagnetic methods. In this context, we present a case study of an underground Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP) experiment, which was designed to image a (semi-)massive sulfide deposit located in the Kylylahti polymetallic mine in eastern Finland. For the measurement, we used a conventional VSP with three-component geophones and a novel fiber-optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) system. Both systems were deployed in boreholes located nearby the target sulfide deposit, and used in combination with an active seismic source that was fired from within the underground tunnels. With this setup, we successfully recorded seismic reflections from the deposit and its nearby geological contrasts. The recording systems provided data with a good signal-to-noise ratio and high spatial resolution. In addition to the measurements, we generated a realistic synthetic dataset based on a detailed geological model derived from extensive drilling data and petrophysical laboratory analysis. Specific processing and imaging of the acquired and synthetic datasets yielded high-resolution reflectivity images. Joint analysis of these images and cross-validation with lithological logging data from 135 nearby boreholes led to successful interpretation of key geological contacts including the target sulfide mineralization. In conclusion, our experiment demonstrates the value of in-mine VSP measurements for detailed resource delineation in a complex geological setting. In particular, we emphasize the potential benefit of using fiber-optic DAS systems, which provide reflection data at sufficient quality with less logistical effort and a higher acquisition rate. This amounts to a lower total acquisition cost, which makes DAS a valuable tool for future mineral exploration activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Methods in Mineral Exploration)
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Article
Petrology of Chromitites in the Higashi-Akaishi Ultrahigh-Pressure (UHP) Peridotite Complex, Japan: Toward Understanding of General Features of the UHP Chromitites
Minerals 2018, 8(11), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8110525 - 11 Nov 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) chromitites containing UHP minerals such as coesite and diamond have been reported from some ophiolites in Tibet and the Polar Urals. Their nature, i.e., origin, P-T path and abundance, however, are still controversial and left unclear. Here we describe chromitites in [...] Read more.
Ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) chromitites containing UHP minerals such as coesite and diamond have been reported from some ophiolites in Tibet and the Polar Urals. Their nature, i.e., origin, P-T path and abundance, however, are still controversial and left unclear. Here we describe chromitites in the Higashi-akaishi (HA) ultramafic complex in the Cretaceous Sanbagawa metamorphic belt, Japan, which experienced UHP condition (up to 3.8 GPa) at the peak metamorphism via subduction, in order to understand the nature of UHP chromitites. The HA peridotites typically contain garnets and are associated with eclogites, and their associated chromitites are expected to have experienced the UHP metamorphism. The Higashi-akaishi (HA) chromitites show banded to massive structures and are concordant to foliation of the surrounding peridotite. Chromian spinels in the chromitite and surrounding peridotites were sometimes fractured by deformation, and contain various inclusions, i.e., blade- and needle-like diopside lamellae, and minute inclusions of pyroxenes, olivine, and pargasite. The peculiar UHP minerals, such as coesite and diamond, have not been found under the microscope and the Raman spectrometer. Spinels in the HA chromitites show high Cr#s (0.7 to 0.85), and low Ti contents (<0.1 wt %), suggesting a genetic linkage to an arc magma. The HA chromitites share the basic petrographic and chemical features (i.e., diopside lamellae and arc-related spinel chemistry) with the UHP chromitites from Tibet and the Polar Urals. This suggests that some of the characteristics of the UHP chromitite can be obtained by compression, possibly via deep subduction, of low-P chromitite. Full article
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Article
Copper in Natural Oxide Spinels: The New Mineral Thermaerogenite CuAl2O4, Cuprospinel and Cu-Enriched Varieties of Other Spinel-Group Members from Fumaroles of the Tolbachik Volcano, Kamchatka, Russia
Minerals 2018, 8(11), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8110498 - 01 Nov 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
This paper is the first description of natural copper-rich oxide spinels. They were found in deposits of oxidizing-type fumaroles related to the Tolbachik volcano, Kamchatka, Russia. This mineralization is represented by nine species with the following maximum contents of CuO (wt.%, given in [...] Read more.
This paper is the first description of natural copper-rich oxide spinels. They were found in deposits of oxidizing-type fumaroles related to the Tolbachik volcano, Kamchatka, Russia. This mineralization is represented by nine species with the following maximum contents of CuO (wt.%, given in parentheses): a new mineral thermaerogenite, ideally CuAl2O4 (26.9), cuprospinel, ideally CuFe3+2O4 (28.6), gahnite (21.4), magnesioferrite (14.7), spinel (10.9), magnesiochromite (9.0), franklinite (7.9), chromite (5.9), and zincochromite (4.8). Cuprospinel, formerly known only as a phase of anthropogenic origin, turned out to be the Cu-richest natural spinel-type oxide [sample with the composition (Cu0.831Zn0.100Mg0.043Ni0.022)Σ0.996(Fe3+1.725Al0.219Mn3+0.048Ti0.008)Σ2.000O4 from Tolbachik]. Aluminum and Fe3+-dominant spinels (thermaerogenite, gahnite, spinel, cuprospinel, franklinite, and magnesioferrite) were deposited directly from hot gas as volcanic sublimates. The most probable temperature interval of their crystallization is 600–800 °C. They are associated with each other and with tenorite, hematite, orthoclase, fluorophlogopite, langbeinite, calciolangbeinite, aphthitalite, anhydrite, fluoborite, sylvite, halite, pseudobrookite, urusovite, johillerite, ericlaxmanite, tilasite, etc. Cu-bearing spinels are among the latest minerals of this assemblage: they occur in cavities and overgrow even alkaline sulfates. Cu-enriched varieties of chrome-spinels (magnesiochromite, chromite, and zincochromite) were likely formed in the course of the metasomatic replacement of a magmatic chrome-spinel in micro-xenoliths of ultrabasic rock under the influence of volcanic gases. The new mineral thermaerogenite, ideally CuAl2O4, was found in the Arsenatnaya fumarole at the Second scoria cone of the Northern Breakthrough of the Great Tolbachik Fissure Eruption. It forms octahedral crystals up to 0.02 mm typically combined in open-work clusters up to 1 mm across. Thermaerogenite is semitransparent to transparent, with a strong vitreous lustre. Its colour is brown, yellow-brown, red-brown, brown-yellow or brown-red. The mineral is brittle, with the conchoidal fracture, cleavage is none observed. D(calc.) is 4.87 g/cm3. The chemical composition of the holotype (wt.%, electron microprobe) is: CuO 25.01, ZnO 17.45, Al2O3 39.43, Cr2O3 0.27, Fe2O3 17.96, total 100.12 wt.%. The empirical formula calculated on the basis of 4 O apfu is: (Cu0.619Zn0.422)Σ1.041(Al1.523Fe3+0.443Cr0.007)Σ1.973O4. The mineral is cubic, Fd-3m, a = 8.093(9) Å, V = 530.1(10) Å3. Thermaerogenite forms a continuous isomorphous series with gahnite. The strongest lines of the powder X-ray diffraction pattern of thermaerogenite [d, Å (I, %) (hkl)] are: 2.873 (65) (220), 2.451 (100) (311), 2.033 (10) (400), 1.660 (16) (422), 1.565 (28) (511) and 1.438 (30) (440). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Mineral Species and Their Crystal Structures)
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Article
Decoding of Mantle Processes in the Mersin Ophiolite, Turkey, of End-Member Arc Type: Location of the Boninite Magma Generation
Minerals 2018, 8(10), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8100464 - 18 Oct 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
The Mersin ophiolite, Turkey, is of typical arc type based on geochemistry of crustal rocks without any signs of mid-ocean ridge (MOR) affinity. We examined its ultramafic rocks to reveal sub-arc mantle processes. Mantle peridotites, poor in clinopyroxene (<1.0 vol.%), show high Fo [...] Read more.
The Mersin ophiolite, Turkey, is of typical arc type based on geochemistry of crustal rocks without any signs of mid-ocean ridge (MOR) affinity. We examined its ultramafic rocks to reveal sub-arc mantle processes. Mantle peridotites, poor in clinopyroxene (<1.0 vol.%), show high Fo content of olivine (90–92) and Cr# [=Cr/(Cr + Al) atomic ratio] (=0.62–0.77) of chromian spinel. NiO content of olivine is occasionally high (up to 0.5 wt.%) in the harzburgite. Moho-transition zone (MTZ) dunite is also highly depleted, i.e., spinel is high Cr# (0.78–0.89), clinopyroxene is poor in HREE, and olivine is high Fo (up to 92), but relatively low in NiO (0.1–0.4 wt.%). The harzburgite is residue after high-degree mantle melting, possibly assisted by slab-derived fluid. The high-Ni character of olivine suggests secondary metasomatic formation of olivine-replacing orthopyroxene although replacement textures are unclear. The MTZ dunite is of replacive origin, resulted from interaction between Mg-rich melt released from harzburgite diapir and another harzburgite at the diapir roof. The MTZ dunite is the very place that produced the boninitic and replacive dunite. The MTZ is thicker (>1 km) in Mersin than in MOR-related ophiolite (mostly < 500 m), and this is one of the features of arc-type ophiolite. Full article
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