Special Issue "Mineral Resources and the Environment"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Michael G. Stamatakis

Department of Geology & Geoenvironment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), 157 84 Athens, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: industrial minerals in environmental applications; economic geology; green geochemistry; mineralogy; construction materials; geoarchaeology; natural heritage; recycled aggergates in concrete and mortars; cementitious materials; microporous raw materials; raw materials characterization; clays; marine aggregates; raw materials interaction; raw materials policy; mine waste reuse; environmental impacts; ecosystems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mineral resources are vital for several industries, though sustainable mineral development must be ensured when efficient mineral use is kept to a maximum, and negative impacts, from extraction, processing and transport, is kept to a minimum. Nowadays, significant environmental problems could be best addressed through mineral solutions. The increased demand in the world mineral commodity market has shown the need for local, regional and wider mineral policies, with high environmental awareness and substantial environmental benefits.

This Special Issue will provide a great opportunity to report recent and updated research on mineral resources related to the environment.

Prof. Michael Stamatakis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • minerals
  • environmental applications
  • natural resources
  • reclamation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Breakage Characteristics of Heat-Treated Limestone Determined via Kinetic Modeling
Minerals 2018, 8(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8010018
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 29 December 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
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Abstract
In recent years, heat treatment has attracted attention as a means to improve the color sorting technology with the aim of improving the quality of low-grade limestone. The crucial stage in this technique is to evaluate the breakage characteristics of the sample materials [...] Read more.
In recent years, heat treatment has attracted attention as a means to improve the color sorting technology with the aim of improving the quality of low-grade limestone. The crucial stage in this technique is to evaluate the breakage characteristics of the sample materials after color sorting. In this study, the breakage characteristics of samples showing color differences after heat treatment and of the original raw material were investigated using a laboratory ball mill. The grinding was characterized using the population balance model. Specific rates of breakage and the primary breakage distribution were experimentally determined by first-order kinetic plots and the BII method. The breakage parameters were also back-calculated by employing a simplex method. Grinding of the three materials indicated first-order kinetics, and the experimental results were well described by the model with parameters obtained by back-calculating. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resources and the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
The Petrography, Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Some Cu- and Pb-Enriched Coals from Jungar Coalfield, Northwestern China
Minerals 2018, 8(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8010005
Received: 24 September 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 27 December 2017
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Abstract
The petrological, geochemical, and mineralogical composition of the Carboniferous-Permian coal deposit in the Jungar coalfield of inner Mongolia, Northwestern China, were investigated using optical microscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy in conjunction with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDX), as well as X-ray [...] Read more.
The petrological, geochemical, and mineralogical composition of the Carboniferous-Permian coal deposit in the Jungar coalfield of inner Mongolia, Northwestern China, were investigated using optical microscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy in conjunction with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDX), as well as X-ray powder diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The Jungar coal is of high volatile C/B bituminous quality with 0.58% vitrinite reflectance and has a low sulfur content of 0.70% on average. Inertinite (mineral-free basis) generally dominates in coal from the lower part of the Shanxi formation, and vitrinite is the major maceral assemblage in the coal from the Taiyuan formation, which exhibits forms suggesting variation in the sedimentary environment. The Jungar coal is characterized by higher concentrations of copper (Cu) in No. 6 coal, at 55 μg/g, and lead (Pb) in No. 4 coal at 42 μg/g. Relative to the upper continental crust, the rare earth elements (REE) in the coal are characterized by light and medium–heavy REE enrichment. The minerals in the Jungar coal are mainly kaolinite, dickite, pyrite, calcite, siderite, quartz, and, to a lesser extent, gypsum and K-feldspar. The enrichment and occurrence of the trace elements, and of the minerals in the coal, are attributed to the fragmental parent rock during diagenesis and coalification. The main elements with high enrichment factors, Cu and Pb, overall exhibit a notably inorganic sulfide affinity and a weak organic affinity. Primary and epigenetic sedimentary environment and the lithology of the terrigenous parent rock are the key factors that influence the occurrence and formation of Cu and Pb in coal. The depositional environment is more influential in the formation of Cu than Pb in coal. Lead is more easily affected by the terrigenous factors than Cu when they are under a similar depositional environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resources and the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Possible Involvement of Permian Phosphoria Formation Oil as a Source of REE and Other Metals Associated with Complex U-V Mineralization in the Northern Bighorn Basin?
Minerals 2017, 7(12), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/min7120232
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
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Abstract
The origin of V, U, REE and other metals in the Permian Phosphoria Formation have been speculated and studied by numerous scientists. The exceptionally high concentrations of metals have been interpreted to reflect fundamental transitions from anoxic to oxic marine conditions. Much of [...] Read more.
The origin of V, U, REE and other metals in the Permian Phosphoria Formation have been speculated and studied by numerous scientists. The exceptionally high concentrations of metals have been interpreted to reflect fundamental transitions from anoxic to oxic marine conditions. Much of the oil in the Bighorn Basin, is sourced by the Phosphoria Formation. Two of the top 10 producing oil fields in Wyoming are located approximately 50 km west of two abandoned U-V mining districts in the northern portion of the basin. These fields produce from basin margin anticlinal structures from Mississippian age reservoir rock. Samples collected from abandoned U-V mines and prospects hosted in Mississippian aged paleokarst in Montana and Wyoming have hydrocarbon residue present and contain anomalous high concentrations of many metals that are found in similar concentrations in the Phosphoria Formation. As, Hg, Mo, Pb, Tl, U, V and Zn, often metals of environmental concern occur in high concentrations in Phosphoria Formation samples and had values ranging from 30–1295 ppm As, 0.179–12.8 ppm Hg, 2–791 ppm Mo, <2–146 ppm Pb, 10–490 ppm Tl, 907–86,800 ppm U, 1240–18,900 ppm V, and 7–2230 ppm Zn, in mineralized samples from this study. The REE plus Y composition of Madison Limestone- and limestone breccia hosted-bitumen reflect similar patterns to both mineralized samples from this study and to U.S. Geological Survey rock samples from studies of the Phosphoria Formation. Geochemical, mineralogical and field data were used to investigate past theories for mineralization of these deposits to determine if U present in home wells and Hg content of fish from rivers on the proximal Crow Indian Reservation may have been derived from these deposits or related to their mode of mineralization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resources and the Environment)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Recycling Y and Eu from Waste Fluorescent Powder and High Temperature Solid-State Synthesis of Y2O3:Eu Phosphors
Minerals 2017, 7(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/min7030044
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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Abstract
Y2O3:Eu were prepared through precursors synthesized by leaching tests, removing impurities, enrichment of Y and Eu from residual purified liquors, annealing treatment, and high temperature solid-state reaction method, which is the most suitable for large-scale production. The analysis of [...] Read more.
Y2O3:Eu were prepared through precursors synthesized by leaching tests, removing impurities, enrichment of Y and Eu from residual purified liquors, annealing treatment, and high temperature solid-state reaction method, which is the most suitable for large-scale production. The analysis of product shows that the purity is 99.42%. The resultant powders were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA), scanning electron microscope (SEM), and photoluminescence (PL). Compared with the commercial phosphors, the XRD spectrum of the product samples revealed the synthesized particles to have a pure cubic Y2O3:Eu structure without any impurities in the crystalline phase. On the morphology, the Y2O3:Eu particles synthesized by a combustion and high temperature solid state process with sintering aids, were large and uniform. For luminescence property, the emission intensity of Y2O3:Eu phosphors synthesized by combustion process and high temperature solid state process with sintering aids were higher than those without sintering aids, at 1400 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resources and the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Temperature on the Formation of Ag Complexed in a S2O32−–O2 System
Minerals 2017, 7(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/min7020016
Received: 24 October 2016 / Revised: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 27 January 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Metallic elements of higher economic value, occurring in the mineralogy of Zimapán, are Pb, Zn, Cu, and Fe; said elements are sold as concentrates, which, even after processing, generally include significant concentrations of Mo, Cd, Sb, Ag, and As that can be recovered [...] Read more.
Metallic elements of higher economic value, occurring in the mineralogy of Zimapán, are Pb, Zn, Cu, and Fe; said elements are sold as concentrates, which, even after processing, generally include significant concentrations of Mo, Cd, Sb, Ag, and As that can be recovered through different leaching methods. In this work, the influence of temperature in the complexation of silver contained in a concentrate of Zn using the technology of thiosulfate with oxygen injection was studied. Chemical and mineralogical characterization of the mineral concentrate from the state of Hidalgo, Mexico confirmed the existence of silver contained in a sulfide of silver arsenic (AgAsS2) by X-ray Diffraction (XRD). The results obtained by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (AAS) reported abundant metallic contents (% w/w) (48% Zn, 10.63% Fe, 1.97% Cu, 0.84% Pb, 0.78% As, and 0.25% Ag). These results corroborate the presence of metallic sulfides such as pyrite, chalcopyrite, and wurtzite; this last species was identified as the matrix of the concentrate by X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS). Pourbaix diagrams were constructed for the AgAsS2–S2O32−–O2 system at different temperatures, which allowed the chemical reaction of leaching to be established, in addition to determining Eh-pH conditions in which to obtain silver in solution. The highest recoveries of the precious metal (97% Ag) were obtained at a temperature of 333 K and [S2O32−] = 0.5 M. The formation of silver dithiosulfate complex (Ag(S2O3)23−) was confirmed by the characterization of the leach liquors obtained from the experiments performed in the temperature range of 298 to 333 K using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resources and the Environment)
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Graphical abstract

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