Special Issue "Phosphorus Life Cycle: From Geological Genesis, Mine Cycle, Chemical Transformation, Use as Fertilizers, and Environmental Fate"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Mostafa Benzaazoua
Website
Guest Editor
Reserach Institute in Mining and Environment, University of Quebec (RIME-UQAT), Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada
Interests: inorganic industrial and mining wastes; environmental characterization; treatment and recycling of industrial and mining wastes; waste reprocessing; integrated management of mining wastes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Yassine Taha
Website
Guest Editor
University Mohamed 6 Polytechnique, Morocco
Interests: inorganic industrial and mining wastes; environmental characterization; treatment and recycling of industrial and mining wastes; waste reprocessing; integrated management of mining wastes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Abdellatif Elghali
Website
Guest Editor
Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Morocco.
Interests: environmental geochemistry and mineralogical characterization of mine ores and waste; stabilization/solidification of contaminated soils and mine wastes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Phosphate, especially the phosphorus form, is one of the most critical substances for human life. It is a nonsubstitutable element for agriculture and food industries serving the growing world population. Phosphates are exploited as sedimentary or magmatic deposits. Phosphate ores are highly heterogeneous from an orebody to another due to various phosphogenesis pathways. Consequently, characterization of phosphate deposits is crucial for the design of the most optimal extraction, beneficiation, and waste management practices. The characterization step must be multidisciplinary and might include analyzing various geomechanical, physical, chemical mineralogical, and environmental properties, which may allow developing a rational and global knowledge about the orebody. All these characteristics could be combined in one approach called geometallurgical models that are used during the entire mine life cycle. Phosphate minerals, namely apatite, are known for their ability to adsorb and/or substitute variable chemical species that could be added values or nondesirable elements. The most known chemical species having affinity to phosphorites are rare earth elements, uranium, and heavy metals. Thus, when phosphate ores are processed through a specific mineralurgical of metallurgical treatment flowsheets, these elements could follow different enrichment/exhaustion paths between phosphate products (concentrate, phosphoric acid, fertilizers, etc.) or within different wastes (waste rocks and tailing streams). In addition, the prediction of contamination speciation within waste rocks is a priority to preserve ecosystems where these wastes are deposited. However, recent trends in mining operation try to reduce the quantities of deposited waste rocks by incorporating circular economy (e.g., waste rock valorization, recoverable elements recovery such as rare earth elements) or at least decontaminating these wastes through reprocessing before the final deposition.

Insights related to the following aspects will be included in this Special Issue:

  • Phosphate deposit typology and ore characterization;
  • New phosphate extraction techniques;
  • Prediction of the contaminant potential of phosphate mine wastes;
  • Low-grade ores and waste beneficiation;
  • Mine waste reprocessing/decontamination;
  • Geo-environmental modeling of phosphate ore deposit;
  • Mine waste in situ reuse;
  • Mine waste valorization in civil engineering;
  • Mine resources life cycle analysis;
  • Phosphate mining and circular economy

Prof. Dr. Mostafa Benzaazoua
Prof. Dr. Yassine Taha
Dr. Abdellatif Elghali
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • phosphate extraction
  • beneficiation
  • rare earth elements
  • uranium
  • heavy metals
  • geomodeling
  • mine waste management and valorization
  • circular economy

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Phosphogypsum and Black Steel Slag as Additives for Ecological Bentonite-Based Materials: Microstructure and Characterization
Minerals 2020, 10(12), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10121067 - 28 Nov 2020
Abstract
The Black Steel slag (Ss) and phosphogypsum (PG) are industrial wastes produced in Morocco. In order to reduce these two wastes and to evaluate their pozzolanic reactivity in the presence of water, they were incorporated into bentonite (B) mixed with lime (L). The [...] Read more.
The Black Steel slag (Ss) and phosphogypsum (PG) are industrial wastes produced in Morocco. In order to reduce these two wastes and to evaluate their pozzolanic reactivity in the presence of water, they were incorporated into bentonite (B) mixed with lime (L). The studied mixtures (BLW, BL–PG–W and BL–PG–Ss–W) were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, Infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and SEM/EDX analysis. Compressive strength tests were performed on hardened specimens. The results obtained show that the hydration kinetics of the B–L–W and B–L–PG–W mixtures are slow. The addition of PG to a bentonite––lime mixture induces the formation of new microstructures such as hydrated calcium silicate (C–S–H) and ettringite, which increases the compressive strength of the cementitious specimens. The addition of the Ss to a mixture composed of 8%PG and 8%L–B accelerates the kinetics of hydration and activates the pozzolanic reaction. The presence of C2S in the slag helps to increase the mechanical strength of the mixture B–L–PG–Ss. The compressive strength of the mixtures BL–W, BL–PG–W and BL–PG–Ss–W increases from 15 to 28 days of setting. After 28 days of setting, 8% of Sc added to the mixture 8% PG–8%L–B is responsible for an increase of the compressive strength to 0.6 MPa. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Beneficiation of Sra Ouertane (Tunisia) Low-Grade Phosphate Rock
Minerals 2020, 10(11), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10110937 - 22 Oct 2020
Abstract
Low-grade phosphate rock from Sra Ouertane (Tunisia) was beneficiated using a thermal treatment consisting of calcination, quenching, and disliming. Untreated phosphate rock samples (group 1), calcined phosphate rock samples (group 2), as well as calcined, quenched, and dislimed (group 3) phosphate rock samples, [...] Read more.
Low-grade phosphate rock from Sra Ouertane (Tunisia) was beneficiated using a thermal treatment consisting of calcination, quenching, and disliming. Untreated phosphate rock samples (group 1), calcined phosphate rock samples (group 2), as well as calcined, quenched, and dislimed (group 3) phosphate rock samples, were investigated using inductively-coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD). Besides, the particle size distribution of the aforementioned three groups was determined. The proposed thermal treatment successfully increased the P2O5 content of the untreated phosphate rock from 20.01 wt% (group 1) to 24.24 wt% (group 2) after calcination and, finally, 27.24 wt% (group 3) after calcination, quenching, and disliming. It was further found that the concentration of relevant accompanying rare earth elements (Ce, La, Nd, Pr, Sm, and Y) was increased and that the concentration of Cd could be significantly reduced from 30 mg/kg to 14 mg/kg with the proposed treatment. The resulting phosphate concentrate showed relatively high concentrations in metal oxides: Ʃ MgO, Fe2O3, Al2O3 = 3.63 wt% and silica (9.81 wt%) so that it did not meet the merchant grade specifications of a minimum P2O5 content of 30 wt% yet. Removal of these elements could be achieved using additional appropriate separation techniques. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Proposal for an Environmentally Sustainable Beneficiation Route for the Amphibolitic Itabirite from the Quadrilátero Ferrífero-Brazil
Minerals 2020, 10(10), 897; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10100897 - 10 Oct 2020
Abstract
The high world demand for iron ores opposed to the rapid exhaustion of high-grade deposits from the main producing regions around the world has motivated the search and/or improvement of beneficiation routes, which enable the economic use of iron formations previously considered marginal [...] Read more.
The high world demand for iron ores opposed to the rapid exhaustion of high-grade deposits from the main producing regions around the world has motivated the search and/or improvement of beneficiation routes, which enable the economic use of iron formations previously considered marginal ores, which have the potential to considerably increase mineable reserves due to their large volume. In this study, a sample of amphibolitic itabirite from the eastern region of the Quadrilátero Ferrífero, Minas Gerais, Brazil was characterized, aiming at its use in the industrial pelletizing circuit. The main physical characteristics of this ore are moisture = 10% and specific weight = 3710 kg/m3. The ore has a high grade of loss on ignition—LOI (6.7%) and P (0.14%). Through X-ray diffractometry (XRD), optical microscopy and scanning electron microscope—SEM, the ore was found to consist of 64.5% goethite (amphibolitic, alveolar, massive and earthy); 6.8% hematite (martitic, granular and lamellar) and 0.9% magnetite. The main gangue mineral is quartz (25.5%). Based on the results of concentration tests (magnetic and flotation) performed with the studied sample, the magnetic concentration route of deslimed sample followed by the addition of slimes in magnetic concentrate can be incorporated into the pelletizing process. Full article
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