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Minerals, Volume 14, Issue 3 (March 2024) – 119 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): A high-quality phase-orientation map of mylonite obtained by electron backscattered diffraction showed a wide range of quartz–plagioclase mixing (10%–80% in the quartz modal composition) and indicated a change in the deformation mechanism of quartz from dislocation creep in quartz-rich layers to grain-size-sensitive creep in the mixed-quartz-plagioclase layers, whereas that of plagioclase was predominantly grain-size-sensitive creep. Our results show that the Kashio shear zone could have developed under deformation mechanisms in which the viscosities of quartz and plagioclase are nearly comparable, effectively within 1017–1019 Pa·s, thereby possibly enabling extensive shearing along the Median Tectonic Line. The Effect of Low-Viscosity Contrast between Felsic Minerals on Creep Behavior. View this paper
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14 pages, 7307 KiB  
Article
Gold Migration and Precipitation as Collaurum in Orogenic Gold Deposits: Constrains from Microscopic Gold Particles Observed in the Alteration Zone in Shanggong Gold Ore, Henan, China
by Yu Qiao, Zhixuan Han, Bimin Zhang, Xiaocheng Wei, Chunfang Dong and Hanliang Liu
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030327 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 590
Abstract
Aqueous complexation has long been considered the only viable means of transporting gold to depositional sites in hydrothermal ore-forming systems. Here, we present direct evidence supporting an alternative hypothesis, namely, the transport of gold as colloidal particles. We observed nano-scale gold particles adsorbed [...] Read more.
Aqueous complexation has long been considered the only viable means of transporting gold to depositional sites in hydrothermal ore-forming systems. Here, we present direct evidence supporting an alternative hypothesis, namely, the transport of gold as colloidal particles. We observed nano-scale gold particles adsorbed on halloysite and micro-scale gold particles in altered rocks by TEM and SEM in the Shanggong orogenic gold deposit. Based on this evidence, we propose a feasible model for the origin of microscopic gold particles in alteration zones. In the early stage of ore-forming fluid, gold may migrate in the form of collaurum, which is maintained by supercritical CO2 and colloidal silica. Low salinity and high pressure are conducive to the stable migration of colloidal gold. When the physicochemical conditions change, some collaurum is precipitated and adsorbed by the clay minerals produced by hydrothermal alteration, and some collaurum undergoes growth and evolves into micro-submicrometer-sized gold particles. This study highlighted the significance of collaurum in the formation of orogenic gold deposits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geochemical Exploration for Critical Mineral Resources)
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15 pages, 6874 KiB  
Article
Formation of Intergrowths of Platinum-Group Minerals and Gold from Magmatogenic Ores in Relation to Phase Changes in Pt-Pd-Fe-Cu-Au System
by Alexander Okrugin and Boris Gerasimov
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030326 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 530
Abstract
The article discusses the features of the chemical composition and the formation of intergrowths of platinum-group minerals, gold, gold-bearing phases, and other ore minerals present in placers collected from the Anabar River in the northeast part of the Siberian platform. Based on an [...] Read more.
The article discusses the features of the chemical composition and the formation of intergrowths of platinum-group minerals, gold, gold-bearing phases, and other ore minerals present in placers collected from the Anabar River in the northeast part of the Siberian platform. Based on an analysis of changes in the phase compositions of these intergrowths of noble metals with other ore minerals on (Pt, Pd)-Fe-Au and Pd-Cu-Au phase equilibrium diagrams, potential trends in the crystallization of natural polymineral alloys from multicomponent low-sulfide metallic liquids are discussed. The similarity of the microstructures of natural and metallurgical alloys indicates that the formation of natural multiphase Au-PGE intergrowths occurred in a similar manner to the crystallization of multicomponent synthetic alloys. The authors suggest that magmatic Au-PGE mineralization occurs during the crystallization of a noble-metal-containing, low-sulfide, Cr-rich oxide melt separated from silicate mafic–ultramafic magma. Magmatic gold–platinum deposits are commonly associated with sulfide or oxide disseminated-schlieren ores in layered mafic–ultramafic intrusions. However, due to the high solubility of gold and platinoids in sulfide minerals, PGMs in sulfide ores occur as isomorphic impurities or as microphases and dispersed inclusions that cannot form placers. Therefore, the authors suggest that magmatic Au-PGE mineralization occurs during the crystallization of an immiscible low-sulfide, high-Cr oxide liquid separated from silicate mafic–ultramafic magma. In the northeast part of the Siberian platform, potential sources for these placers are likely alkaline, high-Ti mafic–ultramafic intrusions, as confirmed by the presence of silicate inclusions in ferroan platinum similar in composition to melteigite. Full article
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27 pages, 88612 KiB  
Review
Investigations of Chemical Element Distributions in Soil, North Macedonia—A Review
by Trajče Stafilov, Robert Šajn and Jasminka Alijagić
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030325 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 557
Abstract
This review article considers the following aspects: naturally distributed chemical elements and their enrichments, and the increased occurrence of PTEs due to anthropogenic and urban activities, as well as due to the geochemical uniqueness of certain geochemical landscapes, depending on the lithological environment. [...] Read more.
This review article considers the following aspects: naturally distributed chemical elements and their enrichments, and the increased occurrence of PTEs due to anthropogenic and urban activities, as well as due to the geochemical uniqueness of certain geochemical landscapes, depending on the lithological environment. The review article is the result of many years of successful cooperation between the Geological Survey of Slovenia and the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Skopje, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, as well as several other institutions from North Macedonia, Russia and Romania but, also, through the voluntary and enthusiastic work of Prof. Trajče Stafilov’s PhD and Master’s students. To create the Geochemical Atlas, the territory of North Macedonia was covered with 995 sampling locations, but 16 separate areas with soil contamination were additionally sampled. The total sum of all collected soil samples was 3983 from 2449 different sampling sites in the period from 2006 to 2017. The analyses were performed at the Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences in Skopje, at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, North Macedonia, at the Research Institute for Analytical Instrumentation (ICIA), Cluj-Napoca, Romania, at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Moscow Region, Russia, and at Acme Labs in Vancouver, Canada. The sum of all analysed soil samples in all four mentioned laboratories was 7991 from 2006 to 2017. Using advanced mathematical methods such as multivariate statistical methods (HCA, FA, PCA) and artificial neural networks–multilayer perceptron (ANN-MP), predictions were made about the concentrations of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) and their distribution in real space. In less than two decades (2007–2023) of fruitful collaboration, a large number of scientific works have been published: 188 scientific publications, 8 geochemical atlases and 23 chapters in monographs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry)
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17 pages, 8175 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Tableware from Fábrica de Loiça de Sacavém—Linking Analytical and Documental Research
by Mathilda L. Coutinho, João Pedro Veiga, Andreia Ruivo, Teresa Pereira da Silva, Silvia Bottura-Scardina, Maria Margarida R. A. Lima, Carlos Pereira, Ana Carvalho Dias, Luis Dias, Peter Vandenabeele and José C. Roseiro
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030324 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 570
Abstract
Fábrica de Loiça de Sacavém (ca. 1858–1994) was among the first to produce white earthenware in Portugal, becoming one of the country’s leading ceramic manufacturers during the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Research on white earthenware has accompanied the growing interest in [...] Read more.
Fábrica de Loiça de Sacavém (ca. 1858–1994) was among the first to produce white earthenware in Portugal, becoming one of the country’s leading ceramic manufacturers during the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Research on white earthenware has accompanied the growing interest in post-industrial archaeology but is still poorly explored compared to more ancient ceramic productions. This study focused on the ceramic body, glazes, and colourants of tableware produced by Fábrica de Loiça de Sacavém during the first 50 years of its activity (1859–1910). A multi-analytical approach was selected to investigate the chemical and mineralogical composition of the ceramic body, glaze, and pigments using optical microscopy, variable-pressure scanning electron microscope energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (VP-SEM-EDS), μ-Raman spectroscopy, μ-X-ray Diffraction (μ-XRD), and reflectance spectroscopy (hyperspectral image analysis). The studied tableware was produced with a Ca-poor siliceous–aluminous white earthenware ceramic body covered with transparent alkali lead or lead borosilicate glaze, and most colourants were complex Cr-based pigments. These results are in agreement with the little documental evidence from this period found in the manufacturer’s archives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage, Volume II)
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17 pages, 6656 KiB  
Article
Flow Field Characteristics and Flotation Efficacy in a Pulse Jet Flotation Machine: A Comprehensive Investigation
by Xuqin Duan, Chen He, Dandan Shen, Meng Song and Chunbao Sun
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030323 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 534
Abstract
The design and optimization of flotation machines hold significant importance in enhancing the industrial-grade coal beneficiation process. In this research, the flow field characteristics and flotation performance of a novel pulse jet flotation machine (PJFM) were investigated. The results showed that a PJFM [...] Read more.
The design and optimization of flotation machines hold significant importance in enhancing the industrial-grade coal beneficiation process. In this research, the flow field characteristics and flotation performance of a novel pulse jet flotation machine (PJFM) were investigated. The results showed that a PJFM equipped with an innovative pulse cavity can improve the mineralization efficiency of coal due to the coupling of multiple jet shapes. The aeration performance of this PJFM also exceeds the usual desired targets of coal flotation machines, which are characterized by an aeration uniformity coefficient higher than 70% and dominant bubbles of 100~200 μm and 200~300 μm, including a small amount of −100 μm bubbles. The cavitation of the pulse jet achieved the modification of the coal particle surface, and subsequently, the electric potential of the coal largely decreased in absolute value, and the floatability of the coal significantly improved. The concentrate yield of step release flotation increased by 12.42%, while the ash content was only 0.45% higher. Furthermore, in the early stage of flotation, the flotation rate of 0~0.074 mm coal slurry is the fastest and is preferentially floated; in the later stage, the flotation of 0.25–0.5 mm particles dominates. The PJFM demonstrates enhanced particle size selectivity and superior performance in selective flotation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy)
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18 pages, 4433 KiB  
Article
Kinetics of Estonian Phosphate Rock Dissolution in Hydrochloric Acid
by Ruhany Sheherazad Azeez, Kaia Tõnsuaadu, Tiit Kaljuvee and Andres Trikkel
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030322 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 562
Abstract
The kinetics of the dissolution of Estonian phosphate rock and the governing reaction mechanisms in hydrochloric acid in technological processes were investigated. The influences of particle size and acid concentrations of 0.5–1.5 M on the reaction rate and the pH variation during the [...] Read more.
The kinetics of the dissolution of Estonian phosphate rock and the governing reaction mechanisms in hydrochloric acid in technological processes were investigated. The influences of particle size and acid concentrations of 0.5–1.5 M on the reaction rate and the pH variation during the process were studied at a dosage of 2.1 moles of HCl per mole of calcium for 60 min. The results indicated that the solubility of phosphorus reached 94%–100% for the fine samples and 82%–99% for the coarse samples. The time required to achieve an apparent steady-state pH reduced with the increasing acid concentrations and decreasing particle sizes. It was determined that the CaF2 precipitation in solutions starting at 1 M was faster at higher concentrations. The SEM surface analysis of the insoluble particles proved the existence of etch pit formation. The XPS and EDX analyses affirmed that the dissolution was incongruent. The surface composition of the unreacted particles gave a stoichiometry of CaF1.8, showing the formation of CaF2 on the surface. The dissolution kinetics were analyzed using the shrinking core model and showed a combination of chemical reaction, diffusion or interfacial transfer, and diffusion, sequentially for coarse particles or simultaneously for fine fractions. Full article
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18 pages, 3832 KiB  
Article
Optimization of a Rare Earth and Aluminum Leaching Process from Weathered Crust Elution-Deposited Rare Earth Ore with Surfactant CTAB
by Xiaoyan Wu, Jian Feng, Fang Zhou, Chufan Liu and Ruan Chi
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030321 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 612
Abstract
Ammonium sulfate is typically employed as a leaching agent in the in situ leaching of weathered crust elution-deposited rare earth ore. However, it is associated with challenges such as low efficiency in mass transfer for rare earth (RE) leaching, high usage of the [...] Read more.
Ammonium sulfate is typically employed as a leaching agent in the in situ leaching of weathered crust elution-deposited rare earth ore. However, it is associated with challenges such as low efficiency in mass transfer for rare earth (RE) leaching, high usage of the leaching agent, and prolonged leaching duration. To address the issues mentioned above, the surfactant cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) was compounded with 2% ammonium sulfate to form a leaching agent in this paper. The effects of CTAB concentration, temperature, pH, and leaching agent flow rate on the rare earth (RE) and aluminum (Al) leaching mass transfer process from RE ore were investigated using chromatographic plate theory. The results revealed that CTAB addition improved the RE mass transfer process while moderately inhibiting the Al mass transfer efficiency. Increasing the temperature and pH of the leaching solution led to higher theoretical plate numbers for RE and Al leaching, lowered theoretical plate height (HETP), and enhanced leaching mass transfer efficiency. However, under high temperature and alkaline conditions, the mass transfer efficiency begins to decrease, indicating that high temperature and alkaline conditions are not conducive to the synergistic enhancement of RE and Al leaching by CTAB. Considering that clay minerals have good pH buffering properties, adjusting the pH of the leaching solution during rare earth ore leaching operations was deemed unnecessary. The optimal mass transfer conditions for leaching RE and Al were identified as 2% ammonium sulfate concentration, 0.00103 mol/L CTAB concentration, pH range of 5.2–5.5 for the leaching solution, 0.6 mL/min leaching solution flow rate, and room temperature. The rare earth leaching mass transfer effect could be enhanced during summer operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy)
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27 pages, 21070 KiB  
Article
Geochemistry, Mineralization, and Fluid Inclusion Study of the Bayan-Uul Porphyry Au-Cu-(Mo) Deposit, Central Mongolia
by Bolor-Erdene Bilegsaikhan, Kotaro Yonezu, Jargalan Sereenen, Oyungerel Sarantuya and Baasanjargal Borshigo
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030320 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1243
Abstract
The Bayan-Uul porphyry Au-Cu-(Mo) deposit occurs within the Mongol–Okhotsk Orogenic Belt, which is a part of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt. To understand geotectonic, petrogenesis, mineralization, and ore-forming fluid evolution of the Bayan-Uul deposit, we report petrographic and geochemical analyses of host rocks, [...] Read more.
The Bayan-Uul porphyry Au-Cu-(Mo) deposit occurs within the Mongol–Okhotsk Orogenic Belt, which is a part of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt. To understand geotectonic, petrogenesis, mineralization, and ore-forming fluid evolution of the Bayan-Uul deposit, we report petrographic and geochemical analyses of host rocks, mineralogy of ores, and fluid inclusion characteristics. Based on petrographic and mineralogical analyses, Cu, Mo, and Au mineralization occurs as disseminated and sulfide-bearing quartz–tourmaline veins hosted within granodiorites, monzodiorites, and diorite porphyry and tourmaline breccia. Four main alteration assemblages are identified: potassic, phyllic, argillic, and quartz–tourmaline alteration. The ore mineralogy of quartz–tourmaline veinlets are classified into A-type veinlets (quartz + tourmaline + chalcopyrite + magnetite + pyrite ± electrum), B-type veinlets (quartz + tourmaline + molybdenum + chalcopyrite + pyrite), and C-type veinlets (quartz + tourmaline + pyrite ± chalcopyrite). Fluid inclusions are found in quartz–tourmaline veinlets consisting mainly of liquid-rich two-phase (L-type), vapor-rich two-phase (V-type), and solid-bearing multi-phase (S-type) inclusions. The homogenization temperatures for the fluid inclusions in A-type, B-type, and C-type veinlets range from 215 to 490°C, 215 to 500 °C, and 160 to 350 °C and their salinity varies from 5.4 to 43.5 wt.%, 16 to 51.1 wt.%, and 3.4 to 24.1 wt.% NaCl equivalent, respectively. Coexistance of (L-type), (V-type), and (S-type) inclusions support fluid boiling. The δ18O values of ore fluids from different mineralizing A-, B-, and C-type veins are 8.7‰, 10.9‰, and 8.4‰, respectively, and the δ34S values of sulfide minerals range from −1.4‰ to 5.3‰, which indicates magmatic origin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Deposits)
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43 pages, 5073 KiB  
Review
Towards a Circular Economy in the Mining Industry: Possible Solutions for Water Recovery through Advanced Mineral Tailings Dewatering
by Laila Hamraoui, Abdelilah Bergani, Mouna Ettoumi, Abdelmaula Aboulaich, Yassine Taha, Abdessamad Khalil, Carmen Mihaela Neculita and Mostafa Benzaazoua
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030319 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1285
Abstract
The mining industry is confronted with substantial challenges in achieving environmental sustainability, particularly regarding water usage, waste management, and dam safety. The increasing global demand for minerals has led to increased mining activities, resulting in significant environmental consequences. By 2025, an estimated 19 [...] Read more.
The mining industry is confronted with substantial challenges in achieving environmental sustainability, particularly regarding water usage, waste management, and dam safety. The increasing global demand for minerals has led to increased mining activities, resulting in significant environmental consequences. By 2025, an estimated 19 billion tons of solid tailings are projected to accumulate worldwide, exacerbating concerns over their management. Tailings storage facilities represent the largest water sinks within mining operations. The mismanagement of water content in tailings can compromise their stability, leading to potential dam failures and environmental catastrophes. In response to these pressing challenges, the mining industry is increasingly turning to innovative solutions such as tailings dewatering and water reuse/recycling strategies to promote sustainable development. This review paper aims to (I) redefine the role of mine tailings and explore their physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics; (II) discuss environmental concerns associated with conventional disposal methods; (III) explore recent advancements in dewatering techniques, assessing their potential for water recovery, technical and economic constraints, and sustainability considerations; (IV) and present challenges encountered in water treatment and recycling within the mining industry, highlighting areas for future research and potential obstacles in maximizing the value of mine tailings while minimizing their environmental impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Sustainable Treatment for Mine Waters)
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15 pages, 8647 KiB  
Article
Numerical Study of Gangue Slurry Deposition Behavior in Pipelines Considering Viscosity Change
by Wei Gu, Yunqing Wang, Dalong Xu, Kuo Miao, Sumeng Yao, Hao Zhang and Zhenfei Han
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030318 - 17 Mar 2024
Viewed by 618
Abstract
Pipeline conveying is a crucial method for realizing gangue slurry filling. In order to avoid the blockage of gangue slurry in pipeline conveying, it is necessary to clarify the deposition behavior of gangue particles in the pipeline. This paper analyzes coal gangue’s microstructure [...] Read more.
Pipeline conveying is a crucial method for realizing gangue slurry filling. In order to avoid the blockage of gangue slurry in pipeline conveying, it is necessary to clarify the deposition behavior of gangue particles in the pipeline. This paper analyzes coal gangue’s microstructure and mineral composition in the Zhaozhuang No. 2 coal mine through electron microscope scanning and X-ray diffraction tests. We studied the viscosity characteristics of gangue slurry at different mass concentrations and particle sizes and analyzed the change rule of viscosity of gangue slurry with time. Based on determining the nature of the slurry material, a simulation analysis of the deposition behavior of the gangue slurry in a pipeline was carried out using the coupled fluid dynamics–discrete element (CFD-DEM) method. The results show that gangue slurry with a particle size larger than 1.0 mm is likely to lead to the blockage of the pipeline. A small increase in viscosity will promote a uniform distribution of particles inside the pipeline. The deposition behavior of particles is jointly influenced by gravity, fluid interaction force, inter-particle force, and the interaction between particles and the pipeline surface. The research results can be used as a reference for the design and study of gangue slurry grouting systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Mining, Waste Recovery and Efficient Disposal of Metal Mines)
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17 pages, 7521 KiB  
Article
Reservoir Characterization of Alluvial Glutenite in the Guantao Formation, Bohai Bay Basin, East China
by Qing Li, Xuelian You, Yuan Zhou, Yu He, Renzhi Tang and Jiangshan Li
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030317 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 680
Abstract
Alluvial glutenite reservoirs have obviously stronger heterogeneous and more complex control factors than sandstone reservoirs. Taking the Binxian Uplift area in the Boahi Bay Basin as an example, the aim of this study is to clarify the characteristics and control factors of the [...] Read more.
Alluvial glutenite reservoirs have obviously stronger heterogeneous and more complex control factors than sandstone reservoirs. Taking the Binxian Uplift area in the Boahi Bay Basin as an example, the aim of this study is to clarify the characteristics and control factors of the alluvial glutenite reservoir quality and the influence of reservoir properties on hydrocarbon accumulation. Pore types in the study area mainly include residual intergranular pores, intergranular dissolved pores, intragranular dissolved pores, and mold pores. The residual intergranular pores and intergranular dissolved pores are the main pore types. Most samples have porosity greater than 15% and permeability is mainly concentrated between 50 mD and 500 mD. It is shown that lithology type, microfacies, and diagenesis have significant impact on the reservoir quality. The reservoir qualities of very fine sandstone and fine sandstone are better than those of conglomerate and gravel-bearing sandstone. Instead of grain size, sorting affects the alluvial glutenite reservoir quality significantly. Oil-bearing samples commonly have sorting coefficient less than 2 while non-oil-bearing samples have sorting coefficient larger than 2. There are significant differences in reservoir physical properties of different sedimentary microfacies. The stream flow in mid-alluvial fan (SFMA) and braided channels outside alluvial fans (BCOA) have relatively weaker compaction and better reservoir quality than the overflow sand body (OFSB) and debris-flow in proximal alluvial fan (DFPA). Calcite cementation, the main cement in the study area, commonly developed at the base of SFMA and BCOA and near the sandstone-mudrock contacts. The source of calcium carbonate for calcite cement mainly came from around mudstone. High calcite cement content commonly results in low porosity and permeability. Individual glutenite thickness is also an important influencing factor on reservoir quality. Reservoirs with large thickness (>4 m) have high porosity and permeability. Dissolution occurred in the reservoir, forming secondary dissolution pores and improving reservoir quality. The dissolution fluid for formation of secondary pores is mainly meteoric waters instead of organic acid. The reservoir property has an important influence on hydrocarbon accumulation. The lower limit of physical properties of an effective reservoir is a porosity of 27% and permeability of 225 mD. The findings of this study can be utilized to predict the reservoir quality of alluvial glutenite reservoirs effectively in the Bohai Bay Basin and other similar basins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Petrological and Geochemical Characteristics of Reservoirs)
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31 pages, 11704 KiB  
Article
Petrology and Geochemistry of Highly Differentiated Tholeiitic Magmas: Granophyres in the Messejana–Plasencia Great Dyke (Central Iberia)
by David Orejana, Carlos Villaseca, Emma Losantos and Pilar Andonaegui
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030316 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 657
Abstract
The Messejana–Plasencia great dyke (MPGD) is a Late Triassic tholeiitic gabbro intrusion related to the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province. Its large outcrop extent (~530 km), combined with its prolongation below the Duero basin (additional 100 km), makes it one of the world’s largest [...] Read more.
The Messejana–Plasencia great dyke (MPGD) is a Late Triassic tholeiitic gabbro intrusion related to the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province. Its large outcrop extent (~530 km), combined with its prolongation below the Duero basin (additional 100 km), makes it one of the world’s largest dykes known. We have studied felsic granophyric bodies appearing in its northernmost segment at different scales, from mm-sized (interstitial micrographic pockets) to felsic dykes of up to 10 m thick and 1.5 km long, intruding within the gabbros. Significant differences exist in the mineral and whole-rock composition of gabbros and granophyres, including the Sr–Nd isotopic ratios. The chemical variation in the gabbros is coherent with fractionation of olivine, clinopyroxene and plagioclase at depth. However, the presence of a compositional gap between gabbros and granophyres (absence of intermediate compositions) and the formation of these late-stage intergranular felsic melts within the gabbro mesostasis suggest that they could be derived by liquid immiscibility. The Sr–Nd isotopic heterogeneity in the MPGD gabbros and the presence of zircons with Variscan ages (~286 Ma), inherited from granulitic rocks, indicate that the mafic magmas experienced some degree of lower crust assimilation during fractionation close to the Moho depth. On the contrary, the scarce xenocrystic Variscan zircon crystals found in a granophyric dyke within the MPGD gabbro display similar textures and ages (~299 Ma) to those of the country rock granites and point to contamination at a different crustal level. Full article
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16 pages, 3568 KiB  
Article
Distribution of Copper, Iron, and Sulfur in Copper Concentrate Particles during Oxidation under Simulated Flash Smelting Conditions
by Manuel Pérez-Tello, Valeria de la Paz-Ojeda, Víctor R. Parra-Sánchez, Eugenia A. Araneda-Hernández, Madrioly C. Fernández-Sagredo and Eduardo A. Villagrán-Guerra
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030315 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 533
Abstract
The distribution of copper, iron, and sulfur during the oxidation of La Caridad copper concentrate particles under simulated flash smelting conditions was studied in a laboratory reactor. Six wet-sieved size fractions and the unsieved copper concentrate were oxidized at 1123 K and 40% [...] Read more.
The distribution of copper, iron, and sulfur during the oxidation of La Caridad copper concentrate particles under simulated flash smelting conditions was studied in a laboratory reactor. Six wet-sieved size fractions and the unsieved copper concentrate were oxidized at 1123 K and 40% and 70% O2 by volume in the process gas during the experiments. Samples of partially oxidized particles were collected at 0.2, 0.8, and 0.9 m from the point of entry and analyzed in a QEMSCAN® unit to determine the elemental composition within the population of particles. The distribution of the major elements during oxidation was strongly dependent upon the size and chemical composition of the initial particles. Overall, the copper content tended to increase and sulfur content decreased along the reactor length within all sizes. In contrast, the distribution of iron did not follow a general trend, as it was found to increase, decrease, or remain unchanged depending on the particle size. This finding may represent a key feature to further investigate the reaction path followed by particles during flash smelting, especially those associated with particle fragmentation. In general, the larger the particle size was, the larger the change in the content of the major elements within the particle population. Based on the experimental results, particles within a size fraction of <45 µm tended to follow a reaction path consisting of rapid melting followed by the collision and coalescence of reacting droplets during flight. In contrast, particles within the fraction of 45–53 µm tended to react individually. The oxidation behavior of the unsieved concentrate particles showed a combination of both reaction paths. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermodynamics, Mechanism and Kinetics of Metallurgical Processes)
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12 pages, 2987 KiB  
Article
Leaching of Nickel and Cobalt from a Mixed Nickel-Cobalt Hydroxide Precipitate Using Organic Acids
by Shokrullah Hussaini, Angela Manka Tita, Sait Kursunoglu, Muammer Kaya and Pengbo Chu
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030314 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 708
Abstract
Nickel (Ni) and cobalt (Co) are strategic metals that have found applications in a wide range of metallurgical and industrial uses. In this study, the dissolution of a mixed nickel–cobalt hydroxide precipitate using organic acids (citric, oxalic, and malic acid) was investigated. Citric [...] Read more.
Nickel (Ni) and cobalt (Co) are strategic metals that have found applications in a wide range of metallurgical and industrial uses. In this study, the dissolution of a mixed nickel–cobalt hydroxide precipitate using organic acids (citric, oxalic, and malic acid) was investigated. Citric acid was found to be the best leaching agent yielding the following dissolution rates: 91.2% Ni, 86.8% Co, and 90.8% Mn. Oxalic acid resulted in low dissolution, which is likely due to the formation of insoluble metal oxalates. The impact of acid concentration, leaching time, and temperature on metal dissolution was systematically examined. The optimal dissolution conditions were identified as 0.5 M citric acid at 30 °C for 30 min, utilizing a 1/20 solid/liquid ratio and a stirring speed of 400 revolutions per minute (rpm). The attempt to use oxidants, such as potassium permanganate (KMnO4) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), to achieve selective dissolution in an organic acid environment was not successful, which was different from that in the sulfuric acid case. As for the leaching kinetics in the organic acids, it seems that the leaching of Ni correlates with the Shrinking Core Model, specifically regarding porous-layer diffusion control. Based on the experimental results, the activation energy for the leaching of Ni was estimated to be 3.1 kJ/mol. Full article
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20 pages, 3666 KiB  
Article
Trace Elements in Pernik Sub-Bituminous Coals and Their Combustion Products Derived from the Republika Thermal Power Station, Bulgaria
by Mariana G. Yossifova, Greta M. Eskenazy, Stanislav V. Vassilev and Dimitrina A. Dimitrova
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030313 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 618
Abstract
The contents of 49 trace elements in sub-bituminous Pernik coals and their waste products from preparation and combustion processes were investigated. The studied coals have trace element contents higher than the respective Clarke values for brown coals and some of them may pose [...] Read more.
The contents of 49 trace elements in sub-bituminous Pernik coals and their waste products from preparation and combustion processes were investigated. The studied coals have trace element contents higher than the respective Clarke values for brown coals and some of them may pose environmental concerns. The elements Li, Rb, Cs, Ba, Sc, Y, La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, Er, Ga, Zr, Sn, V, Nb, Ta, W, F, Cu, Zn, In, Pb, Cr, Co, Ni, and Th in the feed coals have concentrations that exceed twice the Clarke values. Most element contents in bottom ash are enriched compared with those in feed coal. Some of the volatile elements are equal or significantly depleted including Sn, Mo, Sb, F, Bi, Cd, Ge, and Pb. Fly ash has higher contents of Ga, Zr, Hf, Sn, V, Nb, Mo, and F in comparison with bottom ash. Most elements have a significant positive correlation with ash yield, indicating their inorganic association. The mixed wastes (coal slurry, bottom ash, and fly ash) in the disposal pond are slightly depleted of most of the elements studied with the exclusion of Cl, Ba, and Br. The Pernik coals and their waste products are unpromising for the extraction of REY due to their low element contents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Petrography, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry of Coals)
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18 pages, 6019 KiB  
Article
Fluid Mixing, Organic Matter, and the Origin of Permian Carbonate-Hosted Pb-Zn Deposits in SW China: New Insights from the Fuli Deposit
by Xingyu Liang, Bo Li, Xinyue Zhang, Huaikun Qin and Gao Li
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030312 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 602
Abstract
The Fuli Pb-Zn deposit is situated at the southwestern margin of the Yangtze Block in Yunnan. The deposit, which is hosted in the Permian Yangxin Formation dolomite, is a recent discovery. Our study indicates a significant presence of fluid inclusions in sphalerite from [...] Read more.
The Fuli Pb-Zn deposit is situated at the southwestern margin of the Yangtze Block in Yunnan. The deposit, which is hosted in the Permian Yangxin Formation dolomite, is a recent discovery. Our study indicates a significant presence of fluid inclusions in sphalerite from the Fuli Pb-Zn deposit, with fewer inclusions observed in dolomite and calcite. We conducted comprehensive petrographic, microthermometric, and laser Raman analyses on the inclusions within sphalerite and dolomite. Additionally, six samples of dolomite from the mineralization period were selected for H-O isotope analysis. The results of our study reveal the characteristics of ore-forming fluids and explore the mechanisms of ore formation. The study results indicate that the Fuli Pb-Zn deposit is a low- to medium-temperature hydrothermal deposit with fluid inclusions mainly composed of two-phase gas-liquid inclusions. Salinity and homogenization temperature analyses affirmed that there are two types of fluids present, one with low salinity and the other with high salinity. Laser Raman tests demonstrated the presence of CH4, N2, and CO2 in the gas phase of the inclusions. Microthermometric analyses indicated that the sphalerite ore-forming fluids consist of a multicomponent system of Mg2+ and Ca2+ enriched fluids. The features of the ore-forming fluids in the Fuli deposit arise from a blend of high-temperature, low-salinity metamorphic fluids and low-temperature, high-salinity basin brines. The basin brines in question have the potential to emanate from the Youjiang Basin. The formation of the ore is ascribed to the TSR and the mixing of fluids. The combination of these processes provided the requisite materials (SO42−), catalysts (Mg2+), and reducing agents (organic matter, CH4, and H2S) required to initiate the thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR). As the TSR proceeded, it caused a shift in the pH of the fluids, thus promoting the precipitation of metal sulfides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Deposits)
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15 pages, 13206 KiB  
Article
Immobilization Forms of Cadmium and Mercury in a Potassium-Activated Metakaolin-Based Geopolymer
by Pramesti Prihutami, Raudhatul Islam Chaerun, Yusuke Ohya, Tsubasa Otake, Ryosuke Kikuchi and Tsutomu Sato
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030311 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 873
Abstract
Previous studies of cadmium and mercury immobilization in geopolymers have produced inconsistent results due to their different pozzolans, metal concentrations, and mixing procedures. Understanding the effects of these parameters on heavy metal immobilization is key to predicting their long-term stability. In this study, [...] Read more.
Previous studies of cadmium and mercury immobilization in geopolymers have produced inconsistent results due to their different pozzolans, metal concentrations, and mixing procedures. Understanding the effects of these parameters on heavy metal immobilization is key to predicting their long-term stability. In this study, cadmium and mercury were incorporated into a metakaolin-based K-activated geopolymer by three mixing procedures and concentrations of 0.02–1.00 wt.%. The samples were then immersed in water for 90 d to determine their stability. The results show that mercury is readily leached from the geopolymer, but cadmium is retained. Adding the heavy metals in salt form converts the metals into cadmium hydroxide and mercury oxide that reside at the bottom of the geopolymer. Mixing the salts with water forms soluble heavy metals prior to geopolymerization. This procedure produces more-homogeneous geopolymers. Cadmium is associated with silicate and aluminate, giving a better stability, whereas mercury forms mercury oxide. Different cadmium and mercury concentrations do not change the metal speciation as mercury is affected by relativistic contribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Mineralogy, 2nd Edition)
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21 pages, 8608 KiB  
Article
Origin and Geological Implications of Monzogranites and Rhyolitic Porphyries in the Wunugetu Porphyry Copper–Molybdenum Deposit, Northeast China: Evidence from Zircon U-Pb-Hf Isotopes and Whole-Rock Geochemistry
by Qingshuang Wang, Yanchen Yang, Qiulin Fu, Zhongyue Zhang, Xiaodan Guo, Taotao Wu, Lu Chai, Yongheng Zhou and Yonghai An
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030310 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 563
Abstract
The Wunugetu deposit, a large-scale porphyry copper–molybdenum deposit, is located in the southern Erguna block. Its ore bodies are primarily found within monzogranites, granite porphyries, and biotite monzogranites. Additionally, the deposit contains late-stage intrusive dykes of rhyolitic porphyries. This study examined the deposit’s [...] Read more.
The Wunugetu deposit, a large-scale porphyry copper–molybdenum deposit, is located in the southern Erguna block. Its ore bodies are primarily found within monzogranites, granite porphyries, and biotite monzogranites. Additionally, the deposit contains late-stage intrusive dykes of rhyolitic porphyries. This study examined the deposit’s monzogranites and rhyolitic porphyries using lithogeochemistry, zircon U-Pb dating, and Hf isotopic analysis. The main findings include: (1) Zircon U-Pb dating showed that the monzogranites formed around 209.0 ± 1.0 Ma, whereas the rhyolitic porphyries in the northern portion formed around 170.49 ± 0.81 Ma, suggesting magmatic activity in the deposit spanned from the Late Triassic to the Middle Jurassic. (2) The monzogranites exhibited high silicon content (73.16–80.47 wt.%) and relatively low aluminum content (10.98–14.37 wt.%). They are enriched in alkalis (content: 3.42–10.10 wt.%) and deficient in magnesium and sodium, with aluminum saturation indices (A/CNK) ranging from 1.1 to 2.9. In addition, the monzogranites are enriched in large-ion lithophile elements (LILEs) such as Rb, K, and Ba and deficient in high-field-strength elements (HFSEs) like Nb, P, and Ti. (3) The monzogranites have low Zr + Nb + Ce + Y contents of (151.3–298.6 ppm) × 10−6 and 10,000 × Ga/Al ratios varying between 1.20 and 2.33, suggesting that they are characteristic of I-type granites. (4) Positive zircon εHf(t) values ranging from +0.3 to +7.6 in both rhyolitic porphyry and monzogranite samples, increasing with younger emplacement ages, imply that the deposit’s rocks originated from magmatic mixing between mantle-derived mafic magmas and remelts of the juvenile crust. Considering these results and the regional geological evolution, this study proposes that the Wunugetu deposit was formed in an active continental margin setting and was influenced by the Late Triassic–Middle Jurassic southeastward subduction of the Mongol-Okhotsk Ocean. Full article
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24 pages, 9958 KiB  
Article
Deciphering Iberian Variscan Orogen Magmatism Using the Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility from Granites
by Helena Sant’Ovaia, Cláudia Cruz, Ana Gonçalves, Pedro Nogueira and Fernando Noronha
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030309 - 15 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1032
Abstract
In this paper, we have synthesized the information derived from more than 20 papers and PhD theses on the anisotropy of the magnetic susceptibility (AMS) of 19 Variscan granite plutons, spanning the period between 320 Ma and 296 Ma. The AMS data are [...] Read more.
In this paper, we have synthesized the information derived from more than 20 papers and PhD theses on the anisotropy of the magnetic susceptibility (AMS) of 19 Variscan granite plutons, spanning the period between 320 Ma and 296 Ma. The AMS data are obtained from 876 sampling sites with more than 7080 AMS measurements and a re-interpretation is proposed. The studied granites exhibit a magnetic susceptibility (Km) ranging from 30 to 10,436 × 10−6 SI units. Most granites typically exhibit Km values below 1000 × 10−6 SI, indicative of paramagnetic behavior. Biotite serves as the main carrier of iron (Fe), emphasizing the reduced conditions prevalent during the formation of granite melts in the Variscan orogeny. The AMS fabrics of the studied granite plutons record the magma strain, expressing the chronologic evolution of the stress field during the orogeny. This chronologic approach highlights the magmatic events between around 330 and 315 Ma, occurring in an extensional regime, in which the Borralha pluton is an example of a suite that recorded this extensional AMS fabric. Plutons with ages between 315 and 305 Ma show AMS fabrics, pointing out their emplacement in a compressional tectonic regime related to the Variscan collision. The plutons, younger than 305 Ma, record AMS fabrics indicating that the tectonic setting for emplacement changes from a wrench regime to an extensional one at the end of the collision stage. This is evident as there is a chronological overlap between the granites that exhibit AMS fabrics indicating extension and the ones that have AMS fabrics indicating a wrench regime. Full article
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22 pages, 7614 KiB  
Article
Process Optimization of an In-Situ Bioleaching Section with Associated Membrane Filtration in a Field Test Laboratory
by Katja Götze, Sabrina Hedrich, Andreas Siegfried Braeuer and Roland Haseneder
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030308 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 692
Abstract
The winning of critical raw materials from secondary resources, e.g., from abandoned mines, mining residues, electronic waste or low-grade ores, is a potential source with promising outcomes due to innovative and more efficient extraction methods. The research and education mine “Reiche Zeche” at [...] Read more.
The winning of critical raw materials from secondary resources, e.g., from abandoned mines, mining residues, electronic waste or low-grade ores, is a potential source with promising outcomes due to innovative and more efficient extraction methods. The research and education mine “Reiche Zeche” at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany offers a scientific lab in a real application environment for an in-situ bioleaching section from a low-grade sulfide ore vein with on-site associated membrane downstream processing. The evaluation and resumption of previous research activities showed both the feasibility and the potential for further up-scaling. But there was also potential evaluated for improving the effectiveness, especially in terms of individual process elements within the leaching and membrane cycle as well as regarding microbiology. Based on this, further optimization was carried out and effectiveness was evaluated and compared to the prior state. The results regarding the leaching outcome proved that process optimization leads to stable and continuous leaching process operations as well as to improved and more favorable conditions for the microorganisms due to the implementation of a bioreactor and changing the whole leaching operation from a direct into an indirect process. Furthermore, cleaning in place (CIP) resulted in the maintenance of selectivity despite discontinuous membrane process operation. Full article
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14 pages, 6131 KiB  
Article
Eddavidite, Cu12Pb2O15Br2, a New Mineral Species, and Its Solid Solution with Murdochite, Cu12Pb2O15Cl2
by Melli Rosenblatt, Marcus J. Origlieri, Richard Graeme III, Richard Graeme IV, Douglas Graeme and Robert T. Downs
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030307 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 834
Abstract
Eddavidite is a new mineral species (IMA2018-010) with ideal formula, Cu12Pb2O15Br2, and cubic Fm3¯m symmetry: a = 9.2407(9) Å; V = 789.1(2) Å3; Z = 2. Eddavidite is the bromine [...] Read more.
Eddavidite is a new mineral species (IMA2018-010) with ideal formula, Cu12Pb2O15Br2, and cubic Fm3¯m symmetry: a = 9.2407(9) Å; V = 789.1(2) Å3; Z = 2. Eddavidite is the bromine analog of murdochite, Cu12Pb2O15Cl2, with which it forms a solid solution series. The type locality is the Southwest mine, Bisbee, Cochise County, Arizona, U.S.A. Eddavidite also occurs in the Ojuela mine, Mapimí, Durango, Mexico. Eddavidite occurs as domains within mixed murdochite–eddavidite crystals. The empirical formula, normalized to 12 Cu apfu, is Cu12(Pb1.92Fe0.06Si0.06)(O15.08F0.02)-(Br0.99Cl0.890.12). Type locality samples contain up to 67% eddavidite component, while Ojuela mine samples contain up to 62%. Mixed eddavidite–murdochite crystals show forms {100} and {111}; the habit grades from cubic through cuboctahedral to octahedral. Mixed eddavidite–-murdochite crystals exhibit good cleavage on {111}. Eddavidite is black, opaque with submetallic luster, and visually indistinguishable from intergrown murdochite. Its Mohs hardness is 4; dmeas. = 6.33 g/cm3, dcalc. = 6.45 g/cm3. The crystal structure, refined to R = 0.0112, consists of corner-sharing square planar CuO4 units, arranged in Cu12O24 metal oxide clusters, which encapsulate Br atoms. PbO8 cubes share edges with Cu12O24 clusters in a continuous framework. Eddavidite incorporates bromine remaining after desiccation of paleo-seawater at its two known localities, which were both once situated along the Western Interior Seaway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection New Minerals)
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17 pages, 3276 KiB  
Article
Preconcentration of a Medium-Grade Celestine Ore by Dense Medium Cyclone Using a Factorial Design
by Noemi Ariza-Rodríguez, Alejandro B. Rodríguez-Navarro, Francisco Ortega, Mónica Calero de Hoces and Mario J. Muñoz-Batista
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030306 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 655
Abstract
A semi-industrial scale hydrocyclone with a 250 mm internal diameter was used to concentrate medium-grade celestine ore (75%–85% celestine) from the Montevive deposit of Granada (Spain) using a dense ferrosilicon (FeSi) medium. For this purpose, a Box–Behnken factorial design (BBD) was carried out, [...] Read more.
A semi-industrial scale hydrocyclone with a 250 mm internal diameter was used to concentrate medium-grade celestine ore (75%–85% celestine) from the Montevive deposit of Granada (Spain) using a dense ferrosilicon (FeSi) medium. For this purpose, a Box–Behnken factorial design (BBD) was carried out, with the response variable being the Sr concentration measured by X-ray fluorescence (XRF), as well as the concentration of celestine measured by X-ray diffraction (XRD) of the mineral collected from the under (sunk) stream of the hydrocyclone. The experimental factors to be optimised were the density of the medium in the mixing tank (water, FeSi, and feed mineral) varying from 2.7 to 2.9 kg/L, the hydrocyclone inlet pressure from 0.8 to 1.2 bar, and the hydrocyclone inclination (from 15° to 25° from the horizontal). The range of densities of the dense medium to be tested was determined from previous sink–float experiments using medium-grade ore, in which the distribution of mineral phases with different particle size fractions was determined. To evaluate the separation behaviour, the following parameters were considered: the enrichment ratio (E), the tailings discarding ratio (R), and the mineral processing recovery (ε). From the factorial design and the response surface, the optimum parameters maximising celestine concentration in the under stream (78%), were determined. These optimised parameters were: a density of 2.75 kg/L for the dense medium, an inlet pressure of 1.05 bar, and a hydrocyclone inclination varying from 18° to 20°. Under these conditions, a 94% recovery of celestine (68% Sr) can be achieved. These results show that medium-grade celestine ore, accumulated in mine tailings dumps, can be effectively concentrated using DMS hydrocyclones and that the operating parameters can be optimised using a factorial experiment design. This study can contribute to reducing overexploitation of strategic mineral resources, avoiding blasting and environmentally damaging clearing, by applying a simple and sustainable technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy)
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18 pages, 2471 KiB  
Article
Linear Correlations of Gibbs Free Energy of REE Phosphates (Monazite, Xenotime, and Rhabdophane) and Internally Consistent Binary Mixing Properties
by Ruiguang Pan, Alexander P. Gysi, Artas Migdisov, Lei Gong, Peng Lu and Chen Zhu
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030305 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 736
Abstract
Rare Earth Elements (REE) phosphates (monazite, xenotime, and rhabdophane) are critical REE-bearing minerals typically formed in hydrothermal and magmatic ore deposits. The thermodynamic properties of those REE minerals are crucial to understanding the solubility, speciation, and transport of REE complexes. However, the standard-state [...] Read more.
Rare Earth Elements (REE) phosphates (monazite, xenotime, and rhabdophane) are critical REE-bearing minerals typically formed in hydrothermal and magmatic ore deposits. The thermodynamic properties of those REE minerals are crucial to understanding the solubility, speciation, and transport of REE complexes. However, the standard-state Gibbs free energy of formation (∆G°f) values reported for these minerals in the literature vary by up to 25 kJ mol−1. Here, we present linear free energy relationships that allow the evaluation and estimation of the ∆G°f values at 25 °C and 1 bar for the three minerals from the ionic radius (rREE3+) and the non-solvation Gibbs free energy contribution to the REE3+ aqua ion (∆G°n, REE3+): ∆G°f,monazite − 399.71 rREE3+ = 1.0059 ∆G°n,REE3+ − 2522.51; ∆G°f,xenotime − 344.08 rREE3+ = 0.9909 ∆G°n,REE3+ − 2451.53; and ∆G°f,rhabdophane − 416.17 rREE3+ = 1.0067 ∆G°n, REE3+ − 2688.86. Moreover, based on the new dataset derived for REE end-members, we re-fitted the binary Margules parameter (W) from previous theoretical calculations into linear correlations: W + 0.00204 ∆G°n,monazite = 39.3549 ∆V + 0.0641; W + 0.00255 ∆G°n,xenotime = 25.4885 ∆V − 0.0062. The internally consistent thermodynamic properties of these REE phosphates are incorporated into the computer program Supcrtbl, which is available online at Zhu’s research website. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology)
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23 pages, 11218 KiB  
Article
Genesis of the Beizhan Iron Deposit in Western Tianshan, China: Insights from Trace Element and Fe-O Isotope Compositions of Magnetite
by Yan Li, Zongsheng Jiang, Dachuan Wang, Zuoheng Zhang and Shigang Duan
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030304 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 707
Abstract
The Beizhan iron deposit (468 Mt at an average grade of 41% Fe) is the largest iron deposit in the Awulale iron metallogenic belt of Western Tianshan, northwest China. The high-grade magnetite ores are hosted in the Carboniferous volcanic rocks with extensive development [...] Read more.
The Beizhan iron deposit (468 Mt at an average grade of 41% Fe) is the largest iron deposit in the Awulale iron metallogenic belt of Western Tianshan, northwest China. The high-grade magnetite ores are hosted in the Carboniferous volcanic rocks with extensive development of skarn alteration assemblages. While considerable progress has been made in understanding the characteristics of Beizhan and its genetic association with volcanic rocks, the genetic models for ore formation are poorly constrained and remain controversial. This study combines detailed petrographic investigations with in situ LA-ICP-MS analyses of trace elements and Fe-O isotope compositions of magnetite to elucidate the origin of magnetite and the conditions of ore formation. The trace element concentrations in magnetite unveil intricate origins for various ore types, implying the precipitation of magnetite from both magmatic and hydrothermal fluids. The application of the Mg-in magnetite thermometer (TMg-mag) reveals a notable temperature divergence across different magnetite varieties, spanning from relatively higher temperatures in magmatic brecciated magnetite (averaging ~641 and 612 °C) to comparatively lower temperatures in hydrothermal platy magnetite (averaging ~552 °C). The iron isotopic composition in massive and brecciated magnetite grains, characterized by lighter δ56Fe values (ranging from −0.078 to +0.005‰ and −0.178 to −0.015‰, respectively), suggest a magmatic or high-temperature hydrothermal origin. Conversely, the heavier δ56Fe values observed in platy magnetite (+0.177 to +0.200‰) are attributed to the influence of pyrrhotite, signifying late precipitation from low-temperature hydrothermal fluids. Additionally, the δ18O values of magnetite, ranging from +0.6 to +4.6‰, provide additional evidence supporting a magmatic–hydrothermal origin for the Beizhan iron deposit. Overall, the identified genetic associations among the three magnetite types at Beizhan provide valuable insights into the evolution of ore-forming conditions and the genesis of the deposit. These findings strongly support the conclusion that the Beizhan iron deposit underwent a process of magmatic–hydrothermal mineralization. Full article
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27 pages, 4163 KiB  
Article
Chemical Characteristics and Distribution Prediction of Hydrocarbon Source Rocks in the Continental Lacustrine Basin of the Chang 7 Member in the Heshui Area of the Ordos Basin, China
by Ling Xiao, Wei Tian, Linjun Yu, Ming Zhao and Qinlian Wei
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030303 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 600
Abstract
The Heshui area within the Ordos Basin holds significant strategic importance for the extraction and development of tight oil resources in the Changqing Oilfield. This study extensively explored the geochemical features and distribution tendencies of source rocks in the Chang 7 member, utilizing [...] Read more.
The Heshui area within the Ordos Basin holds significant strategic importance for the extraction and development of tight oil resources in the Changqing Oilfield. This study extensively explored the geochemical features and distribution tendencies of source rocks in the Chang 7 member, utilizing core samples and logging data for a comprehensive analysis. A more advanced model was utilized to predict the dispersion of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) in the Chang 7 member source rock. The properties and hydrocarbon generation potential of source rocks were thoroughly assessed through a comprehensive analysis that involved evaluating their total organic carbon content, pyrolysis parameters, and reflectance (Ro) values. The research concluded that the source rocks boast substantial organic matter, predominantly categorized as type II-I organic material. The thermal maturation levels span from low maturity to maturity, signifying significant potential for oil generation. Generally, the source rock quality falls within the range of good to excellent. Sedimentary patterns notably influence the distribution of hydrocarbon-source rocks. The northeastern sector of the study area is situated in an area characterized by deep to semi-deep lake sedimentation, making it the primary location for the presence of Chang 7 member hydrocarbon source rocks. With a thickness ranging from 40 to 70 m, this zone becomes a pivotal focus for the potential exploration of tight oil resources in the future. The results of this study offer crucial insights for understanding the geochemical characteristics of hydrocarbon source rocks, evaluating their potential for hydrocarbon generation, and forecasting favorable zones for oil and gas exploration in similar regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology)
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19 pages, 8086 KiB  
Article
Efficient Aqueous Copper Removal by Burnt Tire-Derived Carbon-Based Nanostructures and Their Utilization as Catalysts
by Iviwe Cwaita Arunachellan, Madhumita Bhaumik, Hendrik Gideon Brink, Kriveshini Pillay and Arjun Maity
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030302 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 687
Abstract
This research focuses on valorising waste burnt tires (BTs) through a two-phase oxidation process, leading to the production of onion-like carbon-based nanostructures. The initial carbonization of BTs yielded activated carbon (AC), denoted as “BTSA”, followed by further oxidation using the modified Hummer’s method [...] Read more.
This research focuses on valorising waste burnt tires (BTs) through a two-phase oxidation process, leading to the production of onion-like carbon-based nanostructures. The initial carbonization of BTs yielded activated carbon (AC), denoted as “BTSA”, followed by further oxidation using the modified Hummer’s method to produce onion-like carbon designated as “BTHM”. Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area measurements showed 5.49 m2/g, 19.88 m2/g, and 71.08 m2/g for raw BT, BTSA, and BTHM, respectively. Additional surface functionalization oxidations were observed through Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) analyses. Raman spectroscopy indicated an increased graphitic nature during each oxidation stage. BTHM was assessed in batch adsorption studies for cupric wastewater remediation, revealing a two-phase pseudo-first-order behaviour dominated by mass transfer to BTHM. The maximum adsorption capacity for Cu2+ on BTHM was determined as 136.1 mg/g at 25 °C. Langmuir adsorption isotherm best described BTHM at a solution pH of 6, while kinetics studies suggested pseudo-second-order kinetics. Furthermore, BTHM, laden with Cu2+, served as a catalyst in a model coupling reaction of para-idoanisole and phenol, successfully yielding the desired product. This study highlights the promising potential of BTHM for both environmental remediation and catalytic reuse applications to avoid the generation of secondary environmental waste by the spent adsorbent. Full article
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16 pages, 3450 KiB  
Article
Zircon U-Pb Dating of the Irizar Granite in the Central Victoria Land, Antarctica: Insights into the Tectonic Evolution along the Ross Orogen
by Shaocong Chen, Yingchun Cui, Shi Zong, Hao Zhang, Weixuan Wang, Shenggui Li and Chenguang Liu
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030301 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 662
Abstract
It has been accepted that granitoids of the Irizar unit in the Central Victoria Land (Antarctica), as an important part of the Granite Harbour Intrusives, were formed in a post-collisional setting during the Ross orogeny along the margin of east Gondwana. However, the [...] Read more.
It has been accepted that granitoids of the Irizar unit in the Central Victoria Land (Antarctica), as an important part of the Granite Harbour Intrusives, were formed in a post-collisional setting during the Ross orogeny along the margin of east Gondwana. However, the emplacement ages of the Irizar unit remain poorly constrained, making it difficult to form a more complete picture of the geodynamic evolution of the Ross orogen and its counterpart (Delamerian orogen) in southeast Australia. In this work, four syenogranite samples from the Irizar unit were chosen for SHRIMP zircon U-Pb dating, which yielded ages of 507.8–489.7 Ma. The new geochronological data indicate that the post-collisional extension in the Central Victoria Land had begun by ~508 Ma, much earlier than previously thought (i.e., 490–480 Ma). Integrated with U-Pb ages for Early Paleozoic granitoids from the literature, the Ross–Delamerian orogen shows that the post-collisional granitic magmatism initiated at ~515 Ma in the Central Transantarctic Mountains and northward systematically decreased to ~508 Ma in the Victoria Land, and then to ~487 Ma in southeast Australia. This can be explained well by the propagating northward transition from pre- and syn-collisional compression to post-collisional extension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology)
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15 pages, 5549 KiB  
Article
Efficient Recovery of Feldspar, Quartz, and Kaolin from Weathered Granite
by Hongjun Huang, Shihan Li, Haoran Gou, Ning Zhang and Liming Liu
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030300 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 2923
Abstract
Weathered granite contains a high concentration of feldspar, quartz, and kaolin. However, while it becomes rich in clay due to strong physical weathering, the granite minerals that are not fully weathered are still very hard, which makes the grinding process more difficult and [...] Read more.
Weathered granite contains a high concentration of feldspar, quartz, and kaolin. However, while it becomes rich in clay due to strong physical weathering, the granite minerals that are not fully weathered are still very hard, which makes the grinding process more difficult and limits its use. This study proposes a multi-step process involving grinding, desliming, and flotation to address this issue. The study determines the appropriate grinding time and power index for the original ore, as well as the optimal desliming method using a hydrocyclone. To remove iron-containing impurities like mica, a combination of NaOL/BHA/A CO collectors is used for the reverse rough flotation of quartz. Additionally, a combination of DDA/SDS collectors is employed to separate quartz and feldspar through flotation, resulting in a quartz product with a silicon dioxide content of 99.51%. The objective of efficiently recycling feldspar, quartz, and kaolin from weathered granite is accomplished. Additionally, the inclusion of intermediate mineral components as by-products of feldspar and raw materials for aerated bricks is introduced, resulting in the complete utilization of all components. This innovative approach ensures a clean and environmentally friendly process, eliminating the need for solid waste disposal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry)
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16 pages, 285 KiB  
Article
Trace Silicon Determination in Biological Samples by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS): Insight into the Volatility of Silicon Species in Hydrofluoric Acid Digests for Optimal Sample Preparation and Introduction to ICP-MS
by Zikri Arslan and Heather Lowers
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030299 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 668
Abstract
A method for the determination of trace levels of silicon from biological materials by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) has been developed. The volatility of water-soluble silicon species, hexafluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6), and sodium metasilicate (Na2SiO3 [...] Read more.
A method for the determination of trace levels of silicon from biological materials by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) has been developed. The volatility of water-soluble silicon species, hexafluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6), and sodium metasilicate (Na2SiO3) was investigated by evaporating respective solutions (50 µg/mL silicon) in nitric acid (HNO3), nitric acid + hydrochloric acid (HNO3 + HCl), and nitric acid + hydrochloric acid + hydrofluoric acid (HNO3 + HCl + HF) at 120 °C on a hot-block to near dryness. The loss of silicon from H2SiF6 solutions was substantial (>99%) regardless of the digestion medium. Losses were also substantial (>98%) for metasilicate solutions heated in HNO3 + HCl + HF, while no significant loss occurred in HNO3 or HNO3 + HCl. These results show that H2SiF6 species were highly volatile and potential losses could confound accuracy at trace level determinations by ICP-MS if digestates prepared in HF are heated to eliminate HF. Among the various matrices comprising major elements, sodium appeared to be effective in reducing silicon loss from H2SiF6 solutions. Excess sodium chloride (NaCl) matrix provided better stability, improving silicon recoveries by up to about 80% in evaporated HF digestates of soil and mine waste samples, but losses could not be fully prevented. To safely remove excess acids and circumvent the adverse effects of excess HF (e.g., risk of high Si background signals), a two-step digestion scheme was adopted for the preparation of biological samples containing trace silicon levels. A closed-vessel digestion was performed either in 4 mL of concentrated HNO3 and 1 mL of concentrated HCl or 4 mL of concentrated HNO3, 1 mL of concentrated HCl and 1 mL of concentrated HClO4 on a hot plate at 140 °C. Digestates were then evaporated to incipient dryness at 120 °C to remove the acids. A second closed-vessel digestion was carried out to dissolve silicates in 0.5 mL of concentrated HNO3 and 0.5 mL of concentrated HF at 130 °C. After digestion, digestates were diluted to 10 mL. The solution containing about 5% HNO3 and 5% HF was directly analyzed by ICP-MS equipped with an HF-inert sample introduction system. The limit of detection was about 110 µg/L for 28Si when using the Kinetic Energy Discrimination (KED) mode. The method was used to determine silicon in various plant and tissue certified reference materials. Data were acquired for 28Si using KED and standard (STD) modes, and 74Ge and 103Rh as internal standard elements. There was not any significant difference between the accuracy and precision of the results obtained with 74Ge and 103Rh within the same measurement mode. Precision, calculated as relative standard deviation for four replicate analyses, varied from 5.3 (tomato leaves) to 21% (peach leaves) for plant and from 2.2 (oyster tissue) to 33% (bovine liver) for tissue SRM/CRMs. Poor precision was attributed to material heterogeneity and the large particle size distribution. An analysis of lung tissue samples from those with occupational exposure to silica dust revealed that tissues possessed substantial levels of water-soluble silicates, but the most silicon was present in the particulate matter fraction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogic Analysis of Respirable Dust)
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11 pages, 771 KiB  
Article
Lead and Copper Removal from Mine Tailings Using Lycium chilense and Haplopappus foliosus
by Pamela Lazo, Andrea Lazo, Henrik K. Hansen, Claudia Gutiérrez and Rodrigo Ortiz-Soto
Minerals 2024, 14(3), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14030298 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 696
Abstract
In Chile, the budget for managing environmental liabilities such as abandoned tailings impoundments is limited. Using native and endemic plant species to remove heavy metals from tailings represents a low-cost alternative. Ex situ phytoremediation experiments were conducted over a period of seven months. [...] Read more.
In Chile, the budget for managing environmental liabilities such as abandoned tailings impoundments is limited. Using native and endemic plant species to remove heavy metals from tailings represents a low-cost alternative. Ex situ phytoremediation experiments were conducted over a period of seven months. The endemic species Lycium chilense and native species Haplopappus foliosus were used to remove copper and lead from mine tailings. The results indicate that both species can concentrate levels of Cu and Pb higher than the toxicity threshold in the roots and aerial parts, and present high removal efficiency for Cu higher than 50%. In both species, the concentrations of the target elements are higher in the roots than in the aerial parts. Haplopappus foliosus presents the best performance, accumulating higher concentrations of Cu and Pb than Lycium chilense, and presenting a bioconcentration of over one for Cu. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry)
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