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Minerals, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2013), Pages 337-449

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Application of Double-Difference Seismic Tomography to Carbon Sequestration Monitoring at the Aneth Oil Field, Utah
Minerals 2013, 3(4), 352-366; doi:10.3390/min3040352
Received: 3 September 2013 / Revised: 11 October 2013 / Accepted: 14 October 2013 / Published: 23 October 2013
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Abstract
Double difference seismic tomography was performed using travel time data from a carbon sequestration site at the Aneth oil field in southeast Utah as part of a Department of Energy initiative on monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) of sequestered CO2. A
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Double difference seismic tomography was performed using travel time data from a carbon sequestration site at the Aneth oil field in southeast Utah as part of a Department of Energy initiative on monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) of sequestered CO2. A total of 1211 seismic events were recorded from a borehole array consisting of 23 geophones. Artificial velocity models were created to determine the likelihood of detecting a CO2 plume with an unfavorable event and receiver arrangement. In tests involving artificially modeled ray paths through a velocity model, ideal event and receiver arrangements clearly show velocity reductions. When incorporating the unfavorable event and station locations from the Aneth Unit into synthetic models, the ability to detect velocity reductions is greatly diminished. Using the actual, recorded travel times, the Aneth Unit results show differences between a synthetic baseline model and the travel times obtained in the field, but the differences do not clearly indicate a region of injected CO2. MVA accuracy and precision may be improved through the use of a receiver array that provides more comprehensive ray path coverage, and a more detailed baseline velocity model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CO2 Sequestration by Mineral Carbonation: Challenges and Advances)
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Open AccessArticle Geobiological Cycling of Gold: From Fundamental Process Understanding to Exploration Solutions
Minerals 2013, 3(4), 367-394; doi:10.3390/min3040367
Received: 7 September 2013 / Revised: 16 October 2013 / Accepted: 21 October 2013 / Published: 4 November 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microbial communities mediating gold cycling occur on gold grains from (sub)-tropical, (semi)-arid, temperate and subarctic environments. The majority of identified species comprising these biofilms are β-Proteobacteria. Some bacteria, e.g., Cupriavidus metallidurans, Delftia acidovorans and Salmonella typhimurium, have developed biochemical responses to
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Microbial communities mediating gold cycling occur on gold grains from (sub)-tropical, (semi)-arid, temperate and subarctic environments. The majority of identified species comprising these biofilms are β-Proteobacteria. Some bacteria, e.g., Cupriavidus metallidurans, Delftia acidovorans and Salmonella typhimurium, have developed biochemical responses to deal with highly toxic gold complexes. These include gold specific sensing and efflux, co-utilization of resistance mechanisms for other metals, and excretion of gold-complex-reducing siderophores that ultimately catalyze the biomineralization of nano-particulate, spheroidal and/or bacteriomorphic gold. In turn, the toxicity of gold complexes fosters the development of specialized biofilms on gold grains, and hence the cycling of gold in surface environments. This was not reported on isoferroplatinum grains under most near-surface environments, due to the lower toxicity of mobile platinum complexes. The discovery of gold-specific microbial responses can now drive the development of geobiological exploration tools, e.g., gold bioindicators and biosensors. Bioindicators employ genetic markers from soils and groundwaters to provide information about gold mineralization processes, while biosensors will allow in-field analyses of gold concentrations in complex sampling media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)
Open AccessArticle Microbial Reducibility of Fe(III) Phases Associated with the Genesis of Iron Ore Caves in the Iron Quadrangle, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Minerals 2013, 3(4), 395-411; doi:10.3390/min3040395
Received: 6 September 2013 / Revised: 2 November 2013 / Accepted: 15 November 2013 / Published: 26 November 2013
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Abstract
The iron mining regions of Brazil contain thousands of “iron ore caves” (IOCs) that form within Fe(III)-rich deposits. The mechanisms by which these IOCs form remain unclear, but the reductive dissolution of Fe(III) (hydr)oxides by Fe(III) reducing bacteria (FeRB) could provide a microbiological
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The iron mining regions of Brazil contain thousands of “iron ore caves” (IOCs) that form within Fe(III)-rich deposits. The mechanisms by which these IOCs form remain unclear, but the reductive dissolution of Fe(III) (hydr)oxides by Fe(III) reducing bacteria (FeRB) could provide a microbiological mechanism for their formation. We evaluated the susceptibility of Fe(III) deposits associated with these caves to reduction by the FeRB Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 to test this hypothesis. Canga, an Fe(III)-rich duricrust, contained poorly crystalline Fe(III) phases that were more susceptible to reduction than the Fe(III) (predominantly hematite) associated with banded iron formation (BIF), iron ore, and mine spoil. In all cases, the addition of a humic acid analogue enhanced Fe(III) reduction, presumably by shuttling electrons from S. oneidensis to Fe(III) phases. The particle size and quartz-Si content of the solids appeared to exert control on the rate and extent of Fe(III) reduction by S. oneidensis, with more bioreduction of Fe(III) associated with solid phases containing more quartz. Our results provide evidence that IOCs may be formed by the activities of Fe(III) reducing bacteria (FeRB), and the rate of this formation is dependent on the physicochemical and mineralogical characteristics of the Fe(III) phases of the surrounding rock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)
Open AccessArticle Primary Phases and Natural Weathering of Smelting Slag at an Abandoned Mine Site in Southwest Japan
Minerals 2013, 3(4), 412-426; doi:10.3390/min3040412
Received: 12 October 2013 / Revised: 26 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 13 December 2013
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Abstract
Artisanal metallurgical slag produced more than 50 years ago at a mine site in southwest Japan is rich in toxic metals and metalloids. Some of the slag remains on a waste dump and could contaminate the surrounding area through the dissolution of heavy
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Artisanal metallurgical slag produced more than 50 years ago at a mine site in southwest Japan is rich in toxic metals and metalloids. Some of the slag remains on a waste dump and could contaminate the surrounding area through the dissolution of heavy metals and metalloids during weathering. To assess this risk, this study has investigated the behavior of the toxic elements in the smelting slag during weathering. Most of the potentially toxic elements are contained in willemite and/or matte drops. Maximum metal and metalloid concentrations in the slag are 28.1 wt % Fe, 22.7 wt % Zn, 1.63 wt % Cu, 3450 mg/kg Sn, 826 mg/kg Pb, 780 mg/kg As, and 116 mg/kg Cd. Zn is mainly contained in willemite, whereas other metals and metalloids are mainly concentrated in matte drops. The willemite and matte drops are converted to Fe-hydroxides during weathering, indicating that potentially toxic metals and metalloids contained in these phases are released by weathering processes. Therefore, weathering of the artisanal metallurgical slag, containing large amounts of willemite and matte drops, may pollute the surrounding environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mine Waste Characterization, Management and Remediation)
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Open AccessArticle Mineralogical Study of a Biologically-Based Treatment System That Removes Arsenic, Zinc and Copper from Landfill Leachate
Minerals 2013, 3(4), 427-449; doi:10.3390/min3040427
Received: 20 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 5 December 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (7315 KB) | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Mineralogical characterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and a high throughput automated quantitative evaluation of minerals by scanning electron microscopy (QEMSCAN) was conducted on samples from a sulphate-reducing biochemical reactor (BCR) treating high concentrations of metals (As, Zn, Cu) in smelter waste landfill seepage.
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Mineralogical characterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and a high throughput automated quantitative evaluation of minerals by scanning electron microscopy (QEMSCAN) was conducted on samples from a sulphate-reducing biochemical reactor (BCR) treating high concentrations of metals (As, Zn, Cu) in smelter waste landfill seepage. The samples were also subjected to energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis of specific particles. The bulk analysis results revealed that the samples consisted mainly of silicate and carbonate minerals. More detailed phase analysis indicated four different classes: zinc-arsenic sulphosalts/sulphates, zinc-arsenic oxides, zinc phosphates and zinc-lead sulphosalts/sulphates. This suggests that sulphates and sulphides are the predominant types of Zn and As minerals formed in the BCR. Sphalerite (ZnS) was a common mineral observed in many of the samples. In addition, X-ray point analysis showed evidence of As and Zn coating around feldspar and amphibole particles. The presence of arsenic-zinc-iron, with or without cadmium particles, indicated arsenopyrite minerals. Copper-iron-sulphide particles suggested chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and tennantite (Cu,Fe)12As4S13. Microbial communities found in each sample were correlated with metal content to describe taxonomic groups associated with high-metal samples. The research results highlight mineral grains that were present or formed at the site that might be the predominant forms of immobilized arsenic, zinc and copper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)

Review

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Open AccessReview Arsenic-Microbe-Mineral Interactions in Mining-Affected Environments
Minerals 2013, 3(4), 337-351; doi:10.3390/min3040337
Received: 29 August 2013 / Revised: 20 September 2013 / Accepted: 23 September 2013 / Published: 9 October 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1077 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The toxic element arsenic (As) occurs widely in solid and liquid mine wastes. Aqueous forms of arsenic are taken up in As-bearing sulfides, arsenides, sulfosalts, oxides, oxyhydroxides, Fe-oxides, -hydroxides, -oxyhydroxides and -sulfates, and Fe-, Ca-Fe- and other arsenates. Although a considerable body of
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The toxic element arsenic (As) occurs widely in solid and liquid mine wastes. Aqueous forms of arsenic are taken up in As-bearing sulfides, arsenides, sulfosalts, oxides, oxyhydroxides, Fe-oxides, -hydroxides, -oxyhydroxides and -sulfates, and Fe-, Ca-Fe- and other arsenates. Although a considerable body of research has demonstrated that microbes play a significant role in the precipitation and dissolution of these As-bearing minerals, and in the alteration of the redox state of As, in natural and simulated mining environments, the molecular-scale mechanisms of these interactions are still not well understood. Further research is required using traditional and novel mineralogical, spectroscopic and microbiological techniques to further advance this field, and to help design remediation schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)

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