Next Issue
Previous Issue

Table of Contents

Minerals, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2014), Pages 1-190

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-11
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Minerals in 2013
Minerals 2014, 4(1), 116-117; doi:10.3390/min4010116
Received: 27 February 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
PDF Full-text (239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract The editors of Minerals would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2013. [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Investigating the Effects of Se Solid Phase Substitution in Jarosite Minerals Influenced by Bacterial Reductive Dissolution
Minerals 2014, 4(1), 17-36; doi:10.3390/min4010017
Received: 17 October 2013 / Revised: 8 January 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2014 / Published: 22 January 2014
PDF Full-text (1637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Jarosite minerals (AB3(TO4)2(OH)6) are iron hydroxysulfate minerals that can readily incorporate trace metals into their mineral structure. A range of metals can be incorporated into the jarosite structure, including oxyanions such as selenate (SeO4
[...] Read more.
Jarosite minerals (AB3(TO4)2(OH)6) are iron hydroxysulfate minerals that can readily incorporate trace metals into their mineral structure. A range of metals can be incorporated into the jarosite structure, including oxyanions such as selenate (SeO42−). Selenium is a micronutrient, but is toxic in relatively low doses. Selenium is present in aqueous systems in its two oxyanion forms: selenate and selenite (SeO32−). The tetrahedral sulfate coordination site can be completely substituted for selenate in jarosite minerals (NaFe3(SO4)x(SeO4)2-x(OH)6). Bacteria have been observed to reduce Se oxyanions to both more reduced forms and insoluble elemental Se. This is a pathway for selenium immobilization at contaminated sites. This experiment investigates the reductive dissolution of two Se-jarosites (solid substitution containing high and low selenium concentrations) in the presence of Shewanella putrefaciens CN32. It was observed that both Fe(III) and selenate were metabolically reduced and released into solution through jarosite dissolution . Selenate was also found to be incorporated intracellularly and reduced to particulate Se which was released upon cell lysis. Compared to the abiotic samples, enhanced dissolution was found with both the live and dead bacteria treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)
Open AccessArticle Thermal Treatment of Mercury Mine Wastes Using a Rotary Solar Kiln
Minerals 2014, 4(1), 37-51; doi:10.3390/min4010037
Received: 20 November 2013 / Revised: 24 January 2014 / Accepted: 24 January 2014 / Published: 28 January 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1833 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thermal desorption, by a rotary kiln of mercury contaminated soil and mine wastes, has been used in order to volatilize mercury from the contaminated medium. Solar thermal desorption is an innovative treatment that uses solar energy to increase the volatility of contaminants, which
[...] Read more.
Thermal desorption, by a rotary kiln of mercury contaminated soil and mine wastes, has been used in order to volatilize mercury from the contaminated medium. Solar thermal desorption is an innovative treatment that uses solar energy to increase the volatility of contaminants, which are removed from a solid matrix by a controlled air flow system. Samples of soils and mine wastes used in the experiments were collected in the abandoned Valle del Azogue mine (SE, Spain), where a complex ore, composed mainly of cinnabar, arsenic minerals (realgar and orpiment) and stibnite, was mined. The results showed that thermal treatment at temperatures >400 °C successfully lowered the Hg content (2070–116 ppm) to <15 mg kg−1. The lowest values of mercury in treated samples were obtained at a higher temperature and exposition time. The samples that showed a high removal efficiency (>99%) were associated with the presence of significant contents of cinnabar and an equivalent diameter above 0.8 mm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mine Waste Characterization, Management and Remediation)
Open AccessArticle Membrane Vesicles as a Novel Strategy for Shedding Encrusted Cell Surfaces
Minerals 2014, 4(1), 74-88; doi:10.3390/min4010074
Received: 10 December 2013 / Revised: 24 January 2014 / Accepted: 27 January 2014 / Published: 7 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2816 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Surface encrustation by minerals, which impedes cellular metabolism, is a potential hazard for microbes. The reduction of U(VI) to U(IV) by Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1 leads to the precipitation of the mineral uraninite, as well as a non-crystalline U(IV) product. The wild-type (WT)
[...] Read more.
Surface encrustation by minerals, which impedes cellular metabolism, is a potential hazard for microbes. The reduction of U(VI) to U(IV) by Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1 leads to the precipitation of the mineral uraninite, as well as a non-crystalline U(IV) product. The wild-type (WT) strain can produce extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), prompting precipitation of U some distance from the cells and precluding encrustation. Using cryo-transmission electron microscopy and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy we show that, in the biofilm-deficient mutant ∆mxdA, as well as in the WT strain to a lesser extent, we observe the formation of membrane vesicles (MVs) as an additional means to lessen encrustation. Additionally, under conditions in which the WT does not produce EPS, formation of MVs was the only observed mechanism to mitigate cell encrustation. Viability studies comparing U-free controls to cells exposed to U showed a decrease in the number of viable cells in conditions where MVs alone are detected, yet no loss of viability when cells produce both EPS and MVs. We conclude that MV formation is a microbial strategy to shed encrusted cell surfaces but is less effective at maintaining cell viability than the precipitation of U on EPS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)
Open AccessArticle A Density Functional Theory Study of the Adsorption of Benzene on Hematite (α-Fe2O3) Surfaces
Minerals 2014, 4(1), 89-115; doi:10.3390/min4010089
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 20 January 2014 / Accepted: 31 January 2014 / Published: 14 February 2014
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (2524 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The reactivity of mineral surfaces in the fundamental processes of adsorption, dissolution or growth, and electron transfer is directly tied to their atomic structure. However, unraveling the relationship between the atomic surface structure and other physical and chemical properties of complex metal oxides
[...] Read more.
The reactivity of mineral surfaces in the fundamental processes of adsorption, dissolution or growth, and electron transfer is directly tied to their atomic structure. However, unraveling the relationship between the atomic surface structure and other physical and chemical properties of complex metal oxides is challenging due to the mixed ionic and covalent bonding that can occur in these minerals. Nonetheless, with the rapid increase in computer processing speed and memory, computer simulations using different theoretical techniques can now probe the nature of matter at both the atomic and sub-atomic levels and are rapidly becoming an effective and quantitatively accurate method for successfully predicting structures, properties and processes occurring at mineral surfaces. In this study, we have used Density Functional Theory calculations to study the adsorption of benzene on hematite (α-Fe2O3) surfaces. The strong electron correlation effects of the Fe 3d-electrons in α-Fe2O3 were described by a Hubbard-type on-site Coulomb repulsion (the DFT+U approach), which was found to provide an accurate description of the electronic and magnetic properties of hematite. For the adsorption of benzene on the hematite surfaces, we show that the adsorption geometries parallel to the surface are energetically more stable than the vertical ones. The benzene molecule interacts with the hematite surfaces through π-bonding in the parallel adsorption geometries and through weak hydrogen bonds in the vertical geometries. Van der Waals interactions are found to play a significant role in stabilizing the absorbed benzene molecule. Analyses of the electronic structures reveal that upon benzene adsorption, the conduction band edge of the surface atoms is shifted towards the valence bands, thereby considerably reducing the band gap and the magnetic moments of the surface Fe atoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Low-temperature Computational Mineralogy)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Water Organization and Dynamics on Mineral Surfaces Interrogated by Graph Theoretical Analyses of Intermolecular Chemical Networks
Minerals 2014, 4(1), 118-129; doi:10.3390/min4010118
Received: 26 January 2014 / Revised: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 4 March 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3077 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Intermolecular chemical networks defined by the hydrogen bonds formed at the α-quartz|water interface have been data-mined using graph theoretical methods so as to identify and quantify structural patterns and dynamic behavior. Using molecular-dynamics simulations data, the hydrogen bond (H-bond) distributions for the water-water
[...] Read more.
Intermolecular chemical networks defined by the hydrogen bonds formed at the α-quartz|water interface have been data-mined using graph theoretical methods so as to identify and quantify structural patterns and dynamic behavior. Using molecular-dynamics simulations data, the hydrogen bond (H-bond) distributions for the water-water and water-silanol H-bond networks have been determined followed by the calculation of the persistence of the H-bond, the dipole-angle oscillations that water makes with the surface silanol groups over time, and the contiguous H-bonded chains formed at the interface. Changes in these properties have been monitored as a function of surface coverage. Using the H-bond distribution between water and the surface silanol groups, the actual number of waters adsorbed to the surface is found to be 0.6 H2O/10 Å2, irrespective of the total concentration of waters within the system. The unbroken H-bond network of interfacial waters extends farther than in the bulk liquid; however, it is more fluxional at low surface coverages (i.e., the H-bond persistence in a monolayer of water is shorter than in the bulk) Concentrations of H2O at previously determined water adsorption sites have also been quantified. This work demonstrates the complementary information that can be obtained through graph theoretical analysis of the intermolecular H-bond networks relative to standard analyses of molecular simulation data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Low-temperature Computational Mineralogy)
Open AccessArticle Helium Production and Possible Projection
Minerals 2014, 4(1), 130-144; doi:10.3390/min4010130
Received: 12 November 2013 / Revised: 24 February 2014 / Accepted: 28 February 2014 / Published: 5 March 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2829 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The future availability of helium has been raised as an issue in the literature. However, a disaggregated projection of helium production has not been attempted, presumably due to the difficult nature of accessing disaggregated historic production data to test the accuracy of this
[...] Read more.
The future availability of helium has been raised as an issue in the literature. However, a disaggregated projection of helium production has not been attempted, presumably due to the difficult nature of accessing disaggregated historic production data to test the accuracy of this issue. This paper presents collated and estimated historic helium production statistics from 1921 to 2012 for each helium producing country in the world and by U.S. state. A high and regular growth projection of helium has been created. It is found that helium resources are sufficient for the near future, with the projected production plateauing in 2060–2075 and 2090–2100 for the high and regular growth scenarios, respectively. As long as natural gas deposits with helium are appropriately managed, there is little likelihood for helium shortages to occur in the short term due to geologic constraints. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effects of Elevated Carbon Dioxide and Salinity on the Microbial Diversity in Lithifying Microbial Mats
Minerals 2014, 4(1), 145-169; doi:10.3390/min4010145
Received: 9 January 2014 / Revised: 7 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (792 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) are rising at an accelerated rate resulting in changes in the pH and carbonate chemistry of the world’s oceans. However, there is uncertainty regarding the impact these changing environmental conditions have on carbonate-depositing microbial communities.
[...] Read more.
Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) are rising at an accelerated rate resulting in changes in the pH and carbonate chemistry of the world’s oceans. However, there is uncertainty regarding the impact these changing environmental conditions have on carbonate-depositing microbial communities. Here, we examine the effects of elevated CO2, three times that of current atmospheric levels, on the microbial diversity associated with lithifying microbial mats. Lithifying microbial mats are complex ecosystems that facilitate the trapping and binding of sediments, and/or the precipitation of calcium carbonate into organosedimentary structures known as microbialites. To examine the impact of rising CO2 and resulting shifts in pH on lithifying microbial mats, we constructed growth chambers that could continually manipulate and monitor the mat environment. The microbial diversity of the various treatments was compared using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. The results indicated that elevated CO2 levels during the six month exposure did not profoundly alter the microbial diversity, community structure, or carbonate precipitation in the microbial mats; however some key taxa, such as the sulfate-reducing bacteria Deltasulfobacterales, were enriched. These results suggest that some carbonate depositing ecosystems, such as the microbialites, may be more resilient to anthropogenic-induced environmental change than previously thought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CO2 Sequestration by Mineral Carbonation: Challenges and Advances)
Open AccessArticle Acidic Microenvironments in Waste Rock Characterized by Neutral Drainage: Bacteria–Mineral Interactions at Sulfide Surfaces
Minerals 2014, 4(1), 170-190; doi:10.3390/min4010170
Received: 13 January 2014 / Revised: 4 March 2014 / Accepted: 17 March 2014 / Published: 21 March 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microbial populations and microbe-mineral interactions were examined in waste rock characterized by neutral rock drainage (NRD). Samples of three primary sulfide-bearing waste rock types (i.e., marble-hornfels, intrusive, exoskarn) were collected from field-scale experiments at the Antamina Cu–Zn–Mo mine, Peru. Microbial communities
[...] Read more.
Microbial populations and microbe-mineral interactions were examined in waste rock characterized by neutral rock drainage (NRD). Samples of three primary sulfide-bearing waste rock types (i.e., marble-hornfels, intrusive, exoskarn) were collected from field-scale experiments at the Antamina Cu–Zn–Mo mine, Peru. Microbial communities within all samples were dominated by neutrophilic thiosulfate oxidizing bacteria. However, acidophilic iron and sulfur oxidizers were present within intrusive waste rock characterized by bulk circumneutral pH drainage. The extensive development of microbially colonized porous Fe(III) (oxy)hydroxide and Fe(III) (oxy)hydroxysulfate precipitates was observed at sulfide-mineral surfaces during examination by field emission-scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (FE-SEM-EDS). Linear combination fitting of bulk extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectra for these precipitates indicated they were composed of schwertmannite [Fe8O8(OH)6–4.5(SO4)1–1.75], lepidocrocite [γ-FeO(OH)] and K-jarosite [KFe3(OH)6(SO4)2]. The presence of schwertmannite and K-jarosite is indicative of the development of localized acidic microenvironments at sulfide-mineral surfaces. Extensive bacterial colonization of this porous layer and pitting of underlying sulfide-mineral surfaces suggests that acidic microenvironments can play an important role in sulfide-mineral oxidation under bulk circumneutral pH conditions. These findings have important implications for water quality management in NRD settings. Full article
Figures

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Community Road Safety Initiatives for the Minerals Industry
Minerals 2014, 4(1), 1-16; doi:10.3390/min4010001
Received: 22 October 2013 / Revised: 13 December 2013 / Accepted: 13 December 2013 / Published: 20 December 2013
PDF Full-text (554 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Major companies in the minerals industry are increasingly recognizing that their operations have an impact in the wider community. Regarding transportation issues, this impact extends beyond purely the safety of company vehicle fleets to consideration of Community Road Safety (CRS) concerns, which address
[...] Read more.
Major companies in the minerals industry are increasingly recognizing that their operations have an impact in the wider community. Regarding transportation issues, this impact extends beyond purely the safety of company vehicle fleets to consideration of Community Road Safety (CRS) concerns, which address the driving, walking, and riding practices of community members in a locale with increased heavy vehicle traffic. Our assessment here of national and international trends in approaches to road safety awareness and associated road safety strategies is meant to inform companies in the minerals industry of developments that can influence the design of their road safety initiatives. The review begins by considering the overall road safety context and the dominant “safe systems” framework employed internationally. Thereafter, it considers what is typically included in CRS initiatives for the minerals industry. Three case studies are then presented to highlight approaches that feature exemplary collaboration, design, implementation, or impact. Thereafter, we analyze lessons learnt by key researchers and practitioners in the CRS field. Finally, we conclude that best CRS practices for the minerals industry rely on eleven factors, including for example collaboration with local entities and stepwise implementation. Full article
Open AccessReview Environmental Risk of Metal Mining Contaminated River Bank Sediment at Redox-Transitional Zones
Minerals 2014, 4(1), 52-73; doi:10.3390/min4010052
Received: 21 December 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2014 / Published: 29 January 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1092 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diffuse metal pollution from mining impacted sediment is widely recognised as a potential source of contamination to river systems and may significantly hinder the achievement of European Union Water Framework Directive objectives. Redox-transitional zones that form along metal contaminated river banks as a
[...] Read more.
Diffuse metal pollution from mining impacted sediment is widely recognised as a potential source of contamination to river systems and may significantly hinder the achievement of European Union Water Framework Directive objectives. Redox-transitional zones that form along metal contaminated river banks as a result of flood and drought cycles could cause biogeochemical changes that alter the behaviour of polyvalent metals iron and manganese and anions such as sulphur. Trace metals are often partitioned with iron, manganese and sulphur minerals in mining-contaminated sediment, therefore the dissolution and precipitation of these minerals may influence the mobility of potentially toxic trace metals. Research indicates that freshly precipitated metal oxides and sulphides may be more “reactive” (more adsorbent and prone to dissolution when conditions change) than older crystalline forms. Fluctuations at the oxic-anoxic interface brought about through changes in the frequency and duration of flood and drought episodes may therefore influence the reactivity of secondary minerals that form in the sediment and the flux of dissolved trace metal release. UK climate change models predict longer dry periods for some regions, interspersed with higher magnitude flood events. If we are to fully comprehend the future environmental risk these climate change events pose to mining impacted river systems it is recommended that research efforts focus on identifying the primary controls on trace metal release at the oxic-anoxic interface for flood and drought cycles of different duration and frequency. This paper critically reviews the literature regarding biogeochemical processes that occur at different temporal scales during oxic, reducing and dry periods and focuses on how iron and sulphur based minerals may alter in form and reactivity and influence the mobility of trace metal contaminants. It is clear that changes in redox potential can alter the composition of secondary iron and sulphur minerals and influence the sorption of toxic trace metals and susceptibility to dissolution when further redox potential changes occur. However further work is needed to determine: (i) The extent to which different duration and frequency of wet and dry cycles influences the dissolution and precipitation of iron and sulphur minerals in mining contaminated river bank sediment; (ii) The temporal effects on mineral reactivity (sorption capacity and susceptibility to dissolution); (iii) The key biogeochemical processes that control the mobility of contaminant trace metals under these dynamic redox potential conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mine Waste Characterization, Management and Remediation)

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Minerals Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
minerals@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Minerals
Back to Top