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Minerals, Volume 7, Issue 7 (July 2017)

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Cover Story Example of a natural fluid inclusion in alpine quartz. Fluid inclusions in quartz and other [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Coke Ratio on the Sintering Behavior of High-Chromium Vanadium-Titanium Magnetite
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 107; doi:10.3390/min7070107
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
High-chromium vanadium and titanium magnetite (HCVTM) sinter has poor properties. The coke ratio has an important effect on the behavior of HCVTM sintering as it affects the mineral phases in the high-chromium vanadium and titanium sinter (HCVTS) via changing the sintering temperature and
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High-chromium vanadium and titanium magnetite (HCVTM) sinter has poor properties. The coke ratio has an important effect on the behavior of HCVTM sintering as it affects the mineral phases in the high-chromium vanadium and titanium sinter (HCVTS) via changing the sintering temperature and atmosphere. In this work, the sintering behavior of HCVTM mixed with varying coke ratios was investigated through sintering pot tests, X-ray diffraction (XRD), gas chromatographic analysis, and mineral phase analysis. The results show that, with the increase of the coke ratio from 4.0% to 6.0%, leading to the increase of the combustion ratio of the flue gas, the vertical sintering rate and sinter productivity decrease. Meanwhile, with the change of the coke ratio, the content of magnetite, silicate, and perovskite increase, while the hematite and calcium ferrite decrease. In addition, the tumble strength and reduction ability of HCVTS decrease, and its degradation strength increase. It was found that the appropriate coke ratio for the sintering process was 5.0 wt %. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study on the Effect of Fe3+ on Zircon Flotation Separation from Cassiterite Using Sodium Oleate as Collector
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 108; doi:10.3390/min7070108
Received: 11 May 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
The effect of ferric ions (Fe3+) on the flotation of zircon and cassiterite using sodium oleate (NaOL) was investigated by single mineral flotation tests, adsorption density tests, zeta potential measurements, solution chemistry analyses, and FTIR analyses. It is difficult for zircon
[...] Read more.
The effect of ferric ions (Fe3+) on the flotation of zircon and cassiterite using sodium oleate (NaOL) was investigated by single mineral flotation tests, adsorption density tests, zeta potential measurements, solution chemistry analyses, and FTIR analyses. It is difficult for zircon to be separated from cassiterite by using NaOL alone. Nevertheless, the flotation of zircon was activated while that of cassiterite was depressed in the presence of Fe3+. Adsorption density tests indicated that the addition of Fe3+ enhanced the adsorption of NaOL on zircon surfaces, whereas it receded on cassiterite surfaces. Zeta potential measurements and solution chemistry analyses found that H(OL) 2 was the predominant species to determine the flotation behaviors of zircon and cassiterite. Furthermore, the addition of Fe3+ at pH < 8 reduced the negative charges on the zircon and cassiterite surfaces. It was confirmed that the positive charges of zircon were caused by the positively charged species of Fe3+, including Fe3+, Fe(OH)2+, and Fe(OH) 2 + . Meanwhile, these results revealed that the hydroxy complex and the precipitate of Fe(OH)3(s) adsorbed onto the cassiterite surfaces caused the flotation of cassiterite to be inhibited. It can be concluded from FTIR analyses that the peaks of zircon at 894.14 cm−1 and 611.65 cm−1 were strengthened and the adsorption on zircon surfaces was found to be chemisorption due to the addition of Fe3+, whereas both chemical and physical adsorptions of NaOL on cassiterite surfaces were weakened, resulting in the different flotation behaviors of zircon and cassiterite in the presence of Fe3+. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Discrete Element Modelling of Footwall Rock Mass Damage Induced by Sub-Level Caving at the Kiirunavaara Mine
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 109; doi:10.3390/min7070109
Received: 22 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
The Kiirunavaara mine is one of the largest sub-level-caving (SLC) mines in the world and has been in underground operation for more than 50 years. The mine has been the focus of several case studies over the years. The previous works have either
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The Kiirunavaara mine is one of the largest sub-level-caving (SLC) mines in the world and has been in underground operation for more than 50 years. The mine has been the focus of several case studies over the years. The previous works have either focused on the caving of the hanging wall, using the footwall as a passive support, or focused on the footwall using the hanging wall to apply a passive load. In this updated study the findings of the previous case studies are combined to study the interaction between the caving hanging wall, the developing cave rock zone and the footwall. The geological data for the rock types in the mine area are used to derive upper and lower limits for the geomechanical parameters calibrated for numerical models in the previous studies. The calibrated parameters are used as inputs to a numerical model constructed using Itasca’s Particle-flow-code (PFC) encompassing a mine-scale 2D section at the mid portion of the mine. The model captures the failure locations well in the footwall underground and indicates damage development without a coherent large-scale failure. The trend in subsidence data on the hanging wall is adequately simulated but the magnitude of deformation is underestimated. The input strength for the hanging wall was lowered to study the impact of hanging wall strength on footwall damage development. It is shown that when the footwall strength is kept constant, while lowering the hanging wall strength, the extent of damage and magnitude of displacements in the footwall increases. From these observations it is argued that the hanging wall and footwall cannot be studied independently for the Kiirunavaara mine since the cave rock zone significantly affects the damage development in both walls. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ammonium-Carbamate-Rich Organogels for the Preparation of Amorphous Calcium Carbonates
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 110; doi:10.3390/min7070110
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 17 June 2017 / Accepted: 18 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
Amine-CO2 chemistry is important for a range of different chemical processes, including carbon dioxide capture. Here, we studied how aspects of this chemistry could be used to prepare calcium carbonates. Chemically crosslinked organogels were first prepared by reacting hyperbranched polyethylene imine (PEI)
[...] Read more.
Amine-CO2 chemistry is important for a range of different chemical processes, including carbon dioxide capture. Here, we studied how aspects of this chemistry could be used to prepare calcium carbonates. Chemically crosslinked organogels were first prepared by reacting hyperbranched polyethylene imine (PEI) dissolved in DMSO with carbon dioxide. The crosslinks of the organogel consisted of ammonium-carbamate ion pairs as was shown by IR spectroscopy. These carbamate-rich organogels were subsequently subjected to aqueous solutions of calcium acetate, and amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) precipitated. The ACC did not crystalize during the mixing for up to 20 h, as was shown by a combination of IR spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and thermal analysis. Some PEI had been included or adsorbed on the ACC particles. Traces of calcite were observed in one sample that had been subjected to water in a work-up procedure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Common Monovalent and Divalent Chlorides on Chalcopyrite Flotation
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 111; doi:10.3390/min7070111
Received: 2 June 2017 / Revised: 25 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Abstract
Much attention has been paid to the flotation of chalcopyrite using saline seawater. However, the influence of salt ions on mineral flotation is complex, and different salts may play various roles—either beneficial or detrimental. This study investigated the effects of common chlorides (Cl
[...] Read more.
Much attention has been paid to the flotation of chalcopyrite using saline seawater. However, the influence of salt ions on mineral flotation is complex, and different salts may play various roles—either beneficial or detrimental. This study investigated the effects of common chlorides (Cl) of Na+, K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+ in seawater on chalcopyrite floatability. The presence of Na+, K+, and Ca2+ resulted in greater chalcopyrite recovery, with this effect being more pronounced for the monovalent cations. In contrast, the addition of Mg2+ resulted in decreased chalcopyrite flotation efficiency. Contact angle measurements showed that the presence of monovalent cations increased the hydrophobicity of the chalcopyrite surface, while the presence of divalent cations reduced its hydrophobicity, depending on the concentration. Zeta potential, pulp species, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) cross-confirmed the precipitation of Mg(OH)2 on the chalcopyrite surface when Mg concentration was 10−2 M and pulp pH was 10. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flotation Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Model of Aggregate Gradation for Autoclaved Bricks from Tailings
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 112; doi:10.3390/min7070112
Received: 3 June 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 2 July 2017
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Abstract
Mining tailings as a raw material for preparing autoclaved bricks have attracted much attention. The tailings subjected to milling always have the characteristic of fine granularity. However, the proportion of the fine aggregates in autoclaved bricks was very low using the current gradation
[...] Read more.
Mining tailings as a raw material for preparing autoclaved bricks have attracted much attention. The tailings subjected to milling always have the characteristic of fine granularity. However, the proportion of the fine aggregates in autoclaved bricks was very low using the current gradation formula, which impeded the utilization of the tailings. In this work, a novel model of aggregate gradation for autoclaved bricks from tailings has been presented, which was established through the following steps: (1) 91 groups of autoclaved bricks with different aggregate gradations were prepared, with the proportion of the fine aggregates (−0.15 mm) in the range of 40% to 100%; and (2) the particle size distributions of the finest and coarsest aggregates in the high-strength region were fitted to establish the model. The proportion of the fine aggregates calculated by the model could increase significantly compared with that using the current formula. To verify the novel model, autoclaved bricks from iron ore tailings were prepared using the model, with their mechanical and freezing resistance properties meeting the requirement of the highest-strength level. It was observed by SEM that the autoclaved bricks had compact structures with a few small pores owing to the reasonable aggregate gradation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Activation Mechanism of Bi3+ Ions to Rutile Flotation in a Strong Acidic Environment
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 113; doi:10.3390/min7070113
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 2 July 2017
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Abstract
Lead hydroxyl compounds are known as rutile flotation of the traditional activated component, but the optimum pH range for flotation is 2–3 using styryl phosphoric acid (SPA) as collector, without lead hydroxyl compounds in slurry solution. In this study, Bi3+ ions as
[...] Read more.
Lead hydroxyl compounds are known as rutile flotation of the traditional activated component, but the optimum pH range for flotation is 2–3 using styryl phosphoric acid (SPA) as collector, without lead hydroxyl compounds in slurry solution. In this study, Bi3+ ions as a novel activator was investigated. The results revealed that the presence of Bi3+ ions increased the surface potential, due to the specific adsorption of hydroxyl compounds, which greatly increases the adsorption capacity of SPA on the rutile surface. Bi3+ ions increased the activation sites through the form of hydroxyl species adsorbing on the rutile surface and occupying the steric position of the original Ca2+ ions. The proton substitution reaction occurred between the hydroxyl species of Bi3+ ions (Bi(OH)n+(3−n)) and the hydroxylated rutile surface, producing the compounds of Ti-O-Bi2+. The micro-flotation tests results suggested that Bi3+ ions could improve the flotation recovery of rutile from 61% to 90%, and from 61% to 64% for Pb2+ ions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flotation Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Preserving Flake Size in an African Flake Graphite Ore Beneficiation Using a Modified Grinding and Pre-Screening Process
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 115; doi:10.3390/min7070115
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 30 June 2017 / Accepted: 2 July 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
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Abstract
As the high value and the scarcity of large-flake graphite ore resources, it is in the best interest to maximize the amount of large flakes and minimize any processing that will reduce flake sizes. In the study, the mineralogy of an African graphite
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As the high value and the scarcity of large-flake graphite ore resources, it is in the best interest to maximize the amount of large flakes and minimize any processing that will reduce flake sizes. In the study, the mineralogy of an African graphite ore was estimated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and optical microscope analyses. The results indicated that it was a heavily weathered large flake graphite ore and the main gangue minerals were quartz and kaolinite. The graphite flakes were thick, bent, and fractured, and some clay minerals were embedded into the graphite interlayer, which made it difficult to prevent the large flakes from being destroyed using mechanical grinding methods. An approach of steel rod coarse grinding and pebble regrinding effectively reduced the destruction of graphite flakes and improved the grinding efficiency. In addition, comparing with the conventional process, a pre-screening process was applied and the content of large flakes in the final concentrate was significantly improved. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Operational Decision Support for Material Management in Continuous Mining Systems: From Simulation Concept to Practical Full-Scale Implementations
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 116; doi:10.3390/min7070116
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 1 July 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
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Abstract
Material management in opencast mines is concerned with planning, organizing, and control of the flow of materials from their extraction points to destinations. It can be strongly affected by operational decisions that have to be made during the production process. To date, little
[...] Read more.
Material management in opencast mines is concerned with planning, organizing, and control of the flow of materials from their extraction points to destinations. It can be strongly affected by operational decisions that have to be made during the production process. To date, little research has focused on the application of simulation modeling as a powerful supportive tool for decision making in such systems. Practical experiences from implementing a simulation model of a mine for the operational support on an industrial scale are not known to the authors. This paper presents the extension of a developed stochastic simulation model by the authors from a conceptual stage (TRL4) to a new Technology Readiness Level (TRL 6) by implementing it in an industrially relevant environment. A framework for modeling, simulation, and validation of the simulation model applied to two large opencast lignite mines is presented in detail. Operational implementation issues, experiences, and challenges in practical applications are discussed. Furthermore, the strength of applying the simulation modeling as an operational decision support for material management in coal mining is demonstrated. Results of the case studies are used to describe the details of the framework, and to illustrate the strength and limitations of its application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Re-Equilibration Processes in Fluid Inclusion Assemblages
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 117; doi:10.3390/min7070117
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 5 July 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
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Abstract
Post-entrapment modifications reduce the reliability of fluid inclusions to determine trapping conditions in rock. Processes that may modify fluid inclusion properties are experimentally identified in this study using synthetic fluid inclusions in quartz with a well-defined composition and density. Modifications are characterized with
[...] Read more.
Post-entrapment modifications reduce the reliability of fluid inclusions to determine trapping conditions in rock. Processes that may modify fluid inclusion properties are experimentally identified in this study using synthetic fluid inclusions in quartz with a well-defined composition and density. Modifications are characterized with microthermometry (homogenization and dissolution temperatures) and Raman-spectroscopy in binary fluid systems H2O-D2O and H2O-NaCl. Three distinct processes were identified in this study: (1) diffusion of H2O and D2O; (2) crystal-recovery, expulsion of H2O and accumulation of quartz in inclusions (preferential H2O loss); (3) irreversible total volume increase at the α-β quartz transition. Diffusion is caused by H2O fugacity gradients and can be modelled according to classical diffusion models. The variability of re-equilibrated properties in fluid inclusion assemblages depends on time, temperature, diffusion distance and the size of fluid inclusions. Negative pressure gradients (internal under-pressure) induce the crystal-recovery process, in which H2O is preferentially extracted from inclusions that simultaneously shrink by the inward growth of quartz. This process reduces the H2O concentration and increases the fluid density by total volume loss. Temperature and time are also controlling factors of this process, which is able to transport H2O against fugacity gradients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Inclusions: Study Methods, Applications and Case Histories)
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Open AccessArticle Concentration at the Minimum Bubble Velocity (CMV) for Various Types of Flotation Frothers
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 118; doi:10.3390/min7070118
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 8 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 12 July 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents the determination of a concentration at the minimum bubble velocity (CMV) for different types of frothers, such as straight and branched alkyl chain aliphatic alcohols, 1,ω-diols, poly(propylene glycol) and poly(ethylene glycol) alkyl ethers, n-alkyltrimethylammonium bromides, commercial frothers and others.
[...] Read more.
This paper presents the determination of a concentration at the minimum bubble velocity (CMV) for different types of frothers, such as straight and branched alkyl chain aliphatic alcohols, 1,ω-diols, poly(propylene glycol) and poly(ethylene glycol) alkyl ethers, n-alkyltrimethylammonium bromides, commercial frothers and others. The values of terminal rise bubble velocity were reviewed from the experimental data published in the literature for two different types of columns, i.e., a short PAS (used in Polish Academy of Sciences) of height (35 cm) and a long McGill of height (350 cm). The obtained empirical equation is universal and allows one to rapidly and accurately determine the CMV for all surfactants. The proposed empirical model can also be used to predict the terminal bubble velocity–frother concentration curve by knowing the maximum and minimum terminal velocities, as well as the values of CMV. Assessment and usefulness of frother characterization parameters (i.e., concentration at the minimum bubble velocity (CMV), dynamic frothability index (DFI) and critical coalescence concentration (CCC)) were shown in the flotation of coal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Microwave-Supported Leaching of Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) Slag by Ammonium Salts
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 119; doi:10.3390/min7070119
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 1 July 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
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Abstract
The effect of microwave-supported leaching of electric arc furnace (EAF) slag by ammonium salts was investigated to improve calcium leaching ratio for CO2 mineral sequestration process. The results show that the calcium leaching ratio from EAF slag at the constant temperature in
[...] Read more.
The effect of microwave-supported leaching of electric arc furnace (EAF) slag by ammonium salts was investigated to improve calcium leaching ratio for CO2 mineral sequestration process. The results show that the calcium leaching ratio from EAF slag at the constant temperature in the microwave field increases about 10% than that under the water bath at the same leaching time. The greater the microwave power, the higher the impact of calcium leaching rate, which proves that microwave treatment can improve the leaching ratio of calcium. The rapid calcium leaching step (up to 5 min) is possibly due to the easy reaction of calcium silicate, while the slower calcium leaching step (after 5 min) is owing to the difficult reaction of calcium ferroaluminates for the hydrolysis of iron and aluminum. The leaching behaviors of magnesium and calcium ions affected by different leaching parameters are similar and the concentration of aluminum, iron and phosphorus can be neglected. Calcium ion is probably not precipitated in the real leaching solution from steel slag by ammonium chloride solution as its concentration is less than 0.32 mol/L. However, the concentration of magnesium ion starts to drop sharply when the pH value is higher than 10 and it has precipitated completely at pH value of 11.6. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Origins and Geochemistry of Oolitic Dolomite of the Feixianguan Formation from the Yudongzi Outcrop, Northwest Sichuan Basin, China
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 120; doi:10.3390/min7070120
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 9 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 16 July 2017
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Abstract
The topic of dolomite formation has long presented a challenge to researchers. In this study, the origin of widely occurring oolitic dolomites from the Yudongzi outcrop in the lower Triassic Feixianguan formation in northwest Sichuan, China, was investigated through petrographic observations, and mineralogical
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The topic of dolomite formation has long presented a challenge to researchers. In this study, the origin of widely occurring oolitic dolomites from the Yudongzi outcrop in the lower Triassic Feixianguan formation in northwest Sichuan, China, was investigated through petrographic observations, and mineralogical and geochemical analysis. Analytical methods used include cathodoluminescence, X-ray diffraction, stable isotopes, and electronic microprobe characterization. The dolomites were categorized into three major genetic types according to their textural and structural characteristics, which reflect their various origins. The first genetic type of these dolomites, seepage reflux dolomitization, occurs in marly to microcrystalline dolomite during the penecontemporaneous stage, and displays negatively skewed δ18Ο (−2.83‰ Pee Dee Belemnite (PDB)), positively skewed δ13C (2.71‰ PDB), a low degree of order (0.48), and 87Sr/86Sr ratios of 0.707509–0.707634, indicating involvement of a Mg-rich brine fluid in an open evaporative environment. The second type, shallow burial dolomitization, is the most significant genetic type of dolomite reservoir in this area. This process produced dominantly silty to fine crystalline dolomite in a platform-margin oolitic beach facies with negatively skewed δ18Ο (−3.26‰ PDB), positively skewed δ13C (1.88‰ PDB), a high degree of order (0.70), and 87Sr/86Sr ratios of 0.707318–0.707661, which are related to seawater-derived fluids in a shallow burial environment. The third type is moderate to deep burial dolomitization, and is the main process responsible for zoned dolomite and dolomite with cloudy cores and clear rims (CCCR dolomite), which have the most strongly negatively skewed δ18Ο (−7.32‰ PDB), positively skewed δ13C (3.02‰ PDB), and 87Sr/86Sr ratios of 0.707217–0.707855, representing diagenetic alteration and fluid flow in a closed environment. These findings indicate that dolomite was likely affected by various degrees of burial and related marine-derived fluids, which will aid exploration efforts in high-quality hydrocarbon reservoirs in the Sichuan Basin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Monitoring of Drill System Behavior for Water-Powered In-The-Hole (ITH) Drilling
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 121; doi:10.3390/min7070121
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 17 July 2017
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Abstract
A detailed understanding of the drilling system and the drilling control is required to correctly interpret rock mass conditions based on monitored drilling data. This paper analyses data from hydraulic in-the-hole (ITH) drills used in LKAB’s Malmberget mine in Sweden. Drill parameters, including
[...] Read more.
A detailed understanding of the drilling system and the drilling control is required to correctly interpret rock mass conditions based on monitored drilling data. This paper analyses data from hydraulic in-the-hole (ITH) drills used in LKAB’s Malmberget mine in Sweden. Drill parameters, including penetration rate, percussive pressure, feed pressure, and rotation pressure, are monitored in underground production holes. Calculated parameters, penetration rate variability, rotation pressure variability, and fracturing are included in the analysis to improve the opportunity to predict rock mass conditions. Principal component analysis (PCA) is used to address non-linearity and variable interactions. The results show that the data contain pronounced hole length-dependent trends, both linear and step-wise linear, for most parameters. It is also suggested that monitoring can be an efficient way to optimize target values for drill parameters, as demonstrated for feed force. Finally, principal component analysis can be used to transfer a number of drill parameters into single components with a more straightforward geomechanical meaning. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Desiccator Volume: A Vital Yet Ignored Parameter in CaCO3 Crystallization by the Ammonium Carbonate Diffusion Method
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 122; doi:10.3390/min7070122
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
Employing the widely used ammonium carbonate diffusion method, we demonstrate that altering an extrinsic parameter—desiccator size—which is rarely detailed in publications, can alter the route of crystallization. Hexagonally packed assemblies of spherical magnesium-calcium carbonate particles or spherulitic aragonitic particles can be selectively prepared
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Employing the widely used ammonium carbonate diffusion method, we demonstrate that altering an extrinsic parameter—desiccator size—which is rarely detailed in publications, can alter the route of crystallization. Hexagonally packed assemblies of spherical magnesium-calcium carbonate particles or spherulitic aragonitic particles can be selectively prepared from the same initial reaction solution by simply changing the internal volume of the desiccator, thereby changing the rate of carbonate addition and consequently precursor formation. This demonstrates that it is not merely the quantity of an additive which can control particle morphogenesis and phase selectivity, but control of other often ignored parameters are vital to ensure adequate reproducibility. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Electron Microscopy Observation of Biomineralization within Wood Tissues of Kurogaki
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 123; doi:10.3390/min7070123
Received: 9 May 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 15 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
Interactions between minerals and microorganisms play a crucial role in living wood tissues. However, living wood tissues have never been studied in the field. Fortunately, we found several kurogaki (black persimmon; Diospyros kaki) trees at Tawara in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan. Here, we
[...] Read more.
Interactions between minerals and microorganisms play a crucial role in living wood tissues. However, living wood tissues have never been studied in the field. Fortunately, we found several kurogaki (black persimmon; Diospyros kaki) trees at Tawara in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan. Here, we report the characterization of kurogaki based on scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy-dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), associated with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analyses, X-ray fluorescence analyses (XRF) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) analyses. This study aims to illustrate the ability of various microorganisms associated with biominerals within wood tissues of kurogaki, as shown by SEM-EDS elemental content maps and TEM images. Kurogaki grows very slowly and has extremely hard wood, known for its striking black and beige coloration, referred to as a “peacock pattern”. However, the scientific data for kurogaki are very limited. The black “peacock pattern” of the wood mainly comprises cellulose and high levels of crystal cristobalite. As per the XRD results, the black taproot contains mineralized 7 Å clays (kaolinite), cellulose, apatite and cristobalite associated with many microorganisms. The chemical compositions of the black and beige portions of the black persimmon tree were obtained by ICP-MS analyses. Particular elements such as abundant Ca, Mg, K, P, Mn, Ba, S, Cl, Fe, Na, and Al were concentrated in the black region, associated with Pb and Sr elements. SEM-EDS semi-qualitative analyses of kurogaki indicated an abundance of P and Ca in microorganisms in the black region, associated with Pb, Sr, S, Mn, and Mg elements. On the other hand, XRF and XRD mineralogical data showed that fresh andesite, weathered andesite, and the soils around the roots of kurogaki correlate with biomineralization of the black region in kurogaki roots, showing clay minerals (kaolinite) and cristobalite formation. In conclusion, we describe how the biominerals in the black region in the cellulose within wood tissues grow chemically and biologically in the sap under the conditions associated with the beige portions of the taproot. This can explain why the crystals produce the “peacock pattern” in the kurogaki formed during the year. We conclude that kurogaki microbiota are from bacteria in the andesitic weathered soil environment, which produce silicification. In other words, the patterned portions of kurogaki consist of silicified wood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organo-Mineral Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle Characteristics of a Low-Sulfidation Epithermal Deposit in the River Reef Zone and the Watuputih Hill, the Poboya Gold Prospect, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia: Host Rocks and Hydrothermal Alteration
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 124; doi:10.3390/min7070124
Received: 28 May 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 16 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
Systematic exploration has delineated significant gold mineralization in the River Reef Zone and the presence of a siliceous body at Watuputih Hill, which is a Poboya gold prospect in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The mineralization is hosted within the Palu Metamorphic Complex. The host
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Systematic exploration has delineated significant gold mineralization in the River Reef Zone and the presence of a siliceous body at Watuputih Hill, which is a Poboya gold prospect in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The mineralization is hosted within the Palu Metamorphic Complex. The host rocks consist of granite, biotite gneiss, and biotite schist, which is intercalated by feldspar porphyroblastic biotite schist and amphibolitic schist. The X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis of the granite and biotite gneiss suggests that the granitic rocks can be characterized as magnesian arc calc-alkaline rocks, with a weakly peraluminous composition. Alteration minerals were analyzed by a combination of petrographic and X-ray diffraction (XRD). In the River Reef Zone, the hydrothermal alteration zones can be sorted by their proximity to the primary fluid conduit and divided into inner, high-T, and low-T propylitic zones. In Watuputih Hill, the hydrothermal alteration can be divided into advanced argillic and argillic zones. The hydrothermal alteration assemblages indicated that the fluid was at a near-neutral pH in the River Reef Zone, whereas the fluid was acidic within Watuputih Hill. Because the hill is relatively distant from the River Reef Zone, the presence of these zones at Watuputih Hill may be indicative of another mineralization system beneath the hill. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Conditioning on the Flotation of Pyrrhotite in the Presence of Chlorite
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 125; doi:10.3390/min7070125
Received: 29 May 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 15 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
The influence of conditioning on the flotation of pyrrhotite in the presence of chlorite was investigated through flotation tests, sedimentation tests, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis. The flotation results show that chlorite slimes dramatically impair the flotation of pyrrhotite. Sedimentation and flotation
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The influence of conditioning on the flotation of pyrrhotite in the presence of chlorite was investigated through flotation tests, sedimentation tests, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis. The flotation results show that chlorite slimes dramatically impair the flotation of pyrrhotite. Sedimentation and flotation tests reveal that conditioning can effectively remove chlorite slimes from pyrrhotite surfaces, resulting in an enhanced flotation recovery of pyrrhotite. When mixed minerals were conditioned under the natural atmosphere, a faster conditioning speed and longer conditioning time decreased the flotation recovery of pyrrhotite. However, when mixed minerals were conditioned under a nitrogen atmosphere, a more intensive conditioning process provided better flotation results. XPS analyses illustrate that a faster conditioning speed and longer conditioning time under the natural atmosphere accelerates the oxidation of pyrrhotite, leading to a decrease in the flotation recovery of pyrrhotite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flotation Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Hydration Effects on the Stability of Calcium Carbonate Pre-Nucleation Species
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 126; doi:10.3390/min7070126
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 1 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
Recent experimental evidence and computer modeling have shown that the crystallization of a range of minerals does not necessarily follow classical models and theories. In several systems, liquid precursors, stable pre-nucleation clusters and amorphous phases precede the nucleation and growth of stable mineral
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Recent experimental evidence and computer modeling have shown that the crystallization of a range of minerals does not necessarily follow classical models and theories. In several systems, liquid precursors, stable pre-nucleation clusters and amorphous phases precede the nucleation and growth of stable mineral phases. However, little is known on the effect of background ionic species on the formation and stability of pre-nucleation species formed in aqueous solutions. Here, we present a systematic study on the effect of a range of background ions on the crystallization of solid phases in the CaCO3-H2O system, which has been thoroughly studied due to its technical and mineralogical importance, and is known to undergo non-classical crystallization pathways. The induction time for the onset of calcium carbonate nucleation and effective critical supersaturation are systematically higher in the presence of background ions with decreasing ionic radii. We propose that the stabilization of water molecules in the pre-nucleation clusters by background ions can explain these results. The stabilization of solvation water hinders cluster dehydration, which is an essential step for precipitation. This hypothesis is corroborated by the observed correlation between parameters such as the macroscopic equilibrium constant for the formation of calcium/carbonate ion associates, the induction time, and the ionic radius of the background ions in the solution. Overall, these results provide new evidence supporting the hypothesis that pre-nucleation cluster dehydration is the rate-controlling step for calcium carbonate precipitation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Hydrothermal Alteration in the Main Sulfide Zone at Unki Mine, Shurugwi Subchamber of the Great Dyke, Zimbabwe: Evidence from Petrography and Silicates Mineral Chemistry
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 127; doi:10.3390/min7070127
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 30 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 22 July 2017
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Abstract
The main platinum-group element (PGE) occurrence in the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe, the Main Sulfide Zone (MSZ), is a tabular stratabound layer hosted in pyroxenites. A petrographic and silicate composition study across the MSZ at Unki Mine in the Shurugwi Subchamber was conducted
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The main platinum-group element (PGE) occurrence in the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe, the Main Sulfide Zone (MSZ), is a tabular stratabound layer hosted in pyroxenites. A petrographic and silicate composition study across the MSZ at Unki Mine in the Shurugwi Subchamber was conducted to help place some constrains on the origin of the mineralization. The PGE-enriched zone at Unki Mine is a ~10 m thick package of rocks ranging from gabbronorites, a chromitite stringer, plagioclase websterite, plagioclase pyroxenite (pegmatitic in one narrow zone), a base metal sulfide zone and it is largely located below the contact of the Mafic and Ultramafic Sequences. Pyroxenes have been partially hydrothermally altered to amphibole and chlorite in most lithologies. In addition, sulfides tend to occur as cumulus phases or as inclusions in all the silicate phases. Two generations of sulfide mineralization likely occurred at Unki Mine with primary sulfides occurring in association with cumulus phases, and the relatively finer-grained, often lath-like, sulfides that occur in association with alteration phases of chlorite and amphibole that were likely formed later during hydrothermal alteration. Chlorite thermometry yields temperatures ranging from 241 to 390 °C, and from 491 to 640 °C, and they are interpreted to be temperatures recording the hydrothermal event(s) of magmatic origin which affected the mineralization at Unki Mine. Two-pyroxene thermometry yields temperatures that range from 850 to 981 °C, and these temperatures are interpreted to indicate a hydrothermal imprint on the minerals that constitute the MSZ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geochemistry and Mineralogy of Hydrothermal Metallic Mineral Deposits)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Reuse of Mine Tailings and Waste Rock as Water-Balance Covers
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 128; doi:10.3390/min7070128
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
The focus of this study was to evaluate the potential reuse of mixed mine tailings and waste rock in water-balance covers (WBCs). Reuse of mine waste in geoengineering applications can provide an economic advantage via offsetting raw material requirements and reducing waste volumes
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The focus of this study was to evaluate the potential reuse of mixed mine tailings and waste rock in water-balance covers (WBCs). Reuse of mine waste in geoengineering applications can provide an economic advantage via offsetting raw material requirements and reducing waste volumes to manage. Water-balance covers are designed to minimize percolation and/or oxygen ingress into underlying waste via moisture retention while also providing resistance against slope failure and erosion of cover materials. Water-balance simulations were conducted using a variably-saturated one-dimensional numerical model to assess hydrologic behavior of an actual WBC as well as hypothetical mixed mine waste WBCs. The actual water balance cover included a 1.22-m-thick silty-sand storage layer and a 0.15-m-thick topsoil layer. Three scenarios were evaluated via hydrologic modeling that focused on replacing the actual storage layer with a layer of mine waste: (1) storage layers were simulated as 1.22-m-thick layers of pure mine tailings (i.e., copper, gold, coal, and oil sand tailings); (2) storage layers were simulated as 1.22-m-thick layers of mixed mine tailings and waste rock; and (3) mixed mine tailings and waste rock storage layer thicknesses were redesigned to yield comparable percolation rates as the actual cover. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Mine Wastes: Contributions to the Circular Economy)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Distribution, Enrichment and Modes of Occurrence of Arsenic in Chinese Coals
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 114; doi:10.3390/min7070114
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
Arsenic is one of the toxic trace elements in coals, which is harmful to both the ecological environment and human health. Based on published literature and the data obtained by our research group, a total of 5314 As concentrations of Chinese coals were
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Arsenic is one of the toxic trace elements in coals, which is harmful to both the ecological environment and human health. Based on published literature and the data obtained by our research group, a total of 5314 As concentrations of Chinese coals were analyzed. The arithmetic mean of arsenic content in Chinese coals is 6.97 mg/kg. Choosing the percentage of provincial coal resources in national coal resources as the weighting factor, the weighted average of arsenic content in Chinese coals is 5.33 mg/kg. The content of arsenic in Chinese coals increases from the north to the south. High arsenic content in coal primarily occurs in southwestern Yunnan and certain coalfields in the Guizhou Province. Additionally, arsenic is enriched in the coals from some regions, i.e., the western Yunnan, Guangxi, Tibet, southwestern Liaoning, Jilin, and Henan. The arsenic content in coals of different coal-forming periods shows an overall regularity: Paleogene and Neogene > Late Triassic > Late Permian > Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous > Early and Middle Jurassic > Late Carboniferous and Early Permian. The modes of occurrence of arsenic in coals include sulfide-association, organic-association, arsenate-association, silicate-association, and soluble- and exchangeable-association. Generally, arsenic in Chinese coals exists predominantly in arsenic-bearing pyrite. Meanwhile, the organic arsenic content is relatively high in coal samples with a lower (<5.5 mg/kg) arsenic content and a low or medium ash yield (<30%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxic Mineral Matter in Coal and Coal Combustion Products)
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