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Minerals, Volume 7, Issue 8 (August 2017)

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Cover Story Oscillatory zoning occurs in numerous minerals and consists of an alternation in the chemical [...] Read more.
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Research

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Open AccessArticle Carbonate Apatite Precipitation from Synthetic Municipal Wastewater
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 129; doi:10.3390/min7080129
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 18 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 25 July 2017
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Abstract
An important component of phosphorite (phosphate rock) is carbonate apatite, as it is required for phosphorous fertilizer production due to its increased phosphate solubility caused by carbonate substitution in the apatite mineral lattice. High phosphate concentrations in municipal wastewater treatment plants are commonly
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An important component of phosphorite (phosphate rock) is carbonate apatite, as it is required for phosphorous fertilizer production due to its increased phosphate solubility caused by carbonate substitution in the apatite mineral lattice. High phosphate concentrations in municipal wastewater treatment plants are commonly reduced by precipitating iron phosphate by addition of iron chloride. We investigated the possibility of precipitating carbonate apatite from a potential range of phosphate concentrations that could be available from municipal wastewater treatment plants with anaerobic digestion reactors (5 mM–30 mM). Synthetic phosphate solutions at neutral pH were mixed in batch experiments with a calcium carbonate solution produced by dissolving calcite in contact with carbon dioxide gas, with and without carbonate apatite seed. Batch experiments were used to identify the carbonate apatite supersaturation ranges for homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation, and the precipitates analyzed with Raman spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, inorganic carbon coulometry, and scanning electron microscopy. Some precipitates contained carbonate weight fractions within the range reported for geological phosphate rock (1.4–6.3 wt %). The precipitates were spherical, poorly crystalline carbonate apatite, suggesting an amorphous precursor transformed to a poorly crystalline carbonate apatite without changing morphology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Hydrogen from Radiolysis of Aqueous Fluid Inclusions during Diagenesis
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 130; doi:10.3390/min7080130
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 25 July 2017
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Abstract
A suite of Permian sylvite samples from Boulby potash mine, Yorkshire, UK, consistently yield traces of hydrogen upon analysis by a cold crush technique for liberating volatiles from entrapped fluid inclusions. In contrast, accompanying halite samples do not yield hydrogen. These data suggest
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A suite of Permian sylvite samples from Boulby potash mine, Yorkshire, UK, consistently yield traces of hydrogen upon analysis by a cold crush technique for liberating volatiles from entrapped fluid inclusions. In contrast, accompanying halite samples do not yield hydrogen. These data suggest the formation of hydrogen by radiolysis of water due to irradiation from potassium in the sylvite. The data indicate radiolysis as a mechanism for subsurface hydrogen generation, where it is available as an electron donor for a deep biosphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Inclusions: Study Methods, Applications and Case Histories)
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Open AccessArticle Bleeding Characteristics and Improving Mechanism of Self-Flowing Tailings Filling Slurry with Low Concentration
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 131; doi:10.3390/min7080131
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 19 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 31 July 2017
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Abstract
In order to solve the bleeding problem of self-flowing tailings filling slurry with low concentration, the influences of the dosage of special additive on the bleeding rate were investigated. The improving mechanism of special additive on the bleeding of tailings filling slurry was
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In order to solve the bleeding problem of self-flowing tailings filling slurry with low concentration, the influences of the dosage of special additive on the bleeding rate were investigated. The improving mechanism of special additive on the bleeding of tailings filling slurry was studied by measuring the bleeding rate and compressive strength of the slurry. Also, microstruture analysis was conducted by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS), and infrared spectroscopy (IR) of the hardened body. The results show that with the slurry concentration of 60%, the binder-to-tailings ratio of 1:6 and the special additive dosage of 10%, the filling slurry is not bleeding and the compressive strength of hardened body can increase by 43.5% at three days. A large amount of needle-like ettringite is generated in the hardened body after adding the special additive, and the structure becomes denser. The special additive can effectively improve the bleeding of the filling slurry and increase the compressive strength of the filling material at early age. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A New Zincian Greenockite Occurrence in the Saishitang Cu Skarn Deposit, Qinghai Province, Northwest China
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 132; doi:10.3390/min7080132
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 26 July 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
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Abstract
Zn-Cd-S series minerals not only comprise industrial resources for Zn and Cd, but are also significant mineralogical indicators for hydrothermal ore-forming processes. Due to its unique formation conditions and rare occurrence, our understanding of the formation of zincian greenockite in natural systems is
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Zn-Cd-S series minerals not only comprise industrial resources for Zn and Cd, but are also significant mineralogical indicators for hydrothermal ore-forming processes. Due to its unique formation conditions and rare occurrence, our understanding of the formation of zincian greenockite in natural systems is limited. Zincian greenockite was discovered during mineralogical studies in the Saishitang Cu skarn deposit, Qinghai Province, Northwest China. This provided an ideal opportunity to assess the occurrence and formation of zincian greenockite in skarn-type deposits. Ore minerals were observed using reflected-light microscopy, and the zincian greenockite was further analyzed using electron-probe microanalysis (EPMA) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The zincian greenockite occurs in the bornite–chalcopyrite ores and is composed of subhedral to anhedral grains approximately 50 × 150 μm2 to 200 × 300 μm2 in size, replaces the bornite, and is replaced by native silver. Two phases (I and II) were identified based on back-scattered electron images, X-ray element-distributions maps, and EPMA data. The textural relationship indicated that Phase I was replaced by Phase II. Phase I contained high Zn (14.6 to 21.7 mol % ZnS) and low Cd (72.4 to 82.2 mol % CdS), while Phase II contained low Zn (5.6 to 9.1 mol % ZnS) and high Cd (85.4 to 89.9 mol % CdS). The zincian greenockite was formed at temperature of 300~270 °C during the transformation from a reducing environment to an oxidizing one in the late stage of the mineralization process in the Saishitang deposit. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication of Single-Crystalline Calcite Needle-Like Particles Using the Aragonite–Calcite Phase Transition
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 133; doi:10.3390/min7080133
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 30 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
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Abstract
Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) occurs in two major polymorphs: rhombohedral calcite and orthorhombic aragonite, the latter is thermodynamically metastable. In this study, we first prepared aragonite needle-like particles by introducing CO2-containing gas into Ca(OH)2 aqueous slurry. Then, the resulted
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Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) occurs in two major polymorphs: rhombohedral calcite and orthorhombic aragonite, the latter is thermodynamically metastable. In this study, we first prepared aragonite needle-like particles by introducing CO2-containing gas into Ca(OH)2 aqueous slurry. Then, the resulted aragonite particles were heat treated at 500 °C for 1 h, in order to induce the aragonite–calcite phase transition. Particle structures before and after the heat treatment were characterized mainly by powder X-ray diffractometry (XRD), field emission-scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We found that single-crystalline calcite needle-like particles with zigzag surface structures can be fabricated using the phase transition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Flotation Behaviors of Perovskite, Titanaugite, and Magnesium Aluminate Spinel Using Octyl Hydroxamic Acid as the Collector
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 134; doi:10.3390/min7080134
Received: 18 June 2017 / Revised: 15 July 2017 / Accepted: 28 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
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Abstract
The flotation behaviors of perovskite, titanaugite, and magnesium aluminate spinel (MA-spinel), using octyl hydroxamic acid (OHA) as the collector, were investigated using microflotation experiments, zeta-potential measurements, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) analyses, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses, and flotation experiments on artificially mixed minerals.
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The flotation behaviors of perovskite, titanaugite, and magnesium aluminate spinel (MA-spinel), using octyl hydroxamic acid (OHA) as the collector, were investigated using microflotation experiments, zeta-potential measurements, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) analyses, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses, and flotation experiments on artificially mixed minerals. The microflotation experiments show that the floatability of perovskite is clearly better than titanaugite and MA-spinel at around pH 5.5, while titanaugite possesses certain floatability at pH 6.0–6.5, and MA-spinel displays good floatability at pH > 8.0. The results of the FT-IR and XPS analyses show that OHA mainly interacts with Ti, resulting in perovskite flotation, and that the Al on titanaugite, as well as the Mg and Al on the MA-spinel surface, chemically react with OHA under acidic conditions. However, OHA mainly reacts with the Ti and Ca on the perovskite surface, Ca and Mg on the titanaugite surface, and Mg and Al on the MA-spinel surface under alkaline conditions. The results of the artificially mixed mineral flotation experiment show that the concentrate of TiO2 grade increased from 19.73% to 30.18% at pH 5.4, which indicates that a weakly acidic solution is the appropriate condition for the flotation separation of perovskite from titanaugite and MA-spinel. The results of the modified slag flotation experiments show that the TiO2 grade of concentrate increased from 18.13% to 23.88% at pH 5.4, through the open circuit test of “one roughing and one cleaning”. OHA displays selectivity toward perovskite in the modified slag flotation, but the consumption of H2SO4 is very high. The CaSO4 precipitate covered on the mineral surfaces results in poor TiO2 grade and recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flotation Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Rare Earth Element Behaviour in Apatite from the Olympic Dam Cu–U–Au–Ag Deposit, South Australia
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 135; doi:10.3390/min7080135
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 29 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
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Abstract
Apatite is a common magmatic accessory in the intrusive rocks hosting the giant ~1590 Ma Olympic Dam (OD) iron-oxide copper gold (IOCG) ore system, South Australia. Moreover, hydrothermal apatite is a locally abundant mineral throughout the altered and mineralized rocks within and enclosing
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Apatite is a common magmatic accessory in the intrusive rocks hosting the giant ~1590 Ma Olympic Dam (OD) iron-oxide copper gold (IOCG) ore system, South Australia. Moreover, hydrothermal apatite is a locally abundant mineral throughout the altered and mineralized rocks within and enclosing the deposit. Based on compositional data for zoned apatite, we evaluate whether changes in the morphology and the rare earth element and Y (REY) chemistry of apatite can be used to constrain the fluid evolution from early to late hydrothermal stages at OD. The ~1.6 Ga Roxby Downs granite (RDG), host to the OD deposit, contains apatite as a magmatic accessory, locally in the high concentrations associated with mafic enclaves. Magmatic apatite commonly contains REY-poor cores and REY-enriched margins. The cores display a light rare earth element (LREE)-enriched chondrite-normalized fractionation pattern with a strong negative Eu anomaly. In contrast, later hydrothermal apatite, confined to samples where magmatic apatite has been obliterated due to advanced hematite-sericite alteration, displays a conspicuous, convex, middle rare earth element (MREE)-enriched pattern with a weak negative Eu anomaly. Such grains contain abundant inclusions of florencite and sericite. Within high-grade bornite ores from the deposit, apatite displays an extremely highly MREE-enriched chondrite-normalized fractionation trend with a positive Eu anomaly. Concentrations of U and Th in apatite mimic the behaviour of ∑REY and are richest in magmatic apatite hosted by RDG and the hydrothermal rims surrounding them. The shift from characteristic LREE-enriched magmatic and early hydrothermal apatite to later hydrothermal apatite displaying marked MREE-enriched trends (with lower U, Th, Pb and ∑REY concentrations) reflects the magmatic to hydrothermal transition. Additionally, the strong positive Eu anomaly in the MREE-enriched trends of apatite in high-grade bornite ores are attributable to alkaline fluid conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals and Frontiers in Mineralogy)
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Open AccessArticle Growth Oscillatory Zoning in Erythrite, Ideally Co3(AsO4)2·8H2O: Structural Variations in Vivianite-Group Minerals
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 136; doi:10.3390/min7080136
Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 30 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
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Abstract
The crystal structure of an oscillatory zoned erythrite sample from Aghbar mine, Bou Azzer, Morocco, was refined using synchrotron high-resolution powder X-ray diffraction (HRPXRD) data, Rietveld refinement, space group C2/m, and Z = 2. The crystal contains two sets of
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The crystal structure of an oscillatory zoned erythrite sample from Aghbar mine, Bou Azzer, Morocco, was refined using synchrotron high-resolution powder X-ray diffraction (HRPXRD) data, Rietveld refinement, space group C2/m, and Z = 2. The crystal contains two sets of oscillatory zones that appear to have developed during epitaxial growth. The unit-cell parameters obtained are a = 10.24799(3) Å, b = 13.42490(7) Å, c = 4.755885(8) Å, β = 105.1116(3)°, and V = 631.680(4) Å3. The empirical formula for erythrite, obtained with electron-probe micro-analysis (EPMA), is [Co2.78Zn0.11Ni0.07Fe0.04]∑3.00(AsO4)2·8H2O. Erythrite belongs to the vivianite-type structure that contains M1O2(H2O)4 octahedra and M22O6(H2O)4 octahedral dimers that are linked by TO4 (T5+ = As or P) tetrahedra to form complex layers parallel to the (010) plane. These layers are connected by hydrogen bonds. The average <M1–O>[6] = 2.122(1) Å and average <M2–O>[6] = 2.088(1) Å. With space group C2/m, there are two solid solutions: M3(AsO4)2·8H2O and M3(PO4)2·8H2O where M2+ = Mg, Fe, Co, Ni, or Zn. In these As- and P-series, using data from this study and from the literature, we find that their structural parameters evolve linearly with V and in a nearly parallel manner despite of the large difference in size between P5+ (0.170 Å) and As5+ (0.355 Å) cations. Average <T–O>[4], <M1–O>[6], and <M2–O>[6] distances increase linearly with V. The average <As–O> distance is affected by M atoms, whereas the average <P–O> distance is unaffected because it contains shorter and stronger P–O bonds. Although As- and P-series occur naturally, there is no structural reason why similar V-series vivianite-group minerals do not occur naturally or cannot be synthesized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals and Frontiers in Mineralogy)
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Open AccessArticle Characterization and Pre-Concentration of Low-Grade Vanadium-Titanium Magnetite Ore
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 137; doi:10.3390/min7080137
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 29 July 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
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Abstract
A large number of unexploited low-grade vanadium-titanium magnetite deposits have been found in the Chao-yang area of China in recent years. The reserves are estimated at more than 20 billion tons. A mineralogical study of raw sample indicated that it was a typical
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A large number of unexploited low-grade vanadium-titanium magnetite deposits have been found in the Chao-yang area of China in recent years. The reserves are estimated at more than 20 billion tons. A mineralogical study of raw sample indicated that it was a typical low-grade vanadium-titanium magnetite ore with weathering. Most of vanadium-titanium magnetite was replaced by martite and sphene, which would affect the recovery of valuable elements. The intergrowth relationship between vanadium-titanium magnetite and sphene was very complex, and the grain size of sphene was generally fine, and could not be completely liberated even by fine grinding, whereas the content of vanadium and titanium in sphene was higher than that in vanadium-titanium magnetite, resulting in vanadium-titanium magnetite concentrates with characteristics of high vanadium and titanium content. A magnetic separation process was investigated for the pre-concentration of low-grade vanadium-titanium magnetite ore. The results showed that 73.52% of feed ore were directly discarded for reducing the processing capacity of follow-up processing. A vanadium-titanium magnetite concentrate with 1.14% V2O5, 22.22% TiO2, 42.51% Fe and a rough concentrate of ilmenite with 16.05% TiO2, 20.77% Fe were obtained from low-grade vanadium-titanium magnetite ore which contains 0.050% V2O5, 1.67% TiO2 and 8.53% Fe. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Utilization of the MgO-Rich Residue Originated from Ludwigite Ore: Hydrothermal Synthesis of MHSH Whiskers
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 138; doi:10.3390/min7080138
Received: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 July 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
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Abstract
In this work, from the MgO-enriched residue originated from ludwigite ore, value-added magnesium hydroxide sulfate hydrate (MHSH) whiskers were prepared via sulfuric acid leaching and leachate purification, followed by hydrothermal synthesis. During sulfuric acid leaching, 98.2% magnesium and 99.6% silica were removed under
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In this work, from the MgO-enriched residue originated from ludwigite ore, value-added magnesium hydroxide sulfate hydrate (MHSH) whiskers were prepared via sulfuric acid leaching and leachate purification, followed by hydrothermal synthesis. During sulfuric acid leaching, 98.2% magnesium and 99.6% silica were removed under the optimal leaching conditions: sulfuric acid concentration of 40%, leaching temperature of 80 °C, leaching time of 90 min, and liquid to solid ratio of 4 mL/g. After purification of the acidic leachate via oxidation and precipitation to remove impurities including iron and aluminum, the Mg2+-rich solution was used to prepare magnesium hydroxide sulfate hydrate whiskers (5Mg(OH)2·MgSO4·2H2O, abbreviated as 512MHSH) via hydrothermal synthesis. Finally, 512MHSH whiskers were obtained with 30–100 μm in length, 0.5–1.0 μm in diameter and aspect ratio of approximately 100. The physicochemical characteristics of whiskers were further characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) and Thermogravimetry-Differential Scanning Calorimetry (TG-DSC). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Physicochemical and Additive Controls on the Multistep Precipitation Pathway of Gypsum
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 140; doi:10.3390/min7080140
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
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Abstract
Synchrotron-based small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS) was used to examine in situ the precipitation of gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) from solution. We determined the role of (I) supersaturation, (II) temperature and (III) additives (Mg2+ and citric acid) on the
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Synchrotron-based small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS) was used to examine in situ the precipitation of gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) from solution. We determined the role of (I) supersaturation, (II) temperature and (III) additives (Mg2+ and citric acid) on the precipitation mechanism and rate of gypsum. Detailed analysis of the SAXS data showed that for all tested supersaturations and temperatures the same nucleation pathway was maintained, i.e., formation of primary particles that aggregate and transform/re-organize into gypsum. In the presence of Mg2+ more primary particle are formed compared to the pure experiment, but the onset of their transformation/reorganization was slowed down. Citrate reduces the formation of primary particles resulting in a longer induction time of gypsum formation. Based on the WAXS data we determined that the precipitation rate of gypsum increased 5-fold from 4 to 40 °C, which results in an effective activation energy of ~30 kJ·mol−1. Mg2+ reduces the precipitation rate of gypsum by more than half, most likely by blocking the attachment sites of the growth units, while citric acid only weakly hampers the growth of gypsum by lowering the effective supersaturation. In short, our results show that the nucleation mechanism is independent of the solution conditions and that Mg2+ and citric acid influence differently the nucleation pathway and growth kinetics of gypsum. These insights are key for further improving our ability to control the crystallization process of calcium sulphate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Interaction between Ca2+ and Molybdenite Edges and Its Effect on Molybdenum Flotation
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 141; doi:10.3390/min7080141
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, the influence of Ca2+ on the flotation of a skarn type molybdenum ore and pure molybdenite mineral at pH 8 was studied using diesel as the collector. It was found that Ca2+ had little effect on molybdenum flotation
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In this paper, the influence of Ca2+ on the flotation of a skarn type molybdenum ore and pure molybdenite mineral at pH 8 was studied using diesel as the collector. It was found that Ca2+ had little effect on molybdenum flotation at low concentrations. By further increasing Ca2+ concentration, the floatability of molybdenite—especially from the fine size fractions—was depressed even without the presence of fine gangue minerals. The mechanism responsible for the deleterious effect of Ca2+ on molybdenite flotation was studied by a range of techniques including zeta potential measurements, Scanning Electron Microscopy, and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (SEM-EDS) analyses and molybdenum phase analyses. It was found that Ca2+ interacted with molybdenite edges producing CaMoO4 precipitates which were responsible for the depression of molybdenite flotation of Ca2+ by preventing the adsorption of diesel. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Contrasting Surficial Composition of Native Gold from Two Different Types of Gold Ore Deposits
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 142; doi:10.3390/min7080142
Received: 5 June 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
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Abstract
Native gold grains sampled at two different gold ore deposits in Eastern Russia have been studied by the techniques of electron spectroscopy (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES)), electron microprobe analysis (EMPA), and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray
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Native gold grains sampled at two different gold ore deposits in Eastern Russia have been studied by the techniques of electron spectroscopy (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES)), electron microprobe analysis (EMPA), and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDX). The high-fineness gold of the deposit hosted by relatively high temperature gold-quartz-sulfide mesothermal ore formation contains no oxidized Au constituents on grain surfaces, whereas the less fine gold of the epithermal Au-Ag deposit contains gold oxidized to the Au (I) state, or higher, in half of the cases. At this deposit the surface of native Au consists of a thin layer (~15 nm) with elevated Ag and S contents and an underlying SiO2–containing layer ~30–60 nm thick. Such a composite coating can perform a protective function and prevent the gold-silver sulfides in surficial parts of AuAg grains from oxidation. The sulfur-enriched marginal parts of native gold particles do not always correlate with the stoichiometry of well-known binary AuAg-sulfides and have a variable composition. This may be due to the existence of solid solutions, Ag2−xAuxS, if there is enough S or S adsorption-stabilized cluster agglomerates, AgnAumS, under sulfur deficit. The effect of the formation of nano-scale surficial zonality on the surface of native gold is quite common in nature and applicable to geological exploration and technology of gold-ore processing. It can facilitate establishing the geochemical environment and genetic type of Au mineralization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geochemistry and Mineralogy of Hydrothermal Metallic Mineral Deposits)
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Open AccessArticle Technological and Profitable Analysis of Airlifting in Deep Sea Mining Systems
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 143; doi:10.3390/min7080143
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 29 July 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
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Abstract
Airlifting technology utilized in deep-sea mining (DSM) industry was proposed in the 70s of last century, which was triggered by the discovery of vast amounts of mineral resources on the seabed. The objective of this paper is to assess the technological feasibility and
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Airlifting technology utilized in deep-sea mining (DSM) industry was proposed in the 70s of last century, which was triggered by the discovery of vast amounts of mineral resources on the seabed. The objective of this paper is to assess the technological feasibility and profitability analyses in terms of solid production rate, energy consumption per tonnage of mineral, and profitability per tonnage of mineral. The effects of submergence ratio, pipe diameter, particle diameter, mining depth, and gas flux rate are investigated. The analysis is based on a numerical calculation performed in a Matlab environment. The research reported in this paper can assist to select an optimal transport plan for DSM projects depending on its solid production rate, energy consumption, and profitability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Low Temperature Detoxification Method for Treatment of Chrysotile-Containing Waste Roofing Slate
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 144; doi:10.3390/min7080144
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 8 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
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Abstract
In this study, we evaluated a two-step process for detoxification of waste roofing slate, involving cement hydrate removal and low temperature detoxification using oxalic acid. These treatments were conducted on raw material and intermediate product, respectively. Cement hydrate removal effectively eliminated most Ca-containing
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In this study, we evaluated a two-step process for detoxification of waste roofing slate, involving cement hydrate removal and low temperature detoxification using oxalic acid. These treatments were conducted on raw material and intermediate product, respectively. Cement hydrate removal effectively eliminated most Ca-containing cement hydrate components from the raw material under the following conditions: HCl to solid ratio: 0.456 g/g, reaction time: 2 h, and solid to liquid ratio: 0.124 g/mL. Following low temperature (~100 °C) detoxification of intermediate product obtained after cement hydrate removal, chrysotile in waste roofing slate was effectively transformed to Mg-oxalate under conditions of oxalic acid to solid ratio of >0.67 g/g. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Recovery of Phosphate Minerals from Plant Tailings Using Direct Froth Flotation
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 145; doi:10.3390/min7080145
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 9 August 2017 / Published: 12 August 2017
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Abstract
Wastes produced from the phosphate industry presents many challenges due to the high economic and environmental impacts involved with their disposal. However, the relative scarcity of high-grade phosphate ores has driven researchers to recover and recycle these valuable wastes (secondary sources). The goal
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Wastes produced from the phosphate industry presents many challenges due to the high economic and environmental impacts involved with their disposal. However, the relative scarcity of high-grade phosphate ores has driven researchers to recover and recycle these valuable wastes (secondary sources). The goal of this study was to investigate the possibility of upgrading the P2O5 content in tailings produced from a phosphorous production plant using direct froth flotation. Characterization assays, including X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and mineral liberation analysis (MLA), were first conducted to identify the mineralogical and morphological characteristics of tailings samples and grain properties to better understand the behavior of the flotation feed. Flotation experiments were conducted using Denver D-12 in a 1-L flotation cell in the presence of sodium silicate (dispersant) and sodium oleate (collector). Several parameters, such as the solids content of the flotation pulp, pulp pH and flotation time, were investigated to optimize the recovery and grade of the concentrate products. Results obtained from this study indicated that the P2O5 content in plant tailings could be upgraded from 21.57% to 28.4% at >73% recovery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Separation of Molybdenite from Chalcopyrite in the Presence of Novel Depressant 4-Amino-3-thioxo-3,4-dihydro-1,2,4-triazin-5(2H)-one
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 146; doi:10.3390/min7080146
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 15 August 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, 4-amino-3-thioxo-3,4-dihydro-1,2,4-triazin-5(2H)-one (ATDT) was synthesized and introduced as a depressant for selective flotation separation of molybdenite from chalcopyrite. Its flotation performance and adsorption mechanism on minerals were first investigated by flotation, UV spectra, zeta potential, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and
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In this paper, 4-amino-3-thioxo-3,4-dihydro-1,2,4-triazin-5(2H)-one (ATDT) was synthesized and introduced as a depressant for selective flotation separation of molybdenite from chalcopyrite. Its flotation performance and adsorption mechanism on minerals were first investigated by flotation, UV spectra, zeta potential, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Measurements (XPS). The bench scale tests indicated that ATDT exhibited stronger depressing power than chalcopyrite, and the selective index of Mo/Cu improved significantly in the presence of ATDT. The results of the UV spectra, zeta potential and FTIR demonstrated that ATDT chemisorbed on the chalcopyrite surface. The XPS results further confirmed that ATDT might chemisorb onto the chalcopyrite surface through S and N atoms to form five-membered chelate rings and a postulated adsorption mode was presented. For molybdenite, the different measurements agreed well with each other and implied that ATDT might weakly physisorb onto a molybdenite surface. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Biologically-Mediated Gold Mobilisation and Redeposition in a Semiarid Climate, Southern New Zealand
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 147; doi:10.3390/min7080147
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 11 August 2017 / Accepted: 13 August 2017 / Published: 16 August 2017
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Abstract
Detrital gold in Late Pleistocene-Holocene placers has been chemically mobilised and redeposited at the micron scale by biologically-mediated reactions in groundwater. These processes have been occurring in a tectonically active semiarid rain shadow zone of southern New Zealand and are probably typical for
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Detrital gold in Late Pleistocene-Holocene placers has been chemically mobilised and redeposited at the micron scale by biologically-mediated reactions in groundwater. These processes have been occurring in a tectonically active semiarid rain shadow zone of southern New Zealand and are probably typical for this type of environment elsewhere in the world. The chemical system is dominated by sulfur, which has been derived from basement pyrite and marine aerosols in rain. Detrital and authigenic pyrite is common below the water table, and evaporative sulfate minerals are common above the fluctuating water table. Pyrite oxidation was common but any acid generated was neutralised on the large scale (tens of metres) by calcite, and pH remained circumneutral except on the small scale (centimetres) around pyritic material. Metastable thiosulfate ions were a temporary product of pyrite oxidation, enhanced by bacterial mediation, and similar bacterial mediation enhanced sulfate reduction to form authigenic pyrite below the water table. Deposition of mobilised gold resulted from localised variations in redox and/or pH, and this formed overgrowths on detrital gold of microparticulate and nanoparticulate gold that is locally crystalline. The redeposited gold is an incidental byproduct of the bacterially-enhanced sulfur reactions that have occurred near to the fluctuating sulfide-sulfate redox boundary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry of Precious Metals)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Seawater on the Trace Element Geochemistry of Some UK Coals and a Tribute to Goldschmidt
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 148; doi:10.3390/min7080148
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 August 2017 / Published: 17 August 2017
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Abstract
The Pennsylvanian coals in the UK were deposited in a low-lying delta plain which was periodically inundated by the sea. This resulted in high S contents, mainly due to early diagenetic pyrite. Based on a statistical analysis of the geochemical data, pyrite is
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The Pennsylvanian coals in the UK were deposited in a low-lying delta plain which was periodically inundated by the sea. This resulted in high S contents, mainly due to early diagenetic pyrite. Based on a statistical analysis of the geochemical data, pyrite is the major host for As, Se, Hg, Tl and Pb and an important host for Mo, Cd, Ni, Sb and Cu. All of these elements are enriched in the coals compared with non-marine mudrocks in the sequence, as is Ge and Be, although theirs is an organic association. The pattern of enrichment in the coals is similar to that in marine shales and coals overlain by marine shales, demonstrating the seawater influence. Goldschmidt was a pioneer in the geochemical study of coals and this paper will demonstrate that many of his ideas have stood the test of time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organo-Mineral Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle CFD Simulation of Pipeline Transport Properties of Mine Tailings Three-Phase Foam Slurry Backfill
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 149; doi:10.3390/min7080149
Received: 12 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 13 August 2017 / Published: 17 August 2017
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Abstract
A three-dimensional backfill pipeline transport model is developed using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique, which is applied to study the pipeline transport properties of three-phase foam slurry backfill (TFSB). Based on rheological property tests and CFD simulations, the foam phase, pressure, and
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A three-dimensional backfill pipeline transport model is developed using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique, which is applied to study the pipeline transport properties of three-phase foam slurry backfill (TFSB). Based on rheological property tests and CFD simulations, the foam phase, pressure, and velocity in the pipeline system are investigated using the CFD mixture method for different bubble volume fractions and bubble diameters. The simulation results indicate that TFSB can maintain a steady state during pipeline transport, experience a markedly reduced pipeline transport resistance, and exhibit better liquidity than conventional cement slurry. Furthermore, as the bubble volume fraction increases, the resistance of the pipeline decreases and the fluidity improves. By contrast, the bubble diameter has little effect on the transport properties of TFSB. The combined results of CFD simulations, slump tests, and strength tests indicate that, when the bubble volume fraction is 15–20 vol %, TFSB can satisfy the necessary strength requirements and exhibit self-flowing transport. The CFD technique provides an intuitive and accurate basis for pipeline transport research and has the potential for wider application in studies of mine backfill. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Mine Wastes: Contributions to the Circular Economy)
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Open AccessArticle Elimination of the Adverse Effect of Calcium Ion on the Flotation Separation of Magnesite from Dolomite
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 150; doi:10.3390/min7080150
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 11 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
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Abstract
The separation of magnesite from dolomite was studied by flotation tests, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and zeta potential measurements in the presence of calcium ion (Ca2+) dissolved from dolomite. Sodium oleate (NaOL) was used as collector, and sodium carbonate (Na2
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The separation of magnesite from dolomite was studied by flotation tests, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and zeta potential measurements in the presence of calcium ion (Ca2+) dissolved from dolomite. Sodium oleate (NaOL) was used as collector, and sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) and sodium hexametaphosphate (SH) were used as regulators. The results showed that SH had a good selective inhibition ability in pure mineral flotations of magnesite and dolomite. While in the presence of Ca2+ dissolved from dolomite, magnesite and dolomite were both inhibited by SH. The separation of magnesite from dolomite cannot be realized because Ca2+ can adsorb on the surface of magnesite in the form of CaCO3 and change the surface properties of magnesite. Thus, the magnesite flotation was depressed. When the sequence of reagent addition was changed to add SH prior to Na2CO3, a complex was made by Ca2+ reacting with SH, which avoided the adsorption of Ca2+ on the magnesite surface and prevented the changing of the magnesite’s surface properties. Then, after adjusting the solution pH with Na2CO3, the flotation separation of magnesite from dolomite could be achieved. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Vertical Heterogeneity of the Shale Reservoir in the Lower Silurian Longmaxi Formation: Analogy between the Southeastern and Northeastern Sichuan Basin, SW China
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 151; doi:10.3390/min7080151
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
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Abstract
Lower Silurian Longmaxi formation (LSL) shale is widely and continuously distributed in the northeastern Sichuan Basin and, based on structural analogies with the gas producing LSL formation in the southeastern Sichuan Basin, has significant potential for shale gas exploration. However, limited research has
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Lower Silurian Longmaxi formation (LSL) shale is widely and continuously distributed in the northeastern Sichuan Basin and, based on structural analogies with the gas producing LSL formation in the southeastern Sichuan Basin, has significant potential for shale gas exploration. However, limited research has been performed to evaluate the shale gas potential in this region. Samples from a recently completed exploratory well (Well-WQ2) in the northeastern Sichuan Basin indicate that the LSL shale has a vertical property sequence that closely resembles the vertical property sequences in wells in the gas-producing sections of the southeastern Sichuan Basin. The continuous sampling and analyses of Well-WQ2 have allowed a detailed investigation of the vertical variations in lithofacies, mineral characteristics, pore structures, and organic geochemical characteristics. The Longmaxi formation was divided into two third-order sequences (SQ1 and SQ2) based on systematic core observations and well logging analyses. Both SQ1 and SQ2 include a transgressive system tract (TST) and a high-stand system tract (HST). The lithofacies exhibit an upward decrease in the organic content. From SQ1 to SQ2, the quartz content, in situ graptolite content, total organic carbon (TOC) content, and brittleness index decrease, but the clay mineral content increases. The LSL shale sections from depths of 1204 to 1214 m and from 1271 to 1282 m possess well-developed fractures and high permeability. Additionally, the average porosity and permeability in SQ1 are higher than those in SQ2. In addition, the positive correlation between the TOC and quartz contents of the assayed samples suggests that much of the quartz is of biogenic origin. Changes in the sedimentary and diagenetic environments during deposition are two key factors that contribute to the observed vertical heterogeneity of the Longmaxi formation. In conclusion, the shale sections of the lower part of the SQ1, like their analogs in the southeastern Sichuan Basin, are the most favorable targets for shale gas production in the northeastern Sichuan Basin. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview About the Genetic Mechanisms of Apatites: A Survey on the Methodological Approaches
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 139; doi:10.3390/min7080139
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 5 August 2017
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Abstract
Apatites are properly considered as a strategic material owing to the broad range of their practical uses, primarily biomedical but chemical, pharmaceutical, environmental and geological as well. The apatite group of minerals has been the subject of a huge number of papers, mainly
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Apatites are properly considered as a strategic material owing to the broad range of their practical uses, primarily biomedical but chemical, pharmaceutical, environmental and geological as well. The apatite group of minerals has been the subject of a huge number of papers, mainly devoted to the mass crystallization of nanosized hydroxyapatite (or carboapatite) as a scaffold for osteoinduction purposes. Many wet and dry methods of synthesis have been proposed. The products have been characterized using various techniques, from the transmission electron microscopy to many spectroscopic methods like IR and Raman. The experimental approach usually found in literature allows getting tailor made micro- and nano- crystals ready to be used in a wide variety of fields. Despite the wide interest in synthesis and characterization, little attention has been paid to the relationships between bulk structure and corresponding surfaces and to the role plaid by surfaces on the mechanisms involved during the early stages of growth of apatites. In order to improve the understanding of their structure and chemical variability, close attention will be focused on the structural complexity of hydroxyapatite (HAp), on the richness of its surfaces and their role in the interaction with the precursor phases, and in growth kinetics and morphology. Full article
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