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Minerals, Volume 12, Issue 6 (June 2022) – 125 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The presence of anglesite (PbSO4) in complex sulfide ores negatively affects the separation of Cu-Pb sulfides and sphalerite (ZnS) due to lead activation, and PbSO4 rejected by tailings dams contaminates the surrounding environment with lead. To address these problems, this study investigated a pretreatment to extract PbSO4 using ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid to achieve ZnS flotation, and explored the recovery of the extracted Pb2+ as zero-valent Pb through cementation using zero-valent iron. The proposed flowsheet for the mineral processing of complex sulfide ores containing PbSO4 in this study can achieve the separation of Cu-Pb sulfides and ZnS while preventing the leakage of lead into the surrounding environment of tailings dams and maximizing the critical element recovery by cementation. View this paper
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Article
Investigation of Internal Classification in Coarse Particle Flotation of Chalcopyrite Using the CoarseAIRTM
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 783; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060783 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 584
Abstract
This work introduces the CoarseAIR™, a novel system utilizing a three-phase fluidized bed and a system of inclined channels to facilitate coarse particle flotation and internal size classification. Internal classification in the CoarseAIR™ was investigated in a series of continuous steady-state experiments at [...] Read more.
This work introduces the CoarseAIR™, a novel system utilizing a three-phase fluidized bed and a system of inclined channels to facilitate coarse particle flotation and internal size classification. Internal classification in the CoarseAIR™ was investigated in a series of continuous steady-state experiments at different inclined channel spacings. For each experimental series, a low-grade chalcopyrite ore was milled to a top size of 0.53 mm and methodically prepared to generate a consistent feed. The air rate to the system was adjusted to determine the impact of the gas flux on coarse particle flotation and overall system performance, with a focus on maximizing both copper recovery and coarse gangue rejection. A new feed preparation protocol led to low variability in the state of the feed, and in turn strong closure in the material balance. Hence, clear conclusions were drawn due to the high-quality datasets. Inclined channel spacings of z = 6 and z = 9 mm were used. The z = 9 mm spacing produced more favourable copper recovery and gangue rejection. Higher gas fluxes of 0.30 to 0.45 cm/s had a measurable, adverse effect on the recovery of the coarser hydrophobic particles, while the gas flux of 0.15 cm/s delivered the best performance. Here, the cumulative recovery was 90%, and mass rejection was 60% at 0.50 mm, while the +0.090 mm recovery was 83% with a gangue rejection of 85%. The system displayed robust performance across all conditions investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Technologies in Mineral Separation in Complex Ore Systems)
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Article
Porosity Distribution Law of Overlying Strata in the Goaf of the Adjacent Working Face: From the Perspective of Section Coal Pillar Types
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 782; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060782 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 263
Abstract
The porosity distribution law of overlying strata in the goaf has an important guiding role in distinguishing hidden disaster-causing factors in the goaf, such as the gas enrichment area and spontaneous combustion area. Existing research is concentrated on the overlying strata in the [...] Read more.
The porosity distribution law of overlying strata in the goaf has an important guiding role in distinguishing hidden disaster-causing factors in the goaf, such as the gas enrichment area and spontaneous combustion area. Existing research is concentrated on the overlying strata in the goaf of a single working face (GSWF), and the porosity distribution law of overlying strata in the goaf of an adjacent working face (GAWF) must be different from that in the GSWF. By selecting Longshan Coal Mine as an engineering background and applying theoretical analysis, numerical simulation and formula-fitting methods, the porosity distribution law of overlying strata in the GAWF was obtained for different section coal pillar types. The results demonstrate that (1) according to the supporting effect of different sections of coal pillar widths on overlying strata, the GAWF can be divided into three types: goaf of an adjacent working face with small-section coal pillar width type (GFST), goaf of an adjacent working face with moderate-section coal pillar width type (GFMT), and goaf of an adjacent working face with large-section coal pillar width type (GFLT). (2) In the goaf of a working face, the offset distance from the maximum porosity value area of each overlying rock stratum to the middle of the rock stratum is positively correlated with the distance between the overlying strata and the coal seam floor. In the area affected by the section coal pillar (ASCP), the porosity of each overlying rock stratum increases with an increase in the section coal pillar width, but is still smaller than its own initial porosity, and its increase rate continuously decreases. (3) From the coal seam floor upward, the porosity spatial form distribution of overlying strata in the GFST and GFMT is described as follows: partial “dustpan” shape–unilateral “concave-convex peak” combined shape. The porosity spatial form distribution of overlying strata in the GFLT is described as follows: “dustpan” shape–“concave-convex peak” combined shape-“Λ” shape. Full article
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Article
Geochemical Characteristics and Their Geological Significance of Lower Cambrian Xiaoerblak Formation in Northwestern Tarim Basin, China
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 781; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060781 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Lower Cambrian Xiaoerblak Formation is one of the major exploration targets in Cambrian pre-salt Tarim Basin; however, the exploration breakthrough is restricted by insufficient understanding of its sedimentary evolution and reservoir genesis. In this paper, based on a systematic description of the outcrop [...] Read more.
Lower Cambrian Xiaoerblak Formation is one of the major exploration targets in Cambrian pre-salt Tarim Basin; however, the exploration breakthrough is restricted by insufficient understanding of its sedimentary evolution and reservoir genesis. In this paper, based on a systematic description of the outcrop in the Xiaoerblak section, northwestern Tarim Basin, some samples were selected for tests of stable carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions, strontium isotopic composition, order degree, trace and rare earth elements, U-Pb isotopic age and clumped isotope. It is found that the Xiaoerblak Formation mainly develops nine types of dolomites, i.e., laminated microbial dolomite, thrombolite dolomite, stromatolite dolomite, foamy microbial dolomite, grain dolomite, etc. According to the lithofacies associations, it can be divided into three members: Xi 1, Xi 2, and Xi 3, of which member Xi 2 is subdivided into three submembers. The characteristics of lithofacies assemblage formed bottom to top indicate that it can be described as a third-order sequence. The Xiaoerblak Formation was deposited in a nearshore shallow seawater environment characterized by high water salinity and temperature under a warm and humid climate during the Early Cambrian, giving rise to the sedimentary sequence of inner ramp lagoon, subtidal microbial mound shoal and tidal flat in the carbonate ramp setting from bottom to top. Its dolomitization occurred in the penecontemporaneous–shallow burial period when the temperature was relatively low and high-salinity seawater acted as the main dolomitizaiton fluid. The reservoir space mainly comprises primary microbial framework pores and vugs formed by the atmospheric freshwater dissolution. Reservoirs were controlled by lithofacies, high-frequency sequence boundary and early dolomitization. The research results are of great significance for presalt Cambrian lithofacies paleogeographic mapping and reservoir prediction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagenesis and Geochemistry of Carbonates)
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Review
Geoenvironmental Model for Roll-Type Uranium Deposits in the Texas Gulf Coast
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 780; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060780 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 316
Abstract
Geoenvironmental models were formulated by the U.S. Geological Survey in the 1990s to describe potential environmental effects of extracting different types of ore deposits in different geologic and climatic regions. This paper presents a geoenvironmental model for roll-front (roll-type) uranium deposits in the [...] Read more.
Geoenvironmental models were formulated by the U.S. Geological Survey in the 1990s to describe potential environmental effects of extracting different types of ore deposits in different geologic and climatic regions. This paper presents a geoenvironmental model for roll-front (roll-type) uranium deposits in the Texas Coastal Plain. The model reviews descriptive and quantitative information derived from environmental studies and existing databases to depict existing conditions and potential environmental concerns associated with mining this deposit type. This geoenvironmental model describes how features of the deposits including host rock; ore and gangue mineralogy; geologic, hydrologic, and climatic settings; and mining methods (legacy open-pit and in situ recovery [ISR]) influence potential environmental effects from mining. Element concentrations in soil and water are compared to regulatory thresholds to depict ambient surface water and groundwater conditions. Although most open-pit operations in this region have been reclaimed, concerns remain about groundwater quality at three of the four former mills that supported former open-pit mines and are undergoing closure activities. The primary environmental concerns with ISR mining are (1) radon gas at active ISR operations, (2) radiation or contaminant leakage during production and transport of ISR resin or yellowcake, (3) uranium excursions into groundwater surrounding active ISR operations, and (4) contamination of groundwater after ISR mining. Although existing regulations attempt to address these concerns, some problems remain. Researchers suggest that reactive transport modeling and a better understanding of geology, stratigraphy, and geochemistry of ISR production areas could minimize excursions into surrounding aquifers and improve results of groundwater restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Sound In-Situ Recovery Mining of Uranium)
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Article
CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery Mechanism in Canadian Bakken Shale
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 779; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060779 - 19 Jun 2022
Viewed by 392
Abstract
The recovery factor in unconventional reservoirs is typically 5–10%, with extensive hydraulic fracturing and infill drilling to maintain the production rate. Concurrently, the rush towards decarbonization is opening up new possibilities for CO2 utilization, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) being one example. CO [...] Read more.
The recovery factor in unconventional reservoirs is typically 5–10%, with extensive hydraulic fracturing and infill drilling to maintain the production rate. Concurrently, the rush towards decarbonization is opening up new possibilities for CO2 utilization, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) being one example. CO2-EOR in unconventional reservoirs presents an opportunity for both financial gain through improved recovery factors, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of the produced oil. In this work, we examine the CO2-EOR potential in 4 organic-rich shale samples from the Canadian Bakken Formation. A number of characterization tests alongside CO2 extraction experiments were performed to gain insight into the controlling factors of CO2-EOR in these ultra-tight formations. The results show CO2 can penetrate the tight rock matrix and recover a substantial amount of hydrocarbon. Concentration gradient driven diffusion is the dominant form of recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shale and Tight Reservoir Characterization and Resource Assessment)
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Article
Experimental Investigation of Visible-Light and X-ray Emissions during Rock and Mineral Fracture: Role of Electrons Traveling between Fracture Surfaces
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 778; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060778 - 18 Jun 2022
Viewed by 347
Abstract
Radiation phenomena are usually observed during fracture of quartz-bearing rocks. Since quartz is a piezoelectric material, the associated electrical processes such as the electrification of fracture surface and the flight of electrons between fracture surfaces should be important for radiation during fractures. In [...] Read more.
Radiation phenomena are usually observed during fracture of quartz-bearing rocks. Since quartz is a piezoelectric material, the associated electrical processes such as the electrification of fracture surface and the flight of electrons between fracture surfaces should be important for radiation during fractures. In this article, supposing that travelling electrons between crack surfaces cause the radiation, we experimentally investigate X-ray emission in a vacuum and visible-light emission in the atmosphere during rock and mineral fracture and verify the consistency of both emissions. The number of electrons in flight between surfaces during fracture that result in X-ray is estimated and the comparison with the number of photons in visible light suggests that one electron repeatedly collides with N2 molecules. The estimated number of collisions resulting in a visible-light emission is slightly less than the expected upper limit. This is reasonable because the collision would cause the light emission not always in the wavelengths of visible light. Moreover, the number of electrons resulting in X-rays is comparable with the number of electrons resulting in the emission of radio waves during fracture obtained in previous studies. Thus, we conclude that the radiations during fracture can be attributed to the flight of electrons between fracture surfaces. Finally, we evaluate the feasibility of observing the X-ray emission in planetary exploration and the radio waves and the visible light in natural earthquakes and find that these radiations are observable. Full article
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Article
Searching Mass-Balance Analysis to Find the Composition of Martian Blueberries
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 777; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060777 - 18 Jun 2022
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Between 2004 and 2018, NASA’s rover Opportunity found huge numbers of small, hematite-rich spherules (commonly called blueberries) on the Meridiani Planum of Mars. The standard oxide composition distributions of blueberries have remained poorly constrained, with previous published analyses leaving hematite content somewhere in [...] Read more.
Between 2004 and 2018, NASA’s rover Opportunity found huge numbers of small, hematite-rich spherules (commonly called blueberries) on the Meridiani Planum of Mars. The standard oxide composition distributions of blueberries have remained poorly constrained, with previous published analyses leaving hematite content somewhere in the broad range of 24–100 wt%. A searching mass-balance analysis is introduced and applied to constrain possible standard oxide composition distributions of blueberries consistent with the non-detection of silicates in blueberries by Opportunity’s instruments. This analysis found three groups of complete solution sets among the mass-balance ions consistent with the non-detection of silicates; although, a simple extension of the analysis indicates that one larger space of solutions incorporates all three groups of solutions. Enforcing consistency with the non-detection of silicates in blueberries constrains the hematite content in most of blueberry samples to between 79.5 and 99.85 wt%. A feature of the largest group of complete solution sets is that five oxides/elements, MgO, P2O5, Na2O, SO3, and Cl, collectively have a summed weight percentage that averages close to 6 wt%, while the weight percentage of nickel is close to 0.3 wt% in all solutions. Searches over multidimensional spaces of filtering composition distributions of basaltic and dusty soils were a methodological advance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Study of Minerals by Molecular Spectroscopy)
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Article
Verification and Application of Sequence Stratigraphy to Reservoir Characterization of Horn River Basin, Canada
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 776; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060776 - 18 Jun 2022
Viewed by 293
Abstract
Shale reservoirs, the most important unconventional resource, are difficult to characterize. Shale formations require detailed interpretation of geological, petrophysical, and geochemical analyses, and an integration of these disciplines. In terms of geological interpretation, the commonly used sequence stratigraphy analysis includes a lithofacies analysis. [...] Read more.
Shale reservoirs, the most important unconventional resource, are difficult to characterize. Shale formations require detailed interpretation of geological, petrophysical, and geochemical analyses, and an integration of these disciplines. In terms of geological interpretation, the commonly used sequence stratigraphy analysis includes a lithofacies analysis. The application of sequence stratigraphy to shales facilitates the ability to relate between lithofacies and mineral composition, petrophysical parameters, and kerogen contents, which are affected by depositional setting. The classification of lithofacies is indispensable for reservoir quality prediction. In this study, porosity, permeability, and TOC content largely depend on lithofacies, and their correlation coefficient is relatively high. The sequence stratigraphic interpretation shows that organic carbon content usually increases within the maximum flooding surfaces and decreases stepwise. However, the relationship between total organic carbon contents and systems tract is less direct and redox dependent. Full article
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Article
The Hidden Magmatic Chamber from the Ponte Nova Mafic–Ultramafic Alkaline Massif, SE Brazil: Clues from Clinopyroxene and Olivine Antecrysts
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 775; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060775 - 18 Jun 2022
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Clinopyroxene and olivine primocrysts in the intrusions of the Ponte Nova mafic–ultramafic alkaline massif (SE Brazil) present several textures and zoning that indicate open-system processes. Important compositional differences were found in the clinopyroxene. Diopside relict cores (mostly partially corroded) present higher Mg, Cr [...] Read more.
Clinopyroxene and olivine primocrysts in the intrusions of the Ponte Nova mafic–ultramafic alkaline massif (SE Brazil) present several textures and zoning that indicate open-system processes. Important compositional differences were found in the clinopyroxene. Diopside relict cores (mostly partially corroded) present higher Mg, Cr and Ni and lower Ti, Na, Al, REE and Sr than Ti-augite mantling and rims. Subordinately, two types of olivine crystals were recognized, one related to very zoned crystals with high Mg (Fo up to 86 mol.%) and Ni cores (mostly with corroded rims), and other almost without clear zonation and with lower Mg contents. Relict cores of high-Mg clinopyroxene and olivine crystals are representative of antecrysts formed in deeper chamber environments. Temperature and pressure estimates based on clinopyroxene-liquid geothermobarometers indicate crystallization of the antecrysts at ~1171 ± 10 °C and ~5.7 ± 0.3 kbar, pointing to a deeper hidden magmatic chamber, whereas mantling and rim compositions indicate a shallow chamber environment. Clinopyroxenes of this hidden chamber have progressive enrichments of incompatible elements with the Mg# decrement and inflection points in Sr and REE due to the starting of co-precipitation of apatite. The evolution trend of clinopyroxene antecrysts indicates that the main intrusions in the Ponte Nova shallow chamber were fed by a single deeper hidden chamber mainly controlled by typical fractional crystallization processes. These antecrysts indicate the presence of a complex plumbing system, which is also supported by similar antecrysts found in the lamprophyre and alkali basalt dikes of this region. The preferred petrological model for the Ponte Nova massif could be summarized as repeated influxes of antecryst-laden basanite magmas that deposited most of their suspended crystals on the floor of the upper-crust magma chamber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology)
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Article
Differences in Properties between Pebbles and Raw Ore from a SAG Mill at a Zinc, Tin-Bearing Mine
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 774; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060774 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Semi-autogenous (SAG) mills are widely used grinding equipment, but some ore with critical particle sizes cannot be effectively processed by SAG mills and turned into pebbles. This research aims to analyze and compare the properties of raw ore and pebbles from a zinc- [...] Read more.
Semi-autogenous (SAG) mills are widely used grinding equipment, but some ore with critical particle sizes cannot be effectively processed by SAG mills and turned into pebbles. This research aims to analyze and compare the properties of raw ore and pebbles from a zinc- and tin-bearing ore. The results show that the contents of sphalerite, cassiterite, biotite, antigorite, pyroxferroite, ferroactinolite, and ilvaite in the raw ore are higher than those in the pebbles, and that the pebbles have higher contents of hedenbergite, chlorite, epidote, actinolite, etc. Meanwhile, the abrasion and impact resistance of pebbles is greater than that of the raw ore. In addition, the sphalerite is evenly embedded, and the grinding process is regular. Fine cassiterite associated with harder minerals is difficult to dissociate; it is often found in softer or brittle minerals which may be easily ground into ore mud. The cassiterite in the pebbles is associated with hard and brittle hedenbergite and soft chlorite, making it difficult to recover. This research provides a good foundation for evaluating the recovery value of pebbles and improving the productivity of the SAG process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Experimental and Numerical Studies of Mineral Comminution)
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Article
Influence of Clogging at the Filtration on Analysis of Dissolved and Particulate Forms of Chemical Elements in Boreal Rivers of the Russian Far East
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 773; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060773 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 333
Abstract
Clogging is inevitable when membranes with 0.45 µm pore size are used for the separation of particulates from dissolved/colloidal forms in river water. This can lead to a shift in water quality assessment and evaluation of geochemical fluxes. We studied the influence of [...] Read more.
Clogging is inevitable when membranes with 0.45 µm pore size are used for the separation of particulates from dissolved/colloidal forms in river water. This can lead to a shift in water quality assessment and evaluation of geochemical fluxes. We studied the influence of clogging on the concentration of trace elements, major anions, nitrate, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the filtrates after a sequential pass from 0.1 to 0.5 L of river water samples through the same 47 mm membrane with 0.45 µm pore size. These experiments were carried out for the typical boreal rivers of the Russian Far East, including the biggest one, Amur R., with different quantities of suspended solids (SS) and anthropogenic load. The concentration of the major anions, nitrate, Si, DOC, and such trace elements as Li, B, Ni, Cu, As, Sr, Rb, Mo, Ba, U did not depend on the water volume filtered. However, filterable Al, Fe, Ti, Pb, Mn, Co, and most REEs showed a notable decrease in concentration at an increase in volume filtered, at more than 100–200 mL of river water. Clogging membranes with retention of colloids <0.45 µm was suggested as a reason for such a decrease. The quantity of suspended solids and their grain size are the major factors that control clogging itself. Still, the influence of clogging on the concentration of filterable forms depends on the share of coarse colloidal forms. Moreover, retention of colloids <0.45 µm by the clogged membrane can bias the assessment of particulate forms. Surpluses of particulate Fe, Al, Mn, Co due to clogging decline from 13–26% to 2–6% of suspended forms of these metals at the growth of SS in river waters from 10 mg/L to more than 50 mg/L. For particulate REEs, the share due to membrane clogging varies non-linearly from 2–9% to 23–39%, depending on the initial concentration of filterable forms of REEs in the river waters. Full article
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Article
Bentonite Powder XRD Quantitative Analysis Using Rietveld Refinement: Revisiting and Updating Bulk Semiquantitative Mineralogical Compositions
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 772; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060772 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 409
Abstract
Bentonite is a claystone formed by a complex mineralogical mixture, composed of montmorillonite, illite, and accessory minerals like quartz, cristobalite, feldspars, carbonates, and minor amounts of iron oxy-hydroxides. Bentonite presents complexity at various scales: (1): a single mineral may present different chemical composition [...] Read more.
Bentonite is a claystone formed by a complex mineralogical mixture, composed of montmorillonite, illite, and accessory minerals like quartz, cristobalite, feldspars, carbonates, and minor amounts of iron oxy-hydroxides. Bentonite presents complexity at various scales: (1): a single mineral may present different chemical composition within the same quarry (e.g., feldspars solid solutions); (2): montmorillonite presents variability in the cation-exchange distribution while illite may be presented as mixed-layer with smectite sheets; and (3): hardness and crystal size are larger in accessory minerals than in clay minerals, preventing uniform grinding of bentonite. The FEBEX bentonite used is originally from Almería (Spain), and it is a predominantly calcium, magnesium, and sodium bentonite. This Spanish FEBEX bentonite has been hydrothermally altered at laboratory scale for 7–14 years. A thermal gradient was generated by heating a disk of pressed iron powder, simulating the metal waste canister, in contact with the compacted bentonite sample. Hydration was forced from the opposite direction. XRD recorded patterns were very similar. In order to minimize the bias of XRD semi-quantitative determination methods, Rietveld refinement was performed using BGMN software and different structural models. Confidence in the quantification of the main phases allows us to convincingly detect other subtle changes such as the presence of calcite in the hydration front, right at the interface between the saturated and unsaturated bentonite, or the presence of goethite, and not hematite, in the saturated bentonite, near the source of hydration. Smectite component was 72 ± 3% and the refinement was consistent with the presence of ~10% illite, comparable with previous characterizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure and Crystallochemistry of Clay Minerals)
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Article
Petrogenesis and Geological Significance of the Quartz Monzonites in the Jinling Area, Western Shandong Province
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 771; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060771 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 367
Abstract
Jinling complex pluton is a key part of the Mesozoic magmatic belt in the eastern North China Craton. However, its petrogenesis is still being debated. The Jinling complex, mainly composed of biotite diorites, hornblende diorite, augite diorites, (quartz) monzonites, and quartz diorites, is [...] Read more.
Jinling complex pluton is a key part of the Mesozoic magmatic belt in the eastern North China Craton. However, its petrogenesis is still being debated. The Jinling complex, mainly composed of biotite diorites, hornblende diorite, augite diorites, (quartz) monzonites, and quartz diorites, is outcropped in Huashan and Heitieshan. This paper studies the zircon geochronology, zircon Hf isotope, and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope of quartz monzonites. The samples have high contents of Cr, Ni, V, Al2O3, Ba, Sr, and are enriched in LREEs, LILEs (K, Ba, Sr), depleted in HREEs, and HFSEs (Nb, Ta, Ti). The samples with captured zircons of ~2.5 Ga yield a weighted mean age of ~127 Ma, and the zircons have negative values of εHf(t) from −3.2 to −9.4 while the ratios of 208Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/204Pb, 206Pb/204Pb 37.75~38.15, 15.41~15.43, 17.59~17.98, respectively. The ratios of Th/U are from 3.77 to 3.82, while the values of μ and ω are 9.18 and from 35.72 to 36.15. Meanwhile, the ratios of 87Sr/86Sr are higher than the ones of the mantle. Geochemical and isotopic features indicate that the quartz monzonites derived from the subcontinental lithospheric mantle that probably assimilated ancient NCC upper crust materials (~15–20%) during the magma ascent in a lithospheric extension setting. Full article
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Article
Research on Uniaxial Compression Mechanics of Diorite under Flowing Acidic Solution Scouring
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 770; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060770 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 310
Abstract
The bedrock used for underground construction has obvious traces of hydrodynamic scouring damage, and the mechanical properties of bedrock especially are severely damaged under a groundwater environment. On this basis, considering the excavated bedrock under various saturations, the uniaxial compression test of diorite [...] Read more.
The bedrock used for underground construction has obvious traces of hydrodynamic scouring damage, and the mechanical properties of bedrock especially are severely damaged under a groundwater environment. On this basis, considering the excavated bedrock under various saturations, the uniaxial compression test of diorite is carried out. Meanwhile, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron energy spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are used in the experiment. The variation law of the elastic p-wave velocity and microstructure and the response characteristics of the strength, deformation and mechanical parameters of rock under different flow rates and pH values are analyzed in detail. The results indicate that: (1) Saturations with a faster flow rate and lower pH value cause greater relative changes in the elastic longitudinal wave velocity of the samples. (2) The uniaxial compressive strength of the samples under various treatment conditions showed a decreasing trend. Compared with the dried samples, the uniaxial compressive strength of the samples under saturation with field flow rate v = 300 mm·s−1 and pH = 1 decreased by 46.08%, and the strength decreased by 35.67% under saturation with a field pH value = 6.56 and flow rate v = 900 mm·s−1. (3) The saturation with a stronger acidity, greater flow rate and longer action time causes the apparent dense structure of the diorite sample to be loose and accompanied by microcracks, which weakens its macromechanical properties. (4) Acid and hydrodynamic saturation produce water–rock chemical and physical effects on diorite, which weaken the connection force between mineral particles and the friction between fracture surfaces, reduce the elastic modulus, increase Poisson’s ratio and accelerate the failure of diorite. Full article
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Article
3D Multi-Parameter Geological Modeling and Knowledge Findings for Mo Oxide Orebodies in the Shangfanggou Porphyry–Skarn Mo (–Fe) Deposit, Henan Province, China
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 769; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060769 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 296
Abstract
The Shangfanggou Mo–Fe deposit is a typical and giant porphyry–skarn deposit located in the East Qinling–Dabie molybdenum (Mo) polymetallic metallogenic belt in the southern margin of the North China Block. In this paper, three-dimensional (3D) multi-parameter geological modeling and microanalysis are used to [...] Read more.
The Shangfanggou Mo–Fe deposit is a typical and giant porphyry–skarn deposit located in the East Qinling–Dabie molybdenum (Mo) polymetallic metallogenic belt in the southern margin of the North China Block. In this paper, three-dimensional (3D) multi-parameter geological modeling and microanalysis are used to discuss the mineralization and oxidation transformation process of molybdenite during the supergene stage. Meanwhile, from macro to micro, the temporal–spatial–genetic correlation and exploration constraints are also established by 3D geological modeling of industrial Mo orebodies and Mo oxide orebodies. SEM-EDS and EPMA-aided analyses indicate the oxidation products of molybdenite are dominated by tungsten–powellite at the supergene stage. Thus, a series of oxidation processes from molybdenite to tungsten–powellite are obtained after the precipitation of molybdenite; eventually, a special genetic model of the Shangfanggou high oxidation rate Mo deposit is formed. Oxygen fugacity reduction and an acid environment play an important part in the precipitation of molybdenite: (1) During the oxidation process, molybdenite is first oxidized to a MoO2·SO4 complex ion and then reacts with a carbonate solution to precipitate powethite, in which W and Mo elements can be substituted by complete isomorphism, forming a unique secondary oxide orebody dominated by tungsten–powellite. (2) Under hydrothermal action, Mo4+ can be oxidized to jordisite in the strong acid reduction environment at low temperature and room temperature during the hydrothermal mineralization stage. Ilsemannite is the oxidation product, which can be further oxidized to molybdite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D/4D Geological Modeling for Mineral Exploration)
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Article
The Southwestern Boundary of Cenozoic Qaidam Basin: Constraints from Heavy Mineral Analysis
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 768; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060768 - 16 Jun 2022
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Abstract
The formation of the Qaidam Basin plays an important role in unraveling the growth history of the Tibetan plateau. An extraordinary thick Cenozoic sedimentary succession of the Qaidam Basin is a great contributor to the study of the basin’s evolution history. To date, [...] Read more.
The formation of the Qaidam Basin plays an important role in unraveling the growth history of the Tibetan plateau. An extraordinary thick Cenozoic sedimentary succession of the Qaidam Basin is a great contributor to the study of the basin’s evolution history. To date, there has been disagreement on the southwestern boundary of the Paleogene Qaidam Basin. In this study, the method of heavy mineral analysis was adopted to reconstruct the southwestern boundary of the Qaidam Basin. The stable heavy minerals which represent the maturity of detrital sediments can roughly reflect the distance between the source and the deposit area. Therefore, the isogram of the stable heavy mineral index (ZTR = 20) was compiled to infer the location of the source area of the southwestern Qaidam Basin. The isogram shows that the boundary of the southwestern Qaidam Basin stretched southwesterly to the present-day Qiman Tagh Eastern Kunlun Mountains during the Paleogene. Additionally, the isolines present a remarkable northward migration since the late Eocene, which indicates the boundary of the Cenozoic Qaidam Basin that withdrew northward since the late Eocene. The specific location of the southern source area of the Qaidam Basin can be deduced at the Adatan fault, the middle of the present-day Eastern Kunlun Mountains. This result also supports the idea that the Qaidam Basin was an independent basin during the early Cenozoic era, and the Eastern Kunlun Mountains have already been exhumed during that time, serving as a prominent source of clastic sediments in the southwestern Qaidam Basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology)
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Article
The Effect of Zn Content and Granulation Temperature on Zn Leaching in an Fe-Saturated (FeXZn(1−X))2SiO4 System
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 767; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060767 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 401
Abstract
The zinc in the fayalite slag of copper smelters, in which Zn-containing raw materials are used, is mainly found to be in oxidic phases, such as glassy iron silicate. During the slag water granulation process, the molten slag is heated, whereby the granulated [...] Read more.
The zinc in the fayalite slag of copper smelters, in which Zn-containing raw materials are used, is mainly found to be in oxidic phases, such as glassy iron silicate. During the slag water granulation process, the molten slag is heated, whereby the granulated slag achieves varying granulation temperatures. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to characterize and assess the leaching behavior of a synthesized Fe-saturated (FeX,Zn(1−X))2SiO4 system to understand the dependance of the zinc leaching behavior on the parameters of the ZnO content (1–10 wt.%) and granulation temperature (1300 or 1400 °C). It was found that the Zn leaching increased with the increasing Zn content and granulation temperature, using both batch and static pH leaching methods. Zn leaching was further increased at pH 5 using diluted nitric acid under oxidation conditions. Among the oxides in the samples—fayalite, spinel, and glass—glass was found to contribute to Zn leaching, owing to its weathering during pH-titration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy)
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Article
Identification and Suppression of Magnetotelluric Noise via a Deep Residual Network
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 766; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060766 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 393
Abstract
The magnetotelluric (MT) method is widely applied in petroleum, mining, and deep Earth structure exploration but suffers from cultural noise. This noise will distort apparent resistivity and phase, leading to false geological interpretation. Therefore, denoising is indispensable for MT signal processing. The sparse [...] Read more.
The magnetotelluric (MT) method is widely applied in petroleum, mining, and deep Earth structure exploration but suffers from cultural noise. This noise will distort apparent resistivity and phase, leading to false geological interpretation. Therefore, denoising is indispensable for MT signal processing. The sparse representation method acts as a critical role in MT denoising. However, this method depends on the sparse assumption leading to inadequate denoising results in some cases. We propose an alternative MT denoising approach, which can achieve accurate denoising without assumptions on datasets. We first design a residual network (ResNet), which has an excellent fitting ability owing to its deep architecture. In addition, the ResNet network contains skip-connection blocks to guarantee the robustness of network degradation. As for the number of training, validation, and test datasets, we use 10,000,000; 10,000; and 100 field data, respectively, and apply the gradual shrinkage learning rate to ensure the ResNet’s generalization. In the noise identification stage, we use a small-time window to scan the MT time series, after which the gramian angular field (GAF) is applied to help identify noise and divide the MT time series into noise-free and noise data. We keep the noise-free data section in the denoising stage, and the noise data section is fed into our network. In our experiments, we test the performances of different time window sizes for noise identification and suppression and record corresponding time consumption. Then, we compare our approach with sparse representation methods. Testing results show that our approach can obtain the desired denoising results. The accuracy and loss curves show that our approach can well suppress the MT noise, and our network has a good generalization. To further validate our approach’s effectiveness, we show the apparent resistivity, phase, and polarization direction of test datasets. Our approach can adjust the distortion of apparent resistivity and phase and randomize the polarization direction distribution. Although our approach requires the high quality of the training dataset, it achieves accurate MT denoising after training and can be meaningful in cases of a severe MT noisy environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromagnetic Exploration: Theory, Methods and Applications)
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Article
The Gold–Palladium Ozernoe Occurrence (Polar Urals, Russia): Mineralogy, Conditions of Formation, Sources of Ore Matter and Fluid
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 765; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060765 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 466
Abstract
We studied the mineralization and sulfur isotopic composition of sulfides of gold–palladium ores in olivine clinopyroxenites from the Dzelyatyshor massif made up of a continuous layered series of rocks: olivine-free clinopyroxenite–olivine clinopyroxenite–wehrlite. The primary igneous layering of rocks, manifested as different quantitative ratios [...] Read more.
We studied the mineralization and sulfur isotopic composition of sulfides of gold–palladium ores in olivine clinopyroxenites from the Dzelyatyshor massif made up of a continuous layered series of rocks: olivine-free clinopyroxenite–olivine clinopyroxenite–wehrlite. The primary igneous layering of rocks, manifested as different quantitative ratios of clinopyroxene and olivine in them, controls the local trends of variability in the chemistry of mineral-forming medium and the concentrations of ore components, including noble metals, and sulfur in each separate layer during its cooling. The replacement of primary rock-forming minerals by secondary minerals, when the temperature decreases, is a characteristic trend for pyroxenites: (a) olivine → serpentine, secondary magnetite, and (b) clinopyroxene → amphibole, secondary magnetite → chlorite. The deposition of native gold in parageneses with PGM and sulfides at the Ozernoe occurrence took place during the replacement of earlier rock-forming minerals by chlorite. This process completed mineral formation at the deposit and took place at temperatures 150–250 °C and at the high activity of S, Te, Sb, and As of fluid. The variability of mineral formation conditions during chloritization is reflected in the change of native-sulfide forms of Pd by arsenide-antimonide forms and the sulfur isotopic composition of sulfides. The Pd content in native gold increases in the series—Au-Ag solid solution (<1.5 wt.% Pd)—Au-Cu intermetallides (to 6 wt.% Pd)—Cu-Au-Pd solid solutions (16.2–16.9 wt.% Pd). The sulfur isotopic composition of pyrite, chalcopyrite, and bornite varies from −2.1 to −2.9‰. It is assumed that a deep-seated magmatic basic melt was the source of fluid, ore components, and sulfur. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Native Gold as a Specific Indicator Mineral for Gold Deposits)
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Article
Structural and Surface Modification of Oxalic-Acid-Activated Bentonites in Various Acid Concentrations for Bleaching Earth Synthesis—A Comparative Study
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 764; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060764 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 298
Abstract
The aim of this study is to investigate the oxalic acid activation of bentonites containing different types of smectites, analyse their surface modification as a function of acid concentration and create good quality bleaching earths. In particular, two different bentonite samples (one containing [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to investigate the oxalic acid activation of bentonites containing different types of smectites, analyse their surface modification as a function of acid concentration and create good quality bleaching earths. In particular, two different bentonite samples (one containing aluminum and one containing ferruginous smectite), after being characterized through XRD, XRF and FT-IR analysis, are treated with oxalic acid at a concentration of 0.5, 0.7 and 1 M. Their structural modifications after treatment are observed through FT-IR spectra and surface area and porosity measurement (using the BET equation and the BJH method, respectively) combined with the determination of the main structural metals’ extraction from them (using an atomic adsorption spectrometer). The results showed that the ferruginous smectite is more susceptible to oxalic acid activation compared to the aluminum smectite, and all the final products have developed extra porosity in their structure while retaining the structure of smectite (even at 0.5 M acid concentration). The activated samples were used as bleaching earths in soybean oil, and the results proved that Lovibond yellow and red colours as well as the chlorophyll of oil (measured spectrophotometrically) were reduced to the values set by the specifications. Full article
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Article
Expansion Properties of Cemented Foam Backfill Utilizing Coal Gangue and Fly Ash
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 763; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060763 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 425
Abstract
The cemented backfill (CB) utilizing coal gangue (CG) and fly ash (FA) is widely applied in coal mines. However, the bleeding and shrinkage of CB leads to insufficient contact with surrounding rock, which is not beneficial for controlling roof subsidence and even stope [...] Read more.
The cemented backfill (CB) utilizing coal gangue (CG) and fly ash (FA) is widely applied in coal mines. However, the bleeding and shrinkage of CB leads to insufficient contact with surrounding rock, which is not beneficial for controlling roof subsidence and even stope stability. Herein, a cemented foam backfill (CFB) formulation is demonstrated, employing hydrogen dioxide (H2O2) as a chemical foaming agent. The cement and FA show noticeable inhibiting effects on volume expansion due to the network formed by their hydrates. Moderately lower cement, FA, and solid concentration are beneficial to improve volume increment and prolong expanding duration. A foaming coefficient (k) is proposed in theory to evaluate the foaming efficiency. The kem values, determined by volume evolution experiments of CFB slurries, provide a calculation basis for the needed dosage of H2O2 solution targeting specific volume increment. CFB specimens with expanding ratios of 21%~103% and densities of 994~592 kg/cm3 were prepared, with an actual foaming coefficient of 52.40 cm3/g and uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) of 0.32~0.55 MPa. The mass of H2O2 solution was 1.9%~11.3% of cement and 0.29%~1.67% of total solid materials by weight. The UCS decline compared to CB was attributed to rich pores observed by CT and carbonation indicated by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Backfilling Materials for Underground Mining, Volume III)
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Article
Magmatic Processes of the Upper Cretaceous Susuma–Nagaho Plutonic Complex, Southwest Japan: Its Role on Crustal Growth and Recycling in Active Continental Margins
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 762; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060762 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Magmatic processes in the active continental margins are one of the important issues to understand the evolution of the continental crust. The Cretaceous Susuma–Nagaho plutonic complex, southwest Japan, is situated at the continental arc, and made up of gabbro, quartz diorite to granodiorite, [...] Read more.
Magmatic processes in the active continental margins are one of the important issues to understand the evolution of the continental crust. The Cretaceous Susuma–Nagaho plutonic complex, southwest Japan, is situated at the continental arc, and made up of gabbro, quartz diorite to granodiorite, and granite. According to the field occurrence, they are coeval intrusive rocks, and the biotite K–Ar ages of the granodiorite and granite are approximately 93 Ma, corresponding to the period of a magmatic flare-up in southwest Japan. Based on the whole-rock chemical analyses including Sr–Nd isotopic compositions, the granodiorite magma has been formed through fractional crystallization of basaltic magmas, whereas the origin of granite magma involved partial melting of the continental crust. The gabbro contains calcium-rich plagioclase (An > 90) and the presence of early crystallized hornblende, indicating its derivation from a hydrous basaltic magma. Such basaltic magma intruded into the middle to lower crust and supplied the heat energy necessary for crustal partial melting and granitic magma formation. The fractional crystallization and crustal melting took place at the same time, playing an important role in the crustal growth and differentiation during the magmatic flare-up event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy, Petrology and Crystallography of Silicate Minerals)
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Article
Genetic Association between Granites and Mineralization at the Gindi Akwati Cassiterite–Sulfide Deposit, North-Central Nigeria: Insights from Mineralogy, Fluid Inclusions, and Sulfur Isotopes
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 761; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060761 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 493
Abstract
The cassiterite–sulfide mineralization occurs within quartz veins and greisenized Precambrian Older Granite around the Gindi Akwati region at the Ropp complex’s western boundary, north-central Nigeria. The intrusion of Jurassic Younger granite porphyry sheared the marginal parts of the Older Granite and the mylonitized [...] Read more.
The cassiterite–sulfide mineralization occurs within quartz veins and greisenized Precambrian Older Granite around the Gindi Akwati region at the Ropp complex’s western boundary, north-central Nigeria. The intrusion of Jurassic Younger granite porphyry sheared the marginal parts of the Older Granite and the mylonitized zone created pathways for fluids that escaped during the late-stage consolidation of Jurassic biotite granite. The biotite granites are highly differentiated (K/Rb < 200), peraluminous (A/CNK > 1), high-K, and have high Sn concentrations (average = 117 ppm). The intrusion of Jurassic granite porphyry forced Older Granite interaction with ore-bearing fluid that escaped from Jurassic biotite granite under low oxygen fugacity at or below the NNO buffer. The above fluid–rock interaction caused mass changes in host granite during greisenization and redistributed ores in the vicinity of the shears. This suggests that chloride ions take the form of significant complex-forming ligands and efficiently sequestrate, transport, and deposit ore metals (Sn, Zn, Fe, and Cu) locally within the greisenized granites and quartz veins. The redox potential of the ores probably gave a false impression of metal zoning with a relatively higher abundance of the oxide ore than the sulfides at the surface. The alteration mineralogy (quartz-, topaz-, lepidolite-, and fluorite-bearing assemblages) coupled with S isotope and fluid inclusion systematic data suggests the hydrothermal history of “greisens” and veins started with hot (homogenization temperature ≥300 °C), low to moderate salinity (average = 4.08 wt. % NaCl), low density (≤0.6 g/cm3) fluids and ≥ 200 bar trapping pressure. The sulfide isotopic composition (δ34SV-CDT = −1.30 to + 0.87 ‰) is very similar to typical magmatic fluids, indicating late-magmatic to early post-magmatic models of mineralization related to the anorogenic granite intrusions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Granitic Intrusion and Related Mineralization in Asia)
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Article
Modeling of Brine/CO2/Mineral Wettability Using Gene Expression Programming (GEP): Application to Carbon Geo-Sequestration
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 760; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060760 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 322
Abstract
Carbon geo-sequestration (CGS), as a well-known procedure, is employed to reduce/store greenhouse gases. Wettability behavior is one of the important parameters in the geological CO2 sequestration process. Few models have been reported for characterizing the contact angle of the brine/CO2/mineral [...] Read more.
Carbon geo-sequestration (CGS), as a well-known procedure, is employed to reduce/store greenhouse gases. Wettability behavior is one of the important parameters in the geological CO2 sequestration process. Few models have been reported for characterizing the contact angle of the brine/CO2/mineral system at different environmental conditions. In this study, a smart machine learning model, namely Gene Expression Programming (GEP), was implemented to model the wettability behavior in a ternary system of CO2, brine, and mineral under different operating conditions, including salinity, pressure, and temperature. The presented models provided an accurate estimation for the receding, static, and advancing contact angles of brine/CO2 on various minerals, such as calcite, feldspar, mica, and quartz. A total of 630 experimental data points were utilized for establishing the correlations. Both statistical evaluation and graphical analyses were performed to show the reliability and performance of the developed models. The results showed that the implemented GEP model accurately predicted the wettability behavior under various operating conditions and a few data points were detected as probably doubtful. The average absolute percent relative error (AAPRE) of the models proposed for calcite, feldspar, mica, and quartz were obtained as 5.66%, 1.56%, 14.44%, and 13.93%, respectively, which confirm the accurate performance of the GEP algorithm. Finally, the investigation of sensitivity analysis indicated that salinity and pressure had the utmost influence on contact angles of brine/CO2 on a range of different minerals. In addition, the effect of the accurate estimation of wettability on CO2 column height for CO2 sequestration was illustrated. According to the impact of wettability on the residual and structural trapping mechanisms during the geo-sequestration of the carbon process, the outcomes of the GEP model can be beneficial for the precise prediction of the capacity of these mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shale and Tight Reservoir Characterization and Resource Assessment)
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Review
A Review of the Lunar 182Hf-182W Isotope System Research
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 759; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060759 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 353
Abstract
In recent years, the extinct nuclide 182Hf-182W system has been developed as an essential tool to date and trace the lunar origin and evolution. Despite a series of achievements, controversies and problems exist. As a review, this paper details the [...] Read more.
In recent years, the extinct nuclide 182Hf-182W system has been developed as an essential tool to date and trace the lunar origin and evolution. Despite a series of achievements, controversies and problems exist. As a review, this paper details the application principles of the 182Hf-182W isotope system and summarizes the research development on W isotopes of the Moon. A significant radiogenic ε182W excess of 0.24 ± 0.01 was found in the lunar mantle, leading to heated debates. There are three main explanations for the origin of the excess, including (1) radioactive origin; (2) the mantle of the Moon-forming impactor; and (3) disproportional late accretion to the Earth and the Moon. Debates on these explanations have revealed different views on lunar age. The reported ages of the Moon are mainly divided into two views: an early Moon (30–70 Ma after the solar system formation); and a late Moon (>70 Ma after the solar system formation). This paper discusses the possible effects on lunar 182W composition, including the Moon-forming impactor, late veneer, and Oceanus Procellarum-forming projectile. Finally, the unexpected isotopic similarities between the Earth and Moon are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorites and Their Components by Using Isotope Systems)
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Article
Tin and Bronze Production at the Outeiro de Baltar Hillfort (NW Iberia)
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 758; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060758 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Findings of Iron Age metallurgical activities related to tin metal and mining are very rare. In the present work, we present a detailed study of the Outeiro de Baltar hillfort, dated to the Late Iron Age/Early Roman period, located in a place where [...] Read more.
Findings of Iron Age metallurgical activities related to tin metal and mining are very rare. In the present work, we present a detailed study of the Outeiro de Baltar hillfort, dated to the Late Iron Age/Early Roman period, located in a place where 20th century tin mining work took place. Elemental and microstructural analysis by portable, micro and wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (pXRF, micro-XRF and WDXRF) and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersion spectrometer (SEM-EDS) showed that metallurgical debris found at the archaeological site is related to tin smelting and binary and ternary bronze productions. Analysis of the artefacts of diverse typologies found at the site showed that a variety of metals and alloys were in circulation and use. Samples of tin ores (cassiterite) from the region were analyzed for comparison with an archaeological tin slag from the site. The analytical results point to the production of tin metal using local cassiterite and the production of bronze by directly adding cassiterite into a smelting process. Furthermore, data of remote sensing (airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and historical aerial imagery) and Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping were combined with archival mining documentation and maps to retrieve a landscape context for the site. The study showed that the place of the Outeiro de Baltar hillfort (NW Iberia) was mined periodically over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Minerals in Cultural and Geological Heritage)
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Article
Metal Lability and Mass Transfer Response to Direct-Planting Phytostabilization of Pyritic Mine Tailings
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 757; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060757 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 330
Abstract
Understanding the temporal effects of organic matter input and water influx on metal lability and translocation is critical to evaluate the success of the phytostabilization of metalliferous mine tailings. Trends of metal lability, e.g., V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, and Pb, [...] Read more.
Understanding the temporal effects of organic matter input and water influx on metal lability and translocation is critical to evaluate the success of the phytostabilization of metalliferous mine tailings. Trends of metal lability, e.g., V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, and Pb, were investigated for three years following a direct-planting phytostabilization trial at a Superfund mine tailings site in semi-arid central Arizona, USA. Unamended tailings were characterized by high concentrations (mmol kg−1) of Fe (2100), S (3100), As (41), Zn (39), and Pb (11), where As and Pb greatly exceeded non-residential soil remediation levels established by Arizona. Phytostabilization treatments included a no-compost control, 100 g kg−1 compost with seed, and 200 g kg−1 compost with and without seed to the top 20 cm of the tailings profile. All plots received supplemental irrigation, effectively doubling the mean annual precipitation. Tailings cores up to 90 cm were collected at the time of planting and every summer for 3 years. The cores were sub-sectioned at 20 cm increments and analyzed via total digestion and an operationally defined sequential extraction for elemental analysis and the calculation of a mass transfer coefficient normalized to Ti as an assigned immobile element. The results indicate that Pb was recalcitrant and relatively immobile in the tailings environment for both the uncomposted control and composted treatments with a maximum variation in the total concentration of 9–14 mmol kg−1 among all samples. Metal lability and translocation above the redox boundary (ca. 30 cm depth) was governed by acid generation, where surficial pH was measured as low as 2.7 ± 0.1 in year three and strongly correlated with the increased lability of Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn. There was no significant pH effect on the lability of V, Cr, or Pb. Translocation to depths was greatest for Mn and Co; however, Zn, Ni, Cr, and Cu were also mobilized. The addition of organic matter enhanced the mobilization of Cr from the near surface to 40–60 cm depth (pH > 6) over the three-year phytostabilization study compared to the control. The increased enrichment of some metals at 60–90 cm indicates that the long-term monitoring of elemental translocation is necessary to assess the efficacy of phytostabilization to contain subsurface metal contaminants and thereby protect the surrounding community from exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Distribution and Mobility in Mine Area)
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Article
Dissolution and Solubility of the Calcite–Otavite Solid Solutions [(Ca1−xCdx)CO3] at 25 °C
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 756; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060756 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 377
Abstract
A complete series of the calcite–otavite solid solutions [(Ca1−xCdx)CO3] were prepared, and their dissolution processes lasting nine months were experimentally investigated. For the dissolution in the N2-degassed water, the Ca concentrations of the aqueous phases [...] Read more.
A complete series of the calcite–otavite solid solutions [(Ca1−xCdx)CO3] were prepared, and their dissolution processes lasting nine months were experimentally investigated. For the dissolution in the N2-degassed water, the Ca concentrations of the aqueous phases increased up to the steady states after 5040 h of dissolution, and the Cd concentrations of the aqueous phases increased up to the highest values and then decreased gradually to the steady states of 0.017–6.476 μmol/L after 5040 h of dissolution. For the dissolution in the CO2-saturated water, the Ca and Cd concentrations of the aqueous phases increased up to the peak values and then decreased gradually to the steady states of 0.94–0.46 mmol/L and 0.046–9.643 μmol/L after 5040 h of dissolution, respectively. For the dissolution in the N2-degassed water at 25 °C, the mean solubility products (log Ksp) and the Gibbs free energies of formation (ΔGfθ) were estimated to be −8.45–−8.42 and −1129.65–−1129.48 kJ/mol for calcite [CaCO3] and −11.62–−11.79 and −671.81–−672.78 kJ/mol for otavite [CdCO3], respectively. Generally, the log Ksp values decreased non-linearly, and the ΔGfθ values increased linearly with the increasing Cd/(Ca+Cd) mole ratio (XCd) of the (Ca1−xCdx)CO3 solid solutions. In the Lippmann diagrams constructed for the sub-regular (Ca1−xCdx)CO3 solid solutions with the estimated Guggenheim coefficients a0 = −0.84 and a1 = −3.80 for the dissolution in the N2-degassed water or a0 = −1.12 and a1 = −3.83 for the dissolution in the CO2-saturated water, the (Ca1−xCdx)CO3 solid solutions dissolved incongruently, moved progressively up to the quasi-equilibrium curves for otavite and then along the quasi-equilibrium curve from right to left, approached the solutus curve and finally reached the minimum stoichiometric saturation curve for calcite. The considerably Cd-poor aqueous phases were finally in equilibrium with the CdCO3-rich solid phases. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Easily Accessible Spectroscopic Techniques Coupled with Multivariate Analysis for the Qualitative Characterization and Differentiation of Earth Pigments of Various Provenance
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 755; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060755 - 14 Jun 2022
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Natural minerals and earths with coloring properties have been widely used as artistic pigments since prehistoric times. Despite being extensively studied, the complex chemistry of earth pigments is still unsatisfactory described with respect to their mineralogical and structural variability and origin. In this [...] Read more.
Natural minerals and earths with coloring properties have been widely used as artistic pigments since prehistoric times. Despite being extensively studied, the complex chemistry of earth pigments is still unsatisfactory described with respect to their mineralogical and structural variability and origin. In this study, a large group of earth pigments from various geographical locations was investigated using easily accessible spectroscopic techniques and multivariate analysis with the aim to identify distinctive mineralogical and chemical characteristics of natural pigment sources. Portable X-ray fluorescence (p-XRF), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and fiberoptic Raman spectroscopy were used for the elemental, molecular and structural characterization of the investigated pigments. Diagnostic spectral features and chemical patterns (fingerprints) were identified and discussed with respect to their geological sources. Due to the occurrence of similar accompanying minerals, it was observed that the differentiation of red and yellow ochers is more challenging compared to green, brown and black pigments. However, for some of the investigated pigments, the presence of certain accessory minerals and/or of certain chemical patterns can have diagnostic value. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the FTIR and XRF data matrices showed promising results in terms of geological attribution, highlighting a promising tool for provenance research. The results of the study demonstrate the potential benefits of this rapid and nondestructive approach for the characterization and differentiation of earth pigments with similar hues coming from different geological sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Study of Minerals by Molecular Spectroscopy)
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Article
Ground Stress Analysis and Automation of Workface in Continuous Mining Continuous Backfill Operation
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 754; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min12060754 - 14 Jun 2022
Viewed by 394
Abstract
The cost, complexity, lack of filling space and time create challenges in the longwall backfill operation, resulting in poor subsidence control and reduced productivity. This paper proposes an automated continuous mining and continuous backfill (CMCB) method by examining its key requirements and investigates [...] Read more.
The cost, complexity, lack of filling space and time create challenges in the longwall backfill operation, resulting in poor subsidence control and reduced productivity. This paper proposes an automated continuous mining and continuous backfill (CMCB) method by examining its key requirements and investigates the optimum sequence of coal panel (such as drifts) excavation to ensure ground strata control at relatively high productivity. The automated CMCB adopts the highwall mining technique underground, which enables easier automation at the workface. A numerical simulation of the Changxing coal mine in China was undertaken, and five different sequences of coal excavation were investigated, using the automated CMCB excavation parameters (assuming a 4 m width cut, 5 m mining height for a 200 m long coal slice) to determine the optimum sequence of resource excavation. The plastic zones and vertical displacement across the five models were analyzed. Simulation results of the 5 m high coal seam excavation show that the odd-even slice (OES) mining sequence, which has a vertical ground displacement of 74 mm, is the most efficient excavation method, due to its effective stress redistribution and lower induced ground displacement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solid-Filling Technology in Coal Mining)
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