Lecture_23_Mineral_Resources

Lecture_23_Mineral_Resources - 1 Substance Average Crustal...

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1 1 2 Substance Average Crustal Enrichment Factor Abundance Al (Aluminum) 8.0% 3 to 4 Fe (Iron) 5.8% 6 to7 Ti (Titanium) 0.86% 25 to 100 Cr (Chromium) 0.0096% 4,000 to 5,000 Zn (Zinc) 0.0082% 300 Cu (Copper) 0.0058% 100 to 200 Ag (Silver) 0.000008% ~1000 Pt (Platinum) 0.0000005% 600 Au (Gold) 0.0000002% 4,000 to 5,000 U (Uranium) 0.00016% 500 to 1000
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2 3 Enrichment factor: Concentration over natural abundance at which a mineral can be profitably mined •Natural abundance •Mining/processing methods •Price of mineral 4 Zinc has a higher enrichment factor than copper 1. Zinc must be less abundant in the crust than copper 2. Copper must be more valuable than zinc 3. Zinc must be more concentrated in ores relative to its crustal abundance than copper in order to be mined profitably
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3 5 Separation of Elements on Earth Chondritic Composition Core: Metals (Fe, Ni, etc.) Mantle: silicate minerals mostly “depleted” mantle Ocean crust: more Si,Na,K large ions Continental Crust: even more Si,K, Na, large ions Core-mantle separation Partial melting at mid-ocean ridges Repeated partial melting 6 Average continental crust: most economically important minerals not concentrated enough **How to separate elements further** • Atypical geologic deposits • Separate by physical processes (gravity, sorting by size and shape) • Separate by chemical processes (solubility, phase changes)
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4 7 1. Very slow cooling of magma body and gravitational settling
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Lecture_23_Mineral_Resources - 1 Substance Average Crustal...

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