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RESIDUAL CONCENTRATION
Residual concentration the concentration of desired minerals or metals by the removal of undesired elements and minerals
in a rock through weathering. The concentration is due largely to a decrease in colume effected by surficial chemical
weathering. The residues may continue to accumulate until their purity and volume make them of commercial importance.
Minerals that are unstable under weathering conditions suffer chemical decay; soluble parts may be removed and the insoluble
residues may accumulate, forming residual mineral deposits
.Mechanical weathering does not create new minerals, but facilitates chemical decomposition by reducing particle size, thus
creating greater specific surfaces available to chemical attack.
Chemical weathering creates new minerals of which some remain stable under surface conditions. It is most active in warm,
humid regions where more rainfall containing more CO 2 allows the formation of acids that attack the rocks. Deep and long-
continued weathering is necessary to yield residual products.
Agents of decomposition are: water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, acids, alkalies, plant and animal life, and some of the soluble
products of the rocks themselves.

Role of OxygenOxygen is quite abundant and an active element. It often combines with minerals or elements within minerals,
resulting in oxidation.

Example: Rusting of iron. Oxygen combines with iron to form iron oxide:
4Fe + 3O2 2Fe2O3
iron + oxygen iron oxide

The iron oxide formed is the mineral hematite, a common brick-red colored weathering product of iron-bearing minerals such
as the ferromagnesians (olivine, pyroxene, amphibole, biotite).
If water is present, the iron oxide combines with water to form limonite (Fe2O3 .nH2O), a name for amorphous, hydrated iron
oxides often including the mineral goethite.
The brown, yellow or red color of soil and many kinds of sedimentary rock is due to hematite and limonite formation.

Role of water and acid


The most effective agent of chemical weathering is acid.
Some strong acids occur naturally, such as sulfuric and hydrofluoric acid in active volcanic and geothermal systems.
The most important natural source of acid is the dissolved CO 2 in water. Water and CO 2 form carbonic acid (H2 CO3).
CO2 + H2O D H2CO3 D H+ + HCO3 -
Carbon dioxide water carbonic acid hydrogen ion bicarbonate ion
Acids give off hydrogen ions (H+) when they break down in water. Since hydrogen has a positive charge, it can subsitute for
other positive ions (e.g., Ca++, Na+ or K+) within minerals, thus disrupting the minerals atomic structure, resulting in their
decomposition and formation of a different mineral.

Example: When orthoclase comes in contact with the hydrogen ion, the following reaction takes place:

Tropical weathering
There is an important difference, between temperate and tropical weathering.
In Temperate climate weathering, silica in silicate rocks are not extensively removed but remains in the form of clay along
with hydrous clays and residual quartz.
In Tropical/subtropical weathering where there are wet and dry seasons, luxuriant vegetation and abundant supply of
organic and bacterial life and organic compunds, leaching of silicates is more extensive; they are more thoroughly decomposed
and silica is removed in solution.
The result is a laterite soil, which is a mixture of hydrous oxides of aluminum and iron plus impurities.
Laterites may be so high in iron that they constitute laterite iron ore.
Instead of hydrous aluminum silicate (clay) in temperate regions, hydrous aluminum oxides or bauxite form in tropical regions.
Most laterites, however, are neither iron nor aluminum ores.REQUISITES FOR RESIDUAL IRON ORE FORMATION
1) Presence of rocks or lodes containing valuable minerals.
2) Climatic condition must favor chemical decay.
3) The relief must not be too great.
4) Long continued crustal stability.

TYPES OF DEPOSIT
A. Residual Iron concentration
Source materials:
1) Lode deposits of iron.
2) Limestone with disseminated iron minerals or partly replaced by iron minerals.
3) Basic to ultrabasic igneous rocks
4) Ferruginous sediments

Mode of formation:
1) From iron carbonates siderite and ankerite will weather to iron oxides
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2) From pyrite yield gossans of goethite and hematite, but high sulfur content makes them generally undesirable.
3) From limestone weathering of pure limestone with little iron carbonate will dissolve the limestone, resulting in an iron
oxide residuum.From basic igneous rocks only in tropical climate will basic igneous rocks form limonite or bauxite.

B. Residual manganese deposits


Source materials:
1) Limestone or dolomites low in alumina but containing syngenetic manganese carbonate oxides
2) Limestones containing disseminated introduced manganese
3) Manganiferous silicate rocks.
4) Lode deposits of manganeses minerals or ores high in manganese.

Mode of formation:
Generally similar to iron
1) Silicate rocks form only under tropical to sub-tropical conditions; most important deposits come from crystalline
schists.
2) 2)Limestone few deposits formed from limestone because it is less in amount than iron; a larger volume reduction is
necessary.
3) Lode depositsC.

RESIDUAL BAUXITE FORMATION


Bauxite (named after the French deposit at Baux) is the ore of aluminum, but is not recognized as a mineral species. It is a
hardened and partly crystallized hydrogel that consists of variable proportions of gibbsite, hydrargillite and boehmite and its
dimorphous form, diaspore.

For aluminum ore, bauxite must contain at least 35% Al2O3 and less than 5% SiO 2 , 6% Fe2O3 and 3% TiO 2 .

Mode of occurrence:
1) Pisolitic or oolitic
2) Sponge ore that retains the original texture of the rock, and composed primarily of gibbsite
3) Amorphous or clay ore.
4)
Mode of formation:
From weathering of aluminum silicate rocks lacking in much free quartz under tropical to sub-tropical conditions, forming
aluminous laterite.
Silicate breaks down; silica is removed; iron is partly removed; water is added; and alumina is concentrated in the residuum
along with Ti, ferric oxide amd perhaps manganese oxide.

Requisites for formation:


1) Humid tropical or sub-tropical climate.
2) Rocks high in aluminum (e.g., syenite, crytalline metamorphic rocks, shales, basalts, etc.)
3) Available reagents abundant precipitation, carbonic and organic acids, alkaline residual solutions, etc.
4) Surfaces that permit slow downward infiltration of meteoric water (e.g., peneplain)
5) Subsurface conditions that allow the removal of dissolved waste products.
6) Tectonic stability.
7) Preservation.
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D. RESIDUAL NICKEL FORMATION


Ultrabasic igneous rocks contain very small quantities of nickel. Weathering of such rocks under tropical to sub-tropical
conditions could lead to residual nickel concentrations.

Transported laterite
Reddish brown zone
w/ Fe concretions
Light brown zone of
plastic laterite

Yellowish brown zone


of variegated laterite
and magnetite
concentration

Soft, greenish yellow


decomposed
serpentinite (Saprolite
zone)

Weathered
serpentinite with
garnierite veinlets

Hard undecomposed
serpentinite

IDEALIZED PROFILE OF WEATHERED ULTRABASIC ROCKS


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MECHANICAL CONCENTRATION
Mechanical concentration the natural grvity separation of heavy from light mienrals by means of moving water or air by
which the heavier minerals become concentrated into deposits called PLACER DEPOSITS.
2 stages of formation:
1) Freeing of stable minerals by weathering of their matrix.
2) Concentration can occur if the minerals have:
a) high specific gravity
b) chemical resistance to weathering
c) durability (malleability, toughness, hardness)

Examples: gold, platinum, magnetite, chromite, ilmenite, rutile, native copper, gemstones, etc.

Source materials:
1) Commercial lode deposits (e.g., gold veins)
2) Noncommercial lodes (small stringers)
3) Sparsely disseminated minerals
4) Rock forming minerals

Mode of formation:
1) Placer minerals are released from their matrix by weathering
2) The materials are washed downslope to the nearest stream or seashore.
3) Moving water sweeps away the lighter matrix while the heavy minerals sink to the bottom or move downstream at a
short distance only. This is also accomplished by wave action along beaches.
4) The placer minerals are gradually concentrated in the stream or beach gravels.

Types of placer:
A. ELUVIAL PLACERConsidered as the intermediate or embryonic stage in the formation of stream or beach placer.
Formed without stream action upon hill slopes; the heavier minerals collect below the outcrop while lighter materials are either
dissolved or swepte more easily downhill.
Fairly rich lodes are necessary to yield workable deposits by this partial concentration.

B. STREAM OR ALLUVIAL PLACER


Formation:Flowing water is the most effective separator of light from heavy materials.
Weathered material may be swept away by rushing water, but heavy minerals will drop to the river bottom when the water
current slackens.
The most favorable sites for placer formation are neither the sluggish lower portions of the river, nor its upper headwaters, but
the middle portions.
In a meandering stream, the favorable sites are the junction of the fastest water outside the curve and the slack water
opposite the curve, where gravel bars form.
A small tributary with rushing currents may deposit its load where it meets the sluggish waters of a bigger stream.
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Alternating weak and resistant beds may offer natural riffles (small ridges) behind which placer accumulation could take
place.

Gold placer
Gold can come from any source rock with either high or minimal amount of gold.
Gold tends to occur in concentrated pay streaks (narrow gold rich placers)
Most placer fold is in the form of specks calle dust, or, rarely, as larger lumps called nuggets
Gold fineness varies from 500 to 999; most is above 800.

C. BEACH PLACERForm along seashores by the concentrating effects of wave and shore action.
Longshore currents shift materials alongshore and the lighter materials are moved farther and faster.
Wave action throe up materials on the beaches and the undertow carry out the lighter and finer material.
D. EOLIAN PLACERWind is the agent, but can occur only in arid regions.
Other placers are those of platinum, tin and precious stones.

OXIDATION AND SUPERGENE ENRICHMENT

When ore deposits are weathered, surface waters oxidize ore minerals
and yield acidic solvents that dissolve other minerals. An oxidized ore
deposit is leached of many of its valuable materials down to the
groundwater table or to a depth where oxidation cannot take place.
The oxidized part is the zone of oxidation, through which the leaching
solutions trickle down, and where oxidized ore deposits form.
If the solutions penetrate the water table, the metals may be precipitated
in the form of secondary sulfides to give rise to a zone of secondary or
supergene sulfide enrichment.
The lower, unaffected part of the deposit is called primary or hypogene
zone.
The effect of oxidation is either to render barren the upper parts of many
deposits or to change ore minerals into more usable or less usable forms,
or even to make rich bonanzas.
The effect of supergene enrichment is more favorable because it makes
lean parts of a deposit richer, thus possibly economically workable. Many
copper deposits could not have been economically mineable if not for
supergene enrichment.

OXIDATION AND SOLUTION

Effects of oxidation:
1) Minerals are altered and structure is obliterated.
2) Metallic substances are leached or are altered to new compounds
that require different metallurgical processes than those of
hypogene sulfide ores.
3) Texture and type of deposit is obscured
4) Compact ores are made cavernous.
5) Ubiquitous limonite obscures everything and imparts a rusty colot
characeristic of gossan.

2 main chemical changes in oxidation zone:


1) The oxidation, solution and removal of the valuable minerals
2) The transformation in situ of metallic minerals into oxidized
compounds.

Pyrite plays an important role during oxidation. Addition of water will


produce iron sulfate and sulfuric acid, ferric hydroxide and ferric
sulfates.
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The ferric hydroxide changes to hematite and goethite and forms limonite.
The ferric sulfate and sulfuric acid reacts with other sulfides (pyrite, chalcopyrite, chalcocite, covellite, sphalerite,
galena,silver) and, with the exception of lead, form soluble metal sulfates which could be carried downwards by percolating
solutions, until they meet the correct ph-Eh conditions to cause their deposition.
If pyrite is absent, only minor amounts of solvents are formed, so the sulfides would be converted insitu into oxidized
compounds and the hypogene sulfides are not enriched.
A country rock of limestone inhibits migration of some sulfate solutions (e.g., copper sulfate reacts with limestone to form
copper carbonates), precluding any sulfide enrichment.
During oxidation, silica may be leached to form a gel or cryptocrystalline material called jasperoid, which is a prime
prospecting tool along with gossans and alteration.
Gold is not soluble, and therefore remains in the gossan.
Gossan heavy concentration of limonitic material derived from the weathering of massive sulfide minerals or from their iron-
yielding gossan, which has been leached in place and transported downward.
- aside from limonite, other persistent oxidized minerals in the gossan are sulfate and carbonate of lead, the carbonate
and silicate of zinc, native silver and gold.

Capping is the leached upper part of a body or rock that still contains disseminated sulfide minerals.
Both commercial and non-commercial mineral bodies may yield gossans, so it is important to distinguish between respective
gossans. This, however, requires experience, knowledge and careful observation.

Iron of sulfide derivation may either:


1) Become fixed as oxide at the site of the former sulfide
forming indigenous limonite in the insoluble ferric
state
2) Be dissolved, transported and precipitated elsewhere,
forming transported limonite in the soluble ferrous
state.

Significance:
Oxidation of ferrous to ferric iron is retarded by free sulfuric
acid and accelerated by copper
Deposition of ferric oxides is retarded by free acid and aided
by copper
This means that when pyrite is oxidized, the free acid tends
to keep the iron in the soluble ferrous state that can be
removed by solution; the free acid retards deposition of
limonite.
If chalcopyrite is oxidized, little or no acid is formed, and
ferrous iron readily changes to the insoluble ferric limonite
precipitated in situ.
Therefore, indigenous limonite indicates the former
presence of copper, while transported limonite indicates
high Fe:Cu ratio or absence of copper.
Indigenous limonite occupies voids left by former sulfides,
not outside it. It is compact and hard and has subdued colors.
They form boxworks or lattices of honeycomb pattern.
Fringing limonite is transported limonite.

Iron of sulfide derivation may either:


1) Become fixed as oxide at the site of the former sulfide forming indigenous limonite in the insoluble ferric state
2) Be dissolved, transported and precipitated elsewhere, forming transported limonite in the soluble ferrous state.

Significance:
Oxidation of ferrous to ferric iron is retarded by free sulfuric acid and accelerated by copper.
Deposition of ferric oxides is retarded by free acid and aided by copper.
This means that when pyrite is oxidized, the free acid tends to keep the iron in the soluble ferrous state that can be removed
by solution; the free acid retards deposition of limonite.
If chalcopyrite is oxidized, little or no acid is formed, and ferrous iron readily changes to the insoluble ferric limonite
precipitated in situ.
Therefore, indigenous limonite indicates the former presence of copper, while transported limonite indicates high
Fe:Cu ratio or absence of copper.
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Indigenous limonite occupies voids left by former sulfides, not outside it. It is compact and hard and has subdued colors.
They form boxworks or lattices of honeycomb pattern.
Fringing limonite is transported limonite.
Metal ratios Ore deposition
Oxidized ore deposits may result within the zone of
oxidation if the down-trickling oxidizing solutions
encounter precipitants (e.g., lime) above the water
table.
The economic minerals are chiefly native metals,
carbonates, silicates and oxides. The metals of
greatest commercial importance are Cu, Zn, Pb, Ag,
V, and U, in place below the surface. Less valuable
deposits are that of Co, Mn, Fe and other
substances.
Sulfide enrichment starts at the redox interface,
which may be the water table and extends below it.
If it is the water table, the surface more or less
follows the topography. The bottom of the
enrichment zone may be gently curved or highly
irregular and is a gradual transition to the primary
ore.
In supergene enriched deposits, the bottom of iron
enrichment coincides with the top of Cu enrichment.
In the middle zone, Cu has largely replaced the Fe
sulfide.