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Paramètres minéralogiques et microtexturaux utilisables dans les études de traçabilité des minerais métalliques

Abstract : The demand in mineral resources is increasing rapidly, but there is a lack of transparency in the trade of concentrated raw mineral materials because of speculation and involvement in the financing of armed conflicts. Because of the distance between the primary extraction and the final production sites it is difficult to check the origin of such products. An identity card is required for minerals which would permit trading in the mineral industry to be verified and ensure traceability of concentrates. This problem may be considered as an inversion process: studying the products sold to identify the original ore. Two steps may be distinguished: 1) the characterization of the raw ore and 2) the “memory loss” of the crude ore characteristics during its mineral processing. The discriminant parameters are mineralogical composition, identification of textural microfacies of the target minerals, pseudo-paragenetic sequence, and the contents and distribution of minor elements of target minerals. The selected target minerals are pyrite, for its ubiquity, sphalerite for its ability to host numerous discriminant and potentially valuable minor elements in its lattice and chalcopyrite for its proximity with the two others minerals. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov distance and the Colin-White test are used to compare the chemical composition of the three target minerals. The application to Volcanic Massive Sulfide ore deposit showed that the selected characteristics permit to distinguish pyrite, sphalerite and chalcopyrite between two ore deposits in the Iberian Pyrite Belt province, seven ore deposits from the Urals province and a currently active Rainbow blacksmoker. From the established identity cards ore deposits from different provinces may be discriminated. Identity cards can also distinguish different deposits in the same province. Evolution of mineralogical and microtextural parameters was studied during the mineral processing of the Neves Corvo mine. For a given processing chain, the “memory loss” parameter is an estimate of the errors introduced in the inversion from concentrate to the original ore and can be used to characterize a given processing flow.
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Julie Machault. Paramètres minéralogiques et microtexturaux utilisables dans les études de traçabilité des minerais métalliques. Sciences de la Terre. Université d'Orléans, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012ORLE2054⟩. ⟨tel-00835078⟩

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