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Title: Discovery of Ni-smectite rich saprolite at Loma Ortega, Falcondo mining district (Dominican Republic): geochemistry and mineralogy of an unusual case of 'hybrid hydrous Mg silicate-clay silicate' type Ni-laterite
Author: Tauler i Ferré, Esperança
Lewis, J. F.
Villanova de Benavent, Cristina
Aiglsperger, Thomas Hans
Proenza Fernández, Joaquín Antonio
Domènech Ortí, Cristina
Gallardo, T.
Longo, Francisco
Galí Medina, Salvador, 1949-
Keywords: Geoquímica
República Dominicana
Dominican Republic
Issue Date: Jul-2017
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Abstract: Hydrous Mg silicate-type Ni-laterite deposits, like those in the Falcondo district, Dominican Republic, are dominated by Ni-enriched serpentine and garnierite. Recently, abundant Ni-smectite in the saprolite zone have been discovered in Loma Ortega, one of the nine Ni-laterite deposits in Falcondo. A first detailed study on these Ni-smectites has been performed (μXRD, SEM, EPMA), in addition to a geochemical and mineralogical characterisation of the Loma Ortega profile (XRF, ICP-MS, XRD). Unlike other smectite occurrences in laterite profiles worldwide, the Loma Ortega smectites are trioctahedral and exhibit high Ni contents never reported before. These Ni-smectites may be formed from weathering of pyroxene and olivine, and their composition can be explained by the mineralogy and the composition of the Al-depleted, olivine-rich parent ultramafic rock. Our study shows that Ni-laterites are mineralogically complex, and that a hydrous Mg silicate ore and a clay silicate ore can be confined to the same horizon in the weathering profile, which has significant implications from a recovery perspective. In accordance, the classification of "hybrid hydrous Mg silicate - clay silicate" type Ni-laterite deposit for Loma Ortega would be more appropriate.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Mineralium Deposita, 2017, vol. 52, p. 1011-1030
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ISSN: 0026-4598
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Mineralogia, Petrologia i Geologia Aplicada)

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