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

Esperança Tauler, John F. Lewis, Cristina Villanova-de-Benavent, Thomas Aiglsperger, Joaquín A. Proenza, Cristina Domènech, Tamara Gallardo, Francisco Longo, Salvador Galí

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1030
Number of pages20
JournalMineralium Deposita
Volume52
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

Fingerprint

Dominican Republic
laterites
Silicates
saprolite
Geochemistry
Mineralogy
laterite
mineralogy
geochemistry
montmorillonite
smectite
clays
silicates
silicate
clay
Deposits
deposits
weathering
Weathering
olivine

Keywords

  • Clay silicate deposit
  • Dominican Republic
  • Hydrous Mg silicate deposit
  • Ni-laterite
  • Ni-smectite

Cite this

Tauler, Esperança ; Lewis, John F. ; Villanova-de-Benavent, Cristina ; Aiglsperger, Thomas ; Proenza, Joaquín A. ; Domènech, Cristina ; Gallardo, Tamara ; Longo, Francisco ; Galí, Salvador. / 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. In: Mineralium Deposita. 2017 ; Vol. 52, No. 7. pp. 1011-1030.
@article{8b83d62434a2491c9bfdf3af39240aa4,
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",
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.",
keywords = "Clay silicate deposit, Dominican Republic, Hydrous Mg silicate deposit, Ni-laterite, Ni-smectite",
author = "Esperan{\cc}a Tauler and Lewis, {John F.} and Cristina Villanova-de-Benavent and Thomas Aiglsperger and Proenza, {Joaqu{\'i}n A.} and Cristina Dom{\`e}nech and Tamara Gallardo and Francisco Longo and Salvador Gal{\'i}",
year = "2017",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s00126-017-0750-8",
language = "English",
volume = "52",
pages = "1011--1030",
journal = "Mineralium Deposita",
issn = "0026-4598",
number = "7",

}

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. / Tauler, Esperança; Lewis, John F.; Villanova-de-Benavent, Cristina; Aiglsperger, Thomas; Proenza, Joaquín A.; Domènech, Cristina; Gallardo, Tamara; Longo, Francisco; Galí, Salvador.

In: Mineralium Deposita, Vol. 52, No. 7, 01.10.2017, p. 1011-1030.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Discovery of Ni-smectite-rich saprolite at Loma Ortega, Falcondo mining district (Dominican Republic)

T2 - geochemistry and mineralogy of an unusual case of “hybrid hydrous Mg silicate – clay silicate” type Ni-laterite

AU - Tauler, Esperança

AU - Lewis, John F.

AU - Villanova-de-Benavent, Cristina

AU - Aiglsperger, Thomas

AU - Proenza, Joaquín A.

AU - Domènech, Cristina

AU - Gallardo, Tamara

AU - Longo, Francisco

AU - Galí, Salvador

PY - 2017/10/1

Y1 - 2017/10/1

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - Clay silicate deposit

KW - Dominican Republic

KW - Hydrous Mg silicate deposit

KW - Ni-laterite

KW - Ni-smectite

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85021787688&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00126-017-0750-8

DO - 10.1007/s00126-017-0750-8

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85021787688

VL - 52

SP - 1011

EP - 1030

JO - Mineralium Deposita

JF - Mineralium Deposita

SN - 0026-4598

IS - 7

ER -