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Base metals and other minor elements in the manganese deposits of west-central Arkansas

Elsevier B.V.
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0009-2541(79)90137-2
  • Earth Science


Abstract Manganese oxides from deposits in west-central Arkansas were analyzed by X-ray diffraction for mineralogy and by atomic absorption spectroscopy for Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Ni, Zn, V, Al, Li, Na, K, Mg, Ca, Sr and Ba. We report on 42 samples from 25 sites with more than 25 wt.% Mn and less than 7 wt.% Fe. Most samples were mixtures of two or more of the following minerals, many with concentric deposition: cryptomelane, lithiophorite, psilomelane and pyrolusite. In the purer samples of single minerals, lithiophorite contained the higher concentrations of total base metals (Co + Cu + Ni + Zn) than other minerals. In atom % of Mn these concentrations were: 9.51% in lithiophorite; 0.432% in psilomelane; and 0.275% in cryptomelane. The relative concentration of base metals in the pure minerals, proceeding from highest to lowest concentration, were: lithiophorite (Co = Cu > Ni > Zn); psilomelane (Co > Cu > Zn > Ni) and cryptomelane (Zn > Co = Cu > Ni). The concentration of Li correlates with the metals Al, Co, Cu, Ni and Zn, in the mineral samples containing measurable Li. Correlation coefficients (ϱ) for Li with the various metals and sum of the base metals were: Al ( ϱ = 0.976); Co ( ϱ = 0.44); Ni ( ϱ = 0.954); Cu ( ϱ = 0.918); Zn ( ϱ = 0.875); and (Co + Cu + Ni + Zn) ( ϱ = 0.979). Li is believed to be a measure of lithiophorite. Correlation was found between Al content and base metal contents for all samples: Co ( ϱ = 0.354); Ni ( ϱ = 0.749); Cu ( ϱ = 0.808); Zn ( ϱ = 0.632); and (Co + Cu + Ni + Zn) ( ϱ = 0.884). The Al correlation extended to published values for these and the minerals hollandite and todorokite, except for Zn. Zn correlated with K in published analyses and in the eastern half of the study area where cryptomelane predominated. A mechanism is proposed to explain the enhancement by Al of base metal incorporation into manganese oxide minerals. The mechanism involves the isomorphous substitution of Al 3+ for Mn 4+ with charge neutralization by bivalent base metal ions.

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