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TitleProcessing methods for recovery of indicator minerals from sediment and bedrock
AuthorMcClenaghan, M B
SourceExploration 07: Indicator mineral methods in mineral exploration, Workshop 3, course notes; by Thorleifson, L H; McClenaghan, M B; 2007 p. 15-19; 1 CD-ROM
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20070172
MeetingExploration 07, Exploration in the new Millennium, 5th Decennial International Conference on Mineral Exploration; Toronto; CA; September 9, 2007
Documentcomputer file
MediaCD-ROM; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Thorleifson, L H; McClenaghan, M B; (2007). Exploration 07: Indicator mineral methods in mineral exploration, Workshop 3, course notes
Subjectseconomic geology; mineralogy; geochemistry; indicator elements; heavy minerals; heavy mineral analyses; mineral exploration; gold; nickel; copper; diamond; platinum; uranium; tungsten; sulphides; specific gravities; grain size analyses; grain size analysis; analytical methods; indicator minerals; indicator mineral geochemistry
Illustrationsphotographs; tables; flow charts
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-3), 2005-2010
AbstractThe application of indicator mineral methods to mineral exploration has grown and developed significantly over the past two decades. They are used around the world to explore for a broad spectrum of commodities. Heavy mineral suites now exist for detecting a variety of ore deposit types including diamond, gold, Ni-Cu, PGE, porphyry Cu, massive sulphide, uranium, and tungsten. Indicator minerals, including ore and accessory minerals, are usually sparsely distributed in their host rocks. They may be sparser in derived sediments, thus sediment samples must be concentrated in order to recover and examine them. Most indicator minerals have a moderate to high specific gravity, thus most processing techniques concentrate indicator minerals using some type of density separation, often in combination with sizing and/or magnetic separations. Samples are processed to reduce the volume of material that must be examined. In reducing the volume of material, processing techniques must be able to retain the indicator mineral(s) and do so without contaminating the sample, without losing indicator minerals, and at a reasonable cost. This paper summarizes processing and heavy mineral recovery techniques that are used to recover a wide variety of indicator minerals from sediment and bedrock samples.