Mineralogical association and Ni-Co deportment in the Wingellina oxide-type laterite deposit (Western Australia)

F. Putzolu, G. Balassone, M. Boni, M. Maczurad, N. Mondillo, J. Najorka, F. Pirajno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Wingellina deposit (currently owned by Metals X Limited) is an oxide-type Ni-Co laterite, with 168 Mt of ore grading 0.98% Ni and 0.08% Co. The laterite profile is derived from the weathering of the olivine-rich mafic-ultramafic layered intrusion of the Giles Complex (Mesoproterozoic) and consists of a well-developed limonitic ore and a thin saprolite horizon. XRPD, SEM-EDS and EMPA analyses revealed that the ore zone is dominated by Fe- and Mn-(hydr)oxides, which are the main carriers of both Ni and Co. The mineralogy of the Mn-hydroxides is complex, and high concentrations of Co and Ni occur mainly in a lithiophorite-asbolane intermediate phase, which has been subdivided into types I, II, III and IV, with significant differences in their Co/Ni ratios and Al content. The enrichment of metals in the lithiophorite-asbolane phases is mainly controlled by the Co and Ni replacement of Al in gibbsite-like layers, and rarely by Ni incorporation in the vacancies of Mn-(hydr)oxides. Other, less important, metal-bearing Mn-(hydr)oxides at Wingellina include romanèchite, ernienickelite-jianshuiite, manganite, and birnessite. The texture and chemistry of the Mn-(hydr)oxides suggest that the lithiophorite-asbolane phases were formed at a later stage with respect to the other manganiferous phases, after repeated leaching and re-precipitation of the Mn-(hydr)oxides. This process could be one of the main factors controlling the enrichment of Co and Ni in the limonite zones during lateritization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-34
Number of pages14
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Volume97
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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laterite
Oxides
Deposits
Association reactions
oxide
Ores
Metals
metal
Bearings (structural)
Hydroxides
lateritization
birnessite
layered intrusion
saprolite
Mineralogy
gibbsite
Weathering
Leaching
Vacancies
hydroxide

Cite this

Putzolu, F. ; Balassone, G. ; Boni, M. ; Maczurad, M. ; Mondillo, N. ; Najorka, J. ; Pirajno, F. / Mineralogical association and Ni-Co deportment in the Wingellina oxide-type laterite deposit (Western Australia). In: Ore Geology Reviews. 2018 ; Vol. 97. pp. 21-34.
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abstract = "The Wingellina deposit (currently owned by Metals X Limited) is an oxide-type Ni-Co laterite, with 168 Mt of ore grading 0.98{\%} Ni and 0.08{\%} Co. The laterite profile is derived from the weathering of the olivine-rich mafic-ultramafic layered intrusion of the Giles Complex (Mesoproterozoic) and consists of a well-developed limonitic ore and a thin saprolite horizon. XRPD, SEM-EDS and EMPA analyses revealed that the ore zone is dominated by Fe- and Mn-(hydr)oxides, which are the main carriers of both Ni and Co. The mineralogy of the Mn-hydroxides is complex, and high concentrations of Co and Ni occur mainly in a lithiophorite-asbolane intermediate phase, which has been subdivided into types I, II, III and IV, with significant differences in their Co/Ni ratios and Al content. The enrichment of metals in the lithiophorite-asbolane phases is mainly controlled by the Co and Ni replacement of Al in gibbsite-like layers, and rarely by Ni incorporation in the vacancies of Mn-(hydr)oxides. Other, less important, metal-bearing Mn-(hydr)oxides at Wingellina include roman{\`e}chite, ernienickelite-jianshuiite, manganite, and birnessite. The texture and chemistry of the Mn-(hydr)oxides suggest that the lithiophorite-asbolane phases were formed at a later stage with respect to the other manganiferous phases, after repeated leaching and re-precipitation of the Mn-(hydr)oxides. This process could be one of the main factors controlling the enrichment of Co and Ni in the limonite zones during lateritization.",
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Mineralogical association and Ni-Co deportment in the Wingellina oxide-type laterite deposit (Western Australia). / Putzolu, F.; Balassone, G.; Boni, M.; Maczurad, M.; Mondillo, N.; Najorka, J.; Pirajno, F.

In: Ore Geology Reviews, Vol. 97, 01.06.2018, p. 21-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mineralogical association and Ni-Co deportment in the Wingellina oxide-type laterite deposit (Western Australia)

AU - Putzolu, F.

AU - Balassone, G.

AU - Boni, M.

AU - Maczurad, M.

AU - Mondillo, N.

AU - Najorka, J.

AU - Pirajno, F.

PY - 2018/6/1

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N2 - The Wingellina deposit (currently owned by Metals X Limited) is an oxide-type Ni-Co laterite, with 168 Mt of ore grading 0.98% Ni and 0.08% Co. The laterite profile is derived from the weathering of the olivine-rich mafic-ultramafic layered intrusion of the Giles Complex (Mesoproterozoic) and consists of a well-developed limonitic ore and a thin saprolite horizon. XRPD, SEM-EDS and EMPA analyses revealed that the ore zone is dominated by Fe- and Mn-(hydr)oxides, which are the main carriers of both Ni and Co. The mineralogy of the Mn-hydroxides is complex, and high concentrations of Co and Ni occur mainly in a lithiophorite-asbolane intermediate phase, which has been subdivided into types I, II, III and IV, with significant differences in their Co/Ni ratios and Al content. The enrichment of metals in the lithiophorite-asbolane phases is mainly controlled by the Co and Ni replacement of Al in gibbsite-like layers, and rarely by Ni incorporation in the vacancies of Mn-(hydr)oxides. Other, less important, metal-bearing Mn-(hydr)oxides at Wingellina include romanèchite, ernienickelite-jianshuiite, manganite, and birnessite. The texture and chemistry of the Mn-(hydr)oxides suggest that the lithiophorite-asbolane phases were formed at a later stage with respect to the other manganiferous phases, after repeated leaching and re-precipitation of the Mn-(hydr)oxides. This process could be one of the main factors controlling the enrichment of Co and Ni in the limonite zones during lateritization.

AB - The Wingellina deposit (currently owned by Metals X Limited) is an oxide-type Ni-Co laterite, with 168 Mt of ore grading 0.98% Ni and 0.08% Co. The laterite profile is derived from the weathering of the olivine-rich mafic-ultramafic layered intrusion of the Giles Complex (Mesoproterozoic) and consists of a well-developed limonitic ore and a thin saprolite horizon. XRPD, SEM-EDS and EMPA analyses revealed that the ore zone is dominated by Fe- and Mn-(hydr)oxides, which are the main carriers of both Ni and Co. The mineralogy of the Mn-hydroxides is complex, and high concentrations of Co and Ni occur mainly in a lithiophorite-asbolane intermediate phase, which has been subdivided into types I, II, III and IV, with significant differences in their Co/Ni ratios and Al content. The enrichment of metals in the lithiophorite-asbolane phases is mainly controlled by the Co and Ni replacement of Al in gibbsite-like layers, and rarely by Ni incorporation in the vacancies of Mn-(hydr)oxides. Other, less important, metal-bearing Mn-(hydr)oxides at Wingellina include romanèchite, ernienickelite-jianshuiite, manganite, and birnessite. The texture and chemistry of the Mn-(hydr)oxides suggest that the lithiophorite-asbolane phases were formed at a later stage with respect to the other manganiferous phases, after repeated leaching and re-precipitation of the Mn-(hydr)oxides. This process could be one of the main factors controlling the enrichment of Co and Ni in the limonite zones during lateritization.

KW - Element deportment

KW - Laterite

KW - Mineralogy

KW - Ni- and Co-bearing Mn-(hydr)oxides

KW - Western Australia

KW - Wingellina

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