Ni-Co enrichment and High-Tech metals geochemistry in the Wingellina Ni-Co oxide-type laterite deposit (Western Australia)

F. Putzolu, M. Boni, N. Mondillo, M. Maczurad, F. Pirajno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to evaluate the Ni-Co enrichment and the high-tech metals (REE and Sc) geochemistry in the Wingellina Ni-Co oxide-type laterite deposit (Western Australia). The study has been carried out on two mineralized cores (WPDD0012 and WPDD0019 drillcores) originating from two areas of the deposit. The geochemical assessments have been integrated with the analysis of laterite facies and sample mineralogy. In both the studied laterite profiles Ni enrichment was mostly controlled by the paragenetic evolution of the laterite itself, whereas Co enrichment was related to the formation of Mn-oxy-hydroxide-rich horizons in the limonitic ore-body. Significant REEs concentrations (up to 890 ppm) have been observed within the limonite zones. The correlation between REEs and the major oxides shows a decoupling between Ce and the other REEs, likely reflecting either a variable enrichment process among the different REEs, or a heterogeneous mineralogy of the REEs-bearing phases. Differently from other Ni-Co laterite deposits, Sc is only in limited part correlated with Fe2O3, having been most commonly detected in Ni- and SiO2-rich zones of the saprolitic parts of the profiles. All the geochemical features, the facies characteristics and the Ni-Co, REEs and Sc grades observed in the two studied profiles seems to be the results of the interactions between two main controlling factors: distinct parent rock lithology and diverse degree of serpentinization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-296
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geochemical Exploration
Volume196
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Cite this

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title = "Ni-Co enrichment and High-Tech metals geochemistry in the Wingellina Ni-Co oxide-type laterite deposit (Western Australia)",
abstract = "The aim of this study is to evaluate the Ni-Co enrichment and the high-tech metals (REE and Sc) geochemistry in the Wingellina Ni-Co oxide-type laterite deposit (Western Australia). The study has been carried out on two mineralized cores (WPDD0012 and WPDD0019 drillcores) originating from two areas of the deposit. The geochemical assessments have been integrated with the analysis of laterite facies and sample mineralogy. In both the studied laterite profiles Ni enrichment was mostly controlled by the paragenetic evolution of the laterite itself, whereas Co enrichment was related to the formation of Mn-oxy-hydroxide-rich horizons in the limonitic ore-body. Significant REEs concentrations (up to 890 ppm) have been observed within the limonite zones. The correlation between REEs and the major oxides shows a decoupling between Ce and the other REEs, likely reflecting either a variable enrichment process among the different REEs, or a heterogeneous mineralogy of the REEs-bearing phases. Differently from other Ni-Co laterite deposits, Sc is only in limited part correlated with Fe2O3, having been most commonly detected in Ni- and SiO2-rich zones of the saprolitic parts of the profiles. All the geochemical features, the facies characteristics and the Ni-Co, REEs and Sc grades observed in the two studied profiles seems to be the results of the interactions between two main controlling factors: distinct parent rock lithology and diverse degree of serpentinization.",
keywords = "Ni-Co laterite, Geochemistry, Rare Earth Elements, Scandium, Wingellina, Western Australia, MUSGRAVE BLOCK, KARST BAUXITES, CE-ANOMALIES, FRACTIONATION, EXHUMATION, EVOLUTION, MINERALS, GEOLOGY, NICKEL, ZONES",
author = "F. Putzolu and M. Boni and N. Mondillo and M. Maczurad and F. Pirajno",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.gexplo.2018.11.004",
language = "English",
volume = "196",
pages = "282--296",
journal = "Journal of Geochemical Exploration",
issn = "0375-6742",
publisher = "Pergamon",

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Ni-Co enrichment and High-Tech metals geochemistry in the Wingellina Ni-Co oxide-type laterite deposit (Western Australia). / Putzolu, F.; Boni, M.; Mondillo, N.; Maczurad, M.; Pirajno, F.

In: Journal of Geochemical Exploration, Vol. 196, 01.2019, p. 282-296.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ni-Co enrichment and High-Tech metals geochemistry in the Wingellina Ni-Co oxide-type laterite deposit (Western Australia)

AU - Putzolu, F.

AU - Boni, M.

AU - Mondillo, N.

AU - Maczurad, M.

AU - Pirajno, F.

PY - 2019/1

Y1 - 2019/1

N2 - The aim of this study is to evaluate the Ni-Co enrichment and the high-tech metals (REE and Sc) geochemistry in the Wingellina Ni-Co oxide-type laterite deposit (Western Australia). The study has been carried out on two mineralized cores (WPDD0012 and WPDD0019 drillcores) originating from two areas of the deposit. The geochemical assessments have been integrated with the analysis of laterite facies and sample mineralogy. In both the studied laterite profiles Ni enrichment was mostly controlled by the paragenetic evolution of the laterite itself, whereas Co enrichment was related to the formation of Mn-oxy-hydroxide-rich horizons in the limonitic ore-body. Significant REEs concentrations (up to 890 ppm) have been observed within the limonite zones. The correlation between REEs and the major oxides shows a decoupling between Ce and the other REEs, likely reflecting either a variable enrichment process among the different REEs, or a heterogeneous mineralogy of the REEs-bearing phases. Differently from other Ni-Co laterite deposits, Sc is only in limited part correlated with Fe2O3, having been most commonly detected in Ni- and SiO2-rich zones of the saprolitic parts of the profiles. All the geochemical features, the facies characteristics and the Ni-Co, REEs and Sc grades observed in the two studied profiles seems to be the results of the interactions between two main controlling factors: distinct parent rock lithology and diverse degree of serpentinization.

AB - The aim of this study is to evaluate the Ni-Co enrichment and the high-tech metals (REE and Sc) geochemistry in the Wingellina Ni-Co oxide-type laterite deposit (Western Australia). The study has been carried out on two mineralized cores (WPDD0012 and WPDD0019 drillcores) originating from two areas of the deposit. The geochemical assessments have been integrated with the analysis of laterite facies and sample mineralogy. In both the studied laterite profiles Ni enrichment was mostly controlled by the paragenetic evolution of the laterite itself, whereas Co enrichment was related to the formation of Mn-oxy-hydroxide-rich horizons in the limonitic ore-body. Significant REEs concentrations (up to 890 ppm) have been observed within the limonite zones. The correlation between REEs and the major oxides shows a decoupling between Ce and the other REEs, likely reflecting either a variable enrichment process among the different REEs, or a heterogeneous mineralogy of the REEs-bearing phases. Differently from other Ni-Co laterite deposits, Sc is only in limited part correlated with Fe2O3, having been most commonly detected in Ni- and SiO2-rich zones of the saprolitic parts of the profiles. All the geochemical features, the facies characteristics and the Ni-Co, REEs and Sc grades observed in the two studied profiles seems to be the results of the interactions between two main controlling factors: distinct parent rock lithology and diverse degree of serpentinization.

KW - Ni-Co laterite

KW - Geochemistry

KW - Rare Earth Elements

KW - Scandium

KW - Wingellina

KW - Western Australia

KW - MUSGRAVE BLOCK

KW - KARST BAUXITES

KW - CE-ANOMALIES

KW - FRACTIONATION

KW - EXHUMATION

KW - EVOLUTION

KW - MINERALS

KW - GEOLOGY

KW - NICKEL

KW - ZONES

U2 - 10.1016/j.gexplo.2018.11.004

DO - 10.1016/j.gexplo.2018.11.004

M3 - Article

VL - 196

SP - 282

EP - 296

JO - Journal of Geochemical Exploration

JF - Journal of Geochemical Exploration

SN - 0375-6742

ER -