Logo GFZ: Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (German Research Centre for Geosciences)

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre 
for Geosciences

Dr. Robert Trumbull
14473 Potsdam

Fon: +49 331 288-1495


Logo BMBF: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research)

Work Package B-1: Geochemical and mineralogical characteristics

The focus is to determine the differences between primary PGE- assemblages of chromite ores from near-surface oxidised zones and from primary unaltered zones. Most of the PGE in primary ores of the Bushveld Complex are either intergrown with or associated with sulfide minerals (pyrrhotite, pentlandite, chalcopyrite, millerite) and these are vulnerable to oxidation. The changes in ore mineralogy and texture will be quantified for input to improved beneficiation schemes (Target C) and for experimental studies on PGE mobility in the oxidised zone (WP B-2).

Main partners:
BGR, LUH, Mintek

Tools and methods:
Field examination of weathering profiles in drill cores, trenches and mining exposures, complemented by quantiative geochemical analysis of bulk samples (X-ray fluorescence, ICPMS) and in-situ studies of mineral textures and composition in profiles extending from the oxidised zones to primary zones. Mineralogical analyses will use the methods spectrum described in WP A-2.

All near-surface mining encounters variations in mineralogy and microfabric of ores caused by alteration or weathering. The recovery of PGE from oxidized ores is known to be very poor when compared to primary ores, and Target B takes up the challenge to quantify changes in ore properties for improvements in beneficiation efficiency.

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