Modern analytical methods (optical and electron microscopy, X-ray microanalysis) were used to study the unique samples of sulfide ores from the Norilsk ore field from the Mining Museum collections of Saint Petersburg Mining University. Samples containing rare minerals of silver and platinum-group metals (sobolevskite, urvantsevite, sperrylite, argentopentlandite, froodite, kotulskite, and others) were studied. The chemical composition, grain sizes, aggregates, and mineral associations of more than ten noble metal minerals have been refined. The efficiency of combining various methods of electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis for studying samples of this type is shown. The results of the work made it possible to obtain high-quality images of rare minerals, to detail information on museum objects, and to compile their scientific description. The conducted research showed the relevance of studying museum objects from known deposits of complex genesis and mineral composition in order to find and describe the samples with rare minerals.
Crushing and grinding of materials are the most common processes of sample preparation for subsequent analysis and industrial application. Recently, grinding has become one of the most popular methods for producing nano-sized powders. This study investigates certain features of grain transformation in the process of grinding ores with finely dispersed valuable components in order to liberate them, as well as specifics of grinding metallurgical raw materials, metals and their mixtures for using them as initial components in metallurgical and other technological processes. We identified and examined structural and morphological changes of various powders after ultrafine grinding using the methods of scanning electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis. It was proved that in order to take into account sample preparation artifacts during analytic studies of solid samples and development of technological processes, fine grinding of heterogeneous materials, especially if they contain metals, requires monitoring of the ground product by methods of scanning electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis.
It has been attempted to expand existing understanding of accessory mineralization evolution of rare metal-granite series at post-magmatic stage of their development and formation of associated hydrothermal deposits. Composition and distribution of rare elements of Verkhneurmiysk ore cluster have been examined from the position of mineralogy: the study focused on accessory and ore minerals Sn, W, Nb, Ta, Bi, Y, rare earth elements in rare metal Li-F granites and associated metasomatites. It has been discovered that accessory magmatic and hydrothermal mineral complexes share the same geochemical features, are formed under the leading role of abovementioned elements and consistently follow each other over time. It has been traced how mineral forms of accumulation of Sn, W, Nb, Ta, Y and rare earth elements evolve in the processes of magmatic crystallization and post-magmatic metasomatism in the time series: rare metal granites → zwitters → tourmalinites → chloritites. Mineral rocks of each stage were noted to inherit mineralogical and geochemical distinctions from the rocks of the previous stage. A significant number of minerals, forming in the course of two-three stages, have been discovered, as well as omnipresent magmagene-hydrothermal minerals. For a number of accessory minerals of rare metal granites post-magmatic generations have been identified. Special diversity among accessories of rare metal granites and zwitters was observed in tungsten, tin and bismuth minerals. Composition of Verkhneurmiysk ore cluster mineralization is in many aspects similar to the one of metasomatic accessory minerals of rare metal granites. Tungsten-tin deposits of Verkhneurmiysk ore cluster are polyformational and combine mineralogical features of cassiterite-quartz and cassiterite-silicate formations. Evolution of mineral forms of the key rare elements (Sn, W, Bi, Nb, Ta, rare earth elements) points to a genetic link between tungsten-tin mineralization of zwitter-tourmalinite formation and rare metal Li-F granites of the region. The evidence of that is a specific genetic category of accessory materials, formed as a result of pseudomorphism of protominerals, – transformational minerals or metasomatic accessory minerals. The list of metasomatic accessories includes exactly those minerals which are considered indicators of ore generation capacity of Far Eastern leucogranites: cassiterite, wolframite, scheelite, a number of sulphides. Similar qualitative composition of magmatic and post-magmatic minerals demonstrates metallogenic specialization of parent granite magma. Predicted mineragenic significance of research in the field of mineral forms evolution of rare elements accumulation in ore-bearing granites and metasomatites is associated with possibilities to assess metallogenic specialization of parent granite magma. Understanding of accessory paragenesis evolution should serve as a base for exploration geo-technologies in the Far East metallogenic province.
Having used electron microscopy permits and microanalysis systems for monitoring the general chemical composition of the sample researched forms of occurrence of toxic elements in the granitoids one of regions. As a result, studies have established stable and unstable forms of occurrence of toxic elements. Concluded that secondary hydrothermal forms of concentration of toxic elements may constitute an environmental hazard. Two cycle scheme proposed geoecological monitoring, providing samples of sediment and flowing waters of the river basins.
It is shown that X-ray fluorescence method can be utilized to determine composition of steels used for manufacturing the rockbreaking tools. A conclusion is derived that one of the possible cause of low wear resistance of miner bits in «Vorkutaugol» is their bodies manufacturing from the steels, which do not meet the Mining Code specifications.