Mineralogical and geochemical studies of boron-rich bauxite ore deposits in the Songqi region, SW Henan, China

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Abstract

The Songqi region, SW Henan, is an important bauxite province in China. The bauxite ore deposits occur unconformably on the top of Middle Ordovician argillaceous carbonates. The bauxite ores from the Songqi region are characterized by unusually high boron contents. In this paper, we report the mineralogical and chemical compositions of selected bauxite ores from the region. These new data, together with existing geochemical data of soils in the region, are used to evaluate the origin of boron enrichment in the bauxite ores. The compositional characteristics of tourmaline in the bauxite ores suggests that this mineral was likely derived from a meta-sedimentary protolith. Mass balance calculation reveals that tourmaline only accounts for a small portion of boron in the bauxite ores; the majority of boron in the ores must occur in other forms, possibly by ion absorption on the surfaces of diaspore and clay minerals. In the Songqi region, the Precambrian meta-sedimentary rocks are known to contain abundant tourmalines whereas the Cambrian-Ordovician argillaceous carbonates and the Upper Proterozoic shales are all enriched in boron in free ion state. We suggest that these rocks provided tourmaline and boron ion to the bauxite deposits in the region. Most known bauxite deposits in the Songqi region occur at the margins of boron-rich soil domains, suggesting that boron in soils is a potential exploration indicator for unknown bauxite deposits in this region. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

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Wang, Q., Liu, X., Yan, C., Cai, S., Li, Z., Wang, Y., … Li, G. (2012). Mineralogical and geochemical studies of boron-rich bauxite ore deposits in the Songqi region, SW Henan, China. Ore Geology Reviews, 48, 258–270. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oregeorev.2012.04.004

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