Scandium in the coals of Northern Asia (Siberia, the Russian Far East, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan)

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We present new original data on the geochemistry of scandium in the coals of Asian Russia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan. In general, the studied coals are enriched in Sc as compared with the average coals worldwide. Coal deposits with abnormally high, up to commercial, Sc contents were detected in different parts of the study area. The factors for the accumulation of Sc in coals have been identified. The Sc contents of the coals depend on the petrologic composition of coal basins (composition of rocks in their framing) and the facies conditions of coal accumulation. We have established the redistribution and partial removal of Sc from a coal seam during coal metamorphism. The distribution of Sc in deposits and coal seams indicates the predominantly hydrogenic mechanism of its anomalous concentration in coals and peats. The accumulation of Sc in the coals and peats is attributed to its leaching out of the coal-bearing rocks and redeposition in a coal (peat) layer with groundwater and underground water enriched in organic acids. The enrichment of coals with Sc requires conditions for the formation of Sc-enriched coal-bearing rocks and conditions for its leaching and transport to the coal seam. Such conditions can be found in the present-day peatland systems of West Siberia and, probably, in ancient basins of peat (coal) accumulation.




Arbuzov, S. I., Volostnov, A. V., Mashen’kin, V. S., & Mezhibor, A. M. (2014). Scandium in the coals of Northern Asia (Siberia, the Russian Far East, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan). Russian Geology and Geophysics, 55(11), 1306–1315.

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