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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Academic Staff

Publication details for Prof. Dave Selby

Wanhainen, C., Nigatu, W., Selby, D., McLeod, C., Nordin, R. & Bolin, N-J. (2014). The Distribution, Character, and Rhenium Content of Molybdenite in the Aitik Cu-Au-Ag-(Mo) Deposit and Its Southern Extension in the Northern Norrbotten Ore District, Northern Sweden. Minerals 4(4): 788-814.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Molybdenite in the Aitik deposit and its southern extension was studied through mineralogical/chemical analysis and laboratory flotation tests. It is demonstrated that molybdenite varies considerably in grain size, ranging from coarse (>20 μm) to very fine (<2 μm) and occurs predominantly as single grains in the groundmass of the rocks, as grain aggregates, and intergrown with chalcopyrite and pyrite. The dominating molybdenite-bearing rocks are the mica schists, the quartz-monzodiorite, and the Salmijärvi biotite-amphibole gneiss, the latter containing mostly medium-coarsegrained molybdenite. Later geological features, such as garnet-magnetite-anhydrite-K feldspar alteration and pegmatite dikes appear to be responsible for a significant part of the distribution pattern of molybdenite. Molybdenite grains contain up to 1587 ppm Re, with an average of 211 ± 10 ppm in Aitik molybdenite and 452 ± 33 ppm in Salmijärvi molybdenite. The higher Re concentrations are found in molybdenite associated with sericite- and quartz-amphibole-magnetite altered rocks, whereas low Re values occur in rocks in which potassic alteration is prominent. Molybdenite recovery is influenced by the mineralogy of the host rock and the alteration grade; hence both of these factors will have an impact on potential recoveries. The recovery of molybdenite was lower from flotation feeds with significant amounts of Mg-bearing clay-micas.