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You are here: Home » Past Issues » Volume 8, 2013 - Number 3 » TELLURIUM, SELENIUM AND CADMIUM RESOURCES IN THE WASTE DUMPS OF SĂCĂRÂMB AREA (APUSENI MOUNTAINS), ROMANIA. A PRELIMINARY ESTIMATION


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Gheorghe C. POPESCU1, Antonela NEACŞU1, Mihaela Elena CIOACĂ2 & Grigore BUIA3
1Dept. of Mineralogy, Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, University of Bucharest, 1, N. Balcescu Blvd., Bucharest, RO-010041 e-mail: ghpop@geo.edu.ro, antonela@geo.edu.ro
2Geological Institute of Romania, 1, Caransebeş St., 012271, Bucharest, Romania, e-mail: mihaela2012@yahoo.com
3Dept. of Environment and Geology, Faculty of Mine, University of Petrosani, 20, Universitatii Street, Petrosani, RO, e-mail: grigbuia@upet.ro

TELLURIUM, SELENIUM AND CADMIUM RESOURCES IN THE WASTE DUMPS OF SĂCĂRÂMB AREA (APUSENI MOUNTAINS), ROMANIA. A PRELIMINARY ESTIMATION

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Abstract:

Since recently, tellurium was considered only from scientific – mineralogical point of view. No interest for resources estimation in Romania exists. Only in 2005 this element started to be considered as a useful component, when it was used in the construction of solar panels. A first estimation regarding tellurium resource in Săcărâmb ore deposit was made taking into consideration the Au: Te ratio from the most common tellurides - nagyágite and sylvanite, and the amount of gold extracted from Săcărâmb deposit (over 1746-1941), estimated as being approx. 30 t. Therefore, the amount of Te - mined and unprocessed, just dumped, would be of approx. 60 t. The base–metal ore veins are hosted into an andesitic stockwork generated by the Neogene calc-alkaline magmatic events in the Metaliferi Mountains. Over 100 mineral species have been identified in Săcărâmb ore deposit, of which a total of 14 minerals contain Au, Ag, Fe and Hg. Our paperwork presents the results of the explorations conducted over for years on the tellurium resources hosted into three waste dumps at Săcărâmb, and into the “Iazul Avariat / Damaged Tailings Pond” at Certej. Tellurium contents have been determined using ICP-MS method. The Au:Te ratio is approx. 0.25 in case of the damaged tailings pond, and it is averaging 0.35 in case of the three waste dumps. Regarding the correlation degree, tellurium is well, directly correlated with gold and silver, confirming that tellurium is related to gold and silver mineral compounds. Actually, the Au, Ag and Te distribution map into the tailings pond area and waste dumps area indicate overlapping of the enrichment zones for all those three elements. New metallogenic data reveal copper and silver selenides in the Săcărâmb area. Because of the relatively high content of Se and Cd in the analysed samples of the already mentioned three waste dumps and damaged tailings pond, it is possible to identify the
association of these elements with other analysed elements. Mineralogical study confirmed eucairite andpossible naumannite and klockmannite. There is a good correlation between cadmium and zinc in the   analyzedsamples of waste dumps and damaged tailings pond. But future mineralogical investigations are necessary forestablishing if cadmium is a minor elements of sphalerite.


Keyword: tellurium, selenium, cadmium, resources, waste dumps, damaged tailingd pond, Săcărâmb


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