Southwest Guizhou Province is one of the most important areas of disseminated, sediment-hosted-type Au deposits in China and is an important area of coal production. The chemistry of most of the coals in SW Guizhou is similar to those in other parts of China. Their As content is near the Chinese coal average, but some local, small coal mines contain high As coals. The highest As content is up to 3.5 wt.% in the coal. The use of high As coals has caused in excess of 3000 cases of As poisoning in several villages. The high As coals are in the Longtan formation, which is an alternating marine facies and terrestrial facies. The coals are distributed on both sides of faults that parallel the regional anticlinal axis. The As content of coal is higher closer to the fault plane. The As content of coal changes greatly in different coal beds and different locations of the same bed. Geological structures such as anticlines, faults and sedimentary strata control the distribution of high As coals. Small Au deposits as well as Sb, Hg, and Th mineralization, are found near the high As coals. Although some As-bearing minerals such as pyrite, arsenopyrite, realgar (?), As-bearing sulfate, As-bearing clays, and phosphate are found in the high As coals, their contents cannot account for the abundance of As in some coals. Analysis of the coal indicates that As mainly exists in the form of As5+ and As3+, perhaps, combined with organic compounds. The occurrence of such exceptionally high As contents in coal and the fact that the As is dominantly organically associated are unique observations. ?? 201 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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Geological and geochemical characteristics of high arsenic coals from endemic arsenosis areas in southwestern Guizhou Province, China