In this study, four randomly selected copper-bearing minerals were examined—azurite, malachite, bornite, and chalcopyrite. The objectives were to examine and enumerate the crystalline and chemical properties of each of the minerals, to determine which, if any, of the Cu-bearing minerals might adversely affect systems biota, and to provide a multi-procedure reference. Laboratory work included use of computational software for quantifying crystalline and amorphous material and optical and electron imaging instruments to model and project crystalline structures. Chemical weathering, human fluid, and enzyme simulation studies were also conducted. The analyses were conducted systematically: X-ray diffraction and microanalytical studies followed by a series of chemical, bio-leaching, and toxicity experiments.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Assessment of the geoavailability of trace elements from minerals in mine wastes: analytical techniques and assessment of selected copper minerals
Scientific Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey
Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center