The Ni-Mo Huangjiawan mine, Guizhou Province, People's Republic of China, occurs in Lower Cambrian black shale (stone coal) in an area where other mines have recently extracted ore from the same horizon. Detailed electron microprobe (EMPA) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) analyses of representative thin sections have revealed a complex assemblage of sulfides and sulfarsenides. Early sulfidic and phosphatic nodules and host matrix have been lithified, somewhat fractured, and then mineralized with later-stage sulfides and sulfarsenides. Gersdorffite, millerite, polydymite, pyrite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, galena, and clausthalite have been recognized. EMPA data are given for the major phases. Pyrite trace-element distributions and coeval Ni-, As-sulfides indicate that in the main ore layer, the last sulfide deposition was Ni-As-Co-rich. Mo and V deposition were early in the petrogenesis of these rocks. The assemblages gersdorffite-millerite-polydymite (pyrite) and millerite-gersdorffite (pyrite) and the composition of gersdorffite indicate a formation temperature of between 200?? and 300??C suggesting that the last solutions to infiltrate and mineralize the samples were related to hydrothermal processes. Environmentally sensitive elements such as As, Cd, and Se are hosted by sulfides and sulfarsenides and are the main source of these elements to residual soil. Crops grown on them are enriched in these elements, and they may be hazardous for animal and human consumption. ?? Springer-Verlag 2007.
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Late-stage sulfides and sulfarsenides in Lower Cambrian black shale (stone coal) from the Huangjiawan mine, Guizhou Province, People's Republic of China