Characterization Of Clay Mineral Fractions In Tuffisitic Kimberlite Breccias By X-Ray Diffraction

Morkel, J.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
During research on mainly the weathering of kimberlite, it became evident that its mineralogical composition is an important factor in the complex process of physical and chemical disintegration. The mineralogy of tuffisitic kimberlite breccias from two localities, the Cullinan and Venetia mines, is compared with special reference to the occurrence of associated clay minerals. The clay mineral composition influences the engineering properties of these rock types. It is illustrated how the presence of swelling clay components can be confirmed by ethylene glycol treatment and chlorite minerals by heat treatment using X-ray diffraction. Smectites are present in both tuffisitic kimberlites, dominant at Venetia while chlorite is more frequent at Cullinan. More tuffisitic kimberlite breccias samples from venetia were also characterized. It was found that kimberlite disintegration is correlated with the presence and abundance of smectite.
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