Determining Quantitative Mineralogy Using A Modified Modan Approach On The Questa Rock Pile Materials, New Mexico - Preprint 09-020

McLemore, V. T.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 14
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2009
Petrographic analysis of rocks is traditionally performed with optical microscopy using thin sections and point counting. However, this does not provide accurate mineral proportions for sedimentary, volcanic, and soil-like material, because rock fragments, groundmass, and matrix are not identified as specific minerals. In addition, groundmass phases in volcanic rocks can be too fine to identify individually, and making thin sections of intact soil-like material is difficult because much of the material is not well cemented. ModAn is a normative calculation that estimates modes ??by applying Gaussian elimination and multiple linear regression techniques to simultaneous mass balance equations? (Paktunc, 2001) and allows location-specific mineral compositions to be used. One of the features of ModAn that makes it appropriate for this study is that it can model one of several sulfide minerals. Mineral compositions for Questa minerals were determined from electron microprobe analysis and entered into ModAn. Then by combining and normalizing results, bulk quantitative mineralogy can be determined using ModAn, petrographic observations, electron microprobe analysis, clay mineral analysis, and the whole-rock chemistry of the sample.
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