Platinum And Some Other Trace Metals In Ferromanganese Crusts - Geochemical Models To Explain Contradictions

Halbach, Peter
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2008
Cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts are one type of the two oxidic metallic mineral resources in the deep ocean that incorporate metals supplied and transported from both land (aerosols, continental run-off) and sea sources (oxygen-minimum zone, hydrothermal alteration of the oceanic crust). The substances directly precipitate from cold seawater under more or less oxic conditions and form thin layers (2 up to 25 cm thick) on hard substrate rocks like volcanic hyaloclastites, weathered basaltic rocks and/or carbonate-fluorapatite; in the crusts many metals therefore exist in the highest state of oxidation. Deposits of the Co-rich ferromanganese crusts are found throughout the global oceans on the flanks, terraces and summits of seamounts and submerged volcanic mountain ranges and platforms, where the ocean currents have kept the seafloor more or less free of sediment for millions of years. The process of hydrogenetic precipitation is basically an inorganic colloidal-chemical and surface-chemical mechanism. Elements in seawater may occur as dissolved hydrated ions or as inorganic as well as organic complexes which in general have either a positive or a negative surface charge depending on the pH of the respective aqueous environment. Those complexes may form hydrated colloids that interact with each other and with other dissolved hydrous metal ions. Hydrated cations such as Co, Ni, Zn, Sn are, for example, attracted by the negatively charged surfaces of colloidal hydrous Mn-oxide particles, whereas hydrated anions (e.g. oxyanions) and elements forming larger complexes with low-charge densities (e.g. U, As, Th, Hf, REE) are attracted by the slightly positively charged hydrous Fe oxihydroxide particles.
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