Sulfide Mineral Oxidation

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Synonyms

Sulfide-mineral weathering; Sulfide-ore oxidation

Definition

Sulfide mineral. A metal-sulfide compound, such as pyrite (FeS2), which forms at high temperature (>50°C) in well-crystallized veins or masses and at low temperatures (<50°C) in poorly crystalline and fine-grained particles.

Oxidation. The chemical process of reacting with oxygen. More generally, the chemical process of removing electrons from an atom or group of atoms.

Introduction

Metal-sulfide minerals are valuable as ores for metals that have a wide variety of uses from jewelry to components in vehicles and electronic equipment. They are found primarily in hydrothermal mineral deposits that occur in numerous geologic environments. The most common sulfide mineral is pyrite; other important sulfide ore minerals include chalcopyrite (copper ore), molybdenite (molybdenum ore), sphalerite (zinc ore), galena (lead ore), and cinnabar (mercury ore). When these minerals are exposed to weathering at