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Analysis of Oxidation of Sulfide Minerals in Copper–Nickel Deposits

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The oxidation-induced alteration of properties of sulfide minerals is analyzed. The air-and-gas content and thermodynamic parameters of mine air are experimentally investigated as a case-study of blind roadways in sulfide deposits at a depth of 300–1500 m. The microclimate conditions of sulfide ore oxidation are determined and used in design of two laboratory testing machines with oxidation in a bubbling chamber. It is found that oxidation of sulfides runs more violently in air saturated with steam than in water saturated with oxygen. The tests included two oxidation scenarios: oxygen sorption in surface layer and sulfur oxidation with leaching of metal. On the surface of sulfide ore samples, heterotrophic and chemolitotrophic bacteria which can absorb oxygen from mine air are detected. The highest number of the bacteria is present on the surface of high-grade ore.

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Correspondence to S. V. Mal’tsev.

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Translated from Fiziko-Tekhnicheskie Problemy Razrabotki Poleznykh Iskopaemykh, 2022, No. 2, pp. 128-139.

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Mal’tsev, S.V., Chaikovskii, I.I., Grishin, E.L. et al. Analysis of Oxidation of Sulfide Minerals in Copper–Nickel Deposits. J Min Sci 58, 289–299 (2022).

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