NANOSCALE PROCESSES IN ORE MINERALS

Nanoscale processes in minerals and aqueous solutions play a decisive role in the control of geochemical cycles on a geological scale. On the other hand, characterization of nanoparticles and nanodomains in minerals allows a better understanding of the mechanisms of incorporation of strategic or “critical” metals, such as cobalt, rare earths, platinum group elements, lithium, among others.

 

This research line aims to study, through the use of high resolution analytical techniques (TEM, nano-SIMS, FESEM, atom probe microscopy), nanoscale mineralogy of mineral phases of economic interest, with an emphasis on sulphides and oxides. The objective is to obtain new evidence regarding the behavior of the nanoscale of metals during mineralization processes and determine the distribution, limits of incorporation and speciation of strategic metals in mineral matrices, and that give added value to concentrates of main commodities such as copper , iron, or molybdenum.