The geochemistry of primary and weathered oil shale and coquina across the Julia Creek vanadium deposit (Queensland, Australia)

Lewis, Stephen Edward, Henderson, Robert A., Dickens, Gerald R., Shields - Zhou, Graham A., and Coxhell, Simon (2010) The geochemistry of primary and weathered oil shale and coquina across the Julia Creek vanadium deposit (Queensland, Australia). Mineralium Deposita, 45 (6). pp. 599-620.

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A significant resource of vanadium and molybdenum exists near Julia Creek, Australia, where the middle Cretaceous organic-rich Toolebuc Formation lies between 0 and 25 m of the surface. We present and discuss a comprehensive geochemical study of the Toolebuc Formation and its enclosing stratigraphy near Julia Creek to understand this ore deposit. V and Mo contents in fresh facies are strongly associated with total organic carbon (TOC) contents, but not with Al or CaCO3; this suggests that V and Mo were originally concentrated in the organic fraction. However, chemical extractions using H2O2 indicate that Mo was originally concentrated in pyrite. The data also suggest that V was mobilised from organic matter during early diagenesis and became associated with clays as little V was extracted by H2O2 in the fresh samples. TOC contents in the Toolebuc Formation were removed during weathering, residually enriching trace metals including V and Mo, and as a result, the TOC relationship with V and Mo disintegrates. With weathering, both V and Mo predominantly became associated with iron oxide/hydroxide phases (and possibly other unidentified phases) as these elements in the weathered facies were highly soluble in the sodium citrate–sodium dithionite digestion. Large shale-hosted V and Mo deposits such as Julia Creek offer a potentially viable alternative to the currently mined magnetite-hosted deposits. A thorough understanding of the formation and host mineral phases for V and Mo of these shale deposits, however, is critical to ensure that these valuable metals can be feasibly extracted.

Item ID: 11901
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1866
Keywords: vanadium; molybdenum; toolebuc; formation; Eromanga Basin; oil shale; coquina; inorganic geochemistry
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2010 23:29
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040307 Ore Deposit Petrology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840107 Titanium Minerals, Zircon, and Rare Earth Metal Ore (e.g. Monazite) Exploration @ 100%
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