Vein graphite deposits: geological settings, origin, and economic significance

Luque, F.J., Huizenga, J-M., Crespo-Feo, E., Wada, H., Ortega, L., and Barrenechea, J.F. (2014) Vein graphite deposits: geological settings, origin, and economic significance. Mineralium Deposita, 49 (2). pp. 261-277.

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Abstract

Graphite deposits result from the metamorphism of sedimentary rocks rich in carbonaceous matter or from precipitation from carbon-bearing fluids (or melts). The latter process forms vein deposits which are structurally controlled and usually occur in granulites or igneous rocks. The origin of carbon, the mechanisms of transport, and the factors controlling graphite deposition are discussed in relation to their geological settings. Carbon in granulite-hosted graphite veins derives from sublithospheric sources or from decarbonation reactions of carbonate-bearing lithologies, and it is transported mainly in CO2-rich fluids from which it can precipitate. Graphite precipitation can occur by cooling, water removal by retrograde hydration reactions, or reduction when the CO2-rich fluid passes through relatively low-fO2 rocks. In igneous settings, carbon is derived from assimilation of crustal materials rich in organic matter, which causes immiscibility and the formation of carbon-rich fluids or melts. Carbon in these igneous-hosted deposits is transported as CO2 and/or CH4 and eventually precipitates as graphite by cooling and/or by hydration reactions affecting the host rock. Independently of the geological setting, vein graphite is characterized by its high purity and crystallinity, which are required for applications in advanced technologies. In addition, recent discovery of highly crystalline graphite precipitation from carbon-bearing fluids at moderate temperatures in vein deposits might provide an alternative method for the manufacture of synthetic graphite suitable for these new applications.

Item ID: 32629
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1866
Keywords: graphite, vein deposits, carbon-bearing fluids, granulites, igneous rocks, carbon cycle
Funders: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity
Projects and Grants: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity CGL2010-16008
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2014 02:20
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040307 Ore Deposit Petrology @ 80%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040202 Inorganic Geochemistry @ 20%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840199 Mineral Exploration not elsewhere classified @ 60%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 40%
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