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Matter-mineral characteristics of technogene placers – potential sources of precious metals (on the example of the Nizhneselemdzhinsky gold-bearing node of Priamurye, Russia)

I.V. Kuznetsova, P.P. Safronov, N.V. Moiseenko

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Over tens of years of mining and processing of ores and placers of gold in the world a huge amount of wastes originated in the form of spoil heaps and tailing dumps, in which the content of valuable components allow them to be considered a real additional resource of precious metals. The aim of the work was to establish the changes that took place in time in the spoil heaps of gold mining and to determine the prospects of the technogene placers as a potential source of the precious metal. The investigations were carried out with the use of the methods of the analytical raster electron microscopy and mineralogical and atomic-absorption analyses.

On the example of the Nizhneselemdzhinsky gold-bearing node of Priamurye we have done the compatative analysis of the mineral and granulometric composition of the original and developed placers. It is shown that through the technogenesis the mineral composition of the deposits changes including the process of decomposition of the lead and iron minerals with a partial reduction to a native metal.

In addition to the native gold in the technogene placers there have been found the following minerals with a high content of the precious metal: rutile, monazite, magnetite, metallic lead, galena, ilmenite, and zircon. The content of free gold in dumps is 190 mg/m3 in the average. The main amount of it (about 83%) consists of the fine gold (< 0.5 mm).

We have studied the chemical composition of the native gold and associated rocks. It has been established that the gold has a multiphase composition. The phases are for the most part the gold amalgams and have two-, three-, and four-component compositions (Au-Hg, Au-Ag-Hg, Au-Hg-Pb, Au-Ag-Hg-Pb). About 30% of gold of the technogene placers have a high standard of fineness (~980‰). Almost all native gold is in close intergrowths with the rock-forming matrix of different composition: hydroalumosilicates, oxides, and hydroxides of Fe, Mn, and Pb, highly carbonaceous and carbon-bearing formations, and so on. Under the action of the physicochemical and biochemical process in the technogene placers different transformations of the native gold take place: purification at the expense of the silver evacuation; decomposition of the minerals-concentrators of gold; precipitation of micro- and nano-gold at the geochemical barriers with the formation of the so-called “new” gold (from nanoformations to micro- and macroforms).

Through the operation of the technogene placers one should take into account the fact that the ore minerals in them have high concentrations of heavy metals and radioactive elements, and the gold has a complicated multiphase and multicomponent composition, and ¾ of it is amalgamated. The data obtained give the additional information for the elaboration of technologies for the development of the prospective gold-bearing technogene placers.


technogene placers, native gold, phase composition, gold amalgam, fineness of gold


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Inna V. Kuznetsova
Institute of Geology and Nature Management of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
1, Relochny Lane, Blagoveshchensk, Amur region, 675000, Russian Federation

Petr P. Safronov
Institute of Geology and Nature Management of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
159, 100-Letiya Ave., Vladivostok, 690022, Russian Federation

Natalya V. Moiseenko
Institute of Geology and Nature Management of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
1, Relochny Lane, Blagoveshchensk, Amur region, 675000, Russian Federation


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Kuznetsova I.V., Safronov P.P., Moiseenko N.V. (2019). Matter-mineral characteristics of technogene placers – potential sources of precious metals (on the example of the Nizhneselemdzhinsky gold-bearing node of Priamurye, Russia). Georesursy = Georesources, 21(1), pp. 2-14. DOI: