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Evaluation of Oxidized Pb-Zn-Ag Carbonate Replacement Deposits of Mexico in Light of Supergene Zinc and Residual Lead Enrichment Processes

Peter K. M. Megaw
Peter K. M. Megaw
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January 01, 2009


The majority of Mexico’s carbonate replacement deposits were discovered in outcrop over 100 years ago and most were oxidized to significant depths. Oxidized mantos and chimneys were diligently exploited as continuous compact bodies of silver-rich cerussite and anglesite, while ignoring then-valueless underlying or surrounding irregular, high-grade (>20% Zn) bodies of mixed Fe-Mn-Zn oxides, smithsonite, hemimorphite, willemite, and hydozincite. Recent development of effective solvent-extraction metallurgy to recover zinc from zinc oxide minerals has renewed interest in these bypassed bodies, but in most cases little was recorded of their tonnage, grade, or morphology. However, an understanding of original sulfide orebody limits, composition, morphology, and leaching processes can provide a first-order indicator of the potential zinc content and mineability of a given deposit prior to mounting a full-scale exploration effort.

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Special Publications of the Society of Economic Geologists

Supergene Environments, Processes, and Products

Spencer R. Titley
Spencer R. Titley
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Society of Economic Geologists
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Publication date:
January 01, 2009




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