Abstract

We present a new approach for the evaluation of the potential of emerald reserves in gem projects using beryllium (Be) mobility. The distribution of Be in the different phases of hydrothermally altered (albitized) black shale hosting Colombian emerald deposits indicates that Be-mobility is associated with the breakdown of Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide phases. The amount of Be that can be mobilized ( approximately 0.7X10 (super -6) g/g; i.e., 0.7 ppm) may represent up to 18 wt% of the total Be contained in the black shale. A mass balance calculation applied to a well-constrained alteration zone of the Chivor mines, and based on the quantification of Be that can be mobilized under hydrothermal conditions, gives an estimate of the total gem reserves of these mines.

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