The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The formation and evolution of the Bitincke nickel laterite deposit, Albania

The formation and evolution of the Bitincke nickel laterite deposit, Albania
The formation and evolution of the Bitincke nickel laterite deposit, Albania
The Bitincke nickel laterite deposit, located in the south east of Albania, contains an estimated ore resource of 35.6 Mt of nickel ore with a grade of 1.2 % Ni. The deposit developed on peridotites within Late Jurassic ophiolites which were obducted in the Early Cretaceous and which form part of the Albanian Mirdita ophiolite zone. Limestones and conglomerates overlying the deposit delimit the minimum age of lateritization to the mid-Eocene. The laterite is composed of two distinct ore zones characterized by silicate nickel and iron oxide phases. Within the silicate zone, Ni concentrations reach a maximum of 1.5 wt% and although laterally and vertically variable this zone is typically characterized by olivine and serpentine at the base of the horizon which are gradually replaced by secondary silicates and iron oxides up section. The boundary between the silicate and the oxide zone above is normally sharp and characterized by an increase in Fe2O3 (from ~10 to 80 wt%), decreases in SiO2 (from ~30 to 5 wt%) and a dramatic reduction in MgO content (from ~10 to 0.1 wt%). The oxide horizon is dominated by goethite and displays relatively little variation in textural morphology or geochemistry. Nickel concentrations are greatest near the base of this zone, reaching a maximum of 2.3 wt%. Weathering profile formation and variation in the thickness of the deposit was controlled by the interaction between topography, faulting and protolith fracture density. The oxide zone formed on topographic highs was subject to increased rates of erosion, whereas the laterite profile within topographic lows, and in areas of relatively high fracture density, tends to be thicker due to increased permeability. The most substantive sections of the Ni laterite weathering profile developed in small fault controlled basins and were preserved by the deposition of a sequence of limestones and mudstones.
Nickel laterite Albania Weathering Bitincke
0026-4598
933-947
Thorne, Robert L.
d324f858-89fb-4a45-a193-146fc8f31c2e
Roberts, Stephen
f095c7ab-a37b-4064-8a41-ae4820832856
Herrington, Richard
6466a9c1-3e23-40a4-a1e5-a5ce15f5a43d
Thorne, Robert L.
d324f858-89fb-4a45-a193-146fc8f31c2e
Roberts, Stephen
f095c7ab-a37b-4064-8a41-ae4820832856
Herrington, Richard
6466a9c1-3e23-40a4-a1e5-a5ce15f5a43d

Thorne, Robert L., Roberts, Stephen and Herrington, Richard (2012) The formation and evolution of the Bitincke nickel laterite deposit, Albania. Mineralium Deposita, 47 (8), 933-947. (doi:10.1007/s00126-012-0411-x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Bitincke nickel laterite deposit, located in the south east of Albania, contains an estimated ore resource of 35.6 Mt of nickel ore with a grade of 1.2 % Ni. The deposit developed on peridotites within Late Jurassic ophiolites which were obducted in the Early Cretaceous and which form part of the Albanian Mirdita ophiolite zone. Limestones and conglomerates overlying the deposit delimit the minimum age of lateritization to the mid-Eocene. The laterite is composed of two distinct ore zones characterized by silicate nickel and iron oxide phases. Within the silicate zone, Ni concentrations reach a maximum of 1.5 wt% and although laterally and vertically variable this zone is typically characterized by olivine and serpentine at the base of the horizon which are gradually replaced by secondary silicates and iron oxides up section. The boundary between the silicate and the oxide zone above is normally sharp and characterized by an increase in Fe2O3 (from ~10 to 80 wt%), decreases in SiO2 (from ~30 to 5 wt%) and a dramatic reduction in MgO content (from ~10 to 0.1 wt%). The oxide horizon is dominated by goethite and displays relatively little variation in textural morphology or geochemistry. Nickel concentrations are greatest near the base of this zone, reaching a maximum of 2.3 wt%. Weathering profile formation and variation in the thickness of the deposit was controlled by the interaction between topography, faulting and protolith fracture density. The oxide zone formed on topographic highs was subject to increased rates of erosion, whereas the laterite profile within topographic lows, and in areas of relatively high fracture density, tends to be thicker due to increased permeability. The most substantive sections of the Ni laterite weathering profile developed in small fault controlled basins and were preserved by the deposition of a sequence of limestones and mudstones.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2012
Keywords: Nickel laterite Albania Weathering Bitincke
Organisations: Geochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 346810
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/346810
ISSN: 0026-4598
PURE UUID: 279d3031-036f-4ce8-a674-bd5de9b8246a
ORCID for Stephen Roberts: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4755-6703

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Jan 2013 11:52
Last modified: 03 Dec 2019 02:06

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×