Mineralogical characterization and physical upgrading of radioactive and rare metal minerals from Wadi Al-Baroud granitic pegmatite at the Central Eastern Desert of Egypt

Mona M. Fawzy, Nasser M. Mahdy, Mabrouk Sami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Granitic pegmatites of Wadi Al-Baroud area in the Central Eastern Desert of Egypt have appreciated amounts of radioactive (U, Th) and rare metal- (Nb, Ta, Y, Zr, Hf, and rare earth elements—REEs) bearing minerals. A combination of both geochemical and physical methods has been used for investigation of Wadi Al-Baroud granitic pegmatites. The identification, imaging, and chemistry of rare metal-bearing minerals were conducted using the optical microscope, X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), and electron microprobe analyzer (EMPA). The pegmatites host Nb-Ta oxides (euxenite-Y, fergusonite-Y, and yttrocolumbite-Y), REE minerals (xenotime-Y, monazite-Ce and allanite-Ce), U-Th minerals (thorite and uranothorite), and Hf-rich zircon. In addition, muscovite, quartz, feldspars, and some iron oxide minerals such as magnetite, goethite, and lepidocrocite represent the essential, gangue, and associated minerals. Physical upgrading of Wadi Al-Baroud-mineralized pegmatites was carried out using gravity and magnetic separation techniques. Applying the optimum conditions for both separation techniques, it is possible to attain a good concentrate with an acceptable recovery. Accordingly, the final concentrate contains ~ 0.25% U, 0.46% Th, and 0.31% REE with recovery of 91.17% U, 96.56% Th, and 86.19% REE in a weight of 6.58% out of the original sample assays 0.02% U, 0.04% Th, and 0.03% REE. Therefore, it is well-recommended that the final concentrate should subject to proper hydrometallurgical treatment to extract their valuable metal contents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number413
JournalArabian Journal of Geosciences
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Hf-zircon
  • Monazite-(Ce)
  • Physical upgrading
  • Rare metal mineralization
  • Uranothorite
  • Wadi Al-Baroud pegmatite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Mineralogical characterization and physical upgrading of radioactive and rare metal minerals from Wadi Al-Baroud granitic pegmatite at the Central Eastern Desert of Egypt'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this