Mining & Metals

Elevated levels of mercury in women of child bearing age in Pacific Island countries, new study reveals

A new study, supported by the Minamata Convention’s Interim Secretariat hosted by UN Environment, reveals that women of childbearing age living in four Pacific Island countries have elevated levels of mercury in their bodies. “Mercury monitoring in women of childbearing age in the Asia and the Pacific Region,” jointly conducted by the interim secretariat of the Minamata Convention, Biodiversity Research ...

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The formation of gold deposits in South Africa

At a first glance, the Witwatersrand basin, the largest known gold resource on our planet, is not automatically related to ocean research. However, in its 3 billion years old geological history, the Witwatersrand basin in South Africa has been covered by seawater, but experienced also episodes of drying out, flooding and erosion by rivers and the repeated coverage by seawater. ...

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Warning of shortage of essential minerals for laptops, cell phones, wiring

An international team of researchers, led by the University of Delaware’s Saleem Ali, says global resource governance and sharing of geoscience data is needed to address challenges facing future mineral supply. Specifically of concern are a range of technology minerals, which are an essential ingredient in everything from laptops and cell phones to hybrid or electric cars to solar panels ...

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Granites could solve riddle of pinpointing metals crucial for low carbon tech

The composition of vast swathes of granite found underneath much of the South West peninsula of Britain could offer a vital clue to where deposits of metals crucial for the production of many low carbon technologies can be found. A team of researchers, led by experts from the Camborne School of Mines, part of the University of Exeter, have studied ...

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Diamond’s 2-billion-year growth charts tectonic shift in early Earth’s carbon cycle

A study of tiny mineral ‘inclusions’ within diamonds from Botswana has shown that diamond crystals can take billions of years to grow. One diamond was found to contain silicate material that formed 2.3 billion years ago in its interior and a 250 million-year-old garnet crystal towards its outer rim, the largest age range ever detected in a single specimen. Analysis ...

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2013 Bingham Canyon landslide, moment by moment

In spring 2013, observation systems at Utah’s Bingham Canyon copper mine detected ground movement in a hillslope surrounding the mine’s open pit. Out of caution, mine managers evacuated personnel and shut down production, waiting for the inevitable. On April 10, at 9:30 p.m. and again at 11:05 p.m., the slope gave way and thundered down into the pit, filling in ...

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Copper-bottomed deposits

The world’s most valuable copper deposits, known as porphyry deposits, originate from cooling magma. But how can we predict the size of these deposits? What factors govern the amount of copper present? Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, have studied over 100,000 combinations to establish the depth and number of years required for magma to produce a given ...

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