Dispersed-Element Ore

Dispersed-Element Ore


any of the natural mineral formations containing dispersed elements in compounds and concentrations that make their extraction with modern technology economically feasible. Generally, these elements are extracted as by-products in the processing of ores of other metals and useful minerals. Table 1 lists the principal dispersed elements, the geochemical analogues and concentrating minerals of these elements, and the mineral formations serving as the main sources for industrial extraction.

For most dispersed elements, there exist several ores from which the element can be extracted. For example, germanium is extracted from coking coals in Great Britain, germanium-containing lignites in Japan, lead-zinc ores of the Mississippi Valley in the USA, and independent germanium ores of the Kipushi deposit (Republic of Zaïre) in Belgium. In the USSR, the production of vanadium is based on the element’s extraction as a by-product from titanomagnetites of the Urals; in the USA, from uranium-containing carnotite sandstones of the Ambrosia Lake region in Colorado; in Peru, from independent vanadium ores in asphaltites (of Minasragra); and in Namibia and Zambia, from the oxidized zones of the complex-ore (descloizite and vanadinite ores) deposits of Auasberge, Tsumeb, and Abenab District.

The extraction of dispersed elements from complex ores is dependent on the yield of the major elements making up the ores, the current demand for dispersed elements, and the availability of profitable extraction technology. The production of dispersed elements in the capitalist countries in the years 1969–72 was (in thousands of tons): vanadium, 13-16; cadmium, 10-15; selenium, 1-1.2; tellurium, 0.16-0.18; germanium, 0.009-0.11; indium, 0.005-0.006; thallium, 0.0013-0.0014; and rhenium, 0.0004.


Geokhimiia, mineralogiia i geneticheskie tipy mestorozhdenii redkikh elementov, vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1964.
Magak’ian, I. G. Redkie, rasseiannye i redkozemel’nye elementy. Yerevan, 1971.
Rudnye mestorozhdeniia SSSR, vols. 1-3. Moscow, 1974.


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