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Weathered material composed principally of the oxides of iron, aluminum, titanium, and manganese; laterite ranges from soft, earthy, porous soil to hard, dense rock.



red ferruginous or ferruginous-aluminiferous eluvial formations typical of humid tropical and subtropical regions. The term “laterite” was first proposed by the English geologist F. Buchanan in 1807 to designate the red ferruginous rocks of the weathering mantle, used in India and other countries to make bricks used in construction. Later the term came to be used for a group of red rocks that differed in composition and origin. In soil science “laterite” is often used to denote ferruginous soil horizons of infiltrative origin. Climate is the chief factor in tropical weathering. Laterite forms only in tropical and subtropical regions with more than 1,300–2,000 mm of average annual precipitation and mean annual temperatures of 20°-30° C. The laterites overlie aluminosilicate rocks of various composition and form through laterization, during which up to 90 percent of the SiO2 and bases (of their total content in the parent rock) are removed.

In the tropical zone of the globe laterites cover vast plateaus and hilly areas. Their thickness ranges from a few meters to 50 m. Their age varies from Jurassic to Recent.

In the USSR residual and redeposited laterites of Mesozoic and Cenozoic age are found in the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Siberia, the Urals, and in Middle Asia. Abroad the development of laterite of Recent (Anthropogene) age has been proved in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and on Pacific islands (Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti).

Various minerals are associated with laterites, including aluminum, iron, manganese, nickel, and other ores (Cuba, New Caledonia) and very large bauxite deposits (Guinea, Ghana). In India laterite is used to make bricks used in construction.


Laterity: Sb. st. Moscow, 1964.
Glinka, K. D. Pochvovedenie, 6th ed. Moscow, 1935.
Fridland, V. M. Pochvy i kory vyvetrivaniia vlazhnykh tropikov. Moscow, 1964.
Bushinskii, G. I. Geologiia boksitov. Moscow, 1971.
Fox, C. S. Bauxite and Aluminous Laterite. London, 1932.


References in periodicals archive ?
FKD13_435 and FKD13_436 were drilled beneath mineralised laterite at Cincinatti and also returned several narrow intervals of primary platinum mineralisation within a broader low-grade zone.
The dry particle size distribution was also found to be comparable to several laterite ores currently processed in commercial RKEF operations worldwide.
Transformation matrix component analysis performed on sediment samples laterite shows the value of mobility following elements: Ni (0.
Primary iron is found mainly in Kalimantan, but in smaller quantity compared to laterite.
The idea for an auger-based drill rig actually came from technology being used to dig fence posts in farming and we're delighted this innovation and others has been independently verified as being well founded, completely applicable to good exploration of a nickel laterite type deposit and meeting high international standards," said Mr Davies.
Assay results have been received from the first 700 samples of the laterite profile and bedrock in 138 holes along 4 drill fences.
The combined Indicated and Inferred resource for the Lucknow Ni-Co laterite deposit based on the drilling to date is 2.
Cupey, when completed, will be the fourth nickel laterite operation in the Moa Bay and Mayari area of Cuba.
Treats whole laterite profile (limonite and saprolite ores) with one flowsheet
The study will be conducted by CESIGMA, a Spanish-Cuban environmental enterprise that specializes in laterite deposits and which has acted for several major nickel producing clients.
Koniambo is one of the world's largest and highest-grade undeveloped nickel and laterite deposits.