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Journal Articles Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta Year : 2023

Nanoscale distribution of Ge in Cu-rich sphalerite

Denis Fougerouse
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Steven M Reddy
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Kai Luo
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A large proportion of the critical elements resources Ge, Ga, and In are associated with sphalerite in Pb-Zn ore deposits. Germanium in sphalerite has been proposed to be structurally bound in the crystal lattice. Using a combination of microstructural, geochemical and nanoscale observations, we show that Ge can be hosted in sphalerite crystal structure as well as nanoparticles of briartite (Cu 2 (Zn,Fe)GeS 4). The structurally-bound Ge was preserved in undeformed sphalerite grains from the Saint-Salvy Pb-Zn vein deposit (France), whereas the briartite nanoparticles were observed in metamorphosed sphalerite from Arre. The briartite nanoparticles likely exsolved from sphalerite during the Pyrenean-Alpine metamorphism and deformation. The presence of nanoparticles may harden the sphalerite during crystalplastic deformation and help to preserve the critical elements resources of Pb-Zn deposits during metamorphism.


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hal-04381619 , version 1 (09-01-2024)



Denis Fougerouse, Alexandre Cugerone, Steven M Reddy, Kai Luo, Vincent Motto-Ros. Nanoscale distribution of Ge in Cu-rich sphalerite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2023, 346, pp.223-230. ⟨10.1016/j.gca.2023.02.011⟩. ⟨hal-04381619⟩
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