The Fragnè mine, located in the Lanzo valley in the municipality of Chialamberto (Turin, Piedmont Region), represented the most important regional site for Fe–Cu sulfide exploitation over a period of more than eighty years (1884–1965). The entire mining area is part of a structural complex in the Lower Piedmont Unit of the Western Alps, characterized by the presence of amphibolite, metabasite (“prasinite”), and metagabbroic rocks. In particular, the pyrite ore deposit occurs as massive mineralizations within interlayered metabasites and amphibolites. In this work, we describe secondary minerals and morphologies of minothems from the Fragnè mine that are found only in abandoned underground works, such as soda straws, normal and jelly stalactites and stalagmites, jellystones, columns, crusts, blisters, war-clubs, and hair, characterized by different mineralogical associations. All minothems were characterized by minerals formed during acid mine drainage (AMD) processes. Blisters are composed only of schwertmannite, war-clubs by schwertmannite, and goethite with low crystallinity and hair by epsomite and hexahydrite minerals. Jelly stalactites and stalagmites are characterized by schwertmannite often in association with bacteria, while solid stalactites and stalagmites are characterized by jarosite and goethite. The results indicate that the mineralogical transformation from schwertmannite to goethite observed in some minothems is probably due to aging processes of schwertmannite or local pH variations due to bacterial activity. On the basis of these results, we hypothesize that all the jelly samples, in association with strong bacterial activity, are slowly transformed into more solid goethite, and are thus precursors of goethite stalactites.

Secondary Minerals from Minothem Environments in Fragnè Mine (Turin, Italy): Preliminary Results

De Waele, Jo
2022

Abstract

The Fragnè mine, located in the Lanzo valley in the municipality of Chialamberto (Turin, Piedmont Region), represented the most important regional site for Fe–Cu sulfide exploitation over a period of more than eighty years (1884–1965). The entire mining area is part of a structural complex in the Lower Piedmont Unit of the Western Alps, characterized by the presence of amphibolite, metabasite (“prasinite”), and metagabbroic rocks. In particular, the pyrite ore deposit occurs as massive mineralizations within interlayered metabasites and amphibolites. In this work, we describe secondary minerals and morphologies of minothems from the Fragnè mine that are found only in abandoned underground works, such as soda straws, normal and jelly stalactites and stalagmites, jellystones, columns, crusts, blisters, war-clubs, and hair, characterized by different mineralogical associations. All minothems were characterized by minerals formed during acid mine drainage (AMD) processes. Blisters are composed only of schwertmannite, war-clubs by schwertmannite, and goethite with low crystallinity and hair by epsomite and hexahydrite minerals. Jelly stalactites and stalagmites are characterized by schwertmannite often in association with bacteria, while solid stalactites and stalagmites are characterized by jarosite and goethite. The results indicate that the mineralogical transformation from schwertmannite to goethite observed in some minothems is probably due to aging processes of schwertmannite or local pH variations due to bacterial activity. On the basis of these results, we hypothesize that all the jelly samples, in association with strong bacterial activity, are slowly transformed into more solid goethite, and are thus precursors of goethite stalactites.
Galliano, Yuri; Carbone, Cristina; Balestra, Valentina; Belmonte, Donato; De Waele, Jo
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Descrizione: Secondary Minerals from Minothem Environments in Fragnè Mine (Turin, Italy): Preliminary Results
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/891650
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