Indium is a typical chalcophile element of the Earth’s crust, with a very low average content that seldom forms specific minerals, occurring mainly as dispersed in polymetallic sulphides. Indium recovery is based primarily on zinc extraction from sphalerite, the prototype of so-called tetrahedral sulphides, wherein metal ions fill half of the available tetrahedral sites within the cubic closest packing of sulphur anions, leaving interstices accessible for further in-filling. Ascertaining the tendency towards the establishment of In-In interactions through an x-ray absorption spectroscopy approach would efficiently contribute to understanding the behavior of indium in the carrier mineral. The successful results of applying such a near-edge absorption (XANES) study at In L3-edge to samples collected at the Lagoa Salgada polymetallic orebody in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) are described and the crystal chemistry of indium is re-evaluated, disclosing a potential clue for the metal binding state in polymetallic sulphides.
- Programområde 4: Mineralske råstoffer