The Belterra Clay on the bauxite deposits of Rondon do Pará, Eastern Amazon

LEONARDO BOIADEIRO AYRES NEGRÃO, MARCONDES LIMA DA COSTA, HERBERT PÖLLMANN

Resumo


Bauxite deposits in the Amazon region are commonly covered by yellowish clays which can reach up to 25m thick, known as Belterra Clay (BTC). In Rondon do Pará, Eastern Amazon, BTC is 13m thick and covers world-class bauxite reserves. Three pilot bauxite mines were investigated in Rondon do Pará for an initial characterization of the local BTC. In discordant contact with the lateritic profile, the BTC has reddish brown colors at its base to ocher tones towards the top. It has a massive structure with silt-clayey texture and nodular bauxitic fragments at its base. Rietveld mineral quantification of the material attests that it is dominated by kaolinite, with goethite, gibbsite, hematite, anatase and residual quartz. The thermal behavior of the material also confirms its mineralogical composition. Kaolinite is of low structural order, which was considered the main difficulty in the application of the Rietveld method. Goethite has up to 33 mol% of Al. As observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the minerals represent pseudo-hexagonal crystals measuring from 150 to 700 nm. The BTC in the studied area is correlated to BTC on others bauxitic deposits of the Amazon region, suggesting this material experienced the same genesis and geological evolution, probably during the Pliocene.


Palavras-chave


Bauxite; Mineralogy; Kaolinite; Al-Goethite; Rietveld; Chemistry.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2317-4889201820180128

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