Technological breakthroughs are providing new uses for the high technology metals that will eventually deplete existing reserves and create a need to find additional resources. Until recently, hitech metals were considered immobile during hydrothermal fluid-rock interaction. Although we now know that the contrary is true, little is known of the nature of hydrothermal fluids in such settings. Similarly, there are no published experimental data pertaining to the manner in which these metals are dissolved in hydrothermal solutions.
This application seeks funds to investigate the behaviour of hi-tech metals in hydrothermal systems and determine the conditions under which they are hydrothermally concentrated. A multidisciplinary approach is proposed to take place within the Mineralogy and Geochemistry Teams of the U.P.S. Toulouse.
The Tamazeght complex, Morocco, has been selected for detailed study. Petrological and geochemical approaches will be used to establish the composition of the fluids responsible for metal transport and the physico-chemical conditions of their deposition. A program of solubility experiments has been designed to investigate the speciation of Zr in F-bearing aqueous solutions at up to 350rC.
The results of the above studies used in conjunction with computer modelling and geological reasoning, will aid developing a plausible quantitative models for the genesis of this poorly understood but increasingly important class of mineral deposits.