Mineralogical and microstructural investigation of dead-burned magnesite from Eastern Iran

CIM Edmonton 2004
Khosrow Ebrahimi, Peter W. Scott, André E. Lalonde,
Abstract We document the occurrence, mineralogy and firing properties of magnesite from hydrothermal deposits in the upper Cretaceous ophiolites of Eastern Iran.
These deposits occur as thin veins of nearly pure cryptocrystalline magnesite with only trace amounts of quartz, calcite, and dolomite. Ratios of CaO/SiO2 in the bulk ore are variable. The composition of dead-burned magnesite from these deposits, calcined at different temperatures and durations, is predictable from phase equilibria. Textures of the calcined magnesite were studied by SEM; results show that the principal impurites produced during calcination are forsterite, monticellite, merwinite, dicalcium and tricalcium silicates, and that these are located principally at triple junctions of the periclase crystals. The size of periclase crystals increased with temperature and duration of calcination and the amount of periclase-periclase grain contacts was reduced by increasing the concentration of impurities in the starting products. EPMA show: 1) that CaO and FeO contents in periclase increase steadily with an increase in the CaO/SiO2 ratio and the FeO content of the bulk ore, respectively, and 2) that limited solid solution exists between impurites. This study demonstrates that high quality dead-burned magnesia refractories can be produced from the Iranian magnesite with low CaO, SiO2 and FeO contents.
Keywords: Refractory, hydrothermal, dead-burned, Magnesite, Iran, periclase
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