Geologists have created a 3D model of the largest deposits of iron in Russia

© Press-service Pcomputer model of Kovdor DepositGeologists have created a 3D model of the largest deposits of iron in Russia© Press-service of the RSF

. Scientists from the Kola scientific center Russian Academy of Sciences has created three-dimensional model of the Kovdor carbonatite complex – the largest deposits of iron, phosphorus and zirconium in Russia, said in an article published in the journal Minerals.

«Our work is not only of fundamental but also of applied nature, because this is the largest field, and we have identified patterns of spatial distribution of mineral composition, grain size and other parameters should be used for the extraction, processing and enrichment of ores», – said Grigory Ivanyuk from the Kola scientific center of RAS in Apatity.

One of the main problems for geologists, gornodobytchikov and Industrialists is the measure of how many minerals contained in these or other fields. Today, scientists are trying to obtain such data in two ways – using an expensive «point» measurements to the field itself, and creating their computer models built on the basis of a relatively small number of samples from different parts of the reservoir rocks and of modern methods of computational mathematics and statistics.

Using this method, Russian geologists have created an accurate model of Kovdor Deposit, one of the largest reserves of iron and other minerals in Land situated in the West Murmansk region near the town of Kovdor.

In form it resembles a tube similar to kimberlite pipes with diamonds in Siberia and South Africa. The field is composed of rocks of igneous origin, consisting of numerous minerals, including very rare, but among them is dominated by olivine, magnetite, Apatite, and calcite.

Industrial interest is represented by three minerals: magnetite, Apatite and baddeleyite. Part of them is processed in Russia and abroad. Baddeleyite is used in the production of various refractory materials and coatings for space vehicles, nuclear energy, magnetite for iron, Apatite is in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers and incendiary. All three minerals are extracted by open method in one of the biggest in the Murmansk region of the quarries.

«Carbonatite complexes are very rare objects, the study of which sheds light on the regularities of structure and evolution of the earth’s crust, important for fundamental science. And the fact that phosphorites and associated carbonatites of lots of great minerals, draws the attention of specialists in practical Geology,» — continues scientist.

To map this field, scientists have broken it down into a plurality of blocks, only a small part of which was examined on the spot. In total, scientists have extracted nearly 550 samples of rocks, whose chemical and mineral composition helped them to determine the contents of all other blocks and to understand how the Kovdor complex.

As it turned out, his «tube» has an interesting internal structure, its mineral composition is not changing randomly, and when they move from the tube center to the edges. For example, on the edges of the tube are deposits of relatively useless olivine, the center was located deposits of feldspar, and between them – deposits of iron ore, magnetite.

Understanding the features of deposits, as noted by geologist, will allow the Industrialists to plan the extraction of iron ore and many other minerals for many years to come and spend the minimum amount of money to extract iron and other metals from it.

As a bonus, scientists discovered two previously unknown mineral. The first of these Kampala, a compound of phosphorus, scandium, magnesium and barium, which was named in honor of Felix Kampala former technical Director of Kovdor. Second –hydroxymatairesinol, a chlorine compound, niobium, sodium and calcium.