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Mine tailings from ancient hot-spring rocks

Microprobe element maps showing distribution of iron and copper in 100 year old mine tailings, Coromandel Peninsula. Metallic sulphide minerals such as pyrite (FeS2) and chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) are still present in the lower portion of the map, which has not been oxidized. The upper portion of the map has a layer of iron oxide where the sulphide minerals have decomposed. Little copper remains; the copper has been released into adjacent streams.

Coromandel tailings copper map

Copper (Cu)

Coromandel tailings copper colour ramp

 

Coromandel tailings iron map

Iron (Fe)

Coromandel tailings iron colour ramp