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Pure Appl. Chem., 2009, Vol. 81, No. 9, pp. 1547-1553

Published online 2009-08-04

Dispersion of antimony from oxidizing ore deposits

Glen A. Diemar1, Montserrat Filella2, Peter Leverett1 and Peter A. Williams1*

1 School of Natural Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC NSW 1797, Australia
2 Département de Chimie Minérale, Analytique et Appliquée, Université de Genève, Quai Ernest-Ansermet 30, CH-1211 Genève 4, Switzerland

Abstract: The solubilities of brandholzite, [Mg(H2O)6][Sb(OH)6]2, and bottinoite, [Ni(H2O)6][Sb(OH)6]2, at 25 °C in water have been measured. Solubilities are 1.95(4) × 10-3 and 3.42(11) × 10-4 mol dm-3, respectively. The incongruent dissolution of romeite, Ca2Sb2O7, and bindheimite, Pb2Sb2O7, at 25 °C in 0.100 mol dm-3 aqueous HNO3 was also investigated. Equilibrium dissolved Sb concentrations were 3.3 ± 1.0 × 10-7 and 7.7 ± 2.1 × 10-8 mol dm-3, respectively. These values have been used to re-evaluate the geochemical mobility of Sb in the supergene environment. It is concluded that the element is geochemically immobile in solution and in soils. This was in part validated by an orientation soil geochemical survey over the Bayley Park prospect near Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. Anomalous soil Sb levels are confined to within 100 m of known stibnite mineralization.