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Étude pétrologique et cristallochimique du kaolin de la rivière Capim - Pará, Brésil

Abstract : The Capim Kaolinic District, located in the eastem Brazilian Amazon, constitutes one of the most important kaolin deposits in the world. Known for its high whiteness, its noble application is in the paper industry. The kaolin developed at the expense of Cretaceous sandy-clayey sediments of the Ipixuna Formation, on which intense lateritic processes took place from the Mesozoic to the Cenozoic. This work aims at tracing the evolution of the Capim kaolin faciès, taking into consideration macromorphological, mineralogical, micromorphological, textural, chrystallo-chemical and geochemical studies. These studies, based on the description of profiles in the exploration fronts of the open pit of the Imerys Rio Capim Caulim mine (IRCC), encompassed X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), differential and gravimetric thermal analysis (DTA-GTA) , optical analysis of thin sections, chemical analysis, scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), both equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray detector (EDS), porosity and surface specific determinations, cationic exchange capacity (CEC) measurements, UV-visible determination, infrared and Mossbauer spectroscopies, statistical analysis and the Pb-Pb isotopic analysis using single zircon vaporization. Six facies (sand kaolin, soft kaolin, lower transition facies, ferruginous crust, upper transition facies and flint kaolin) are defined and related to different stages of the supergenic process. The transition facies and the ferruginous crust represent relicts of a ferruginization process that led to the formation of a thick ferruginous duricrust on the soft kaolin, which in turn evolved from sandy-clayey sediments of the Ipixuna Formation (sand facies). A subsequent deferruginization event caused the degradation of the duricrust, resulting in the flint kaolin facies. The chemical analyses corroborate to the lateritic processes, characterized by the ferruginization and deferruginization mechanisms that led to the distinction of the different facies. Even if ferruginization and deferruginization mechanisms led to the individualization of different Capim River kaolin facies, the same heavy mineral assembly persists in ail facies, evidencing that these minerais originated from the same basal sediments. Provenance studies carried out on the soft and flint faciès allowed to trace the possible sources of sediments that host the ore. The Pb-Pb vaporization method was applied to four predominant morphologic classes of detrital zircons and the ages obtained were compared to the main age intervals of the rocks surrounding the Capim Kaolin District (CKD). Four major plateau ages (2.15,2.02,1.87 and 1.51 Ga) were defined for both soft and flint facies, indicating a common source for the kaolin.
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Daniel José Lima De Sousa. Étude pétrologique et cristallochimique du kaolin de la rivière Capim - Pará, Brésil. Sciences de la Terre. Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, 2005. Français. ⟨NNT : 2005INPL041N⟩. ⟨tel-01749991⟩



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