Publication Summary
Issue ID: EXT001
Title: Brucite - uses, exploration guidelines and selected grass-root exploration targets
Author(s): Simandl, G.J., Paradis, S., Irvine, M.
Series Name: External Article
Publication Year: 2008
Larger Work Citation: Paper published in the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum Bulletin, Volume 101, Number 1106.
NTS Map Sheet(s): 092F 04E; 092K 07W; 092E 16W; 104N 13W; 104N 06W
Place Keyword(s): British Columbia, Kennedy Lake, Tlupana Arm, West Redonda Island, Atlin Road
Lat/Long (NSWE): 60, 49, -134, -123
Theme Keyword(s): Industrial Minerals, Brucite, Fire Retardants, Mg-metals, Exploration
Brucite is a natural magnesium hydroxide [Mg(OH)2] particularly sought after for its flame-retardant properties, as a raw mineral for the production of caustic or dead-burned magnesia, a variety of other industrial mineral uses, and as a high-grade ore mineral for the production of magnesium metal. Brucite has an advantage over magnesium carbonates, such as magnesite and dolomite, because it does not contain CO2 in its crystal structure. Consequently, there is no CO2 released during the calcining or other processing of this mineral except from fuel combustion. This advantage may become even more important in the future as CO2 is considered the main greenhouse gas contributing to global warming. Carbonate-hosted contact metamorphic/metasomatic (skarn-type) brucite deposits have the best economic potential. The sequence of calcosilicate metamorphic index minerals starting from unmetamorphosed magnesium-bearing carbonate (dolostone or magnesite-bearing rock) to igneous intrusion contact consists of talc, tremolite, forsterite and brucite/periclase. This sequence can be used to focus exploration efforts. The current worldwide brucite market is probably less than 100,000 t/y but it is increasing rapidly. High-grade brucite deposits are expected to become hot exploration targets over the next few years.