Field identification of magnesite-bearing rocks using sodium polytungstate

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 86, No. 966, 1993

George J. Simandl, Kirk D. Hancock, British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Suzanne Paradis, Geological Survey of Canada, Quebec Geoscience Centre, and Jana Simandl, Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University

Traditional prospecting and boulder tracing are the two most important field techniques used in exploration for magnesite deposits hosted by sedimentary rocks. Consequently, success depends largely on the prospector's ability to identify magnesite. A density agent called sodium polytungstate (3Na3WO4-9WOfHf)) was successfully used to determine the presence of magnesite in sedimentary carbonate rocks of southeastern British Columbia. A rapid field method was developed and tested. This method permits discrimination between limy dolomites, dolomites, magnesite-bearing dolomites and magnesite-rich rocks.
Keywords: Exploration, Industrial minerals, Magnesite-bearing rocks, Sodium polytungstate, Prospecting techniques.