Deposits

Main Mining Deposits

Antimony occurrences can be found very rarely due to its ability to form compounds with such elements as lead, copper and silver. The main source of antimony is antimonite (stibnite). Besides, that are more than 100 antimony-bearing minerals; the most widely spread are oxides: white antimony, senarmontite and stibiconite.
 
The open-pit operations at the deposit. Russia, Chita Region.
Antimony-bearing minerals found in different deposits: pegmatites, replacing deposits and the in the vicinity of hot springs. By their age these deposits can date back to a wide span of periods: from Precambrian to Quaternary Periods. The mineral composition of deposits is represented mainly by antimony sulfide or very rarely - by pew antimony combined with silica. From the perspective of the development, the deposits are usually small and scattered; besides the allocated the not far from products resulted from intensive eruption.


Sample of antimonite
Mineralizations are generally found at minor depths and they often contain pyrite was low content of gold, silver and sulfides of metals such as silver and mercury. The largest deposits of this type are located in the areas most favorable for antimony: South Africa, Bolivia and China.


Composite antimony deposits came antimony sulfide combined with pyrite, arsenic pyrite and red mercury sulfide or sulfur compounds having different content of such metals as copper, gold, silver, sulfides of these metals and zinc. Such deposits are usually developed for mining of their main metals, gold and silver.
The traces of antimony are found in ore of base metals, lead and zinc ore.
In Russia, at the Sarykhalskoye and Sentochanskoye deposits in Yakutia antimony is mined as a by-mineral during gold mining operations, while in Kirgizia and Tadjikistan – during mercury mining operations.
In 1993, Russian experts estimated the reserves of antimony ore in the Chita Region. The predicted resources were quite impressive and sufficient for long-term industrial development. At present, in Eastern Trans-Baikal Region there are more than 250 commercially significant ore occurrences.
 

Antimony ore. Deposit in the Chita Region.

The main ore mineral is antimonite. By its extension, the ore body is sub-meridional, steeply dipping westwards. The predicted reserves of the deposit are estimated at 60 thousand tons. Geologically, the deposit consists of areas of development of middle and late Jurassic small intrusions of the intermediate and basic composition, with which antimonite, gold and mercury mineralization may had paragenetic connection.