ARTYKUŁY NAUKOWE Zawartość minerałów FeNi w chondrytach H jako wskaźnik zasobności pozaziemskich skał rudonośnych w wybrane metale

Konrad Blutstein, Tadeusz A. Przylibski, Katarzyna Łuszczek


Concentration of FeNi minerals in H chondrites as an indicator of extraterrestrial ore-bearing rocks wealth in selected metals.
A b s t r a c t. Extraterrestrial resources should be the basic sources of materials for the development of humankind civilization in space as well as they could replace the Earth’s resources when they would be exhausted. They can be obtained from the planets, their moons or asteroids, primarily NEOs but also from the asteroid belt. This article presents the results of petrographic research on the content of FeNi minerals whose may be a source of iron and nickel, in H type ordinary chondrites: Pułtusk, Chergach, Tamdakht, Gao-Guenie and NWA 4555, which parent body is probably the 6 Hebe. The results confirm that the volumetric abundance of FeNi minerals in H type chondrites is ca. 8%. Moreover, this study shows the reliability of the reflected-light optical microscopy for determination of ore mineral concentrations in extraterrestrial rocks
with weathering grade W0. Taking into account the homogenous spatial distribution of metallic grains (proved by author’s microscopic observations) and knowing the amount of FeNi minerals in rocks with H chondrite composition, the amount of potential FeNi resources on H parent bodies can be calculated. It was estimated that the iron resources from Hebe’s FeNi minerals would cover 1.3 million years of terrestrial mining production whereas nickel resources would last for approx. 100 milion years. A small NEO asteroid like
(143624) 2003HM16 (2 km in diameter) has resources comparable with 15 months of mining iron production  and over 100 years of nickel production at present rate.

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