Limonite is precisely a mineral, and not just a stone due to the fact that it is not an ordinary "cobblestone" in itself. This is the collective name of the mineral formations of goethite, hydrogoethite and lepidocrocite. This mineral is interesting for its properties, deposit, structure and history.
Limonite also has such a name as "brown iron ore". This mineral is formed in the bowels of the earth in places of accumulation of iron ore outcrops, where active oxidation of iron occurs.
Its reserves are inexhaustible, they are formed every 10-15 years in the earth's crust. In those places where there is a constant moistening of the earth's rocks, the genesis of limonite minerals occurs.
The name itself comes from the Greek "estuary", which translates as "shallow space". Or "leimon", which means "meadow", "swamp". Already based on the Greek translation of this term, we can conclude about the places where the mineral limonite appeared.
It begins its origin in highly humid places, under whichiron ores are hidden in the bowels of the earth.
Despite the fact that limonite does not have a constant formula, there is a chemical parameter that characterizes the main composition of this mineral. And it looks like this: (Fe2O3) + (N2O). Where Fe2O3is iron oxide and H2O is water.
In percentage terms, these substances have different values depending on the mineral deposit. Therein lies some uncertainty in the formula. At the same time, scientists name approximate proportions: about 89-86% iron oxide and 10-14% water.
In addition to the main chemical composition, sometimes in limonite there are impurities of hydrated compounds of aluminum and manganese, and are also often found in the suspension of sand and clay. This is also due to its place of formation in swampy and clayey places.
The mineral dissolves in HCl acid - one of the most striking chemical properties of "brown iron ore".
The physical properties of the mineral limonite are the color, luster, hardness, transparency of the stone.
The color of brown ironstone has various colors: from rusty to yellow. Most often, several colors of brown, brown and yellow shades are mixed. Sometimes they are darker or, conversely, lighter. Brown streaks are a hallmark of limonite.
The brilliance of the mineral can be matte, metallic, resinous. It is not transparent.
The hardness is variable, depending on the percentage of water in the mineral. The numbers vary from 1.5 to 5.5. A variety of limonite as a powder is yellow ocher, which has a soft texture. Also common is such a form as sinter with a smooth and shiny surface.
This mineral is distributed all over the world. Its deposits are found in Russia, Egypt, Spain, African countries and others.
However, the most numerous accumulations of brown iron ore are found in regions of Russia. Basically, the deposits of this mineral are located in the western part of the Eurasian continent, in the expanses of Siberia.
The largest deposit of limonite in Russia is Bakcharskoe. It is located near the city of Tomsk. There is a lot of brown iron ore in the Urals, in the Tula and Lipetsk regions, in the Crimea, Tatarstan, Karelia and Bashkortostan.
Regions of large deposits of limonite in Russia:
- Kursk region.
- Zabaikalsky Krai.
- Chelyabinsk region.
- Chita region.
- Krasnoyarsk Territory.
- Orenburg region.
The practice of using lignite is divided into two types:
- Iron mining.
- Use as paint.
After the purification of limonite from various impurities and its enrichment, iron is obtained. It is mainly used in ferrous metallurgy. It is used to smelt iron and steel in blast furnaces. However, in the presence of more convenient iron ores, limonite is not used due tothe difficulty of separating phosphorus from it. To obtain pure iron without phosphorus, one has to perform laborious manipulations that are costly in financial and time terms.
In addition to ferrous metallurgy, limonite is used in jewelry. The mineral is specially purified, given various forms and combined with silver. Jewelry with limonite is appreciated. Bracelets, rings, earrings and medallions with this stone look noble.
It is used to make interior items: various figurines, vases, fireplaces and much more.
Limonite in the form of yellow ocher is used as a pigment for paints. It is a very rich and beautiful color.
This mineral is prized by jewelers, collectors, geologists and researchers from all over the world.
Unusual properties of limonite
Minerals, which are created by nature, originate in the bowels of the earth. Therefore, they are often credited with some properties that affect the mental, physical and emotional state of a person.
Limonite is believed to have healing properties: it lowers blood pressure, normalizes the heartbeat and improves blood circulation, which in general has a great effect on the physical condition of the body.
Also, limonite has a calming effect on the nervous system, helps to get out of depression. At the same time, it is important for his action that he is constantly next to a person.
Thus, brown iron ore is a fairly common mineral, which is useful not only for ferrous metallurgy, but also has a beneficial effect onthe human body.