Main Article Content
A geochemical and mineralogical study was performed on lignite samples from the Upper Miocene Kovin deposit, hosting three coal seams. The Kovin lignite is characterized by high moisture content, medium to high ash yield, medium to high sulphur content and a relatively low gross and net calorific value. The mineralogical composition, and major and trace element contents were determined by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive Xray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) analyses, and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The most abundant minerals in all lignite samples from the three coal seams are clays (illite/smectite), silicates (quartz, plagioclase), sulphates (gypsum/anhydrite) and carbonate (calcite). The other iron-rich minerals are sulphides, oxides and hydroxides (pyrite, magnetite, haematite, and limonite). In general, mineral matter in the matrix coal consists of illite/ smectite and quartz, while xylite-rich coals, apart from illite/smectite, have a higher content of sulphates and Fe-oxide/hydroxide minerals. The lignite from the Kovin deposit is enriched in As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ga, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, V, Zn, Gd, Tb, Er and Lu in comparison with the Clarke values for brown coals. The statistical analysis of bulk compositional data shows inorganic affinity for the majority of the major and trace elements and possible association with pyrite, illite/ smectite and calcite.