Qinghai Institute of Salt Lakes Chinese Academy of Sciences
Boron is a strategic key non-metallic mineral in China, widely used in new energy, new materials, electronic information and other high-tech fields. The salt lake type borate deposits are mainly distributed on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the most important and promising boron resource type in China. Boron-rich salt lakes in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau show hydrochemical zones and differences of borate deposit types in different hydrochemical of salt lakes from south to north, but there is lack of comparative study of boron-rich salt lakes in different zones.This paper summarizes and compares the sedimentary characteristics of solid boron deposits and the differences of geochemical parameters of boron-rich brines in carbonate type (I region), sodium sulfate-magnesium sulfate subtype (II region) and magnesium sulfate-chloride type (III region) salt lakes on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The main conclusions are obtained as follows:① Borate minerals are mostly deposited directly on top of the clastic sediments, and present interactive multilayer deposition characteristics, indicating that the deposition of borate deposits requires brackish water recharge and hydrological environment changes, which accords with the theory of "Brine diluted into salt"；② The deposition of borax and ulexite is associated with a large number of mirabilite, and the deposition of pinnoite and Kurnakovite is accompanied by a large number of magnesium-bearing carbonate mineral (Hydromagnesite and dolomite), which indicates that the deposition of borax and ulexite requires the recharge of waters high in Na+, and that the deposition of pinnoite and Kurnakovite requires the recharge of waters high in Mg2+；③ The boron precipitation conditions of salt lakes inⅠ,Ⅱ, and Ⅲ zones are similar, as shown by the brine pH value of more than 8 and the B content of more than 400 mg/L; however, there are differences between different salt lakes in terms of TDS, Mg, and Na content；④ Combined with the chemical composition of borate deposits types mainly containing Na+ and Mg2+.The B×10-Na-Mg terminary equivalent diagram in zones Ⅰ, Ⅱ and Ⅲ shows that the equivalent of Na and B are in the range of 0.2-0.6 and 0.4-0.7, respectively, whereas there are some differences in the Mg equivalence values, with zones Ⅰ < 0.1, and zones Ⅱ and Ⅲ in the ranges of 0.1-0.4.