Asbestiform and non-asbestiform morphologies in a talc and vermiculite mine from the province of Córdoba (Argentina): a case study
In this work, a talc and vermiculite mine from the province of Co´rdoba (Argentina) was investigated with special emphasis on the occurrence of asbestiform and nonasbestiform phases. The meta-ultramafic rock was studied by a multimethodological approach, complementing field studies with petrographic-mineralogical, compositional and morphological analyses. Samples were examined by stereomicroscopy, polarizing light microscopy, SEM–EDS, XRD, DSC-TGA and FTIR. Complementary, compositional and textural analyses were performed with FE-SEM– EDS and EPMA. Talc-rich veins with a laminar and fibrous appearance were at first recognized. However, the fibrous morphology observed both in the field and by microscopy is due to an apparent habit because of the sample orientation. To avoid erroneous interpretations, studies by secondary electron images (SEM) are fundamental to carrying out this type of analysis. Tremolite was identified in different zones of the outcrop; however, only *40% of the crystals located in the vermiculite zone have dimensions to be considered as asbestiform fibres in the range of respirable particles. In these types of complex deposits affected by superimposed metamorphic, igneous and deformational events, multimethodological approaches are necessary to develop models of occurrence of asbestiform morphologies that may be applicable to other with similar characteristics.