THE IRON MINERAL DEPOSITS OF ELBA ISLAND: STATE OF THE ART

Giuseppe Tanelli, Marco Benvenuti, Pilario Costagliola, Andrea Dini, Pierfrancesco Lattanzi, Cinzia Maineri, Isabella Mascaro, Giovanni Ruggieri

Abstract


A number of metallic (Fe, Cu, Mn, Sb) and non-metallic deposits (Mg silicates, magnesite, sericitized aplites, granite, pegmatites) have been the target of exploration and exploitation in Elba Island since the The iron deposits of Elba Island have been the target of intense exploitation since the 1st Millennium BC up to present1981. Elba is especially famous worldwide for its iron deposits and the pegmatitic minerals from Monte Capanne. All iron mines are now closed, but in the last years several steps were taken in order to preserve and promote such a valuable heritage: the inclusion of Elban mining and mineralogical areas into the UNESCO’s World Heritage provisional list of geological sites (1990), the project of the “Elba Island Mineralogical and Mining Park” (started in 1991 and now underway), and the establishment in 1996 of the “Tuscan Archipelago National Park”. In this paper we summarize the state of the art of the research on Elba Island’s mineral iron ore deposits, with particular focus onto the iron ores of eastern Elba. In the course of almost three thousand years of exploitation, not less than 60 million tons of Fe ore have been won. Fe. Notwithstanding the many studies on these deposits carried out by Italian and foreign scholars over more than two hundred years, many aspects of their setting, genesis and evolution still need to be clarified and better constrained. This is due to various factors, including the complex (and only partially understood) geological framework of the island, and the closure of mining activity, with consequent inaccessibility to many mine-workings. We stressand emphasize the some mostproblematic aspects, which are fundamental clues not only for the understanding ofof the oreforming genetic processes of and evolution of Elban’s mineral deposits, but also for the reconstruction of the overall geologic evolution of the Apenninic chain.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4454/ofioliti.v26i2a.148