Geologic Distribution: Gallium appears to be associated with clays, sulfide minerals and also organic matter in coal 1. Gallium has also been reported in trace amounts in diaspore and sphalerite in coal 1, 2. Mean whole-coal gallium was 6.45 ppm in coal and correlated moderately with ash yield, indicating an slight association with mineral matter in West Virginia coals. Gallium also correlated with ash associated elements and rare earth elements. Gallium increased in abundance slightly upward through the geologic column.
Economic Impact: Gallium in coal ash and flue dust is of interest as a source of Ga for industrial use 1. Gallium is used as a doping agent in semiconductors 2.
Environmental Impact: Gallium has no deleterious environmental impact during mining or use 1.
1. Swaine, D.J., (1990)
2. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
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