Geochemistry and mineralogy of supergene altered manganese ore below the Kalahari unconformity in the Kalahari manganese field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
- Authors: Du Plooy, Andries Petrus
- Date: 2009-01-28T09:38:57Z
- Subjects: Geology , Geochemistry , Mineralogy , Petrology , Manganese ores , Northern Cape (South Africa)
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:14834 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1958
- Description: M.Sc. , It is the focus of the study to qualitatively describe and then quantify the mineralogical and geochemical changes associated with the supergene alteration of carbonate-rich braunite lutite (Mamatwan-type ore) immediately below the Kalahari unconformity along the southeastern suboutcrop perimeter of the Hotazel Formation in the Kalahari deposit. It was also the objective of this study to determine the timing and duration of supergene alteration. Samples for polished thin sections were carefully selected from eight representative boreholes to be representative of all the lithostratigraphic zones and ore types. The thin sections were used to study mineralogy by means of reflected light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. X-ray powder diffractometry on representative powder samples were used to study the mineralogy and geochemistry of the samples. Microprobe analyses were also performed on the representative samples. Finally the samples were submitted for 40Ar/39Ar geochronology. In this supergene enrichment zone carbonates are leached (associated with an increase in porosity) and Mn2+/Mn3+ -bearing minerals (kutnahorite, Mn-calcite an braunite) are altered to supergene Mn4+-bearing mineral phases (todorokite and manganomelane) and minor quartz. This process upgrades ore from 38 wt% Mn to ore with more than 40 wt% Mn. Element fluxes, enrichment and depletion of major and trace elements were quantified by mass balance calculations. Na2O, K2O, Sr, Ba, Zn and H2O were enriched, while Mn3O4, Fe2O3, CaO, MgO, P, B and CO2 were leached from the ore during supergene alteration. Results of this study suggest that the development of Post African I erosional surface may have taken place 45 Ma ago. The bottom of the weathering profile gives a well-defined peak at ca. 5 Ma that may possible coincide with the development of Post African II erosional surface. The major characteristics of the alteration process of the unaltered Mamatwan-type ore to supergene altered braunite lutite can be summarized as follow: • Leaching of Mn carbonates and Mn2+/Mn3+-oxides. • Formation of Mn4+-oxyhydroxides and quartz. • Decrease in relative density of the ore. • Increase in porosity of the ore. • Leaching of Mn3O4, Fe2O3, CaO, MgO, P, B, CO2. • Enrichment of Na2O, K2O, Sr, Ba, Zn, H2O. Chemical weathering processes along the Cenozoic Kalahari unconformity appear to have affected the manganiferous lithologies of the Hotazel Formation from 45 Ma onwards to 5 Ma. The weathering front processes very slowly through the Mn-rich braunite lutite (<10m in 40 Ma; <0.25m/Ma); producing a very uniform and microcrystalline supergene mineral assemblage with distinct characteristics.
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Textural and geochemical evidence for a supergene origin of the Paleoproterozoic high-grade BIF-hosted iron ores of the Maremane Dome, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
- Authors: Van Deventer, Wikus Frederick
- Date: 2010-05-27T06:07:22Z
- Subjects: Geology , Iron ores , Geochemistry , Northern Cape (South Africa)
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:6850 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3281
- Description: M.Sc. , Biofuels have the potential to reduce a country’s dependence on imported oil, to ensure diversity of energy sources, to increase the availability of renewable energy sources and to address global environmental issues. In recognition of the potential benefits of the production and use of biofuels, the Department of Minerals and Energy released the Draft Biofuels Industrial Strategy in December 2006 with the aim to increase the use of biofuels in South Africa to replace 4.5% of conventional transport fuels by 2013. However, there are several barriers that need to be overcome before South Africa can establish a large-scale biofuel industry to achieve the DME’s biofuel target. This includes environmental barriers, such as the availability of land for the cultivation of biofuel feedstocks and potential threats to food security. This study focuses on these environmental barriers and aims to determine the potential for bioethanol production from maize in South Africa to 2013. To this purpose, a bioethanol potential model is developed to simulate the potential for bioethanol production from maize in South Africa between 2008 and 2013. The model incorporates four key elements that all impact on the availability of maize for bioethanol production, namely: maize demand; maize supply; the demand for maize as biomaterial; and the available land area for the cultivation of maize. The study makes further use of the scenario planning method to determine the potential for bioethanol production from maize in South Africa. Four unique bioethanol potential scenarios are designed and simulated within the bioethanol potential model developed for this purpose. Each scenario plays out a different Abstract storyline for the future social, economic and natural environment that will impact on the availability of maize for bioethanol production. The results of the bioethanol potential scenario simulations show that South Africa will be able to produce enough maize to meet the DME’s biofuel target of 1.2 billion liters of bioethanol for all scenarios between 2009 and 2010. From 2011 onwards, the bioethanol potential decreases below the DME’s target value in both the worst case and rapid change scenarios. The study concludes that the production of bioethanol from maize in South Africa will have various social, economic and environmental consequences for the country’s agricultural sector. The depletion of domestic maize supplies will seriously threaten food security and consequently, increase the country’s dependence on maize imports. This will not only affect the country’s maize producing regions, but spread throughout South Africa as the demand for agriculturally productive land for maize production increases. Domestic food security is therefore at risk and South Africa will have to resort to other energy technologies to achieve a sustainable and renewable energy future for road transport.
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