Mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of graphite-bearing rocks at Chenjere Area, south-eastern Tanzania: Implications for the nature and quality of graphite mineralization
This study focused on the mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of graphite-bearing rocks at Chenjere area by conducting surface geological mapping, geochemical and petrographical analyses with the intention of characterizing the nature of graphite occurrence in these lithological units. This paper presents results of the flake size, grade and mineralization extension of graphite in the graphitic gneiss. Field observations, petrographic investigation and comparison with other studies indicate that graphite occurrence at the Chenjere area is of sedimentary origin which fall under syngenetic type. The petrographic study revealed that nature of metamorphism of rocks in the Chenjere area is of high grade (amphibolite facies). Both field observations and petrographic studies indicate that minerals in the rock associated with graphite include quartz, feldspar (mostly K-feldspar) and biotite. Further, the mineralized zones are concordant to the rest of the lithologies of the area and biotite gneiss is forming the hangingwall and footwall. The rocks’ foliation is generally NE striking and dipping SE with the dip amount ranging from 30 to 60 degrees. The graphite mineralization at the study area occurs as medium to coarse grained crystalline, flake type graphite with long axis of up to 1000 micrometres in size. Graphite flakes are disseminated and oriented in the host rock that represents a normal metamorphic fabric. Geochemical results indicate that graphite contents in the host graphitic gneiss range from 3.03 wt.% to 16.00 wt.%. Mineralogy and texture of the graphite at Chenjere area meet the standards required for industrial applications in various advanced technologies.
Keywords: Graphite Mineralization, Flake Graphite, Chenjere Area
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