Mineralogy and Geochemistry of the Asanje Iron Ore Deposit within the Mayamaya-Hombolo Belt, Dodoma Region, Central Tanzania
This paper presents the mineralogy and chemical composition including iron ore impurities to ascertain its suitability for industrial applications. The Asanje iron ore deposit is hosted in Precambrian volcano-sedimentary rocks in the Mayamaya-Hombolo Belt in Dodoma region, within the Lake Nyanza Superterrane. Iron ores are found in two parallel ridges trending NW-SE. Ridge I occurs as vein and banded hematite-type ore and Ridge II as massive-type ore. A total of 24 ore samples were analysed for major and trace elements by XRF and petrographic studies by optical microscopy and XRD. The XRD results revealed that hematite and goethite are the main components and quartz is the gangue mineral in the iron ores. The XRF data shows the Fe2O3t content ranges from 20.8 to 87.3 wt% with an average of 52.7 wt%. The average concentrations in wt% of impurities such as SiO2, Al2O3, P2O5 and S are 37.9, 0.9, 1.2, and 0.2, respectively. By comparison, Ridge II has greater iron content (30.5–87.3 = Avg. 64.66 wt% Fe2O3t) than Ridge I (20.8–78.22 = Avg. 48.68 wt% Fe2O3t). Based on the chemical composition, the quality of iron ore is categorised as low to medium grade, and can be used in metallurgical and cement industries.
Keywords: Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Asanje Iron ore deposit, Mayamaya-Hombolo Belt, Tanzania
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