Classification, distribution and genesis of
Southern African iron ore resources
Nicolas J Beukes
PPM and CIMERA, Departmen...
• Broad classification of iron ores
1) Magmatic,
2) Oolitic,
3)BIF-hosted
1) Metamorphic Bif or taconite ores
2) Supergene...
10
10-
10. Taconite Damara orogen
Palaborwa Magnetite
Carbonatite surrounded by phoscorite
Carbonatite 15-30 wt % magnetite with < 1 wt %
TiO2
Phoscorite 50...
Timeball Hill Oolitic Iron Ore
Age 2.32 Ga
Resource
6000 Mt at 40 - 55 wt % Fe
Oolitic ironstone
270
290
310
240
260
0
50
100
150
0
50
100
150
200
300
P
Delta lobe Ferricrete
Oolitic ironstone
AbundantCommonScarce
Major...
Taconitic Iron Ores
Simply metamorphosed BIF with coarser recrystallization
of magnetite.
Low grade 30-45 wt % Fe
Milling ...
Taconite Ore
• Metamorphosed Bifs
• Limpopo Belt
• Namaqua-Natal Belt
• Damara Belt
Shakawe
Congo-Angola Craton
Kalahari Craton
Kaapvaal Craton
Zimbabwe
Craton
Dordabis
Prospect
area
Shakawe
Correlative to:
Chuos and
Grand
Conglomerate
~745 my


A
B
Fe = ~35-40 wt %
A B
Strat top 
Shakawe: De Witt, 2013
Dordabis
Malyi Khingan
Urucum
Otjosondu
Rapitan
Sturtian Glaciation: ~745 my
Shakawe
Congo-Angola Craton
Kalahari Craton
Kaapvaal Craton
Zimbabwe
Craton
Dordabis
Bushmanland succession: ~1450 - 1280 Ma
Mn-IF
Overturned Limb
and Cores
Fe-ore
Origin of high grade BIF-hosted iron ore
deposits
Primary Sedimentary
Host Rock (BIF)
Supergene Enrichment
Superlarge depo...
From African Iron Ltd, ASX Announcement, 27 Jan. 2011.
Ancient supergene ore deposit : Sishen-type, South Africa
Karst-hosted
Age ~ 2,0 Ga
Resource: 2 -2,5 billion tons
Grade: L...
Griqualand West
geological map
Sishen-type deposit, Maremane dome
Hematized iron formation
Large resources for upgrading
High-grade hematite 
BIFOre
Dolomite
Manganese
marker
0 2 km
Source: Kumba
Beeshoek/Olynfontein Plan view
Beeshoek
Olynfontein
Sishen-type Conglomeratic Ore
Genetic model for Sishen-type ores
Sishen-type ore body: Exposed ancient sinkhole structure
Inverted topgraphy
Griqualand West
geological map
Extension of unconformity-bounded
Gamagara/Mapedi Fe ores:
Age = Post Bushveld-Pre Hartley
2050-1925 Ma = Waterberg UBS II...
Thabazimbi deposit, South Africa
Thabazimbi ore
Carbonate
ore
Thabazimbi fluid inclusions
Mt Tom Price
Simandou in West Africa
Aguas Claras deposit, Brazil
Ngwenya
Differentiation between supergene and hydrothermal BIF-hosted
Fe ore
REE and Oxygen isotopic composition
Conclusion
Southern Africa has some potential for finding additional resources of
high-grade ancient supergene Sishen-type...
CIMERA Structure
Host: PPM Research Centre, Geology
Department, University of Johannesburg
Co-host: Economic Geology Resea...
CIMERA Focus
The main focus is to train skilled
economic geologists through
undertaking postgraduate research
studies on m...
Research Organization
EIGHT FOCUS AREAS [5 – 8]
Critical Metals of the Future
• Rare Earth Elements, Tellurium, Molybdenum...
Thank you for your attentionThank you for your attention
Beeshoek Iron Ore Mine
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore r...
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Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore resources

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Prof Nicolas Beukes delivered the presentation at 2014 Africa Iron Ore conference.

The Africa Iron Ore conference is the annual gathering for iron ore and stainless steel executives engaged in the African Region.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://www.informa.com.au/africaironoreconference14

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Prof Nicolas Beukes - University of Johannesburg - Classification, distribution and genesis of southern African iron ore resources

  1. 1. Classification, distribution and genesis of Southern African iron ore resources Nicolas J Beukes PPM and CIMERA, Department of Geology University of Johannesburg, Aucklandpark 2006 South Africa nbeukes@uj.ac.za PPM
  2. 2. • Broad classification of iron ores 1) Magmatic, 2) Oolitic, 3)BIF-hosted 1) Metamorphic Bif or taconite ores 2) Supergene 3) Hydrothermal 4) Supergene-modified hydrothermal 4) Detrital 5) Black band
  3. 3. 10 10- 10. Taconite Damara orogen
  4. 4. Palaborwa Magnetite Carbonatite surrounded by phoscorite Carbonatite 15-30 wt % magnetite with < 1 wt % TiO2 Phoscorite 50 wt % magnetite at up to 5 wt % TiO2 Produced about 5 million tons of magnetite per annum since early 1960’s
  5. 5. Timeball Hill Oolitic Iron Ore Age 2.32 Ga Resource 6000 Mt at 40 - 55 wt % Fe
  6. 6. Oolitic ironstone
  7. 7. 270 290 310 240 260 0 50 100 150 0 50 100 150 200 300 P Delta lobe Ferricrete Oolitic ironstone AbundantCommonScarce Major paleocurrent direction Quartzite thickness contours50m 0 100 km N P- Pretoria A Quartzite isolith map of the Timeball Hill Formation indicating the distribution of oolitic ironstone. Modified from Button, 1973. Oolitic Ironstone, Pretoria Group, 2,32 Ga 1mm Backscatter SEM image of a pisolite in pisolitic mudclast conglomerate
  8. 8. Taconitic Iron Ores Simply metamorphosed BIF with coarser recrystallization of magnetite. Low grade 30-45 wt % Fe Milling and magnetic or heavy media separation
  9. 9. Taconite Ore • Metamorphosed Bifs • Limpopo Belt • Namaqua-Natal Belt • Damara Belt
  10. 10. Shakawe Congo-Angola Craton Kalahari Craton Kaapvaal Craton Zimbabwe Craton Dordabis
  11. 11. Prospect area Shakawe
  12. 12. Correlative to: Chuos and Grand Conglomerate ~745 my  
  13. 13. A B Fe = ~35-40 wt %
  14. 14. A B Strat top 
  15. 15. Shakawe: De Witt, 2013 Dordabis
  16. 16. Malyi Khingan Urucum Otjosondu Rapitan Sturtian Glaciation: ~745 my
  17. 17. Shakawe Congo-Angola Craton Kalahari Craton Kaapvaal Craton Zimbabwe Craton Dordabis
  18. 18. Bushmanland succession: ~1450 - 1280 Ma
  19. 19. Mn-IF Overturned Limb and Cores Fe-ore
  20. 20. Origin of high grade BIF-hosted iron ore deposits Primary Sedimentary Host Rock (BIF) Supergene Enrichment Superlarge deposits (2 - 17 Billion tons) Hydrothermal enrichment Mineable very large deposits (0,3-1 Billion tons)
  21. 21. From African Iron Ltd, ASX Announcement, 27 Jan. 2011.
  22. 22. Ancient supergene ore deposit : Sishen-type, South Africa Karst-hosted Age ~ 2,0 Ga Resource: 2 -2,5 billion tons Grade: Laminated hard lumpy ore 65 wt % Fe Conglomeratic ore ~ 63 wt % Fe
  23. 23. Griqualand West geological map
  24. 24. Sishen-type deposit, Maremane dome Hematized iron formation Large resources for upgrading High-grade hematite 
  25. 25. BIFOre Dolomite Manganese marker 0 2 km Source: Kumba
  26. 26. Beeshoek/Olynfontein Plan view Beeshoek Olynfontein
  27. 27. Sishen-type Conglomeratic Ore
  28. 28. Genetic model for Sishen-type ores
  29. 29. Sishen-type ore body: Exposed ancient sinkhole structure Inverted topgraphy
  30. 30. Griqualand West geological map
  31. 31. Extension of unconformity-bounded Gamagara/Mapedi Fe ores: Age = Post Bushveld-Pre Hartley 2050-1925 Ma = Waterberg UBS II HotazelRooinekke
  32. 32. Thabazimbi deposit, South Africa
  33. 33. Thabazimbi ore Carbonate ore
  34. 34. Thabazimbi fluid inclusions Mt Tom Price
  35. 35. Simandou in West Africa
  36. 36. Aguas Claras deposit, Brazil
  37. 37. Ngwenya
  38. 38. Differentiation between supergene and hydrothermal BIF-hosted Fe ore REE and Oxygen isotopic composition
  39. 39. Conclusion Southern Africa has some potential for finding additional resources of high-grade ancient supergene Sishen-type iron ore along the Pre- Gamagara unconformity Southern Africa has large potential for upgrading lower grade ore resources both along the Pre-Gamagara unconformity and for taconitic magnetite-rich ores in metamorphic belts. Southern Africa has some potential for finding additional resources of high-grade BIF-hosted hydrothermal iron ore deposits in Thabazimbi and Prieska areas and in greenstone belts Significant potential for magmatic Bushveld-type Ti-V magnetite ores
  40. 40. CIMERA Structure Host: PPM Research Centre, Geology Department, University of Johannesburg Co-host: Economic Geology Research Institute (EGRI), School of Earth Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand. Collaborating Partners: Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University, University of Fort Hare, University of Pretoria and University of Venda. Director: Prof Nic Beukes, UJ, nbeukes@uj.ac.za Co-director: Prof Judith Kinnaird, Wits, Judith.Kinnaird@wits.ac.za
  41. 41. CIMERA Focus The main focus is to train skilled economic geologists through undertaking postgraduate research studies on mineral and energy resources with focus on Africa but not restricted to it.
  42. 42. Research Organization EIGHT FOCUS AREAS [5 – 8] Critical Metals of the Future • Rare Earth Elements, Tellurium, Molybdenum, Cobalt, Thallium, Lithium, Tungsten New Bulk Mineral Resource Developments in Africa • Iron, manganese and aluminum ores Environmental and Medical Geology • Solving and preventing acid mine drainage • Carbon dioxide capture and storage Public Awareness and Education • Concentrate on steps required to create deeper public understanding for the need of an effective mineral resource industry in South Africa and Africa as a whole
  43. 43. Thank you for your attentionThank you for your attention Beeshoek Iron Ore Mine

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