Geochemistry and mineralogy of laterites in the Sula Mountains greenstone belt, Lake Sonfon gold district, Sierra Leone

  • Davies T
  • Friedrich G
  • Wiechowski A
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Abstract

Geochemical and mineralogical investigations have been carried out on laterite profiles developed in the Lake Sonfon Au district of northern Sierra Leone. The area is underlain by Archean metavolcanics and constitutes part of the Sula Mountains greenstone belt, which is mineralized in Au. Extensive lateritization has affected the rocks of this region, resulting in a profile which from bottom to top consists typically of a decomposed bedrock zone, a pisolitic laterite layer and a duricrust layer. Both the pisolitic and duricrust layers of the laterite are sometimes punctuated by lenses of ironstones containing high amounts of Cu, Zn, Ni, Co and Ce. Gold occurs as small grains within the heavy mineral fraction recovered from the decomposed rock zones and pisolitic layers of the profiles and also in gravels of streams draining the area. The mineralogy of the duricrust and pisolitic layers is dominated by goethite, gibbsite and quartz, with minor amounts (

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Authors

  • T. C. Davies

  • G. Friedrich

  • A. Wiechowski

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