OJG  Vol.4 No.4 , April 2014
Mineral Chemistry of Two-Mica Granite Rare Metals: Impact of Geophysics on the Distribution of Uranium Mineralization at El Sela Shear Zone, Egypt
ABSTRACT

The present work aims at identifying Nb-Ta-, Zr-Hf-, REE-, Th-U-bearing two-mica granite from geological, geophysical cross-sections and mineral chemistry studies from three boreholes at G. El Sela shear zone. Microscopically, the three boreholes are composed mainly of two-mica granite. They are composed of K-feldspar, plagioclase, quartz, biotite and muscovite. Accessories are pyrite, zircon, fluorite, rutile, monazite with Th-U-mineralization identified by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and electron probe-microanalyses (EPMA). Chlorite, muscovite, sericite, kaolinite are secondary minerals. Geochemically, two-mica granite boreholes are A-type granites and peraluminous characteristics. They are enriched in large ion lithophile elements (LILE; Ba, Rb and Sr), high field strength elements (Y, Zr and Nb), and LREE but depleted in HREE with negative Eu anomaly. U-enrichment associated with chloritization, muscovitization, albitization, sericitization, kaolinization and argillization results from convective hydrothermal circulation of fluids through brittle structures along the ENE-WSW main shear zone. The ratios Nb/Ta (7.7 - 17.7) and Zr/Hf (16.9 - 26.4) are relatively enriched in the lighter isovalents Ta and Hf. The accessory minerals observed in the two-mica granites are represented by metallic sulfides (pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, galena and sphalerite), Nb-rutile, Hf-zircon, fluorite, monazite, columbite, betafite, thorite, phosphothorite, uranothorite, brannerite, uraninite, coffinite and pitchblende at G. El Sela shear zone. Uraninite with a low Th content indicates a hydrothermal origin of U-mineralization, Thorite, uranothorite, monazite and zircon is the main uranium bearing minerals of magmatic origin within the enclosing granite. The primary U-mineralization has been observed in two boreholes. In order to illustrate the geophysical signature of El Sela U-mineralization, the radiometric, magnetic, and VLF-EM data as well as radon concentration are included. The magnetic, electrical conductivity and radiometric profiles were produced from detailed ground surveys. The shear zone is characterized by relatively weak levels for both K and eTh, but very high eU anomalies (<3500 ppm), Therefore, the Sela shear zone acts as a good trap for U-mineralization. The Sela Shear zone coincides with positive conductivity anomalies, which are the most prominent features on the respective profiles. The magnetic field over the Sela shear zone is also conspicuous by the sharp contrast which makes with the strong negative signatures of the altered microgranite. The radon distribution map showed the presence of seven high anomalies that are mostly controlled by the structures due to the easy movement of radon through them.


Cite this paper
Gaafar, I. , Cuney, M. and Gawad, A. (2014) Mineral Chemistry of Two-Mica Granite Rare Metals: Impact of Geophysics on the Distribution of Uranium Mineralization at El Sela Shear Zone, Egypt. Open Journal of Geology, 4, 137-160. doi: 10.4236/ojg.2014.44011.
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