Kuantan Bauxite - Bukit Tanah Merah, Ladang Lembah Jabor, Ladang Jeram, Ladang Bukit Goh

Terengganu, Malaysia

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Bauxite profiles are developed in the Kuantan area of coastal Pahang and Terengganu States on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. This area includes the Bukit Tanah Merah, Ladang Lembah Jabor and Ladang Jeram blocks in Terengganu and Ladang Bukit Goh block in Pahang, distributed over an area of ~15 x 12 km immediately to the west of the port of Kuantan.

Essentially, the area is underlain by fissure basalts and associated dolerite dykes which cut the underlying rocks. The basalt forms a distinctive topography characterised by flat topped hills. It overlies and surround the granitic hills north and northwest of Kuantan and extends over a sequence of Late Palaeozoic sedimentary and volcanic rocks. The basalt is generally black to greenish-black, vesicular and olivine-bearing, with columnar jointing. It has been interpreted to be of Tertiary (Miocene) age, but may be Quaternary. The Palaeozoic basement succession is intruded by grey porphyritic and non-porphyritic granite which occurs below and protruding as hills and as windows through the basalt. Recent alluvium is widespread and covers the basalt along coastal areas towards the south (Rajah, 1986).

The basalt surface has been subjected to long and reasonably intense lateritic weathering which resulted in the development of a soil blanket and bauxitic material. In low-lying areas the basalt has been decomposed to a depth of ~5 m, and to 10 m in the low hills and ridge tops. Laterite is invariably present throughout the sequence from the underlying residual clay or decomposed basalt to the surface but more commonly in the upper section. Bauxite mainly occurs as roughly horizontal blankets and lenses in the residual lateritic mantle beetween the soil overburden and underlying decomposed basalt. The topography is characterised by low, flat topped hills and gentle slopes with elevations ranging from 15 to 16 m above mean sea level. The thickness of bauxite ranges from 0.6 to 6 m (Rajah, 1986).

A typical section through the laterite profile, is as follows from the top down (from Rajah, 1986):

Upper Horizon - Humic layer, passing down into clayey soil and then to laterite, over a thickness of up to 1.6 m, rarely exceeding 3 m;
Middle Horizon, or bauxitic zone, which is 1.6 to 7 m thick - comprising various shades of red to chocolate brown lateritic clayey material. Bauxite is usually present in this layer, mainly confined to the other half, commonly forming a zone of concretions which can vary up to 2 m in thickness. The lower section of this horizon is granular to earthy whilst the basal section gradually gives way to the saprolite of the Lower horizon;
Lower Horizon, which occurs below the dry season water table and is predominantly a saprolite composed of a reddish brown and in places grey to olive brown residual clay which is kaolinitic and in places lateritic.
Saprock to bedrock, comprising decomposed basalt that becomes slimy with depth, with enclosed blocks of weathered basalt, before passing into fresh basalt.

The lateritic Middle Horizon is never continuous laterally over the entire area but is generally restricted as hill cappings. The upper portion of this horizon in places may contain a layer of lateritic iron rich crust or hard cap. In the low hills, bauxite commonly occurs in association with the laterite at a depth of 1 m or more where it forms a layer of earthy concretions (Rajah, 1986).

The resources available in the district, as presented by Azemi Haji Eki and Kamil Dari to the 5th Asian Bauxite and Alumina Conference in Singapore in October 2015, were as follows:

Bukit Tanah Merah - 10.5 km2, NA @ 33.0 to 44.0% Al2O3, 1.0 to 7.02% SiO2, 1.0 to 30.0% Fe2O3, 2.56 to 4.88% TiO2, 21.4 to 27.0% LIO.
Ladang Lembah Jabor - 29 km
2 - 23.47 Mt @ 30.0 to 48.0% Al2O3, 2.28 to 24.1% SiO2, 23.0 to 27.0% Fe2O3, 2.00 to 4.56% TiO2, 20.0 to 28.4% LIO.
Ladang Jeram Kuantan - 7 km
2 - 5.66 Mt @ 21.0 to 39.0% Al2O3, 1.9 to 21.8% SiO2, 25.0 to 40.0% Fe2O3, 3.60 to 5.20% TiO2, 20.6 to 27.1% LIO.
Ladang Bukit Goh - 40 km
2 - 70.7 Mt @ 26.0 to 48.0% Al2O3, 1.44 to 25.2% SiO2, 22.0 to 26.0% Fe2O3, 2.40 to 4.96% TiO2, 20.1to 28.3% LIO.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 1986.    
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
© Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd.   Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.

  References & Additional Information
   Selected References:
Rajah, S.S.,  1986 - Bauxite in the Kuantan area, Peninsular Malaysia: in Teh, G.H. and Paramananthan, S., (Eds.) 1986 GEOSEA V: proceedings Vol. 1 Geol. Soc. Malaysia   Bulletin 19, pp. 315-325.

Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PorterGeo) provides access to this database at no charge.   It is largely based on scientific papers and reports in the public domain, and was current when the sources consulted were published.   While PorterGeo endeavour to ensure the information was accurate at the time of compilation and subsequent updating, PorterGeo, its employees and servants:   i). do not warrant, or make any representation regarding the use, or results of the use of the information contained herein as to its correctness, accuracy, currency, or otherwise; and   ii). expressly disclaim all liability or responsibility to any person using the information or conclusions contained herein.

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