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Mapochs - Bushveld Complex
Limpopo (Northern) Province, South Africa
Main commodities: V Fe


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The Mapochs iron-vanadium mine is located near the eastern margin of the Eastern Lobe of the Bushveld Complex, near its southern limit, some 140 km SSE of Mokopane (Potgietersrus) and 280 km ENE of Rustenburg in Limpopo Province (#Location: 25° 6' 50"S, 29° 55' 11"E).

It exploits one of the vanadium bearing titaniferous magnetite bands that are found within that section of the Complex, the Main Magnetite Layer within the Upper Zone of the Bushveld Complex.

See the Bushveld Complex record for the setting within the complex.

The upper 1750 m of the layered mafic rocks of the Bushveld Complex carry approximately 8% magnetite disseminated in gabbroic rocks, plus a further 20 m of pure magnetite distributed in 25 discrete magnetite layers. In addition there are also crosscutting plugs of almost pure magnetite in both the Main and Upper Zones (the largest had an ovoid plan dimension of 300 x 100 m). The magnetite layers are concordant and of different thicknesses with persistence over considerable distances, both along strike and down dip. On the Eastern Lobe for instance, the Main Magnetite Layer varies from 2.0 to 2.7 m only over a strike length of 150 km.

Vanadium occurs in solid solution within the magnetite, and decreases upwards from around 1.6% V2O5 in the lowest, to 0.25% in the highest of the layers. TiO2, present as ilmenite and as titanium rich magnetite, increases inversely from 11% in the lowest to 18% in the highest layer. The magnetite is invariably black, highly magnetic and granular, occurring as closely packed, roughly equant grains, often up to a centimetre across. The approximately 5% ilmenite grains are interspersed and more variable in size, shape and distribution.

The Mapochs mine exploits the Main Magnetite Layer which in that area has an average thickness of 2.0 to 2.2 m, a grade of around 1.5% V
2O5 and a westward dip of 15 to 30°.   Proven ore reserves are stated at more than 100 Mt.

The deposit is exploited for both vanadium and magnetite which is used in a steel manufacturing.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this decription was dated: 2001.    
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.


Mapochs

  References & Additional Information
   Selected References:
Cawthorn R G, Molyneux T G  1986 - Vanadifierous Magnetite Deposits of the Bushveld Complex: in Anhaeusser C R, Maske S, (eds),  Mineral Deposits of Southern Africa Geol. Soc. of South Africa, Johannesburg   v2 pp 1251-1266
Klemm D D, Henckel J, Dehn R, Von Gruenewaldt G  1985 - The geochemistry of Titanomagnetite in Magnetite layers and their host rocks of the eastern Bushveld complex: in    Econ. Geol.   v80 pp 1075-1088
Reynolds I M  1986 - The Mineralogy and Ore Petrography of the Bushveld Titaniferous Magnetite-Rich Lyers: in Anhaeusser C R, Maske S, (eds),  Mineral Deposits of Southern Africa Geol. Soc. of South Africa, Johannesburg   v2 pp 1267-1286
Von Gruenewaldt G, Klemm D D, Henckel J, Dehm R M  1985 - Exsolution features in Titanomagnetites from massive Magnetite layers and their host rocks of the upper zone, eastern Bushveld complex: in    Econ. Geol.   v80 pp 1049-1061


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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