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Iron 2010
Major Iron Deposits of South Africa & Brazil
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[Field traverses]

Regional field traverse, Sishen-Kuruman district.   On each of the afternoons following the visits to the Sishen and Khumani mines, until sunset, the group undertook regional traverses at locations recommended by Prof. Nic Beukes, and for which he provided field notes.   This included studying the Manganore banded iron formation (BIF) in road cuts, both remote from, and adjacent to, where it has been enriched/upgraded to ore grade in the vicinity of the Sishen and Khumani deposits.   This BIF is known as the Manganore iron formation where it occurs over the core of the Maremane Dome, overlying and locally slumped into a 'karst deflated' sequence of Palaeoproterozoic dolomite.   On the limbs of the dome, the shallow dipping equivalent BIF is known as the Kuruman iron formation.   The remainder of the traverses involved looking at the sequence grading up from the thick footwall dolomite sequence (left image) through a thin tuffaceous band to shaly dolomite with pyrite balls, and then abruptly to the characteristic BIF (main central image where the group members that completed the steep climb through this sequence to the top of Kuruman Kopje are standing on the BIF).   Note the continuation of the BIF on the ridge across the saddle behind the group.   Other sections of the Kuruman iron formation were studied in road cuts elsewhere along strike, while the sequence grading upwards in the hangingwall of the main BIF unit was also traversed.   The bottom right image shows the comfortable airconditioned bus the group used throughout the Northern Cape Province.
Photographs by Mike Porter.

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