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Minerals 2018, 8(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020039

Mineralogy and Genesis of the Polymetallic and Polyphased Low Grade Fe-Mn-Cu Ore of Jbel Rhals Deposit (Eastern High Atlas, Morocco)

1
Department of Geology, Institute of Life-Earth-Environment (ILEE), Université of Namur, Rue de Bruxelles 61, 5000 Namur, Belgium
2
Département des Sciences de la Terre et de l’Environnement, Laboratoire de Minéralogie et Géochimie Appliquée, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Avenue F.D. Roosevelt 50, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
3
Laboratoire Géosciences, Université Hassan II, BP 5366, Maârif, 20100 Casablanca, Morocco
4
Equipe de Recherche: Géophysique, Géoresources et Patrimoine, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université Moulay Ismaïl, BP. 509, Boutalamine, 52000 Errachidia, Morocco
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract

The Jbel Rhals deposit, located in the Oriental High Atlas of Morocco, hosts a polymetallic Fe-Mn-Cu ore. Large metric veins of goethite and pyrolusite cut through Paleozoic schists that are overlaid by Permian-Triassic basalts and Triassic conglomerates. The genesis of this deposit is clearly polyphased, resulting from supergene processes superimposed over hydrothermal phases. The flow of Permian-Triassic basalts probably generated the circulation of hydrothermal fluids through the sedimentary series, the alteration of basalts and schists, and the formation of hydrothermal primary ore composed of carbonates (siderite) and Cu-Fe sulfides. Several episodes of uplift triggered the exhumation of ores and host rocks, generating their weathering and the precipitation of a supergene ore assemblage (goethite, pyrolusite, malachite and calcite). In the Paleozoic basement, Fe-Mn oxihydroxides are mostly observed as rhombohedral crystals that correspond to the pseudomorphose of a primary mineral thought to be siderite; goethite precipitated first, rapidly followed by pyrolusite and other Mn oxides. Malachite formed later, with calcite, in fine millimetric veins cutting through host-rock schists, conglomerates and Fe-Mn ores. View Full-Text
Keywords: Moroccan High Atlas; supergene deposits; goethite; gossan; weathering Moroccan High Atlas; supergene deposits; goethite; gossan; weathering
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Verhaert, M.; Bernard, A.; Saddiqi, O.; Dekoninck, A.; Essalhi, M.; Yans, J. Mineralogy and Genesis of the Polymetallic and Polyphased Low Grade Fe-Mn-Cu Ore of Jbel Rhals Deposit (Eastern High Atlas, Morocco). Minerals 2018, 8, 39.

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