Study of the Behavior of Gold and Accompanying Chemical Elements in Weathering Profile on a Quartz Vein in Mintom (South Cameroon, Central Africa)

  •  Aurélien Manfred Mbenoun    
  •  Gilbert François Ngon Ngon    
  •  Michel Bertrand Mbog    
  •  Rose Yongeu Fouateu    
  •  Paul Bilong    


The present study, which focuses on the behavior of gold and its accompanying chemical elements developed on an alteration profile, is carried out in a humid equatorial zone at Mintom in South Cameroon (Central Africa). The methodology used to achieve the results obtained focused on the description of the morphology of the outcrop, the petrography of the rock studied, the study of heavy minerals accompanying gold in the weathering materials on smear slides, mineralogical analysis of weathering materials by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of gold and geochemical analyzes by ICP - AES and ICP - MS of weathering materials. The main results obtained from this methodology inform us that on the petrographic level the main rock studied is the gold-bearing quartz vein located in Zom, consisting mainly of quartz and opaque minerals. Morphologically, the weathering materials developed on this granite basement present an advanced ABC-type profile characterized by a significant thickness (4 to 6 m). The morphological and chemical characters of the gold particles have evolved from the mineralized zone to the surface. This development was marked by an increase in blunt, rounded grains. Morphoscopy and scanning electron microscopy of the gold particles have shown hollow, blunt to sub-blunt grains, non-evolved free particles, and evolved free particles, respectively. In most samples of weathered material gold is found in association with chemical elements such as Ag, Cr, Co, Cu, Ni, V and figure 10 show identical behavior between these chemical elements and gold, but particularly between silver and gold, which would testify to an identical origin. Au concentrations are very high in most samples of weathering material. Also, these samples of altered materials with a high proportion of gold (0.01 to 2.28 ppm) also present high concentrations of silver (Ag) which justifies that the occurrence or the gold deposit is associated with silver and can be exploited as a geochemical parameter to prospect for gold in the study area.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0542
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0550
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: semiannual

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