NS> Vol.5 No.2A, February 2013

Gold grade variation and stream sediment geochemistry of the Vaimba-Lidi drainage system, northern Cameroon (West Africa)

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ABSTRACT

Stream sediment geochemistry remains a versatile tool in exploration especially in regions where knowledge of the primary mineralization is lacking and the exploration activities are still at reconnaissance stage. In this study, we investigate the concentrations of gold and associated elements in stream sediment samples from the Vaimba-Lidi drainage system in northern Cameroon; a relatively remote area where alluvial gold is worked locally, and exploration activities are at early stage. The main river and its principal first and second order tributaries were sampled, panned for gold grain recovery and the 100 μm size fraction analyzed for Au by fire assay with Ni finish. A suite of other elements were analyzed for by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Gold grades estimated by the panning and weighing technique rarely exceed1 g/t while the Au concentrations from chemical analysis range from 3.0 to 354.0 ppm. The spatial distribution of gold and all the other elements are presented as point symbol maps and the data analyzed using multivariate statistics. From the principal component analysis (PCA), the As-Mo-W-Ag as well as the Au-Zn factors point to the presence of primary hydrothermal gold-sulphide mineralization in the area and this can be further investigated. These results highlight the importance of multielement analysis and multivariate statistical interpretation of sediment geochemical data in inferring the nature of the underlying primary mineralization in any region.

KEYWORDS


Cite this paper

Embui, V. , Omang, B. , Che, V. , Nforba, M. and Suh, E. (2013) Gold grade variation and stream sediment geochemistry of the Vaimba-Lidi drainage system, northern Cameroon (West Africa). Natural Science, 5, 282-290. doi: 10.4236/ns.2013.52A040.

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