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Heavy Mineral Potentiality and Alteration Studies for Ilmenite in Astaranga Beach Sands, District Puri, Odisha, India

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DOI: 10.4236/gep.2015.31005    3,895 Downloads   4,482 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Fifteen beach sand samples were collected from a depth of 1mt at different locations of the Astaranga beach, Puri with an interval of 300 mts. The beach sand samples were studied for heavy mineral concentration at different location points and were subjected to scanning electron microscope studies for the mineral ilmenite. The percentage of total heavy mineral in Astaranga beach varies from 16.42% to 24.47%. The important minerals are ilmenite, rutile, zircon, sillimanite, garnet, monazite, pyroxene and others. For all samples a set of sieves bearing ASTM nos. 30, 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 140, 170 and 200 corresponding to 0.59 mm, 0.42 mm, 0.25 mm, 0.177 mm, 0.149 mm, 0.125 mm, 0.105 mm, 0.088 mm and 0.074 mm respectively were used to separate different size fractions. The sieve mesh sizes vary from 0.59 mm to 0.74 mm. It was observed that maximum concentration of heavies was confined to +200 ASTM sieve or 0.74 mm. The total average heavy mineral concentration and light mineral concentration was found to be 20.07% and 79.49% respectively. The concentration percentage of different heavy minerals varied from higher to lower in the order like ilmenite, zircon, sillimanite, garnet, rutile, pyroxene, monazite and others. The ilmenite mineral in this area is found to have altered to secondary phases like pseudorutile, leucoxene and rutile along the fractures, cavities and grain boundaries. The alteration condition was observed as streaks, irregular patches, bands, and rim like structures around the ilmenite grains. Detailed study of alteration in ilmenite was carried out by Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) attached to Scanning Electron Microscope. The potentialities of heavies found at different locations of the Astaranga beach suggested a good source for the exploration. The alteration of the mineral ilmenite and high concentration of heavy minerals clearly pointed to the sedimentary environment and mechanical concentration process due to repeated wave action.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Mohapatra, S. , Behera, P. and Das, S. (2015) Heavy Mineral Potentiality and Alteration Studies for Ilmenite in Astaranga Beach Sands, District Puri, Odisha, India. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 31-37. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.31005.

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