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Book Chapter

A Preliminary Description of the Nkamouna Cobalt-Manganese-Nickel Laterite Deposit, Southeast Cameroon

By
Gideon Dzemua Lambiv
Gideon Dzemua Lambiv
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E3
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Sarah A. Gleeson
Sarah A. Gleeson
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E3
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W. Buckovic
W. Buckovic
Geovic Mining Corp., 743 Horizon Court, Suite 300A, Grand Junction, Colorado 81506
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Benard Abei Ayongaba
Benard Abei Ayongaba
Geovic Cameroon PLC, BP 11555 Yaoundé, Cameroon
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Emmanual Simo
Emmanual Simo
Geovic Cameroon PLC, BP 11555 Yaoundé, Cameroon
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Lin Christophe Thierry Omgba Ahanda
Lin Christophe Thierry Omgba Ahanda
Geovic Cameroon PLC, BP 11555 Yaoundé, Cameroon
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Pierre Christain Mikolebeh
Pierre Christain Mikolebeh
Geovic Cameroon PLC, BP 11555 Yaoundé, Cameroon
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Published:
January 01, 2009

Abstract

Seven Co mineralized laterite deposits have been identified in southeast Cameroon. The deposits are developed over serpentinite bodies of unknown age and origin. This paper focuses on one deposit, Nkamouna, which currently has delineated proven and probable reserves of 52 million tonnes of 0.24 percent Co and 0.72 percent Ni (43-101 compliant), making it the first Co laterite deposit with economic potential.

The weathering profile at Nkamouna is thick and company geologists have identified the following units in the profile (from the base): protolith (serpentinite), saprolite, silcrete, ferralite, ferricrete breccia unit, and the granular unit. The ore zone at Nkamouna is found at the top of the ferralite and at the base of the ferricrete breccia unit and has an average thickness of 8 m. The ore mineralogy is dominated by very coarse absolane that contains significant concentrations of Co. The coarse nature of the asbolane allows for physical upgrading of the ore before processing, which has a significant impact on the economics of the deposit.

The deposit is different from most Ni laterite deposits in that it has a very high Co/Ni ratio and very low Mg contents. The profile at Nkamouna is complex and, in particular, in the ferricrete breccia unit there is evidence for multiple phases of profile formation. This, along with a potential pre-enrichment of the protolith, may have resulted in the high Co endowment seen at Nkamouna.

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Contents

Special Publications of the Society of Economic Geologists

Supergene Environments, Processes, and Products

Spencer R. Titley
Spencer R. Titley
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
14
ISBN electronic:
9781629490380
Publication date:
January 01, 2009

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