Abstract

The magnetite and hematite deposits of the Wichita Mountains, southwestern Oklahoma, have not been described except for a few brief references to the hematite ores. A summary of the geology of the area is presented herewith as well as a description of the deposits. The results of chemical and microscopic studies are included and also a brief discussion of the origin of the ores and their economic possibilities. The magnetite is titaniferous and is intimately associated with Pre-Cambrian anorthosites. The ores probably were formed by magmatic segregation from the anorthosite magma, and later were subjected to hydrothermal alteration. The hematite deposits are ooelitic, containing bands of hematite alternating with chamosite in the spherules. This ore is found in the Reagan sandstone (upper Cambrian) and probably originated contemporaneously with the sediments. Some hematite, however, may have been formed later by the oxidation of part of the chamosite.The average of six analyses shows 8.40 per cent titanium oxide in the magnetite ores, and consequently, at the present time, the deposits are not considered to have economic possibilities. The hematite ores have an iron content between 7 and 35 per cent Fe, which is too low for profitable mining. Some paint pigment has been made from the hematite and there is a possibility that the ore might be utilized for this purpose.

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