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Article

Episodes 2019; 42(3): 199-212

Published online September 1, 2019

https://doi.org/10.18814/epiiugs/2019/019016

Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Features of gold-bearing quartz veins in an artisanal mining-dominated terrain, Batouri gold district, Eastern region of Cameroon

Akumbom Vishiti1*, Jacques Etame1,2, and Cheo Emmanuel Suh3,4,†

1 Department of Civil Engineering, The University Institute of Technology (IUT), University of Douala, P.O. Box 8698, Douala, Cameroon; *Corresponding author, E-mail:vakumbom@gmail.com
2 Laboratory of Geosciences Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Douala, P.O. Box 24157, Douala, Cameroon
3 Economic Geology Unit, Department of Geology, University of Buea, P.O. Box 63, Buea, Cameroon
4 Department of Geology, Mining and Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, University of Bamenda, P.O. Box 39, Bambili, Cameroon
This contribution is part of the study funded by the International Union of Geological Science (IUGS) under its “Resourcing Future Generations” programme Coordinated at the University of Buea by CES

Correspondence to:E-mail:vakumbom@gmail.com

Received: July 6, 2018; Revised: June 15, 2019; Accepted: June 15, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In a bid to identify features useful in discriminating barren from gold-bearing veins and thus assist in the training of locals on site suitability selection for shallow-depth gold exploitation from weathered veins, we investigated a major vein set in the Batouri gold district of eastern Cameroon hereafter referred to as the Mama vein system. The mineralized veins trend NE-SW and are foliated with sericitic, carbonate, sulphides and hematitic alterations. Quartz in the mineralized veins is brecciated, fibrous and smoky. Gold grains occur as inclusions in hematite mainly derived from the weathering of sulphides. Thus brecciated to stock work hematite-bearing veins in prospective mining sites is the main target for the local miners since they are the main host of primary mineralization in Batouri. The gold grains are rich in Ag and show low gold fineness (maximum 615). Bulk geochemistry reveals Au-As-Hg-Zn-Pb-Sb-Mo element association indicative of a low sulphidation environment. Fluid inclusion data affirm to moderate salinity brine as the ore-bearing fluids and mesothermal conditions of ore deposition consistent with the magmatic source of gold. The δ34S values for this system reflect a single homogenous and general light source for sulfur.