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Episodes 2024; 47(1): 35-51

Published online March 1, 2024


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Geochemical assessment of carbonate and clay rocks for the cement industry: a case study from Gabal Akheider, Ain Sukhna area, north-west Gulf of Suez, Egypt

Mostafa Redwan1*, Tawfiq M. Mahran1, Mostafa Tantawy Mohamed 2, Youssif Shaban Mohamed3

1Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, Sohag University, Sohag, Egypt
2Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
3Department of Quarries and Raw Materials, El Sewedy Cement Company, 21 Cleopatra St., Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence to:*E-mail: mostafa.redwan@science.sohag.edu.eg

Received: May 19, 2023; Revised: July 6, 2023; Accepted: July 6, 2023

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.


This study aim is to examine the petrographical, mineralogical, and geochemical analyses of carbonate and clay rocks of Gabal Akheider, Egypt using XRD/XRF analyses to assess raw materials suitability for cement production. The sequence is divided into pre-rift Middle Eocene Sannor carbonates overlain by syn-rift Oligocene-lower Miocene Hagul clays. The carbonate rocks show microfacies variety, ranging from wackstone, packstone and grainstone, and extensive diagenetic processes (neomorphism, micrtitization, cementation, dissolution, dolomitization, dedolomitization, fracturing, and void-filling). Calcite is the main limestone component (>95%), while Hagul clays are dominated by montmorillonite and kaolinite. The Sannor carbonates geochemistry are: CaO (30.9-55.9%), MgO (0.3-15.0%), SiO2 (0.3-24.0%), Al2O3 (0.1-0.5%), Fe2O3 (0.0-1.1%), K2O (0.02-0.08%), Na2O (0.03-0.05%), SO3 (0.03-0.5%) and Cl (0.0-0.3%) and Hagul clays SiO2 (49.2-67.4%), Al2O3 (12.9-20.1%), Fe2O3 (7.2-11.7%), CaO (0.9-4.3%), MgO (0.1-1.7%), NaO (0.5-1.0%), K2O (0.5-0.7%), SO3 (0.1-4.5%) and Cl (0.3-1.02%). Raw mix parameters are calculated and checked for clinker phases (C2S, C3S, C3A, C4AF) and appeared suitable for high-quality cement production. Hagul clay contains higher SO3 and Cl values. Therefore, different types of clays (Melha and Rod El Hamal) were added as corrective materials to obtain low Cl and SO3 values needed to attain the desirable chemical composition of clinker for Portland cement production.

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