ASSESSMENT OF THE ECONOMIC RECOVERABILITY OF MAGNETITE AS AN IRON ORE IN SOUTH WESTERN MWINGI AREA
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ABSTRACT

Though iron oxide deposits are vastly distributed in South Western part of Mwingi area, no exploration or prospection of it was carried out. Therefore, this problem formed the basis of this project. The main aim was to establish whether or not the iron oxide deposits, in particular magnetite deposits, are economically recoverable through the investigation of the quality and extent of magnetite and other iron oxide deposits. Some of the literatures provided an insight on the least amount of iron metal content that a deposit should have for it to be economically recoverable, which is 25% iron metal content.

Some of the methods used to determine the quality and extent of magnetite and other iron oxide deposits were; geochemical analytical methods, x-ray fluorescence, and using processed remote sensed satellite images. From the results and interpretations of the images, it was clear that the area has high grade magnetite deposits whose iron metal content is about 41.9%, 64.9% and 65.7%, obtained from the analysis of magnetite concentrate that was separated from heavy mineral sand collected from River Gunini, the remaining heavy mineral sand and a magnetite rock, respectively.

It was also observed to have extensive deposits of iron oxide and this was interpreted from Landsat satellite images that were processed using ETM+ (Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus) data which is multispectral and high resolution software. The bands that were used include 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 for observing the lithological units, lineaments and the iron oxide deposits.

The project was concluded with the successful achievement of its aim and objectives