AMU geologists find quartz, feldspar, mica in Konso

Having prospected Bonke and Gerese woredas, College of Natural Sciences’ Department of Geology has again explored Konso woreda’s Kolme cluster situated in Segan Area People’s Zone for South Nations Nationalities and People’s Region Mines and Energy Bureau wherein its team found that study area’s high-grade metamorphic rocks hold minerals such as quartz, feldspar, mica and also low concentration of gold, informed University-Industry Linkage & Technology Transfer Directorate’s Director, Dr Tolera Seda. Click here to see the photos

Dr Tolera, expressing his delight, said, the most important is that our research found low concentration of gold in the Kolme cluster and recommended to the concerned party to go for intense exploration in this regard. And me and my team are pretty happy for the successful execution of this task.

Adding further, Dr Tolera, said, we are happy to state that the promising last year’s results acquired at Gerese Woreda had attracted investors who having examined the area found the quality of minerals present over there are akin to gems available in Brazil. One of the Ethiopian investors has already started extracting minerals from the area and negotiating with the government to ascertain actual prize of those precious stones.

The agreement in this regard was inked by former Research and Community Service Vice President, Dr Simon Shibru, and General Director of SNNPR-MEA, Mrs Atsede Ayza Alato, in December 2019 and a year later with grant of ETB 649,016.00 it was completed where AMU’s 5 experienced geologists i.e. Mr Abraham Mulualem, Mr Agegnehu Borko, Mr Gebru Hadush, Mr Gosaye Berhanu and Mr Muluken Fanta were involved.

The area topography is replete with different ductile geological formations and due to tectonic pressures it has many planes resulted in different geologic micro to macro structures wherein foliation, fold, dyke, veins and vein-lets and other deformational structures. Its varied lithologies found to be having granite and amphibole gneiss, granite, biotite schist, quartzite and pegmatite; while petro-graphic analysis has revealed the presence of plagioclase, k-feldspar, quartz and mica minerals with epidotic and chlorite as accessory minerals.

The petro-graphic analysis further brought to fore presence of metallic minerals i.e. pyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galena and pyrrihotite; Apatite, a calcium phosphate mineral found hosting biotite schist rock as a large crystal of gem quality. It also contains pegmatite and two generations of quartz veins both parallel to each other with medium to coarse grained minerals of quartz, plagioclase, muscovite and small amount of biotite and accessory garnet.

Following the effects of deformation, twisted minor muscovite were found in the non-foliated metamorphic rock with quartz grains, biotite and k-feldspar; the pegmatite rock has quartz, feldspar and mica and such lithological unit found to be introducing granite and amphibole gneiss along with metallic ore minerals and small nodules of garnet minerals.

On other hand, biotite and chlorite schist are having apatite gem minerals; and granite hosts granite and amphibole gneiss with coarser quartz, k-felspars and mica. It indicates the presence of olivine, pyroxene, amphibole, clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, biotite, hornblende, quartz and k-feldspar; it also contains low concentration of gold and base metals along with Apetite gem.

Finally the study infers that this high-grade metamorphic rock hosts different metallic, industrial and gem minerals which in future if further prospected could bring to fore more geological resources; thus, local people must be motivated to assist professionals and government bodies in this regard, finding maintains.

(Communication Affairs Directorate)