Assessment of Vanadium in Stream Sediments from River Mbete, Loum Area (Pan-African Fold Belt, Cameroon): Implications for Vanadium Exploration

Authors : Ndema Mbongué Jean Lavenir, Emmanuel Eseya Mengu Junior, Mboudou Germain Marie Monesperance

Volume/Issue : Volume 5 - 2020, Issue 1 - January

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The Loum area is located in the southwestern part of the central domain of the Pan- African Fold Belt in Cameroon. The assessment of vanadium in this area is carried out through stream sediments survey in River Mbete. Collected samples were analyzed by AR-ICP-MS method. Analyses show Fe2O3 and MgO enrichment and mostly negative trend of major oxides with vanadium. V (av. = 926.7 ppm) and Mn (av. = 613.8 ppm) are highly concentrated in stream sediments while Ba, Ga and Sr have low contents, and the presence of Ba and Sr suggests their association with feldspar. Histogramic distributions show that trace elements are positively skewed. Strongly positive correlation coefficients and the close association between V and some elements indicates a common source. The antithetic relationship between vanadium and Co, Cr, Mn, Ni implies an empirical inverse distribution of Co, Cr, Mn, Ni, V in the V-formation. The correlation of Zn with Co, Cr, Mo, Mn, Ni, V, Sc is a reflection of their transition metals relationship, while the presence of Th and La reflects their mutual association as light ion Lithophile elements. Trace element concentrations were of geogenic origins and the high vanadium contents in the concentrates could be link to the volcanic emission. A four-factor model cumulatively accounting for 85.488% of the total variance data is recorded: factor 1 (Co- Cr- Mn- Ni- Sc) accounts for 43.516% of the total variance. The high loading of trace elements in factor 1 suggests their high mobility within the environment and the 43.516% of total variance suggests the significance of the elements in stream sediments, and Ni is associated with V. Factor 2 (Cr- Mn- zn- Ti) represents 18.496% of total variance and reflects an environment for the enrichment of Cr and Mn association. Factor 3 (Ba- Sc- Sr) accounts for 16.044% reflecting a lithological controlled formation. Factor 4 (Hg- Pb) contributes about 7.432% and suggests their association with chalcophile elements. Principal component analysis results in four components that explain 85.488% of the total variance. The first component (Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Sc, Zn) accounts for 53.882% of the variance is highly correlated and reflects the association of V with transition metals. The second component (Cu, Pb, Sb) accounting for 16.180% is correlated with chalcophile elements. The third component accounting for 8.612% of the variance is very weakly loaded. The fourth component (Pb, Hg) accounting for 6.814%. The resulting component plot shows the placement of elements in three major principal components, in which elements scattering in the rotated space displaying their mutual association. Cluster analysis gave rise to four clusters: cluster 1 (Ba, Ga, Th, Co, La) exhibits a strong correlation between Ba and Ga. Cluster 2 (Cr, Zn, Pb, Cu, Ni) shows a clear close geochemical relationship between the elements in this group. Cluster 3 (Mo, Sc, Sr) displays a strong correlation between Mo and Sc. Cluster 4 (Mn, V, Hg, Sb) illustrates a close association between Mn and V. The majority of trace elements fall within the background values, except Mn, Ni, Pb, V that contents exceed the upper background threshold values and therefore refer to anomalous, but these anomalous elements are not viable enough to be exploited. The median value of Loum vanadium is higher than the median values of vanadium recorded in Fongo-Tongo (Cameroon), in the world: Canada, Foregs samples, Upper continental crust, soil, and smaller than the one obtained in Ngaoundal (Cameroon). In the boxplot, patterns in V distribution between all solid sample media and laterite are broadly similar and different to the one reported from Loum V that shows higher. The results of this work serve as guide for vanadium exploration in the Loum area.

Keywords : Loum Area; Pan-African Fold Belt; Vanadium; River Mbete; V-Formation; Geogenic Origins; Upper Background Threshold.


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