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Prospecting For Iron and Titanium Using Termitaria
Poster Title: Prospecting For Iron and Titanium Using Termitaria
Submitted on 30 Mar 2015
Author(s): Kinachu James. G, Kiptoo Jackson. K, Onditi Anam.O.
Affiliations: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
This poster was presented at Pittcon
Poster Views: 1,731
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Abstract: Mining activities begin with mineral prospecting and exploration, which can be quite expensive. A number of mineral prospecting methods are known sand include excavation of soil for analysis, phyto-prospecting and hydrogeochemical prospecting among others. Ants and termites are known to burrow up to 55 meters to water tables. In the process, they bring up debris, which may contain traces of minerals in mineralized areas. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of anthill and termite mould soil samples can be used as preliminary tests for prospects of finding a given mineral. Termitaria sampling has been used in other parts of the world like Australia, India and Ghana. This study sought to find out whether there are significant levels of iron and titanium in anthill soil samples compared to top soil samples from Kwale, Kathwana and Kithiori, which are mineralized areas in Kenya. Flame atomic absorption spectroscopy was used to determine the metals under stud y after acid digestion. The control samples had lower concentrations of iron for all the three areas; 20.63±0.09mg/g compared to mean concentration of anthill of 25.3±0.06 mg/g at Kwale, 90.53±0.00 mg/g compared to 98.53±0.29 in Kathwana and 82.63±0.22 mg/g compared to 89.46±0.00 at Kithiori. Titanium content in termitaria samples was higher than control for all the three areas; 14.94±0.24 mg/g compared to 14.72±0.00 mg/g at Kwale, 18.47±0.03 mg/g compared to 15.93±0.03 mg/g at Kithiori at Kathwana. These results demonstrated the potential for use of termitaria soil sampling in mineral prospecting. For conclusive results of iron and titanium mineralization, multimedia sampling is recommended.
Keywords: Termitaria, Mineral Prospecting, Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy
Summary: This study demonstrated elevated levels of the two metals (that is iron and titanium) in termitaria soil compared to the surrounding soils. Termitaria are very important bioturbators and can therefore be used as preliminary step in mineral prospecting since they provide an indication of the potential of the positive anomaly, and enables a judgment on the scale of the metal accumulationReferences: 1. Brooks R.R (1998). Biological methods of prospecting for minerals, N Z BioScience
2. Dunn C.E (2007). Biogeochemical mineral exploration, Elservier Amsterdam
3. Hodge R.A (2011). Mining’s contribution to economic and social development. In: The commonwealth heads of government meeting, Australia, 28-30 October 2011
4. Ralph E.P (2003). A unique prospecting method. Prospecting and mining journal, vol 72 No. 8
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