Regional Geochemical Stream Sediment Survey for Gold Exploration in the Upper Lom Basin, Eastern Cameroon


Stream sediments are widely employed in reconnaissance exploration for gold especially in areas where outcrops are scarce and the overburden thick such as in the eastern Cameroon goldfields. In this study, 337 stream sediment samples were collected from the Lom river drainage basin. The study aims at identifying the main geological processes affecting the geochemical data from the sediments by considering the multi-elements relationships and spatial features of single elements. The samples were collected in duplicate. One set was panned, gold grains picked and weighed while the second set was wet sieved and the ≤100 microns size fraction retained. This fraction was eventually analyzed for gold by fire assay and a suite of elements by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Single element maps were constructed using ArcGIS and the relationship between elements measured using Pearson correlation and principal component analysis (PCA). Gold concentrations in the samples are erratic, most below the detection limit and attain a high of 450 ppm. Five factors are derived from the PCA including single element factors for As and Au reflecting bedrock-hosted mineralization. The Cu-Zn-Y-Nb-Pb factor suggests sulphide mineralization perhaps related to felsic intrusions while the Sr-Ba-La-Ce-Zr factor is linked to lithologic control. These results demonstrate the usefulness of multi-element analysis and data interpretation using GIS tools in the exploration efforts for gold worldwide.

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Omang, B. , Bih, C. , Fon, A. , Embui, V. and Suh, C. (2014) Regional Geochemical Stream Sediment Survey for Gold Exploration in the Upper Lom Basin, Eastern Cameroon. International Journal of Geosciences, 5, 1012-1026. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2014.59087.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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