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Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5090–T

Prepared in cooperation with the Council for Geosciences, South Africa

Sediment-Hosted Stratabound Copper Assessment of the Neoproterozoic Roan Group, Central African Copperbelt, Katanga Basin, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia

By Michael L. Zientek, James D. Bliss, David W. Broughton, Michael Christie, Paul D. Denning, Timothy S. Hayes, Murray W. Hitzman, John D. Horton, Susan Frost-Killian, Douglas J. Jack, Sharad Master, Heather L. Parks, Cliff D. Taylor, Anna B. Wilson, Niki E. Wintzer, and Jon Woodhead

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (11.1 MB)Abstract

This study estimates the location, quality, and quantity of undiscovered copper in stratabound deposits within the Neoproterozoic Roan Group of the Katanga Basin in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia. The study area encompasses the Central African Copperbelt, the greatest sediment-hosted copper-cobalt province in the world, containing 152 million metric tons of copper in greater than 80 deposits. This study (1) delineates permissive areas (tracts) where undiscovered sediment-hosted stratabound copper deposits may occur within 2 kilometers of the surface, (2) provides a database of known sediment-hosted stratabound copper deposits and prospects, (3) estimates numbers of undiscovered deposits within these permissive tracts at several levels of confidence, and (4) provides probabilistic estimates of amounts of copper and mineralized rock that could be contained in undiscovered deposits within each tract. The assessment, conducted in January 2010 using a three-part form of mineral resource assessment, indicates that a substantial amount of undiscovered copper resources might occur in sediment-hosted stratabound copper deposits within the Roan Group in the Katanga Basin. Monte Carlo simulation results that combine grade and tonnage models with estimates of undiscovered deposits indicate that the mean estimate of undiscovered copper in the study area is 168 million metric tons, which is slightly greater than the known resources at 152 million metric tons. Furthermore, significant value can be expected from associated metals, particularly cobalt. Tracts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have potential to contain near-surface, undiscovered deposits. Monte Carlo simulation results indicate a mean value of 37 million metric tons of undiscovered copper may be present in significant prospects.

First posted September 30, 2014

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Suggested citation:

Zientek, M.L., Bliss, J.D., Broughton, D.W., Christie, Michael, Denning, P.D., Hayes, T.S., Hitzman, M.W., Horton, J.D., Frost-Killian, Susan, Jack, D.J., Master, Sharad, Parks, H.L., Taylor, C.D., Wilson, A.B., Wintzer, N.E., and Woodhead, Jon, 2014, Sediment-Hosted stratabound copper assessment of the Neoproterozoic Roan Group, Central African Copperbelt, Katanga Basin, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5090–T, 162 p., and spatial data, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20105090T.

ISSN 2328-0328 (online)



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Assessment Terminology and Methodology

Sediment-Hosted Stratabound Copper Deposit Types

Regional Geologic History

Stratigraphy and Depositional Environments of the Katanga Supergroup

Sediment-Hosted Copper Mineralization

Early Work and Exploration History

Assessment Data

Quantitative Assessment

Grade and Tonnage Models

Estimate of the Number of Undiscovered Deposits

Probabilistic Assessment Simulation Results

Near-Surface Assessment of the Carbonate Écaille Tracts

Discussion

Acknowledgments

References Cited

Appendixes A–I


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