Chromite and Other Ultramafic Detrital Minerals from the Morobe Coast, New Guinea

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1973
Beach sands on the Morobe coast of New Guinea contain significant amounts of chromite. This chromite, together with the more abundant associated minerals such as olivine, enstatite, tremolite, antigorite and feldspar has been de- rived from rocks of the Papuan Ultramafic Belt and transported to the beaches by three rivers, the Paiawa, the Saia and the Sesimbai. Of the hundreds of samples taken, 26 have been analysed mineralogically and chemically in some detail. On this basis, five groups of samples, four on- shore and one offshore, representing character- istic mineral assemblages, have been recognized. The chromite grains themselves have been exam- ined to determine variations in amount and in the Cr/Fe ratio, since this is of economic importance. Much of the chromite fails to reach a high Cr/Fe ratio as a result of magnetite rims around chromite grains. The precious metal content of the sands is negligible.
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