The Asosa region of western Ethiopia: a golden exploration opportunity

Liam Bullock, Owen Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Gold mining has a legendary history in Ethiopia, with Ethiopian mines
providing gold to the ancient Egyptian empire and possibly even King
Solomon’s Mines and the Queen of Sheba. Today, gold occurs in the PanAfrican
age schist belt and Tertiary basaltic lavas of the Asosa region of
Benishangul-Gumuz, western Ethiopia. There is widespread artisanal gold
production in the Asosa region, with moderate activity by small numbers of
local workers producing relatively large amounts of gold. There is a strong
relationship between predominantly shear zone-hosted gold deposits and
the Kuluck shear zone, suggesting a structural control on gold accumulation.
Gold is also commonly associated with secondary sulphide mineralization and
magnetite alteration in Asosa rocks. The source of the gold is thought to be
the sub-volcanic intrusions generated during the subduction of the oceanic
crust at the trench island-arc system, akin to what we see today in epithermal
and porphyry type gold systems. Historical workings and anomalous gold
concentrations in rock, soil and stream sediments point to a potentially
significant untapped gold resource in the Asosa region of western Ethiopia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-34
Number of pages4
JournalGeology Today
Volume34
Issue number1
Early online date19 Jan 2018
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

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gold
shear zone
structural control
porphyry
rock
fluvial deposit
oceanic crust
schist
island arc
trench
magnetite
subduction
sulfide
mineralization
resource
history

Cite this

The Asosa region of western Ethiopia : a golden exploration opportunity. / Bullock, Liam; Morgan, Owen.

In: Geology Today, Vol. 34, No. 1, 01.2018, p. 31-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bullock L, Morgan O. The Asosa region of western Ethiopia: a golden exploration opportunity. Geology Today. 2018 Jan;34(1):31-34. Available from, DOI: 10.1111/gto.12217

Bullock, Liam; Morgan, Owen / The Asosa region of western Ethiopia : a golden exploration opportunity.

In: Geology Today, Vol. 34, No. 1, 01.2018, p. 31-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Gold mining has a legendary history in Ethiopia, with Ethiopian minesproviding gold to the ancient Egyptian empire and possibly even KingSolomon’s Mines and the Queen of Sheba. Today, gold occurs in the PanAfricanage schist belt and Tertiary basaltic lavas of the Asosa region ofBenishangul-Gumuz, western Ethiopia. There is widespread artisanal goldproduction in the Asosa region, with moderate activity by small numbers oflocal workers producing relatively large amounts of gold. There is a strongrelationship between predominantly shear zone-hosted gold deposits andthe Kuluck shear zone, suggesting a structural control on gold accumulation.Gold is also commonly associated with secondary sulphide mineralization andmagnetite alteration in Asosa rocks. The source of the gold is thought to bethe sub-volcanic intrusions generated during the subduction of the oceaniccrust at the trench island-arc system, akin to what we see today in epithermaland porphyry type gold systems. Historical workings and anomalous goldconcentrations in rock, soil and stream sediments point to a potentiallysignificant untapped gold resource in the Asosa region of western Ethiopia.",
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note = "Acknowledgements We thank Micky Brown (Mappa Mundi Ltd), Kerry Taylor (Sinistral International Pty Ltd), and the former geological team of GP Resource Mining Plc for their field and technical assistance. Dedicated to the memory of Kerry Taylor, founder of Sinistral International, Perth, Australia, sadly missed by all who spent time with him at the Asosa site in 2012.",
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