The Asosa region of western Ethiopia: a golden exploration opportunity

Liam Bullock, Owen Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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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
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

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