Copper-bearing clay minerals of the oxidized zone of the Rakha-Chapri Block, Singhbhum Copper Belt, India

  • S. G. Tenginkai
  • A. G. Ugarkar
  • M. V. Koti
  • A. Mookherjee


In the oxidized zone of Rakha-Chapri Block of the Singhbhum Copper Belt, alteration of biotite, chlorite and muscovite extends down to ∼ 60 m. Below this level, these minerals are not altered, implying a supergene origin for the clay alteration products. The altered host-rock profile consists of an upper, predominantly kaolinitic zone and a lower illite-chlorite rich zone, with the clay minerals showing an overall tendency to decrease with depth. Kaolinite is the dominant clay mineral, the proportion of which varies considerably with depth, and chlorite, illite and halloysite are the other clay minerals of the oxidized zone. Incipient removal of copper even from the cap rocks, in-situ transformation of sulphides to oxidized compounds, and the unusual mode of occurrence of copper in the oxidized zone are the characteristic features of the Rakha-Chapri Block. Insufficient localized hydrolysis of silicates is considered responsible for relatively low acidity in the oxidized zone as a whole. Copper forms a component of the clay minerals probably as surface adsorbed or/lattice-bound ions.


Copper in clays kaolinite illite oxidized zone biotite alteration Singhbhum Copper Belt 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ahn J H and Peacer D R 1987 Kaolinitization of biotite: TEM data and applications for an alteration mechanism;Am. Mineral. 72 353–356Google Scholar
  2. Banfield J F and Eggleton R A1988 Transmission electron microscope study of biotite weathering;Clays Clay Miner. 36 47–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barton P B and Bethke P M 1960 Thermodynamic properties of some synthetic zinc and copper minerals;Am. J. Sci. A258 21–34Google Scholar
  4. Besset W A 1958 Copper vermiculite from northern Rhodesia:Am. Mineral. 43 1112–1133Google Scholar
  5. Bowden J W, Posner A M and Quirk J P 1980 Adsorption and charging phenomena in variable charge soils, inSoils with variable charge. (eds) B K G Theng; N. Z. Soc. Soil Sci.,Spec. Publ. 147–166Google Scholar
  6. Carver R E 1971Procedures in sedimentary petrography: (New York: Wiley-Interscience) 458 ppGoogle Scholar
  7. Dunn J A 1937 Mineral deposits of eastern Singbhum and surrounding areas;Geol. Surv. India Mem. 69 279Google Scholar
  8. Farrah H and Pickering W F 1979 pH effects in the adsorption of heavy metal ions by clays;Chem. Geol. 25 317–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Furlong D N, Yates D E and Healy T W 1981 Fundamental properties of the oxide/aqueous solution interface in: (eds) S Trassati,Electrodes of conductive metallic oxides, Part B. (Amsterdam: Elsevier) pp. 367–432Google Scholar
  10. Garrels R M and Mackenzie F T 1967 Origin of the chemical compositions of some springs and lake. InEquilibrium concepts in natural water systems: (ed.) W StummAdv. Chem. Ser. 67 222–242Google Scholar
  11. Henley K J and Brown R N 1974 Cupriferous hydrobiotite from Ukaparinga, South Australia;Econ. Geol. 69 688–692CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hurst V J and Kunkle A C 1985 Dehydroxylation, rehydroxylation and stability of kaolinite;Clays Clay Miner. 33 1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jackson M L 1956Soil chemical analysis: Advanced course published by the author; Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison 100–191Google Scholar
  14. Keller W D 1970 Environmental aspects of clay minerals;J. Sed. Petrol. 40 788–813Google Scholar
  15. Keller W D, Hanson R F, Haung W H and Cervantes A 1971 Sequential active alteration of rhyolitic volcanic rock to end ellite and a precursor phase of it at a spring in Michoacan, Mexico;Clays Clay Min. 19 121–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kern R and Weisbrod A 1967Thermodynamics for geologists: (San Francisco: Freeman and Co.) p. 304Google Scholar
  17. Mehmal M 1937 Ab und umbau am biotit;Chemie der Erde 2 307–312Google Scholar
  18. Mookherjee A and Tenginkai S G 1977 Study of the oxidized zone in the Rakha-Chapri block of the Singhbhum copper belt, India;Indian J. Earth Sci. S. Roy Vol. pp. 143–156Google Scholar
  19. Mookherjee A and Tenginkai S G 1987 Some unusual geochemical features of the oxidized zone of the central sector of the Singhbhum copper belt, India;Chem. Geol. 60 51–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mourn J, Rao C and Ayyar T S R 1973 A natural 17 Å montmorillonite organic complex from Allepey, Kerala State, India;Clays Clay Min. 21 89–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nadeau P H and Tait J M 1987 Morphology of clay minerals, in:Handbook of determinative methods in clay mineralogy; (eds) M J Silson (New York: Chapman and Hall) pp. 209–246Google Scholar
  22. Rickard D T 1974 Low temperature copper geochemistry, geological aspects; Cent. Soc. Geol. Belgigue Gisements stratiforms et provinces cupriferes,Liege, pp. 1–34Google Scholar
  23. Saha H L 1982 Ratio between total copper and gold extractable copper A case history study from Tamapahar, Singhbhum Copper Belt, Bihar;Rec. Geol. Surv. India 111 105–109Google Scholar
  24. Samama J C 1973 Ore deposits and continental weathering; A contribution to the problem of geochemical inheritance of heavy metal contents of basement areas and of sedimentary basins, inOres in Sediments (eds) G C Amstuz and A J Bernard (New York: Springer-Verlag) pp. 247–265Google Scholar
  25. Sarkar S C, Deb M and Choudhury K 1971 Sulphide mineralization along the Singhbhum shear zone, Bihar, India;Soc. Min. Geol. Jpn. Spec. Iss. 2 226–234Google Scholar
  26. Snell F D and Snell C T 1949Colorimetric methods of analysis, (New York: D Van Nostrand) Vol. 2 pp. 950Google Scholar
  27. Stephens J D and Metz R A 1967 The occurrence of copper-bearing clay minerals in oxidized portions of the disseminated copper deposits at Ray, Arizona; Geol. Soc. Am. Abs. Prog. Annual Meeting (New Orleans) pp. 213Google Scholar
  28. Tenginkai S G 1979Economic geology and geochemistry of the oxidized zone of the Singhbhum Copper Belt, Bihar, India; Unpublished PhD Thesis, I I T Kharagpur 200 pGoogle Scholar
  29. Thornber M R 1985 Supergene alteration of sulphides VII. Distribution of elements in the gossan-forming process;Chem. Geol. 53 279–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Thornber M R and Wildman J E 1984 Supergene alteration of sulphides IV. The binding of Cu, Ni, Co and Pb with iron-bearing gossan minerals;Chem. Geol. 44 279–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Titley S R 1988 Silicates flushed with copper;Nature (London)334 472–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tripplehorn D M 1970 Clay mineral diagenesis in Atoka, Pennsylvanian sandstones, Crawford Country Arkansas;J. Sed. Petrol. 40 838–847Google Scholar
  33. Velde B 1965 Experimental determination of muscovite polymorph stabilities:Am. Mineral. 50 436–449Google Scholar
  34. Vogel I A 1961A text-book of quantitative inorganic analysis (London: Longman Green) pp. 359Google Scholar
  35. Warshaw C M and Ray R 1961 Classification and a scheme for the identification of layer silicates;Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 72 1455–1492CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. G. Tenginkai
    • 1
  • A. G. Ugarkar
    • 1
  • M. V. Koti
    • 1
  • A. Mookherjee
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Studies in GeologyKarnatak UniversityDharwadIndia
  2. 2.Department of Geology and GeophysicsIndian Institute of TechnologyKharagpurIndia

Personalised recommendations