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Bou Naga complex, Trarza Region, Mauritania

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Block with fluorite, hematite and bastnäsite

Bou Naga complex, Trarza Region, Mauritania
Block with fluorite, hematite and bastnäsite

Bou Naga complex, Trarza Region, Mauritania
 
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 18° 58' 60'' North , 13° 19' 0'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 18.9833333333, -13.3166666667


The Bou Naga alkaline complex is Mauritania’s biggest deposit of yttrium, thorium, rare earths, barite and fluorite. The multi-phase, sub-circular ring complex has a diameter of approximately 12 km. The central part, belonging to the Bou Naga suite, consists of syenite, quartz syenite, alkaline granite, monzosyenite and phonolite. The outer parts are dominated by rhyolite, rhyodacite and trachyte belonging to the Oued Tidoumaline formation.

Between 1967 and 1968, French company Péchiney mined some 1,200 t of yttrium and thorium bearing concentrates from high grade, xenotime bearing quartz veins from the western part of the prospect. The northern part of the prospect, the so-called Guelb Zellaga, is dominated by mainly bastnäsite-(Ce) bearing quartz-hematite-carbonate-fluorite veins in syenite.

The salt flat, a so-called sebkha or sebkha, between the two prospects is periodically flooded. The annual amount of precipitation is extremely low, often there is no rainfall at all for years. The water in the sebkha is extremely salty and contains also dissolved sulphates.

Mineral List


19 valid minerals.

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References

- Berger, V.I., Singer, D.A., and Orris, G.J. (2009): Carbonatites of the World. Explored Deposits of Nb and REE - Database and Grade and Tonnage Models. USGS Open-File Report 09-1139.

Taylor, C.D. and Giles, S. A. (2012): Potentiel minéral pour des dépôts d’éléments incompatibles au sein des pegmatites, de roches alcalines et de carbonatites sur le territoire de la République Islamique de la Mauritanie.- Second Projet de Renforcement Institutionnel du Secteur Minier de la République Islamique de la Mauritanie (PRISM-II), Phase V ; Livrable 87, USGS, 45 pages.

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