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GeneralCongo Brazzaville Mineral Localities

30th Aug 2011 02:02 BSTDemetrius Pohl Expert

Rock Currier recently asked me to add any information that I might have about mineral localities in the Congo Republic (Congo Brazzaville to distinguish it from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC or Congo Kinshasa). My limited knowledge comes from several visits to the country over the past 30 odd years, once for a few weeks in late 1976 and running an exploration project for NGEx Resources there since 2008. NGEx actually holds the exploration which includes the old Reneville copper deposits. The reader is referred to www.NGEXresources.com for maps of the area.


There is a huge amount of confusion regarding the minerals, particularly dioptase from the Congo Republic.


Dioptase has variously been attributed to the following localities:-

'Mbumba, Pimbi hill, Sanda, Mindouli, Pool Region, Republic of Congo (Weinrich website)


Lavinsky has variously used:-


Pimbi, Djoue River, The Republic of Congo,

Tantara, near Reneville, Congo,

Reneville, Brazzaville Department, Republic of Congo,

Mindouli, Pool Region, Republic of The Congo,

Most of these are misleading or wrong. Tantara is in the DRC.


This is no slur on the dealers who generally pass on information given on the labels with the specimens in good faith.


Brazzaville is the capital of the Congo Republic and has no known mineral deposits except sand and gravel.

A tributary of the Djoue river rises near Reneville and joins the CongRiver at Brazzaville.


CORRECT LOCALITY INFORMATION


Mindouli is a regional center on Route Nationale 1 (RN1) and the Pointe Noire-Brazzaville railway.

The copper occurrences crop out over a distance of about 3km along a limestone escarpment behind the town. They were mined by the French between 1948 and 1960.


Minerals I have personally verified that came from there, i.e. I collected them on dumps and exposed faces, dioptase, malachite, azurite, chrysocolla, libethenite, cuprite, cerussite, wulfenite, native silver, native copper, chalcocite, chalcopyrite, pyrite hematite, goethite. The copper mineralization was mined in a number of open cuts and via several shafts and declines, now collapsed. The largest open pit was called the Sanda carriere (quarry) according to my sources. A Chinese company currently has the exploration rights over the Mindouli and M'passa occurrences. They have driven several adits into the mineralization along the line of old workings and collected several thousand tonnes of metallurgical samples. Mostly massive chalcocite, malachite, cuprite mineralization. I saw practically no dioptase on dumps from these workings.


Sanda Mine - if you can be sure the piece is from that particular working. There are several other open pits and shafts to which I do not have the names.

Mindouli

Mindouli District

Dept. Pool

Republic of Congo



Reneville is a small village about 3km south of the Reneville mine, The mine consists of three old prospects whihc problably produced less than 100,000 tones of ore. The largest is the Indus Mine, a couple hundred meters to the north is the much smaller Amelie working and then to the south is an adit called Bel. From what I can see only the Indus workings produced any significant specimens. Blocks of limestone veined with cuprite malachite, dioptase and rare plancheite were found in trenches dug by NGEX Resources but bno insitu material was found.


The locality information should probably read.


Indus Mine

Reneville

Dept. Pool

Republic of Congo


M'passa is a village about 25km westsouthwest of Mindouli. There are several small mines around the village. The zinc copper mineralization produced some spectacular chalcocite crystals to 2-3cm in diameter and in groups up 15cm accross. I was able to collect several fine specimens in 1977 when the mines were still active. Unfortunately these pieces were stolen while I was living in South Africa in the 90s.


Mfouati lies about 55km west of Mindouli and is dominated by a large limestone hill with managanese wad filled fractures that were mined for primarily for lead,and zinc with some subordinate copper. I have verified cerussite, wulfenite, azurite, malachite, chrysocolla, hemimorphite, smithsonite from this locality. Apparently there are a number of small prospects within a 5km radius of M'fouati which furnish wulfenite crystals but I was not able to verify these occurrences.


M'fouati Mine

M'fouati

M'fouati District

Dept Bouenza

Republic of Congo



Other prospects which are sources of dioptase are near Kimbedi, a small village on the railroad between Mindouli and Lutete. This information was garnered from a miner who brought some pieces of dioptase into camp. The two crystals now pseudomorphed to limonite. They are sometimes associated with small lustrous crystals of yellow-orange wulfenite. The Mpita prospect or mine produces smaller cursts and druses of dioptase sometimes with cerrusite.


Mpita or Kibanga Prospects

Kimbedi

Mindouli District

Dept. Pool

Republic of Congo


The Simba Mine is another copper prospect between Mindouli and Kimbedi reported to have produced dioptase


Pimbi is not one location but several small prospects south of RN 1


Boko Songho is an active copper mine owned by SOREMI, about 25km west of M'fouati wich reportedly produced some fine dioptase but I have not been able to verify this.


Yanga Koubenza is a zinc lead deposit but it is not know what if minerals were produced during it's short life.



And tha's all I know.


Demetrius Pohl

30th Aug 2011 02:16 BSTRock Currier Expert

That's hardly all he knows.

30th Aug 2011 10:16 BSTDebbie Woolf Manager

Excellent information, an enjoyable read, thank you. I hope to see this in the Best Minerals, or is that a dirty word these days ?


:)

30th Aug 2011 10:16 BSTHarjo Neutkens Manager

Thanks for the info!

This is what we have so far: http://www.mindat.org/loc-18493.html

If there are still some mistakes, please tell us and we'll change it accordingly.


Cheers,


Harjo

3rd Sep 2011 10:42 BSTJohn Mason

On the subject of Congo minerals, I wonder if you could help me clear up a query?


4 or 5 years ago I bought a sizeable azurite (14 cm long approx) - a mass of small crystals aggregated into a series of lustrous mounds. It was the colour that attracted me - an incredibly intense deep blue. Traces of malachite and a white clay mineral are present on the back. The specimen was labeled "Kambove Mine" but looking on here, it appears that the only decent azurite from that area comes from the Shangulowe mine.


There's a lot of azurite out there said to be from Kambove, but none of it comes close to the piece I have, although the association appears to be similar. Any thoughts as to the exact locality?


Cheers - John

20th Oct 2011 08:22 BSTDemetrius Pohl Expert

Can't help you there. Kambove is in DRC, other side of the river.

30th Oct 2011 08:02 GMTJohn Mason Expert

Thanks for the reply. I'll post a photo at some point.


Cheers - John
 
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