Wadi ash Shatti, Shati


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The Wadi ash-Shatti (or Wadi ash-Shati) iron ore deposit, is located near Brach in western Libya, North Africa, approximately 500 km south of the Mediterranean coast. Mineralisation suitable for open pit exploitation is distributed over an area of 80 km2.

The deposit occurs within the Late Devonian paralic to shallow-marine Shatti Formation exposed along the northern margin of Murzuk Basin in west-central Libya is in the upper part of an essentially continuous Palaeozoic detrital succession.

The ore deposits have a maximium thickness of 90 m, comprising five coarsening-upward regressive sequences that record intermittent detrital influx along a low-energy coast. Quartz arenite sandbodies include long breaker bars on a chenier coast, thin storm-generated littoral sheet sands, wave-dominated delta-front sands, thin crevasse splays, and minor deeply scoured channel fill. Along the Shatti shoreline, sedimentation environments ranged from low-energy shelf fluvial-wave interaction. The Shatti sequences are marked by the absence of large, well-winnowed shoreface sandbodies, and other evidence of major transgressive nearshore sedimentation and any associated platform carbonate facies.

As many as 10 beds of ferric oxide-chamosite ooids are found in the iron-bearing section. The majority of the thicker oolitic ironstones overlie coarsening-upward deltaic sequences which were accumulated during episodes of delta abandonment, some of which interfinger laterally with sheeted shoreline sandbodies. The ooids were developed on low-energy mudflats and subsequently concentrated in thick nearshore bars by local currents. During interruptions to accretion, and following the cessation of their building, the ooid bars were deeply penetrated by large vertical burrowers. Ooid bars were commonly succeeded by, or grade laterally into, thin, ferruginous phosphatic intraclast lag deposits that resulted from relatively higher coastal energy of storms or renewed transgression which winnowed the sediment-starved mudflats. The oolites and intraformation conglomerates were then buried below marine mud that accumulated during the succeeding transgression.

The Wadi ash-Shatti iron ore deposit have been estimated to contain 1.6 Gt (or 0.7 to 2.0 Gt) of oolitic hematite, limonite, chamosite and siderite with a grade range of 30 to 48% Fe, with no evidence of obvious high grade mineralisation.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 1981.    
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
© Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd.   Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.

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Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PorterGeo) provides access to this database at no charge.   It is largely based on scientific papers and reports in the public domain, and was current when the sources consulted were published.   While PorterGeo endeavour to ensure the information was accurate at the time of compilation and subsequent updating, PorterGeo takes no responsibility what-so-ever for inaccurate or out of date data, information or interpretations.

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