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Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah

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GEOLOGY OF GHANA
Introduction
Ghana falls mostly within the Pre-Cambrian Guinean shield of West Africa. The main Pre-
Cambrian rock units existing in Ghana are the metamorphosed and folded Birimian, Tarkwaian,
Dahomeyan System, the Togo Series and the Buem Formation.

The Precambrian rocks are overlain by late Proterozoic to Paleozoic rocks of the Voltaian System.
Rocks units, which are younger than the Voltaian System and occur at several places along the
coast include the Early or Middle Devonian Accraian series, Mid Devonian-Lower Cretaceous
Sekondian Series, Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous Amisian Formation, Upper
Cretaceous, Apollonian Formation, Tertiary to Recent unconsolidated marine, coastal, lagoonal,
fluviatile sediments and deposits. Intruded into the Birimian rocks are large masses of granitoids
known as the Cape Coast and Winneba G1 rock types, Dixcove G2 rock types and smaller
masses of granitoids found mainly in the northern part of the country.



































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Geological Map of Ghana


The Geological Provinces of Ghana

Ghana is divided into five geological domains or provinces on the basis of age, tectonics and
lithologic characteristics of the supra-crustal rocks. These are;

1. The Western Unit, which lies at the eastern margin of the Precambrian Western Shield or
Craton.
2. The South Eastern Unit, which is at the southeastern part of the country belonging to the
Precambrian mobile belt.
3. The flat lying Central Unit made up mainly of the sediments of the Voltaian System.
4. The Coastal Basins
5. Tertiary to Recent deposits.



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1. THE WESTERN UNIT

Almost 45% of Ghana's area belongs to the shield area. This part consists of the Birimian System
which was deformed, metamorphosed and intruded by syn-and post granitoids during the
Eburnean orogeny which occurred 1800 million years ago. In elongated basins, which follow the
northeasterly trending Birimian belts, the molasse type sediments of the Tarkwaian were
deposited.

THE BIRIMIAN SUPERGROUP

The rocks of the Birimian system were deposited on an unknown Archean Liberian basement.
They crop out at the north, west and southern parts of the country. The Birimian has been folded,
metamorphosed and in some places assimilated by granitoid bodies. The folding is intense with
dips commonly on the order of 30
o
-90
o
along NE-SW axis (70
o
-90
o
being more common than
shallower dips). The metamorphism is considered to be low-grade greenschist facies. However
those of amphibolite facies and grades of granulite facies are common in several localities.
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Faulting tends to follow the strike of the folds and trends perpendicular to the latter. Jointing in
these rocks has many orientations, but most commonly is parallel to fold and fault directions and
in a N-S direction. The Birimian rocks have been intruded by granitoids during and latter stages of
the Eburnean orogeny at or after the end of the Birimian deposition. Thus the Birimian is
considered to be somewhat older than 2000 million years.

Birimian Stratigraphy

The Birimian system in Ghana is subdivided into a Meta-sedimentary and a Meta-volcanic Series.


(i)The Meta-Sedimentary Birimian Series

This makes up 55% of the area occupied by the whole Birimian System. It is predominantly of
pelitic origin consisting of muds and silts with beds of coarser sediments. It is most often
considered to have been derived from Liberian type rocks as found in the nucleus of the West
African Craton. These rocks no longer exist in Ghana and it is possible that they were destroyed or
altered beyond recognition during the Eburnean orogeny.

The series is now represented by great thicknesses of isoclinally folded, steeply dipping,
alternating slates, phyllites, greywacke and argillaceous beds with some tuffs and lavas. Close to
granitic intrusives, the slates and phyllites have commonly been altered to quartz-biotite schist
while the impure sandstones have changed to granulites and quartz schists. There is evidence for
a shallow water depositional environment for the Lower Birimian rocks.


Divisions of the The Meta-Sedimentary Birimian Series

These series have been subdivided into 5 stages

Stage Composite Lithology

1. Upper Arenaceous Yellow brown and sometimes purple, massive meta-greywackes and
minor thin beds of meta-siltstone.

2. Upper Argillaceous Predominantly yellowish-brown colored rock assemblages of
phyllite, siltstone and their tuffaceous varieties.

3. Mid Arenaceous Meta-greywacke, meta-siltstone phyllite assemblage which is
characteristically rhythmically bedded in the lower parts and is also
typically tuffaceous and manganiferous in the middle parts.

4. Lower Argillaceous Predominantly black, grey and dark grey phyllite interbedded with
greenish grey and buff-coloured tuffaceous phyllite.

5. Lower Arenaceous Lithic assemblage of meta-greywacke meta-sandstone, meta-
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siltstone, phyllite and tuffaceous varieties of these rock types.


(ii) Meta-volcanic Series.


The Meta-volcanic Series unconformably overlies the lower Birimian series and takes up 20% of
the area occupied by the whole Birimian system. The series consists of great thicknesses of
basaltic and andesitic lavas, beds of agglomerates, tuff and tuffaceous sediments. Pillow lavas
have been observed frequently in the metavolcanic Birimian.

The basic volcanics and pyroclastics have been altered largely to chloritized and epidotised rocks
that have been loosely grouped together as greenstones. Where the greenstones have been
subjected to dynamo-thermal metamorphism, they have been converted to hornblende schists and
amphibolites. Impure arenaceous sediments which have been recrystallised and resemble very fine
grained diorites grade with increasing grain size into diorites.

The meta-volcanic Birimian series is believed to represent a late phase of eugeosynclinal
deposition but it is also possible that some of the acid volcanic sub-series are related to island arc
type volcanic vents in association with relatively shallow water sediments that include meta-
conglomerates, quartzites, calcareous chlorite schists and graphitic schists.


Divisions of the Meta-volcanic Birimian Series

Presently the rocks of the Upper Birimian Series have been subdivided into 3 main units on
lithologic basis as follows.

Sub Series Composite Lithology

Basic volcanic Makes up the meta-volcanic Birimian and is further divided into
normal greenstones (metabasalt and metadolerite), amphibolite
greenstones spatially related granite intrusive of greenschists and
actinolite-chlorite greenschists.

Acid Volcanics Meta-rhyolites, quartz feldspar porphyry, felsites and quartz-
chlorite-schists.

Sedimentary Volcanics Meta-tuffaceous greywacke, quartzites, and schistose conglomerate
and grit.






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The Post Birimian (Eburnean) granitoids (2200-1850 my)

Intruded into the Birimian are large masses of granitoids of uncertain ages but probably post-
Birimian or pre-Tarkwaian age.

There are 3 main types.

1) The Cape Coast and Winneba (older, G1 granitoids)
2) Small masses of granitoids known as the Dixcove type (G2)
3) The rare Bongo potassic granitoids found mainly at the northern part of the country.

These granitoids are related to the later stages of the Eburnean orogeny at or after the end of the
Birimian deposition.


(1) Cape Coast Granites

These granitoids are at times well foliated, often migmatic, potash rich granitoids which take the
form of muscovite-biotite granite, granodiorite, porphyroblastic biotite gneiss, aplites and
pegmatites. The granites are characterized by the presence of many enclaves of schists and
gneisses. They are generally associated with Birimian metasediments. The Cape Coast granite
complex is believed to represent a multiphase intrusion consisting of four separate magmatic
pulses.

Small intrusive bodies related to the Cape Coast granite complexes
In coastal areas eg near Saltpond, over 80 pegmatite bodies occur and are clearly related to the
margin of the batholith from which they radiate for about 12 km. General mineralogical
composition includes quartz, muscovite, biotite, microcline, tourmaline, albite, almandine, beryl,
spessartitte and kaolin. At present Kaolin is exploited by Saltpond Ceramics for china-ware.


(ii) Dixcove granite complex

This complex consists of hornblende granite or granodiorite grading locally into quartz diorite and
hornblende diorite. This complex forms non-foliated discordant and semi-discordant bodies in the
enclosing country rocks, which are generally Upper Birimian meta volcanics. The Dixcove granite
is intruded along deep seated faults in three distinct phases which follow one another from basic to
acid; gabbro-diorite-granodiorite. The Dixcove complex has lower SiO
2
and Al
2
O
3
but slightly
higher CaO contents than the Cape Coast granite. Another remarkable feature is its higher
Na
2
O/K
2
O ratio. Unlike the Cape Coast granite, the Dixcove granite is free of lithophile elements
such as Li, Be, Sn.

(iii) The Bongo Granite

These are porphyritic, hornblende-microcline plutonic granites that are locally found in northern
eastern Ghana. They are thought to be younger than the Dixcove granite.
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The age of the granites falls into 2 well-defined groups. The granodiorite massives that intrude the
Birimian rocks give ages of about 2100 million years while the most abundant granites (Cape
Coast type) cut both the Birimian and Tarkwaian giving ages of about 1800 my.

MINERALS IN THE BIRIMIAN


In terms of mineral deposits, the Birimian rocks are the most important in Ghana for minerals such
as gold, diamond, bauxite, manganese and iron are all associated with this system.


1. GOLD

The following gold belts and gold districts are associated with the Birimian rocks.
a). Prestea Belt
b). Akropong Belt
c). Obuasi Belt
d). Obuom and Konongo Belts
e). Asankragwa-Manso Nkwanta Belts
f). Tokoase and Bibiani Belts
g). Sefwi and Sunyani district Belts
h). Sekondi, Axim and Tarkwa Belts
i). Cape Coast, Saltpond and Winneba Belts



Occurrence
There is a wide spread of gold in the Birimian and Tarkwaian rock systems of Ghana. The three
main types of auriferous deposits are:

i) The reef, vein or lode-type gold deposits.
ii) The auriferous quartz-pebble conglomerates.
iii) Recent alluvial and eluvial deposits all associated with rocks of the two systems (Birimian
and Tarkwa)


(i)
The Reef, vein or lode-type gold deposits

This type of gold is associated with quartz veins or any gold bearing lode or dyke. This type of
gold deposit is associated with rocks of the Birimian System. It occurs in five distinct forms as
follows:

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(a) Auriferous quartz veins or reefs which cut the Birimian System
This type is the most important source of gold in Ghana and occurs as intrusive veins in phyllites
and greenstones in the Birimian. The veins occur at two main places.

near or/at the contact of the Lower and Upper Birimian rocks.

as reefs within the Birimian (Prestea -Obuasi- Konongo belt)

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The lodes or reefs range from a fraction of a metre to 30 metres or more in width and a few metres
to several metres in length. The lodes consist essentially of quartz with little ankerite
{CaCO
3
(Mg,Fe,Mn)CO
3
}, pyrite, arsenopyrite, sericite, graphite, galena, pyrrhotite, sphalerite and
gold. The sulphides and the gold often occur in fractures in sheared and shattered quartz. The bulk
of the gold is carried in the smoky grey sheared and laminated quartz. Rocks are usually dull black
phyllites which are originally found to be carbonaceous muds. The reefs generally rich in gold are
lenses which are long and wide. They are poor where they are short and narrow. The lenses are
often a few 100m apart longitudinally and are up to 1000m or more in depth.

The most payable reefs occur in fractures, in sheared and shattered quartz which readily
disintegrate on weathering and rarely form outcrops. The Barren quartz often makes prominent
outcrops.

b) Veins and stockworks in granite porphyries which intrude the Birimian

Auriferous quartz veins in Dixcove granite and porphyry and in granodiorite and diorites eg
Dunkwa-Mpasatia Mine near Kumasi.


c) Sulphide ores which have arisen through mineralization of the country rocks in the
Birimian

Mineralised country rocks of the Birimian consisting of tuffaceous phyllites within the green
stones series have been found to be an important source of sulphide ores. The tuffs can be up to
30m or more in width of range from a few 100m to many 1000's in metres in strike length and
carry disseminated and thin stringers of pyrite and arsenopyrite with small amounts of gold e.g. in
Prestea and Obuasi.

Primary lode gold deposits of the Birimian Supergroup along a set of parallel and extensive steep
dipping, deeply penetrating and laterally extensive regional faulting system (shear zones) locally
referred to as fissure zones at the contact between the metavolcanic and metasedimentary rock
sequences. This type of gold mineralisation along shear zones seems to be characteristic features
of many greenstonehosted gold occurrences in the world.
Two types of gold mineralization are recognized. They are
1. Quartz Vein type
2. Disseminated Sulphide Mineralization

d) Oxidised ores

These have been concentrated by chemical and mechanical weathering of gold-bearing veins.
These oxidised ores are very close to the surface in the residual above the water-table within an
average depth of about 30-80m. They are highly lateritic full of iron oxide, clays, weathered mica
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and quartz pebbles. The gold is free milling and very fine, eg. Pepe (Tarkwa), Blackies & Tom
Collins (Obuasi) & Obenemasi quarry.


e) Pegmatite dykes associated with the granitic rocks in the Birimian

Lode gold can be found in pegmatite dykes a few metres or less in thickness. The gold occurs in
the free state or is mixed with pyrites eg Mankwadze - Winneba district.

Distribution of veins & lode type deposits

This type of deposits are found commonly

i) in the vicinity of the boundary between the Upper and Lower Birimian rocks

ii) where Upper Birimian greenstones are intruded by Dixcove granite or porphyry

iii) where Upper Birimian greenstones are in close proximity to manganese deposits

iv) where the Lower Birimian is intruded by Dixcove granites.
Generally the older granite (Cape Coast) and the more highly metamorphosed Birimian
rocks do not contain gold deposits.


Areas of smoky and bluish grey mineralised quartz, containing partings, streaks & fragments of
the altered wall rocks are more favourable for gold mineralization than areas where white and
glassy quartz are found. Arsenopyrite needles and galena are good indicators of gold but in some
ores, the gold is associated with pyrite or tourmaline also. Gold frequently occurs in fractures in
sheared and shattered quartz reefs, commonly as elongated flat bodies of irregular shape and
thickness that lie along and within shear zones.


Genesis of vein and lode-type gold deposits

The mineralised reefs are associated with deep-seated overthrust fault channels and shear zones
along the margins of synclines and particularly along the contact between meta-volcanic Birimian
greenstones and metasedimentary Birimian phyllites. The quartz reefs contained in this zone were
unquestionably formed after the initial period of shearing, but shearing continued after the reefs
were formed. The gold mineralization came from external sources for, in all the mineralized reefs,
there is a very close association of gold and pyrite or arsenopyrite. It is shown that the gold is
present as minute specks within the sulphides - the gold and sulphides were formed during the
period of mineralized solutions permeating upwards through the shear zone from a deep seated &
probably magmatic source were responsible for mineralization of the shattered zones. Thus the
degree of mineralization depends not only on physicochemical factors such as alkalinity and
strength of the solution, temperature and lithology of the wall rocks, but also on the rate of flow of
the solvent through the zone it was mineralizing. In the relatively open fracture and crushed zones,
the rate of flow would have been greater than through zones of sheared, less competent rocks such
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as phyllites and greenstones.



THE TARKWAIAN GROUP

Rocks of the Tarkwaian Group are concentrated mainly at the S. Western part of Ghana in the
Tarkwa area where they outcrop in a NE-SW trending belt. The belt stretches from near Axim to
the edge of the Voltaian basin near Agogo, a distance of about 250km. It has a width of about
16km. Elsewhere, the Tarkwaian occupies a portion of the Bui Syncline parallel to the Ivory Coast
border at 8 N latitude. This other belt running from near Bepoasi in Brong-Ahafo Region to
Banda-Nkwanta in the Northern Region is about 140km and of average width of 0.8km. The
Tarkwaian rocks consist of thick series of argillaceous and arenaceous sediments (mainly
arenaceous) in the lower members of the system.

The Tarkwaian Group is considered to be of shallow water continental origin derived from the
Birimian and associated granites. It is believed that the rocks were deposited in elongated intra-
cratonic basins bordered by granite-greenstone belts of the Birimian SuperGroup The sediments
were deposited in high-energy alluvial fans entering a steep-sided basin filled with fresh water.
They consist of coarse, poorly sorted, immature sediments with low roundness, typical of a
braided stream environment.

The Tarkwaian is thought to rest unconformably on the Birimian, though in some places, the met-
asedimentary Birimian and the Tarkwaian are inter-folded due to post Tarkwaian orogenic activity.
In some localities no angular unconformity can be observed b/n the Birimian and the Tarkwaian
Systems.

The Tarkwaian sediments have been subjected to low-grade metamorphism i.e. middle
greenschists to middle almandine-amphibolite facies. The higher grades are uncommon and often
associated with intrusive rocks. The common minerals are chlorite, sericite, zoisite, calcite, quartz,
limonite and chloritoid. The sediments must be regarded as integral part of the Eburnean oregenic
cycle of which they represent the final molasse stage.
















Divisions of the Tarkwaian Group
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Descriptions of the various Tarkwaian Units

a) The Kawere Group consists typically of shallow water greenish grey, feldspathic,
carbonate-spotted quartzites, grits, breccias and conglomerates. The most conspicuous of the group
are the conglomerates with inter-bedded grits and quartzites.

The conglomerates normally consist of predominantly of closely packed pebbles of very fine
grained, silicified Birimian greenstones in a matrix of quartz, feldspar, chlorite, carbonate, epidote
and magnetite. The quartzites and grits are normally greenish grey in colour and poorly bedded.


b) Banket Series represents a fluviatile series with a thickness varying between 120-600m
being greater south and west of Tarkwa. It is essentially an accumulation of high energy, coarse
clastics, represented by conglomerates, grits, quartzites, which have suffered low-grade
metamorphism. Four reefs or conglomerate bands have been identified typical in the western and
southern parts of the Tarkwa Goldfields. These are

Three of the units are persistent i.e. breccia reef, middle reef and a unit of basal conglomerates.
The Basal or Main reef is the most persistent conglomerate bed in the Tarkwa Goldfields area and
is by far the richest in gold. Furthermore it is generally better sorted than the other reefs and more
uniform in thickness, composition, size and in distribution of pebbles. The matrix of the
conglomerates consists principally of quartz and sand (mainly hematite with ilmenite, magnetite
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and rutile), minor constituents are sericite, chlorite, tourmaline, garnet, zircon and gold. Epidote
and pyrite are rare except near dykes, faults and quartz veins.















































c) Tarkwa Phyllites are divided into those with and those without chloritoid. The chloritoid
phyllites may or may not contain porphyroblasts of carbonate. The phyllites without chloritoid
vary from sandy to fine-grained lustrous types and may contain abundant magnetite and/or
hematite. Colour banding is common and is due to alternating bands of sericite or chlorite.
Another type of banding is due to alternating sandy and fine-grained material.
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d) Huni Sandstone and Dompim Phyllites: The sandstone is the weathered representation of
feldspathic quartzites, which are in general finer grained than the Banket Series quartzites. They
are grey, greenish or bluish in colour in outcrops and weather to pale grey and green. They often
show distinct magnetite banding and may be cross-bedded. Dendritic growth of Manganese oxide
is commonly seen.

Dompim phyllites and Dompim quartzites are now known to form part of Huni Sandstone and the
whole formation is over 1200m in thickness. The Dompim phyllites are separated from the Tarkwa
phyllites by quartzite and sandstone always.


Post-Tarkwaian Intrusions

The Tarkwaian System is associated with hypabassal acidic-basic igneous rocks which make up
approx. 20% of the total thickness of the system. Most of them are in the form of conformable or
slightly transgressive sills and a small percentage occur as dykes. The intrusives originally consist
of typical medium to coarse-grained gabbro essentially composed of pyroxene, plagioclase and
ilmenite.

Gold in the Tarkwaian

Gold in the Tarkwaian occurs as auriferous quartz-pebble conglomerates (see the section on the
occurrence of gold in Ghana)

The gold in the Tarkwaian System is generally believed to be of placer origin. It is not uniformly
distributed through the Banket and very often, has its highest values along the contact. This is in
accordance with the placer origin hypothesis, since the gold would become concentrated in the
bottom parts of the pebble and shingle beds over which the river flowed. Other factors such as the
river flow rate in different parts of its course, uneven distribution at bands and sudden floods due
to torrential rain will have played their part in the patchy and uneven occurrences of the values
which are quite characteristic of the Banket deposit. The Banket reefs are essentially low grade
and mining has to be carried out in a very large scale, at a high level of efficiency if an
economically viable operation is to be achieved.


Evidence favours the source of the gold as having been derived from the Birimian schist which
forms the basement of the Tarkwaian System. No clear origin has been defined for the abundant
hematite that is intimately associated with the gold. Uplift of folds to the east of the Tarkwaian belt
created a westerly paleo-slope toward depressed tracts developed over synclines. Erosional debris
from the positive areas accumulated in the synclinal basins and at one particular interval of time,
the process of sedimentation led to the reworking and winnowing of sand-supported gravels to
produce significant concentration of gold in the matrices of the graves.



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DIAMOND
Diamond is the crystalline form of the element carbon developed by nature under critical
conditions of heat and pressure.
There are four principal diamondiferous areas in Ghana.

1). The Birim diamond field 2). The Bonsa diamond field
3). The Dunkwa/Jimi field 4). The Nyafomang field.







































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The Birim diamond field is at present responsible for almost all the diamonds won in Ghana and
are therefore treated here. The Birim diamond field is located in the Birim valley in the Akim
Abuakwa and Western Akim traditional areas in the Eastern region. The producing mines are all
situated within 10km of the Birim River and occur along 80km stretch between Kade and the
Birim river confluence with the Pra River. More than 98% of all diamonds produced in Ghana
have been won from the alluvial deposits in the Birim Valley and the remaining Birim valley
diamonds have been won from deposits found in rather patchy zones and a stretch from Oda to
beyond the Pra-Birim confluence. Apparently, the deposits extend nowhere more than 3-5km from
the Birim River.

Geology

The rocks of the diamond field may be classified as follows, in order of age, the oldest being at the
bottom of the table.

Superficial deposits (Pliocene to Recent) Gravels, sands, clays, laterite and soils

Basic intrusives of uncertain age Dolerite, epidiorite other basic sills and dykes

Acid intrusives of post Birimian Older and younger granite, aplite, prophyry,
pegmatite and quartz veins.

Lower Birimian Greywacke, phyllites, tuff, schists and basic
hypabyssal and extrusive green rocks


For most of its course, the Birim river flows in a more or less open valley developed in the Lower
Birimian phyllites, schists, tuffs and greywackes. The strike of the rocks in the diamond field
varies from N to E and averages a few kilometers before the Birim river joins the Pra river, the
rocks have been recrystallised and the foliations tend to conform with the direction of the contact.
Majority of dips are between 70 90
O
SE.
















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The Birim River in mining terminology is divided into 3 sections.

i) The Upper Birim from the Supong confluence up to the northern limit of the just above
Kade.
ii) The Middle Birim from Aduasa Narrows up to the Supong confluence.
iii) The lower Birim from Pra confluence to the Aduasa Narrows.


For the past 60 years, mining of diamonds in Akwatia areas has been concentrated in the Upper
Birim area. Three layers can be found in the Upper Birim diamond field:

1) The overburden or superficial deposits
2) The gravel horizon
3) The bed rock which consists of metamorphosed sedimentary, pyroclastic and igneous
rocks of Birimian age.


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Origin of Birim diamonds

It has been established that the diamonds are of alluvial origin and their source could be local with
the approximate origin of the diamonds being identified with the greywackes of the greywacke-
phyllite series of the upper part of the Lower Birimian rocks. Several types of host rocks have been
identified. The most important ones are the breccias or greywacke with large sedimentary
fragments and a tuffaceous greywacke. Another type of host rock is the highly micaceous
greywacke.

Field and analytical work has shown that rocks which have previously been called ultra-mafic in
the Birim area are actually intensively hydrothermally altered and regionally metamorphosed
kimberlitic rocks that have now become actinolite schists. The major and minor element chemistry
fit well with kimberlite that is characterised by high concentrations of rare earth elements (REE)
enriched in the light REE. The rock appears to be a composite of kimberlite and country rock as do
other kimberlite intrusions. The name meta-kimberlite is therefore applied (Appiah et al, 1996).

The better diamond values and large sizes tend to occur in the coarse sedimentary bands which
could be a meter thick and irregular. The main concentration of the diamonds occurred in the
shallow tributary valleys and associated inter-fluviatile deposits in the Akwatia area, but many
other tributaries and terraces of the Birim River also contain workable deposits.


MANGANESE

Three types of manganese deposits are identified in Ghana and are all associated with rocks of the
Upper Birimian Series.

I) Manganiferous phyllites of fine schists with subordinate siliceous phyllite
Nsuta-Dagwin and Butre River (Western Region), Odumasi (Ashanti Region), Hapa
(Upperwest Region).

ii) Spessartite quartz rocks with or without rhodonite in association with biotite-schists, and
amphibolite.
Adansi, Yabio (north of Sekondi) and Nsuta.

iii) As segregated deposits formed by weathering of the first and second types. The Manganese
appears to have been leached from manganiferous phyllite and other rocks deposited at
lower levels most of the first and second types.








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The Nsuta Manganese Deposits

The Nsuta manganese deposits are the most important deposits known in Ghana. Located at Nsuta
6.5 km from Tarkwa, they occur on five hills oriented along two lines with bearings of 015
O
-020
O
.
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They are named hills A, B, C, D and E. They are connected by saddles and some of the hills are
divided into two parts namely, north and south crests, being between 60-90m above the
surroundings.

The Nsuta manganese overlies rocks of Upper Birimian series striking approximately NNE-SSW
and dipping from 60-90
O
to the east. The greenstones and phyllites are cut by a series of faults
both along and across strike. Overlying the Birimian are rocks of the Tarkwaian System. Large
Cape-Coast and Dixcove granite complex rocks intrude the Birimian. Thus in descending of age
the geological succession in the area is as follows:

Superficial deposits (Tertiary to Recent)
Alluvium, laterite, lateritic clays, Mn ore and soil
Tarkwaian System (PE)
Huni Sandstone, Tarkwa Phyllite, Banket, Kaware
Upper Birimian (PE)
Lavas, tuffs, greywacke with minor manganiferous sediment of phyllite.
Intrusives
Gabbro, dolerite, epidote, granite, etc.


Detailed stratigraphic divisions of Upper Birimian at Nsuta are

D) Detrital ores
C) Quartz veins
B) Post-Birimian intrusives
A) Upper Birimian series Upper greenstone (460-660m)
Upper argillaceous tuff (150m)
Manganese horizon (50-60m)
Lower argillaceous tuff (50-90m)
Basal greenstones (460-600m)

The ore lies conformably within the manganiferous zone and a section through the ore bodies is
as follows from the top.

a. A very hard, strongly cemented, reconstituted lateritic cap of MnO
2

b. High grade, porous, black ore
c. Average grade porous ore
d. Weathered beds of phyllite and tuff
e. MnCO
3




Types of ore at Nsuta

Three principal Manganese ores are found at Nsuta.

1. Lenticular, bedded ore-bodies which have been folded and faulted together with the
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Birimian rocks in which they are enclosed and have been considerably modified by
lateritization and weathering in Tertiary to Recent times.

2 Detrital ores which consist of rounded and nodular masses of MnO
2
ranging in size from
mere pellets to boulders several metres in diameter embedded in soft, red, lateritic soil or
clay.

3. Carbonates ores (MnCO
3
)


The manganese ores occur in lenticular bodies up to 300m in length and 30m in thickness which
vary greatly in size and conform to the fold structure of the enclosing beds.



Origin (First and second Directors of the Geological Survey Department Kitson and Junner.)

The rocks are metamorphosed sediments. Before metamorphism, the sediments consisted of
argillaceous matter, free-silica and MnO
2
in varying proportions with small amounts of lime and
oxides of Fe, Mg, Titanium, P, Na, K. The composition of the original sediments determined the
nature of the final rock. Where the sediment is manganiferous clay, spessartite was readily formed.
If all the MnO and Al
2
O
3
were used up in the process, any excess silica would crystallize as
quartz. If after the formation of spessartite, there was an excess of MnO and SiO
2,
MnO
2
and
quartz or possibly some rhodonite would form where Al
2
O
3
was in excess of the MnO necessary
for garnet, kyanite formed. The ores were always associated with and usually formed by
enrichment of metamorphosed manganiferous muds and fine sands typically represented by
manganiferous phyllites in the Upper Birimian greenstones. The Nsuta ores were deposited
contemporaneously with the sediments and were not introduced by circulating waters (from either
below or above). Evidence in support of the contemporaneous deposition of the manganese in the
original mud of the phyllites is afforded by the occurrence of the manganese deposits along no
fewer than six distinct lines, parallel though widely separated from each other. Examples of these
are that the deposits have a close relationship to each other and form portions of the same or
associated bed, deposited originally over a wide extent of ocean and they owe their present
position to the folding of the beds.


[Fourth Director of the Geological Survey Department. Mr. Dennis Bates (1951-1962)]

Mr. Bates was of the view that the manganese oxides in the original sediments (which were
metamorphosed argillaceous sediments usually phyllite with interstitial manganese oxides or both
found in the Birimian rocks) where derived from submarine volcanic emanations and were
precipitated at the same time as the sediments were deposited. He further suggested that the
presence of the enriched manganese ore deposits is directly related to the structural and
geomorphological conditions for at the end of the Paleozoic era, Ghana experienced a long period
of peneplanation and in the course of this erosion, manganese oxide, in beds of manganiferous
sediments, migrated downwards with percolating waters and were re-deposited in the rocks below.
As the land surface became richer in MnO, concentration of MnO reached optimum where
Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
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downward percolation of solution was impeded by intrusive body. The hills of manganese ore now
in existence are merely enriched residuals of the manganiferous sediments, which once extended
far above them.

So from the origin as explained implies that the ores are limited in depth and therefore in quantity,
as they have a definite base below which no oxide was likely to be found.

Composition of the ores

Two types: Oxides and carbonates.

Oxides

Chief minerals are pyrolusite (MnO
2
) and psilomelane ((Ba.H
2
O)Mn
5
O
10
)but manganiferous
garnet (spessartite) is very widely distributed in the lower grade ores and where weathered is
frequently represented by pseudomorphous (one mineral occurring in crystalline form of another)
manganese oxides. The central parts of the main ore bodies consist of friable, black oxides
containing a large proportion of voids and occurring as small scale concentric, nodular, stalactitic
and botryoidal (mineral occurring as aggregates with rounded surfaces) growths which prove
reconstitution by percolating waters. The ore is usually dull and shows no crystalline form, but
well-developed crystals of pyrolusite are sometimes found on the walls and stalactitic growths in
the cavities (45-53%).

2. Carbonates

The carbonate rocks are mainly rhodochrosite (MnCO
3
) and everywhere underlie the oxide body.
The MnO
2
has a step dip to the east and there is a straightforward relationship between the CO
3

and O
2
ore-bodies with the manganese content decreasing with depth. The CO
3
contain varying
amounts of silica and Alumina. The average manganese present in eight carbonate rock samples
was 34.16%.

DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

The high grade manganese oxides ores which have being mined for about 70 continuous years
now has a limited life span, Hence the GNMC in the early 70's embarked on two major projects
which on completion would enable the continuous production of MnO
2
and ferro-alloys for many
years. The projects are based on the extensive MnCO
3
ores (28 million tons) which occur below
the oxides. The projects are
(i) the nodulization
(ii) Ferromanganese-silicomanganese projects.


The Nodulization Project

The first project consisting of the heating of 470,000 tonnes of MnCO
3
ore in rotating kiln to
produce 300,000 tonnes of marketable MnO
2
nodules every year. Basically nodulization entails
heating MnCO
3
ore and in the process driving off CO
2
. In the process low grade (42% Mn) MnO
Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
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is produced.


A contract agreement for the construction of the Nodulization Plant at Nsuta was signed on 3
March 1978 by GNMC and Fuller Company of Pennsylvania, USA


IRON

There are three main iron ore deposits of potential industrial or commercial importance in Ghana.
These are:

1. Shieni sedimentary iron ore
2. Opon-Mansi lateritic iron ore
3. Pudo titaniferous-magnetiferous iron ore


1. Shieni Iron Ore Deposits (Northern Region of Ghana)

The deposits occur almost entirely in the Northern Region about 160 km east of Tamale. The
deposits form a N-S range of hills, which rise about 60m above the surrounding plain stretching
more than 36 km. The deposits are divided into Northern and Southern groups with a subsidiary
group further south. Accessibility to the area is rather poor but with the development of the Volta
Lake, the Oti River draining the area should be navigable to less than 80km from the Shieni
deposits.

Part of the area west of the Shieni Hills is underlain by the Lower Voltaian which comprises
gently folded arenaceous sediments. The Shieni Hills themselves are composed of ferruginous
tillites which are the same or younger than the Lower Voltaian. To the east of the hills, the country
rock is quartzite of the Buem formation.

Analysis shows iron content of the more completely replaced tillite averaging 30-40%. Silica is
present in high to very high. Phosphorous content is higher than is desirable. The ore is haematite
and hydrohematite. Total estimated reserves 1.270 million metric tonnes.

2. Opon Mansi Iron Ore Deposits (Western Region)

The Opon-Mansi iron ore deposits are located on top of the range of fifteen hills which extend
over a distance of 24 km from Opon-Valley in the Western Region in the south to Dunkwa,
Central Region in the north. The hills on which the iron ores occur have an average height of
400m and the Wuowuo hill, the largest and the highest is 450 m above sea level. The range is in a
forest reserve derives its name from its location between two rivers, the Opon and Mansi, both
tributaries of the Pra river. The Wuowuo hill, 1 km wide, 2 km in length, stands in prominence in
the surrounding country.
The deposits overlie folded rocks of the Tarkwaian and Birimian Systems. The Geological
MnCO
3
(Heat) MnO
2
+ CO
2

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Succession, with youngest rocks at the top is as represented below:

Superficial deposits Alluvium and soils, including sands, bauxitic and ferruginous
Laterites and ironstones.
Tarkwaian System (As treated elsewhere)
Birimian System (As treated elsewhere)
Intrusives Dykes and quartz amphibolites)

The lateritic iron cappings forming the Opon-Mansi deposits are restricted to the area underlain by
the Upper Birimian phyllites and quartzites with embedded meta-volcanics mainly tuffs. The
Tarkwaian System is missing on Wuowuo hill.
The ore overlies steeply folded, weathered Upper Birimian phyllites which are approximately
9.5m in thickness. The ore is divided into the following categories starting from the top:


































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Origin of the Ore

The Opon-Mansi iron ore is a product of lateritization, a process typical of tropical weathering
whereby the upper layers of the weathered mantle become enriched with sesquioxides (ratio 2:3
i.e. Mn
2
O
3
) of elements such as iron, aluminium, manganese while silica, lime, magnesia and the
alkalis are generally removed in solution. The end product of lateritization, depending on the
parent rock could be Al-rich laterite (Bauxite), Fe-rich laterite such as Opon-Mansi's or Mn-rich
laterite such as Nsuta's. The Opon-Mansi ore is an iron-rich laterite. The average chemical
composition of Fe
2
O
3
is 75.14% with the Fe content ranging 34-45%. Thickness of lateritic ore
ranges 9-27m. About 147 million tonnes of ore indicated area 4 square kilometers with Fe content
52.5%.

Opon-Mansi iron ore for steel production

In 1972, Fried Krupp GmbH, a West German company submitted a proposal to the Government
for the investigation of the possibilities of utilizing the Opon-Mansi ore as basis for an iron and
steel project in Ghana. A contract covering the investigation was signed and testing of samples
began in January 1975. The assessment was directed towards a project, which was to make Ghana
to a large extent

i. Independent of steel imports and for Ghana to export steel

ii. Another independent objective was to secure locally, as much as possible, the necessary
raw materials for the production of steel and also raw materials for the existing cement
industry, which has been dependent on foreign imports.

The estimated reserves of ore in Wuowuo Hill are large enough to supply the steelwork for period
of 18 years (18 million tonnes). On the basis of other close by deposits (80-90 million tonnes), the
period could be considerably prolonged.

After the publication of a favourable first assessment report the government established the
integrated iron and steel commission to see to all work on the project on behalf of the government.

Krupp GmbH was entrusted with the execution of a feasibility study of the project. It decided to
use 97-98% local raw materials. After being awarded the contract, Krupp had to work with the
Commission, Geological Survey Dept., Survey Dept., Ghana Highways Authority and local
labour. A total of 94 holes were drilled on the Wuowuo Hill in grid pattern 100m, some holes
repeated. The samples collected sent to Krupp Labs in W. Germany.

In June 1979 Krupp presented feasibility report the iron and steel complex was to be located at
Ashiem, 15 km north of Takoradi on the Takoradi-Kumasi railway line. The iron and steel works
were to consist of


(i) Raw material handling plant
(ii) Raw material processing plant
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(iii) Electric reduction furnace plant
(iv) Basic O
2
furnace steel making plant
(v) Converter slag plant
(vi) Rolling Mill
(vii) Slag factory
(viii) General services

The raw materials were to be 97% locally obtained from places not more than 150 km from
Takoradi. The raw materials are

1) 600,000 tonnes per year of washed iron ore from 1 million tonnes of raw ore from Opon-
Mansi.
2) 450,000 tonnes per year of washed limestone from Nauli deposit and conveyed from the
project harbour near Bonyere by the sea to Takoradi to Ashiem.
3) 100,000 tonnes of charcoal per annum produced at Benso-Wassaw are conveyed by rail to
the center.
4) 10,000-15,000 tonnes of silica sand per year from tailing from Tarkwa Goldfields
5) 15,000 tonnes per year of caustic soda produced at Pehi near Elmina from salt pans and
conveyed by road to Asiem.


At Ashiem three electric furnaces shall smelt the washed down iron ore and the polish processing
plant will disintegrate and separate the slag from the furnace into their composite materials namely
alumina, clinker, fertilizers. The following products are expected:


Production (Out put) Tonnes Per year
Pig iron 200,000
Slag 234,000-305,000
Crude liquid steel 200,700
Billets 193,700
Billets for sale to other steel works in Kumasi and Tema 98,000
Billets for Ashieni rolling mill 95,000
Rolled finished products 90,000
Burnt lime 206,000
Alumina 85,000
Cement clinker and course slag 325,000
Charcoal fines 30,000
Low grade fertilizer 100,000


Opon-Mansi vrs Shieni iron ore deposits
In terms of future industrial exploitation purposes, the Opon-Mansi deposits have several
advantages over the Shieni haematite ore deposits.

(1) These deposits are favourably situated near the Western Railway line between
Takoradi and Kumasi and Wuowuo hill is only 6.4 km from the Opon Valley railway
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station.

(2) The iron ore could be smelted without beneficiation.

(3) The Volta hydroelectric power line from Dunkwa to Tarkwa is close to the deposit.

(4) The iron and steel complex at Ashiem will be close to the sources of raw materials,
i.e. Limestone from Nauli, Manganese from Nsuta, charcoal from Benso and sand from
Tarkwa Goldfields Ltd.

(5) The nearness of Ashiem (15km north of Takoradi on the Takoradi-Kumasi railway
line) to Takoradi harbour, will facilitate the movement of machinery and finished products
to and from Ashiem.

3 Pudo Titaniferous-Magnetite ore deposits (Upper-West Region of Ghana)

These iron ore deposits occur in two distinct zones north and south of Pudo, a village in the Tume
district in the northeastern part of the Upper West Region. The main magnetite-bearing zone
outcrops 1.20 km NW of Pudo and extends for 5.50 km NE.

Geology

The rocks in the area classified as shown below with the oldest below:

(i) Quartz dolerite
(ii) Altered hornblende-biotite granodiorite
(iii) Hornblende biotite granodiorite and tonalite.
Unfoliated porphyroblasitc biotite granodiorite and adamellite.
Biotite gneiss
(iv) Altered norite

The ore bodies occur entirely within altered norite, which is usually strongly weathered.

Origin

The magnetite in the Pudo area is thought to be the result of a magmatic segregation in a norite or
hypersthene gabbro, which has subsequently, been almost entirely altered to epidiorite. The
magnetite bands must be a result of some type of vertical injection with the injection having taken
place while the norite was still in the plastic state.








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BAUXITE

A material is considered to be bauxite if the percentage of alumina, which can be recoverable in
the refining process, is 32% or more. Some ores with alumina content higher than 32% cannot be
classified as bauxite because Al
2
O
3
is so closely combined with other elements than recovery of
the alumina commercially impracticable

Bauxite can be white, grey, yellow or reddish in colour. It could be clay-like, hard and rock-like in
texture. It can be porous or compact, pisolite (spherical or sub-spherical rock particle which has
grown by accretion around a nucleus of size 3-6mm) earth looking or homogeneous in structure.
Almost any combination of these types can be found in the same deposit.

Chief impurities in bauxite are iron oxide (geothite, Fe
2
O
3
.H
2
O), hematite (Fe
2
O
3
), anatase T
1
O
2
,
rutile (T
1
O
2
) and silicate impurities. The silicate impurities in bauxite are chiefly quartz (SiO
2
) and
kaolinite. Quartz is the most objectionable impurity in aluminium production as it combines with
alumina during reduction.
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The minerals in bauxite that contain aluminium are gibbsite or hydrargillite (Al
2
O
3
.3H
2
O) with
65.4% Al
2
O
3
and 34.6% H
2
O and boehmite and diaspore (Al
2
O
3
.H
2
O) with 85% Al
2
O
3
and 15%
H
2
O. Bauxite with a tenor of say 54% Al
2
O
3
contains only 28% Al of which, generally, less than
25% is recoverable. 4-7 tonnes of bauxite depending on Al content are required to produce 2
tonnes of Al
2
O
3
and 2 tonnes of Al
2
O
3
to produce 1 tonne of Al.

The Ghana bauxite deposits belong to the so-called blanket deposits and occur as cappings on the
flat tops of hills or mountains whose heights are generally greater than 600m above sea level.
These bauxites can also be classified as lateritic silicate bauxite since they have been formed under
tropical weathering conditions with their sections built up from top to bottom as follows:

Top soil
Bauxite
Lithomargic clay (rock like)


Occurrences

The main occurrences of bauxite in Ghana are at Sefwi Bekwai (Awaso) {Western Region} Aya-
Nyinahin( Ashanti Region), Atewa range near Kibi and at Mt. Ejuanema both in the Eastern
Region.

Sefwi-Bekwai 19 million tonnes
Aya-Nyinahin 350 million tonnes
Kibi 152-180 million tonnes
Mt Ejuanema 5.1 million tonnes


Reserves

The total estimated reserves are approximately 19m tonnes average 49% alumina and 3.3% silica.
This figure could reach 50m tonnes on one hill alone, it is estimated to have 21m tonnes of which
11m tonnes could be mined.













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Origin

Genetic and mineralogical investigations have revealed that all bauxite deposits of Ghana are as
result of indirect bauxitization processes, for the minerals of the weathering parent rock have not
been transformed into gibbsite. In all cases kaolinitic lithomargic clay can be recognised.

Normally weathering of rocks starts with brecciation. This is followed by the formation of iron
oxide, which is precipitated around detrital fragments. Then an amorphous Fe-Al-oxide-
hydroxide phase is formed. It is this so-called neomineralisation process in this amorphous
material which results in the formation of the predominantly gibbsite or trihydrate bauxite in
Ghana.
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At present only the deposits at Sefwi-Bekwai are exploited. These deposits are known as the
Awaso bauxite deposits. They are located on a dissected range of hills stretching from south of
Bibiani Southwestwards to Sefwi-Bekwai for more than 16 km.


Geology

All the hills are between 300-500m above sea level and have a nearly flat capping of bauxite and
laterite. The capping varies in thickness from 6 to 20m.

The bauxite rests on a layer of kaolin or lithomarge, which separates it from the underlying Lower
Birimian phyllites and slates. The lower Birimian strikes at N40 E to N80 E with steep dips to the
NW. In places the slates contain a good deal of pyrite and it is believed that the sulphuric acid
produced in the oxidation of the pyrite assist in the break down of the silicates resulting in
lateritization of the rocks.
Quartz veins and stringers are common and may contain gold and silver.


Reserves
The total reserves are approximately 19 million tonnes averaging 49% alumina and 2.3% silica.
This figure could reach 50 million because the Inchiniso hill alone (in all eight hills) is estimated
to contain a total of 21million of which about 11million tons could actually be mined.


THE MOBILE BELT

The rocks that make up the mobile belt of the eastern and southeastern Ghana consist of the
Dahomeyan System, the Togo Series and the Buem Formation.


DAHOMEYAN SYSTEM

The Dahomeyan System occupies the southeastern corner of Ghana, roughly that part of a line
drawn north-north east from Accra to intersect the Ghana-Togo boundary near Agome in Togo.
The system underlies the Accra Plains and has a total area of approximately 7,000 sqkm.

The system occurs as four alternate belts of acid and basic gneisses and all four belts trend in a
south-south west to north-north east direction from the coastal plains and enter Togo.







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Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
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The great bulk of the System forms a monotonous low-lying plain broken by isolated inselbergs
and ridges of ultrabasic intrusives and hills forming outliers of Togo rocks. The areas occupied by
the basic gneisses are especially flat and areas occupied by acid gneisses tend to give rise to gently
undulating topography.

The Dahomeyan System consists mainly of hornblende and biotite gneisses, migmatites,
granulites, schists, some of which are rich in garnet and a little marble. Intruded in the Dahomeyan
are granites, nepheline, syenite and dykes of porphyry, aplite and dolerite. The rocks have suffered
at least two phases of metamorphism. They have been intensely folded with the fold axes striking
SSW-NNE. Dips are generally high and are to the east.

The Dahomeyan System is considered to consist of Birimian or even younger (Mid Proterozoic)
formations which have been involved in the Pan African thermo-tectonic event. This event is
responsible for the extensive cataclasis affecting most of the system.


Stratigraphic succession of the Dahomeyan System

Togo outliers Sericite-quartzite schist & sericite schist Thrust contact.

Acid Dahomeyan Occurs in alternate belts. One lies to the immediate east of the
Togo range. Maximum width is 35km near Accra and extends in
NNE direction to Kpong where the width is 4km. It continues
further to the northeast into Togo and encloses a series of Togo
outliers. The second belt is sandwich between the two basic
gneissic belts and stretches north-northeasterly from east of
Prampram to Togo. Its average width is 27km. In general, rocks of
acid Dahomeyan are composed principally of hornblende, garnet,
quartz, feldspar, epitote and mica. The most prominent rock type
in the first belt is the foliated biotite-muscovite-augen gneiss with



porphyroblasts of pale pink feldspar, intercalated with muscovite-
biotite schist. The second belt is composed of biotite gneiss,
hornblende-biotite augen gneiss and migmatite.

Alkali gneiss Predominatly feldspathoidal but also includes feldspathic and quartz
bearing types which occur as 7-20m thick layers near the contact
with the basic gneiss. It crops out discontinuously in several separate
segements for > 60km near Somanya, Kpong. The rock types are
classified in two distinct units:
i) Nephline gneiss crops out in an almost continuous band for
70km.
ii) Kpong conglomerate is found intimately associated with the
rocks of the nepheline gneiss consisting of calcite and biotite
matrix enclosing mechanically rounded inclusions of albite,
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alkaline gneiss and amphibolite crops out almost in
continuous bands from near Niflo river west ward across
Kpong and beyond the Tema Highway.
Basic Dahomeyan
Basic Intrusives Such as norite, pyroxenite and diorite occur as sills, stocks, dykes
and minor intrusive bodies within and marginal to the metabasic
rocks. These intrusives form well defined topographic features -
mainly linear ridges rising nearly 100m high in distinct scarp faces
on the western side and gentler slopes to the east. They have N-S
strikes and dip to the east at 15
O
-30
O
. Chromite is associated with
the pyroxenites.

Meta-basics This group of rocks are generally well exposed on the inselbergs.
They consist of a thick series of mafic rocks rich in ferro-magnesian
minerals consisting of such rock types as garnet-hornblende gneiss
(dominant), garnet-hornblende-pyroxene gneiss with minor biotite
schists and gneiss at the base. The rocks are typically dark in colour
and strongly colour banded. The whole group has been subjected to
intense dynamo-thermal metamorphism as a result of which rocks
are re-crystallized. The rocks weather into black or dark grey
calcareous clay and silt and usually contain white, grey and nodular
carbonate concretions.
Age

Some geologists refer to the Dahomeyan as the oldest rocks in the West Africa but no absolute age
determinations have confirmed this. Studies in Togo and Benin give 2 age groups. Firstly, whole
rock isochrons on ortho-gneiss yielded Birimian ages of 1700-2050 my.

On the other hand, biotite age determination on gneisses, migmatites and intrusive granites have
yielded a full range of Pan-African ages from 450-580 my. Thus at present there are no clues to the
actual age of the Dahomeyan System.

THE TOGO SERIES

The rocks of the Togo Series form a range of mountains and hills trending in northeast from the
Volta River between Kpong and Anum to the Ghana-Togo border near Palime. To the southwest
of the Volta, the range continues as far as west of Accra. The Ho-Abutia hills and a few other
small hills to the east of the main range are also composed of rocks of the same age and are
outliers of the Togo rocks. The Togo Series originally consisted of alternating arenaceous and
argillaceous sediments which have now been converted into phyllites, schists and quartzites except
in a few places where unaltered shales and sandstones are seen. Quartzite, quartz-sericite, sericite-
quartz schist, sericite schists and phyllites are predominant rocks but hornstones, jaspars and
hematite quartz schist also occur.

The Togo range is bounded by two major thrust faults; one with the Dahomeyan contact at its
eastern margin and the other at its western contact with the Cape Coast granite complex rocks, the
Voltaian and Buem sediments. The thrust fault along the Western flank has been referred to as the
Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
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western boundary fault and that along the eastern margin as the eastern boundary fault. (It is stated
that the contact at the Togo Series and the underlying Dahomeyan was originally sedimentary.
About 1.5m thick conglomeratic sandstone has been observed to occur at this contact in several
localities. Apart from this the contact is largely tectonic and it is represented by the Eastern
boundary fault). The Togo beds have been subjected to intensive directed pressure metamorphism
resulting in intense folding, fracturing and faulting. Isoclinal folding with the axial planes of the
folds inclined to the east-south-east at 30-60

. Recumbent folds with dips less than 30

. sometimes
occur. The general structure appears to be geosynclinal in the central and western flanks of the
Togo range. There is no evidence of intrusives. Metamorphism in the Togo Series ranges from
greenschist to amphibolite facies.

Although the Togo Series is in some places, strongly veined by quartz, particularly in the schistose
argillaceous types, there is scarcity of gold in the gravels of streams that drain the series
suggesting that the quartz veins are generally barren.


Classification of the Togo Rocks

Stratigraphic division of the Togo Series:

Basic group (youngest) Serpentinites occur in association with quartz schist and quartz
chlorite-schists in a few localities at Anum. They also occur along
thrust plane of the Western boundary fault at the base of the
Togo.

Arenaceous group Consists of two members:
i) The cataclastic quartzites make up the bulk of the Togo
Series
ii) The micaceous quartzites occur east of the East boundary
fault as outliers of the Togo: Legon Hill, Achimota Railway
Crossing are examples.

Argillaceous group Made up of phyllonites (that is a mylonite in which recrystallization
or growth of new minerals has taken place and a mylonite is a fine
grained rock typically found associated with great zones of tectonic
distortion in which the shearing and dislocation process causing
cataclasis is prolong and intense with the result that the individual
crystals in the rock becomes fractured, the whole rock becoming
more fine grained), phyllites and chloritic schists. They are the
lowest members of the series.


THE BUEM FORMATION

The Buem Formation crops at the northern and northwestern parts of the Togo Series. It consists
of calcareous, argillaceous, sandy and ferruginous shales, sandstones, arkose, greywacke and
conglomerate, with basaltic, andesitic and trachytic lavas, agglomerates, tuffs and jaspars. The
Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
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formation is highly folded along N-S lines and the beds generally dip to the east at 10 -90
O
with an
average of 60 -65
O
.

Normally, the Buem Formation is unmetamorphosed but in the fault zone along the Buem-Togo
contact, it is frequently sheared and schistose. Small masses of basic igneous rocks (dolerite &
gabbro) intrude the formation in the vicinity of the Buem-Togo contact.


Stratigraphic Sucession of the Buem Formation

Unit Max. thickness Description Locations
B7 Upper massive 6000m Massive Ss with horizons Santrokofi
Ss, ironstone of Jaspar & sed. ironstone hills
Jaspar

B6 Upper. Shales 14000m Red brown shales with Dayi Valley
horizons of Ss

B5 Lower massive 8000m Massive feldspathic Ss Kpando hills
sandstones sometimes conglomeratic Togo plateau

B4 Limestone/Jaspar 3000m Magnesian limestone, jaspar Kpando hills
Jaspar & tillite formed from limestones. Thin & Togo plateau
volcanic horizon at Top
& Thick Ss at base.



B3 Volcanic group 5000m Basal pillow lavas, a Aveme to Tapa
few rhyolite flows,
Agglomerates and tuff.
Some intercalated
sandstonse

B2 Lower Shale 5500m Brown or purple shale & Mostly under
Sandstone lake

B1 Arkose 250m Well rounded clasts, mostly Islands and
conglomerate green arkose Ss and peninsula
quartzite, few pebbles of along centre
chert, Jaspar, quartz, of lake
phyllite granite porphyry
and limestone.




Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
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THE VOLTAIAN SYSTEM

The sediments of the inland Voltaian Basin cover an area of 103600 sq km and forms the third of
the geological divisions of Ghana. Almost one-third of the area of Ghana is covered by these
horizontal sandstones, shale, mudstones and conglomerates considered to be late Precambrian to
Paleozoic age.
The system has a total thickness of between 3000-4000 m and rest unconformably on the lower
Proterozoic Birimian System and related granitoids and on the lower to middle Protozoic-
Tarkwaian System. The latter two have been strongly eroded into a peneplain at the time of the
Voltaian transgression.


Stratigraphic Divisions

The classification of these sediments have been difficult due largely to

i) Apparent lack of fossils in the sediments as only some decorticated fragments of plants and
worm-tracks are observed.
ii) Lateral facies changes and overlaps resulting from movements during deposition.

However, the Voltaian sediments have been subdivided on the basis of lithology and field
relationships into Lower, Middle and Upper units as follows:


Voltaian Units Composite Lithology

Upper Voltaian Massive, cross-bedded Ss series in places, beds of
shale & mudstones.

Middle Voltaian Red, greenish grey argillaceous and conglomeratic
series.

Lower Voltaian Basal sandstone Series.


Depositional history and age of the Voltaian

The Voltaian sediments were deposited on the stable West African Craton which represented the
fore land of the Pan-African Dahomeyan orogeny. Epirogenetic uplifts and glacial erosion have
resulted in two unconformities. The environment of deposition points to quite shallow marine one
with marginal lagoonal areas periodically cut off from the sea for long periods.

The thickness of sediments is about 3000-4000 m. The basin gradually deepens towards the
eastern margin. The age is quite controversial but the system is said to range from Upper
Proterozoic to Paleozoic (620-1000 million years).
The Voltaian System and the Buem Formation
Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
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Some geologists point out that the Buem formation is synchronous with the Middle Voltaian
sediments but the following reasons tend to dispute this

1. The Buem formation is made up of eugeosynclinal sediments consisting of greywackes,
feldspathic sandstone, shale and volcanics (basalts, andesites, agglomerates and tuffs) whereas the
Voltaian System is made up of (unmetamorphosed) siltstone, sandstone, shale, limestones,
deposited in an interior cratonic basin.

2. The Buem formation is completely folded whereas the Voltaian System is only gently
folded.
3. In the northeast of Ghana, the Buem feldspathic sandstone, mudstones and shales dips at
50-90

to the east and are overlain unconformably by thick beds of coarse conglomerates.

4. The average dip of the Voltaian is 5
O
whereas that of Buem formation is 45
O
.

5. There is a complete lack of fossils in the Buem Formation.


THE COASTAL SEDIMENTARY BASIN

At several places along the coast from Aflao in the extreme SE to Newtown in the extreme SW
corners of Ghana respectively, are coastal sedimentary basins. These include from the extreme east
to the extreme west, the following;

a) Keta Basin b) Accraian Series
c) Amissian Formation d) Sekondi Series
e) Apollonian Formation (Tano Basin)

1. Keta Basin

The Keta Basin lies at the extreme SE corner of Ghana adjoining Togo. It is the westmost
extremity of the coastal basin that extends westward from the Niger delta into eastern Ghana.

The rocks of the basin comprise mainly sands, gravels, siltstones, shales, and clays with layers of
fossiliferous limestone. The rocks near the surface have been found to have a gentle dip of about 2
towards the SE. The rocks of the basement are unknown but assumed to be the Dahomeyan,
similar to that cropping out to the north of the basin.

The Keta Basin has on the whole a tectonic block structure bounded by a fault or fault systems on
its northern flank. The trend is essentially NE-SE but in the western half of the area becoming
NNE-SSW and at the Southern part E-W.

Three onshore and on offshore oil wells have been drilled in the Keta Basin. Hydrocarbon shows
were recorded in two of them.


Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
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Stratigraphy

Unit Lithology & thickness Age

I Beach deposits of sands & gravels (30-60m) Recent
Unconformity
II Glauconite, fossiliferous clays (180m) Miocene
Unconformity
III Calcareous clays interbedded with Eocene
fossiliferous limestone (250-700m)
IV Bentonic clays, fossilferous (120-240m) Paleocene
V Bluish grey clays, fossilferous,
interbedded with limestone (45-60m)
Unconformity
VI Brown, reddish brown, grey, fine to medium
grained sandstone (400-550m)
VII Grey, greyish white, coarse to medium Cretaceous
grained sandstone, gravels interbedded
with mudstones, shales (370m)
VIII Greenish grey poorly sorted sandstone,
siltsone, shale (580m)
Dolerite 70m
IX Dark grey micaceous shales, siltstone, Devonian
fossiliferous (610m)

2. Accraian Series

The Accraian Series covers an area of about 11.7 sq km in the vicinity of Accra and
unconformably overlies the Dahomeyan basement complex. The series consists of quartz-grits,
gentle folded sandstone, shale and mudstones. The total thickness of the series is unknown due to
the extensive faulting in the area which has obscured the relationship of the various rock units.
Fossils found in the series were attributed to Middle Devonian on the resemblance to North-
American fauna of that age.

The Accraian is subdivided as follows:

a) Upper Sandstone & shale formation.
b) Middle shale formation.
c) Lower sandstone formation with basal grit.

(i) Lower Sandstone formation

This extends from the headland near Osu Fishery in the east to 300m west of Christiansborg
Castle. The rocks are essentially sandstones with subordinate amounts of coarser materials such as
grits, breccias and pebble beds as well as shales. Beds are conspicuously current bedded and some
bedding surfaces are either massive or thinly bedded. The sandstones dip S-SW at 30 and its
Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
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contact with the Dahomeyan is an unconformity.


(ii) Middle Shale formation

The shales have yielded fossils which consist almost exclusively of trilobites and lamellibranch.
These are represented by cast and impressions.


(iii) Upper Sandstone-Shale formation

This interbedded formation consists of thin, fine grained quartzitic sandstones alternating with
argillaceous shales. The individual beds are never greater than 30 cm in thickness.

Age: from Lower-Middle Devonian

3. Amisian Formation

The Amisian outcrops at a number of places along the coast near the mouth of the Amisa River
which flows into the sea between Saltpond and Winneba. The Amisian consists of a series of
interbedded, soft pebbly grits, conglomerates, micaceous sandstones, arkose and greenish grey
clay. It has a general dip of 5 to 20 to the NNW. The deposits are poorly sorted and in places
strongly cross-bedded with the cross-bedding showing that the source of the materials was from
the sea. The sediments are largely derived from weathered granite, Birimian phyllites, gneisses and
Togo quartzites and pebbles.


Age
Fossil remains of brachiopods and crustaceans as well as scattered plant remains indicate Upper
Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous age.



4. SEKONDI SERIES

The Sekondi Series consists mainly of sandstones, shale with conglomerates, pebble beds, grits &
mudstones resting with a major unconformity on a complex of granites, gneisses and schists. The
series occur as several disconnected outcrops along the coast between Cape Coast and the mouth
of the Butre River near Dixcove. It extends inland for a distance varying from 3 to 6 km and
covering an area of approximately 200 sq km. The total thickness of the series is about 1200-
1350m.


Stratigraphy

Six formations are now recognized and the general occurrence is as below at Sekondi-Takoradi.

Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
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S
6
Sekondi sandstone Thickness
* Upper-pebby argillaceous and feldspathic sandstone
and conglomerates.
* Lower-massive quartzose and grits with subordinate 305m shale and mudstones

S
5
Effia Nkwanta Beds
* Upper thin bedded siltstone, shale, shaly, Sandstone 25 and some coarse sandstone with
nodules, bands and lenses of chert.
* Middle friable sandstone, well bedded and massive, 95
with interbedded mudstone and shale
* Lower-cross bedded, soft, fine grained, pale, 90 purple sandstone.

S
4
Takoradi Shales
* Black and grey carbonaceous shales, sandy shales and shaly sandstone with
interbedded grit and fine 200
grained sandstone with nodules of siderite and
pyrite.

S
3
Takoradi Sandstones
* Massive and bedded friable ferruginous sandstone 150
with coarse grained beds, breccia conglomerates
and interbedded shales.
* Thin bedded, brittle, micaceous sandstone, with 30
sandy shale and some clay shale.

S
2
Elimina Sandstone
* Chocolate and purple feldspathic, micaceous 300-370
sandstone with coarse sandstone, conglomerates,
shale and mudstone near the base.

S
1
Adjua Shale
Varied shales, sandy shales, and sandstone
containing scattered boulders and pebbles with 40-60
a coarse boulder bed at the base
Major Unconformity
Hornblende granite of Dixcove type
Biotite granite of the Cape Coast type.



S
1
Adjua Shales

These are the lowest formation of the Sekondi Series and rest directly on underlying crystalline
rocks. They consist of thin bedded, black or grey shales, with arenaceous laminations and beds of
grit. The formation becomes more sandy at the top. Underlying the typical shales is a basal series
which is up to 4-6m in thickness and consists of boulder beds, conglomerates, shales and
sandstones. Scattered pebbles and boulders occur throughout the formation.
Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
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There occurs throughout the formation, coarse, clastic fragments of rocks of all types - granite,
diorite, quartz porphyry, quartz, Birimian greenstone and tuff, Tarkwaian quartzite and sandstone.
These boulders vary greatly in size and shape from round to sub-angular and angular. The shales
are varied with the varves compacted under the layer pebbles & boulders. The shales are strongly
ripple marked. No fossils are observed though.


S
2
Elmina Sandstone

The Elimina Sandstone is a uniform, hard, massive, medium grained sandstone with a
characteristic chocolate or chocolate purple colour due to the pink feldspars and the dark brown
limonitic cement. It is poorly bedded, well jointed and strongly cross-bedded. It tends to be coarser
grained at the base of the formation while it is thin bedded and somewhat shaly at the top.
S
3
Takoradi Sandstone

This forms the lower part of the Takoradi beds. Where fresh, these massive and bedded
sandstones are cream coloured and dark, rusty brown. The mineral content is predominantly quartz
with angular grains but well sorted. The sandstone displays perfect subaqueous cross-bedding. The
base is fossiliferous yielding poorly preserved brachiopods, lamellibranchs and fish remains.


S
4
Takoradi Shales

Takoradi shales form the upper part of the Takoradi beds. These shales are hard, compact, black or
very dark grey, fissible or sandy shales rich in carbonaceous matter. The shales contain thin bands
of brittle bitumen and traces of oil. (A slight oil smell can sometimes be detected if the shales are
heated or struck with a hammer) They have been found to contain unusual sulphate minerals such
as jarosite and halotrichite. They also contain discoidal nodules of compact finely granular, grey
siderite or clay ironstone. Calcite and gypsum occur as vienlets traversing the shale and siderite
nodules and along the bedding planes. The shales are fossiliferous yielding lamellibranchs,
brachiopods, gastropods and fish remains.



S
5
Effia Nkwanta Beds

These rocks are a variety of rock types and are characterised by bright colours. They are divided
into lower, middle & upper beds.

Lower Effia-Nkwanta beds are fine grained, soft, cros-bedded and ripple marked
sandstone with a characteristic floury texture on weathered surfaces.
Middle Efia-Nkwanta beds are friable, quartzitose sandstone, well bedded, massive with
interbedded mudstone and shale. They are generally brighter pink or orange.
Upper Effia-Nkwanta beds consist of well bedded, purple, pink, grey and green shales
and siltstone with some mudstone, fine grained sandstone and a few coarse grained beds.
Characteristic feature of the beds is the presence of grey and white chert which occurs in
Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
Page 43 of 49
thin bands or as rounded nodules. In either case the minerals are distributed along bedding
planes.


S
6
Sekondi Sandstones

are divided into Upper and Lower beds.

Lower sandstone is thick, massive, cross-bedded, orange pink. It contains abundant
scattered fragments of chert, frequently angular flakes irregularly oriented.
Upper sandstone is soft, argillaceous, feldspathic with pebbles: generally of a chocolate
or pink colour. The pebbles are generally well rounded consisting of white quartz, lesser
amounts of greenstone, green quartzite, phyllite and chert. The rocks are poorly graded and
are sufficiently resistant to weathering.


THE APPOLLONIAN FORMATION

These are Cretaceous-Eocene marine sedimentary rocks which occur in the eastern portion of a
crescent-shaped basin along the Atlantic coast that occupies southwestern corner of Ghana and a
larger portion of southeastern Ivory Coast. The Ghana portion also known as the Tano Basin
covers 1,165sqkm between the mouths of the Ankobra River in the east and the Tano River in the
west (96km).

The rocks consist of alternating sands, clays and limestones. In depth, the sands and clays are more
compact and pass into sandstone and shale. Nodules of pyrite or marcasite are common in the
clays and shales.

The only prominent stratigraphic marker of the area is a series of thin, highly fossiliferous
limestone. Boreholes drilled show the sediments dipping to the south or southwest at 1-3 and oil
shows have been recorded from this area.


Stratigraphy

Unit No. Lithology & thickness Age
I Beach deposits of loose sands with Recent
intercalation of clays and shaly clays.
(Thickness 100-215m)
Unconformity
II Fossiliferous limestone with interbedded
black shales (45-120m)
Unconformity
III Sandstone with minor shales and limestones
(610-915)
IV Main conglomerates (23-76m) Cretaceous
Unconformity
Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
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V Grey-green, fine-medium grained sandstone with
minor shales (300-325m)
VI Black carbonaceous shales (100-450m)
Unconformity
VII Siltstone with numerous pebbles & cobbles of
igneous & metamorphic rocks (225m)
VIII Greyish to greenish sandstone and shale (1200m)

PETROLEUM POTENTIAL OF GHANA

Geological conditions necessary for Hydrocarbon accumulation are:

a) The existence of favourable conditions for the development of hydrocarbons. These
include parent rocks in a sedimentary basin of a marine environment in which organic silt
and clayey substances have been deposited. The marine environment assists in the
transformation of these deposits into hydrocarbons through a series of chemical and
physical processes.

b) The existence of some impermeable rocks such as clay, marl or compact limestone
overlying the accumulation to act as a cap rock and preserve the hydrocarbons.

c) The existence of some favourable structural, tectonic or stratigraphic conditions to trap the
hydrocarbons and there also must be reservoir rocks to give the oil opportunity to
accumulate. (It is also necessary to have accumulations in sufficient quantities and under
suitable conditions with respect to pressure and depth to ensure the profitability of their
exploitation)


Main areas of exploration in Ghana

The source rocks for petroleum and natural gas are mainly sedimentary rocks of marine origin.
Nearly one-half of Ghana's total area, about 135,000sqkm is covered by sedimentary rocks which
are found mainly in four different parts of the country and the search of oil is concentrated in these
areas of the country:

i) Tano Basin 1165 km
2

ii) Keta Basin 2200 km
2

iii) Volta Basin 103600 km
2

iv) Continental Shelf 27560 km
2



1) Tano Basin

Despite the uncertainty of finding oil in commercial quantities in Ghana, it was among the first
countries in Africa to attract the attention of oil companies with early efforts concentrated in the
Tano because oil seeps and saturated superficial sands were noted in the Ahanta-Nzima area in the
19th Century.
Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
Page 45 of 49

Geology See the Apollonian Formation.
Prospecting

The occurrence of oil and gas in sands in the Tano near Bonyere and Takinta has been known and
between 1896 and 1925 at least twelve boreholes were drilled in the Appollonian to locate oil
pools and one produced five barrels of oil per day (Drilled by the West African Oil and fuel
Company in 1896-1897). Drilling by the Societe Francaise de Petrole 1909-1913 produced seven
barrels of oil per day in one of their five wells drilled. African and Eastern Trade Company 1923-
1925 also drilled with oil shoes.

The Gulf Oil Company (1956-1957) drilled four wells at various places in the Tano and some non
commercial oil shows were observed in all of them. In 1962, Romanian experts in oil explored the
area using gravity survey to estimate the thickness of sediments and map their topography. A
major fault suitable for trapping oil was found Kangan and Ahonjuri fault. The fault trends NW-
SE with the upthrown side or northern part not as thick as the downthrown side where the
thickness increased towards Ivory Coast. The following conclusions can be drawn with regards to
the oil and gas potential of the Tano Basin.

a) The maximum thickness of the sedimentary rocks in this basin is greater than 3000m along
the coast increasing to Ivory Coast.
b) The oldest rocks encountered in the survey were mid cretaceous age.
c) Rocks of marine origin were found to a maximum depth of 1770m and were separated
from non-marine rocks by an angular discordance.
d) Two horizons with indications of oil are known; one near the surface Nauli limestone
horizon and the other at greater depth the black shale horizon.
e) The most promising area for oil accumulation lies immediately south of the major fault
indicated by the gravity survey.


2 THE KETA BASIN

It is thought that this basin forms part of the Nigerian sedimentary basin. Gravity survey and two
wells drilled by Romanian experts showed that;

a) the sedimentary rocks in this area are at least 2133m thick.

b) that the rocks are marine and non-marine, rich in organic matter and therefore a potential
source of hydrocarbons.

c) that the sand, sandstones and limestones present in the sediments are potential reservoir
rocks.

d) that there is a general thickening of marine sediments in a down dip direction towards the
sea and this trend may be expected to continue offshore. Of late Texas Pacific Ghana
Incorporated has acquired concessions and had completed seismic survey prior to drilling.

Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
Page 46 of 49
3 VOLTAIAN BASIN

This is an expansive sedimentary basin covering an area of 103600sqkm
2
and drained by the Volta
river and its tributaries. The basin is underlain by the rocks of the Precambrian to Lower Paleozoic
epi-continental Voltaian system. They comprise a thick sequence of marine and continental
sediments.

Refer to the geology of the Voltaian System.


Prospecting

A Soviet Geological Survey team in 1961-66 carried out a hydrological survey to study
groundwater conditions for the basin. The significant facts revealed by four boreholes are that the
Lower members of the basin have been folded and dips of up to 40 were recorded. It was also
known that the Voltaian contains limestone and sandstone which could serve as cap rocks for the
accumulation of hydrocarbons. These indications brought in a Romanian oil prospecting team to
evaluate the petroleum prospects of the Basin. Rapid gravity and magnetic surveys to reveal
approximate depths of the basement and the configuration of the buried structures in the basin
were conducted. Shell Oil Company (Ghana) Ltd also carried out airborne magnetic survey. After
these oil companies showed interest and the Government divided the area into 39 blocks for the
companies to prospect. Shell Exploration and Production was granted licence for five years
covering 10 blocks in the southern part of the basin. No trace of hydrocarbon was found in this
section. But traces of bitumen were encountered in the 1962-65 drilling programme of the Soviet
Geological Survey team and this has given hope that the basin might prove to be an oil province.
The bitumen is usually found in dolomite intercalated with Mid-Voltaian shale/sandstone
sequence. Further examination of the occurrence of bitumen in the Voltaian showed that they were
not distributed in the natural bedding but always in fracture (mostly transverse to bedding).
Therefore the opinion is that the bitumen had seeped downwards from a younger overlying
formation which has since been eroded.


Oil Potential in the Voltaian

The basin is an old one and no significant structural closures exist. There are no source rocks in
juxtaposition to allow possible inward normal hydrocarbon migration. Accumulation of oil in
commercial quantities was considered unlikely although naturally not impossible, since at present
only one deep oil well has been drilled.



1. Tano Basin 2. Keta Basin 3. Voltaian Basin 4. Continental helf





Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
Page 47 of 49
4 The Continental Shelf

In 1968, the Government invited private foreign oil companies to undertake oil prospecting work,
most of them were interested in the Continental Shelf and this was divided into 22 concession
blocks which was shared among seven companies (May-Volta Petroleum, Mobil Oil, Texas Gas
Exploration, Texaco Oil, Union Carbide, Signal Oil and others).

In June 1970 Signal Oil Company discovered oil in a well about 14.4km south of Saltpond (block
10) drilled at 2967m. Two producing horizons were located; one presumably in the Cretaceous and
the second zone at 2590.9m in the Devonian. Signal estimated 7! million barrels.

Agri-Petco International Inc. (Tuba Oklahoma) was granted prospecting licence in 1976 covering
blocks 10 and 13 and drilled three holes which were encouraging and therefore developed the
field. Results showed that daily production was to be 5000-6000 barrels a day. Between 1978-
1983, 3.1m barrels were produced due to difficulties (reservoir consists of seven thin pay sands
with several different oil/water and gas/oil interfaces).


In 1977, Ivory Coast announced that she has struck oil 45km east of Abidjan. The significance of
the find is related to the basinal structure of Ivory Coast, for Ivory Coast is framed by three faults
which converge on the Ghana Shelf west of Accra.

a) There is major Ivory Coast fault along the north side of the basin.
b) Ivory Coast-Ghana ridge along the basins southern flank
c) Accra fault trending S-SW crossing the coastline immediately west of Accra.

The discovery of oil in the Ivory Coast was great of interest to Ghana because Ghana's petroleum
potential is closely associated with that of the Ivory Coast basin which extends for 560km along
the whole of the Ivory Coast and persists eastwards into Ghana for an additional 320km
terminating immediately west of Accra.

The potential of this basin is only now being established with the rumoured discovery of a giant oil
field by Philips Petroleum Company at Espoir near Abidjan. It was reported that

a) the structure at is estimated to contain 3 to 8 billion barrels
b) it probably measures at least 20,8km across
c) that the discovery has at least 92m of perfect clean oil sands
d) that all six intervals were tested at the high end of 4900 barrels per fay.


The Ghanaian end of the Ivory Coast basin should therefore form the privaty area where; oil
exploration activities should be concentrated since this area is a direct continuation of and forms
Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
Page 48 of 49
the eastern end of the Ivory Coast basin. Even though the Ghanaian end has experienced less
subsidence throughout its geological history, the sands are probably closer to their source, are
thicker, more massive and dirtier ie. not so porous or permeable as those at Espoir where it is
assumed that the sands are cleaner well winnowed and interbedded with thick intervals of
hydrocarbon rich marine shales.

During 1978-83, eight more wells were drilled mainly by Philips Petroleum Company, in South
Half Assini. One of them was thought to have a potential of 50million barrels (South Tano IS-IX).
Almost all the wells drilled exhibited hydrocarbon producing horizons. As at October 1984, a total
of 57 wells has been drilled on land and in the continental Shelf of Ghana, 21 on shore and 36
offshore contain 21 million of which 11 million could actually be mined.

REFERENCE

Kesse G. O (1985): The Rock and Mineral Resources of Ghana. A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam

UMAT, Tarkwa, Mid-Semester Examination, Nov 2006-11-06, Classes:MN, MR, GM II 05
TIME: 1 HRS
Q1.
Define the following: Banket Series, Eugeosyncline, Fissure Zone, Greenstones,
Migmatite, Mobile Belt, Mylonite, Reef, Stockworks, Sperssartite. (10 marks)

Q2.
i) What is the para-genetic mineral association of lode gold mineralisation of the Birimian
(5 marks)
ii) What are the possible sources of primary diamond deposits of Ghana? (5 marks)

Q3. Identify the types and characteristics of the two most popular granites in Ghana (10
marks)
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.

UMAT, Tarkwa, Mid-Semester Examination, Nov 2006-11-06,Classes:MN, MR, GM II 05
TIME: 1 HRS
Q1.
Define the following: Banket Series, Eugeosyncline, Fissure Zone, Greenstones,
Migmatite, Mobile Belt, Mylonite, Reef, Stockworks, Sperssartite. (10 marks)

Q2.
i) What is the para-genetic mineral association of lode gold mineralisation of the Birimian
(5 marks)
ii) What are the possible sources of primary diamond deposits of Ghana? (5 marks)

Geology of Ghana Compiled by Nana Asamoah
Page 49 of 49
Q3. Identify the types and characteristics of the two most popular granites in Ghana (10
marks)
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

UMAT, Tarkwa, Mid-Semester Examination, Nov 2006-11-06,Classes:MN, MR, GM II 05
TIME: 1 HRS
Q1.
Define the following: Banket Series, Eugeosyncline, Fissure Zone, Greenstones,
Migmatite, Mobile Belt, Mylonite, Reef, Stockworks, Sperssartite. (10 marks)

Q2.
i) What is the para-genetic mineral association of lode gold mineralisation of the Birimian
(5 marks)
ii) What are the possible sources of primary diamond deposits of Ghana? (5 marks)

Q3. Identify the types and characteristics of the two most popular granites in Ghana (10
marks)