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Geology of the area (Udaipur)
One of the most significant features about the geology of the area around Udaipur is the preserved record of Archean-proterozoic boundary – a bench mark event in the evolution of the crust of the Earth. Not far away from the city, at a place close to Jhamarkotra, there are outcrops of Archean gneisses. These grey coloured gneisses are oldest rocks (3300 million years old) recorded so far in the Aravalli Mountain belt. Overlying these gneisses, occur the early porterozoic rocks, called the Aravalli supergroup. Uncomfortable relationship between the Aravalli supergroup and the basement rocks, the banded Gneissic complex can be observed very clearly in the regions around Jhamarkotra.

Jhamarkotra Rock Phosphate mine
Location: 17.5 km south east from Udaipur city on the Udaipur-Jhamarkotra road. The valley of Udaipur is endured with a number of rock phosphate deposits situated in the chains of hills of carbonate rocks that virtually form a girdle around the city of lakes. Out of all these deposits the eastern ones are the geologically significant and economically most viable. Mining of these rich rock phosphate deposits is being carried out by the different agencies for the last three decades. It was first discovered by Department of Mining Geology Rajasthan (DMGR).

Geological history of the mine
Early proterozoic was marked by a revolutionary change in the form of life. The blue green algae bloomed on the quiet tidal flat shelves, banks and shoals which all indicate a shallow water basin of deposition. The prolific growth of algae helped in the augmentation of the oxygen budget of the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis resulting in higher degree of oxidation. These algal colonies had the ability to trap phosphate from the seawater and preserve it in their edifices. These edifices or the organosedimentary structures are known as the Stromatalites. These algal colonies had a tendency to grow towards the sunlight and thus form a columnar algal stromatolites phosphorite. Due to this, the carbonate sequence of lower Aravalli group hosted the phosphorite beds and forms a major part of Jhamarkotra formation. Distribution of stromatilites bearing dolomite sequence in this region is suggestive of a complex shoreline configuration of the Aravalli Sea. The outcrop of the phosphorite bed in the Jhamarkotra mines, indicate a complex structural pattern.

4) Massive bedded phosphorite. Lithology of the area The host carbonate formation shows rapid lithofacies changes to ferruginous and manganiferous (locally) dolomite. Residual weathering of the carbonate rocks have resulted in extensive formation of silcrete.Page |2 Geology of the mine The area falls under survey of India toposheet number 45 H/15. The host rock is dolomite and the chief mineral constituent of these rocks is apatite P2O8. Phosphorite deposit of Jhamarkotra extends over a strike length of about 16 km which is not straight but slightly curved in few areas due to the position of coast line and also because of the tectonic activities. Nature of the phosphate deposit There are five modes of occurrences of these phosphatic deposits. 3) Reworked conglomeralic or brecciated phosphorite. The average width of the phosphorite body varies between 10 to 15 meters. dolomitic arenite. The one is located along the fault zone which is dipping 80°south east (pic). The depth is estimated to be 5-35 mt (workable) and the dip of the bed to be 40°-60°. It is the biggest (nonmetallic) open cast (advanced strip) mine in India with latitude 24° 27ᶦ 30ᶦᶦ to 24° 29ᶦ 30ᶦᶦ and longitude 73° 49ᶦ to 73° 52ᶦ. 1) Columnar algal stromatalitic phosphorite. Columnar phosphatic stromatolites are the most common form present at Jhamarkotra (pic). In simplest form these columnar stromatolites look like a series of inverted tubes made up of phosphatic laminar. ferricrete and cave breccia. with dolomite occupying the intercolumnar zones.4 sq. Forms of . black shales argillaceous dolomite and quartzite. 5) Dissiminated and nodular phosphorite. The mine has a total area of about 13. 2) Laminar algal phosphorite.7 million tones are considered as directly useable (with P2O5 over 31%). Out of the total probable reserves of about 100 million tones and proved reserves of about 74 million tones about 16. km.34mt. Total reserve is found till a depth of approximately 29.

This makes removing of the overburden easier and also provides easy access to the deposits. the deposit has been divided into several blocks. One common process of removal of dolomite is by . This difference in grade can be due to natural weathering of the host rock. dumper and drilling machines are used to extract the ore and transport. Excavator. Columns show their growth perpendicular to the bedding planes. Mining methodology It is an advanced stripping technique. These are weathering and tectonic reworking. Excellent examples of columnar phosphatic stromatolites growing perpendicular to bedding planes can be observed west to the B-block mining area. Faces of benches are kept across the strike of the phosphorite and working at the face progress along the strike direction. the grade variation is also dependent on the density of the column population. Two different processes seem to have operated in upgrading of the phosphorite subsequent to its formation. The mining of one by open cast is started from the outcrop of the deposit at the top of hills. medium grade with 25-29% avg P2O5 and low grade ore.Page |3 columnar stromatolites vary widely from isolated individual columns to branches froms. which occurs in the intercolumnar spaces and in between the phosphate lamellae within a column. Deposit is being worked out with a system of benches. the wider spacing of columns could reduce the grade to around 25%. Drilling machine is used to obtain sample of subsurface through coring. For the purpose of mining operation. Grades of ore There are three different grade of ore found in this mine: high grade ore with 34-36% avg P2O5. The benches are between 8 to 10 meters vertical intervals. In both the cases the upgradation of the one is due to removal of dolimitic carbonate. Where the column population is very dense. the P2O5 content could be as high as 30%. By contrast. In the case of less deformed stromatolites. In some places intense shearing had taken place and dolomite was crushed away and leaving some silica and iron which gets mixed with the phosphate reducing its grade a little. Diamond core drilling machine is used which are fitted with bit pipes to reach different depths (pic). Some amount of silica and iron oxides might have crept into the rock during this process. Core box were seen where number of samples are marked with arrows indicating the sequence of core according to depth.

noise pollution.Page |4 brecciation resulting from caving of rock column during or subsequent to deagenesis. Measures to check these environmental issues The DMGR uses several ways to lower the environmental problem. damage of vegetation due to removal of overburden. Plantation of trees and other kind of plants in the surrounding area. But the mine may create some major environmental problem such as dust. Conclusion We have been greatly beneficial by this field excursion. Crocodile skin weathering is observed which is mainly formed due to chemical weathering in which the dolomite is removed as solution or gets washed away. Advantage and disadvantage This mine is of great economic importance and this phosphate ore are used in the manufacture of fertilizers. Water table must not be too near therefore they pump the water and transport to the Udaipur city. It also affects the ground water as the mine progresses downwards towards the water table. . Silicification and deposition of iron might have reduced the grade at several localities. Water spraying and sprinkling is done on the haul/transport roads to suppress the dust generation and reduce air pollution.

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