The region of Thar Parker which is located at the eastern part of Sindh province, historically consists of three underground aquifers namely 1 – Dune sand aquifer, 2 – Coal seam roof aquifer and 3 – Coal seam floor aquifer. Present study is aimed at the geochemical and mineralogical investigation of silica sand from coal seam roof aquifer layer to evaluate its suitability for industrial application since it is found at relatively shallower depth and its pressure has been nearly reduced due to ongoing mining and dewatering operations at Thar Block II. The grain size distribution curve reveals that the aquifer sand is mainly contributed of fine to medium grain sand with its permeability ranges from 6.32E-5-3.60E-4m/s. The geochemical analysis indicates that the SiO2 content of aquifer silica sand ranges from 47.72-85.27% and has undergone extensive degree of chemical weathering which is calculated from chemical index of alteration (79.04-88.40), TiO2/Al2O3 ratio (8.16-4.02) and index compositional variance (0.13-0.46). The mineralogical assessment suggest that aquifer sand layer is primarily composed of rich to intermediate quartz with secondary amount of feldspar and clay minerals. The SiO2 content of aquifer sand has been compared with the standard industrial requirements for typical silica sands which reveals that the SiO2 content of studied sand shall be enhanced using various beneficiation techniques in order to utilize it industrially and commercially.
Citation: Ali Iqtidar, and Nawab Muhammad Abid Zubair (2022) Geochemical and Mineralogical Investigation of Sub-Recent Formation Silica Sand to Evaluate its Suitability for Industrial Utilization, Thar Block II, Pakistan, International Journal of Coal, Geology and Mining Research, Vol.4, No.1, pp.1-16
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