Geology and characterization of coal at the Mushithe Coal Occurrence, Soutpansberg Coalfield, Limpopo Province, South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Ogola, J. S.
dc.contributor.advisor Kirui, J. K.
dc.contributor.author Mukatuni, Sedzani
dc.date 2019
dc.date.accessioned 2019-10-15T08:18:24Z
dc.date.available 2019-10-15T08:18:24Z
dc.date.issued 2019-09-20
dc.identifier.citation Mukatuni, Sedzani (2019) Geology and characterization of coal at the Mushithe Coal Occurrence, Soutpansberg Coalfield, Limpopo Province, South Africa, University of Venda, South Africa.<http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1456>.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1456
dc.description MESMEG en_US
dc.description Department of Mining and Environmental Geology
dc.description.abstract The Mushithe coal occurrence is situated approximately 16 km west of the Tshikondeni coal mine in the Tshipise-Pafuri sub-basin of the Soutpansberg coalfield in South Africa. The Soutpansberg Coalfield has received comparatively less attention compared to other more notable South African coalfields. There is as a consequence very limited information in the public domain applicable to the geology as well as quality of coal in this coalfield, as a result there is no known study focused exclusively on the Mushithe coal occurrence. The aim of the study was to conduct detailed geological mapping of the Mushithe Deposit so as to ascertain the geological environment and petrological characteristics of rocks within the area. Further work involved coal sampling and analysis in order to establish coal quality and its physical and chemical characteristics. Samples were collected using geological field mapping and channel sampling. Nine coal samples were collected from the coalbed and host rock, exposed along the Mbodi River, during geological field mapping using channel sampling. Furthermore, 92 rock samples were collected during geological field mapping of which 10 representative samples were selected for further analysis. X-ray fluorescence spectrometry was conducted on all selected samples. Proximate analysis and ultimate analyses, and calorimetry tests were undertaken on coal samples. Three samples were selected based on calorific value for maceral identification, mineral analyses and vitrinite reflectance using petrographic study. Detailed geological mapping of the area around the Mushithe coal occurrence showed the geological setting of coal in this area. The following lithologies were identified in the study area: sandstone, mudstone, ironstone, calcrete, shale, quartzite, quartz vein with a general strike direction to the north-east. The host rocks including coal were intruded by dolerite dykes and this resulted in the devolatilization of coal. The current study concluded that the Mushithe coal was formed in a wet swampy environment. This has been confirmed based on tissue preservation index (1.69) and gelification index (2.35). Coal rank ranged from bituminous Rank C- B according to United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Coal Classification (UNECE) and samples were characterised by high ash (27.90%), high moisture (10.47%) and low sulphur (0.24%). Furthermore, coal was graded below grade D based on classification for use by ESKOM which consider any calorific value below 24.5 MJ/kg to be in this category. The coal is vitrinite rich (77.75 vol%) and low in Inertinite (22.25 vol%) and devoid of Liptinite and pseudovitrinite, thus it is of good coking quality. Geochemical analysis revealed that the coal was enriched in TiO2 and Fe2O3 which was corroborated by the mineral matter which was mostly clay and pyrite. Comparatively, coal quality analysis revealed the calorific value of 14.26 MJ/kg and vitrinite reflectance between 0.94 %ROV to 1 %ROV which was less than that of the Tshikondeni Deposit but greater than that at Waterberg coalfield. The study recommends further detailed exploration of coal in the area, applying such techniques such as geophysical exploration and borehole drilling leading to resource evaluation. Further studies are recommended to provide a better interpretation of the depositional environment of coal at Mushithe as well as the effect of devolatilaziton by a dolerite dyke. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NRF en_US
dc.format.extent 1 online resource ()
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.subject Soutpansberg Coalfield en_US
dc.subject Mushithe Coal Occurrence en_US
dc.subject Bituminous Coal en_US
dc.subject Wet swampy environment en_US
dc.subject Devolatization en_US
dc.subject.ddc 622.3340968257
dc.subject.lcsh Coal mines and mining -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Mines and mineral resources -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Coal mine waste -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Coal preparation -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Coal washing -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.title Geology and characterization of coal at the Mushithe Coal Occurrence, Soutpansberg Coalfield, Limpopo Province, South Africa en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US

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