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Geology and economic potential for chromite in the Zhob Valley ultramafic rock complex, Hindubagh, Quetta division, West Pakistan

January 1, 1994

The ultramafic rocks making up the Zhob Valley igneous complex have yielded small amounts of metallurgical-grade chromite since the early part of the century. From 1968-1970 a cooperative study undertaken by the Geological Survey of Pakistan and the U. S. Geological Survey, under the auspices of the Government of Pakistan and the Agency for International Development, evaluated the chromite potential of the Zhob Valley area and provided data for effective exploration.

The Jung Tor Ghar ultramafic rock mass, covering an area of about 45 square miles, is a thrust-fault block completely surrounded and underlain (?) by sedimentary rocks as young as Late Cretaceous in age. The igneous rocks were thrust from the northwest along an east-trending, north-dipping fault in Late Cretaceous or Paleocene time and were peneplaned, dissected, and deeply laterized by mid-Eocene time.

The ultramafic rocks consist of interlayered harzburgite and dunite and a cross-cutting dunite here called transgressive dunite. Layered structure passes without discernible deviation from the interlayered harzburgite-dunite through the transgressive dunite. The lowest rocks in the mass, composed mainly of transgressive dunite, grade upward into the interlayered rock about 3,000 feet above the fault block base. The upper transgressive dunites tend to form interconnecting linear networks and probably a few pipe-like structures. The transgressive dunite is thought to have formed by action of water derived from the underlying sedimentary rocks; the water heated by the hot ultramafic rock (at the time of emplacement) altered the pyroxene to olivine and talc, and, with lowering temperature, to serpentine. Other interpretations are possible.

Virtually all the chromite in the Jung Tor Ghar lies in or immediately above the masses of transgressive dunite. This fact provides a key to chromite exploration: The most favorable zone for prospecting lies in the vicinity of the upper contacts of the transgressive dunite masses where they. are flatly dipping; if the transgressive dunite masses are steeply dipping or pipe-like, the chromite tends to be more centrally located.

The Jung Tor Ghar is believed to contain enough unmined chromite at practical minable depths to equal or exceed that mined to date but the individual deposits are likely to be small.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1971
Title Geology and economic potential for chromite in the Zhob Valley ultramafic rock complex, Hindubagh, Quetta division, West Pakistan
DOI 10.3133/ofr71242
Authors D. L. Rossman, Zaki Ahmad, Hamidur Rahman
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 71-242
Index ID ofr71242
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization