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Origin of manganese deposits of Busuanga Island, Philippines

January 1, 1994

The manganese deposits of Busuanga Island, Palawan, are tabular and broadly lenticular bodies which lie conformably within a thick sequence of deformed abort beds. The purpose of this study is to determine the probable mode of origin of the deposits. Similar deposits in other parts of the world have been described by others as products of several different genetic processes.

Field and laboratory methods of research were employed in the course of the investigation. Detailed geologic mapping was done on the surface and underground, and many samples of rocks and ores were obtained. Later, intensive study of samples from four typical deposits and from the rooks in the surrounding areas was undertaken, using a variety of laboratory techniques. Microscopic study of thin sections and polished surfaces was supplemented by X-ray and chemical work. More than one hundred X-ray diffraction powder photographs were made to identify minerals, and qualitative chemical studies were made of a number of aamples by use of the X-ray spectrograph. In addition, quantitative chemical analyses were made of certain samples. Finally, published accounts of the occurrence and geological behavior of manganese and silica were consulted to aid in interpretation of the data at hand.

Oherty layers in the manganese deposits are lithologically similar to the chart wallrooks and country rook beds. Radiolarian fossils are common in the chart and are also found in some ore specimens. Manganese content of the wallrocks and the country rock beds, however, in essentially nil.

The manganese deposits contain mostly psilomelane-type oxides in their near-surface parts, and in the deepest mines this ore grades downward into siliceous protore. In three of the deposits studied, the protore consists mainly of braanite and quartz; in the fourth deposit, hausmannite and the silicate alleghatvite make up the milk of the protore. Some of the protoro is massive, but cherty stones are commonly well layered parallel to the wall rock structure. Grain size is very small, but, like the silica in the chert beds, becomes relatively coarse where the rocks are much deformed. No evidence of large-scale replacement or cross-cutting veins is found in the protores.

It is concluded that the original manganiferous deposits were largely non-clastic or oolloidal marine sediments laid down in a reducing environment. The protorea were developed from these beds by processes of diagenesis and low-grade regional metamorphism. The protores were in turn altered to black oxide ore by near-surface agencies during the present erosion cycle. Particular interest is attached to the occurrence of alleghanyite and traces of pyroxmangite and hubnerite(?) in the protorea.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1958
Title Origin of manganese deposits of Busuanga Island, Philippines
DOI 10.3133/ofr5898
Authors Ronald Keith Sorem
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 58-98
Index ID ofr5898
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse