Evaluation of Graphite at Wadi Irkhayman in Tathlith Area, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Rushdi R. Al Dawawsi, Abdul Aziz H. Al Zahrani, And Ahmed M. Abu Aish
with the collaboration of Ahmed O. Mashaly
Located at 45 km southeast of Tathlith, the graphite of Wadi Irkhayman was further characterized and assessed for amenability to beneficiation. Geologic mapping at 1:4,000-scale and trenching were carried out over a 1,750 m x 2,750 m area. Two phases of ground magnetic, self-potential, electrical resistivity, and electromagnetic surveys demonstrate anomalies that can be useful in subsequent investigations. Occurring as fine, dispersed flakes and as coarse-grained, dense clusters that form massive aggregates with schistose texture, graphite can constitute up to 76 percent of the host rock. Gangue minerals consist of quartz, clay, carbonates (mainly calcite), gypsum, and iron oxides. Beneficiation tests show that the liberation size is 150 µm and that the average graphite-carbon content of 24.12 percent can be improved to 73 percent using combined attrition, flotation, and gravity separation by centrifugation with recovery of as much as 70 percent. The inferred reserve is 460 million tonnes (Riddler, 1983). Additional investigations including exploratory drilling are recommended to determine its viability.
Al Dawawsi, R.R., Al Zahrani, A.H., Abu Aish, A.M., with the collaboration of Dr. Ahmed O. Mashaly, 2012, Evaluation of graphite at Wadi Irkhayman in Tathlith area, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Saudi Geological Survey Technical Report SGS-TR-2011-6, 29 p., 45 figs., 13 tables, 2 apps., 2 plates