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Termite mound as an Effective Geochemical Tool in Mineral Exploration: A Study from Chromite Mining Area, Karnataka, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Geology, Loyola Degree College, Pulivendula-516390, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 4, Issue (5), Pages 85-90, May,18 (2014)


In Byrapur chromite mining area, the ore element Cr and other associated trace elements Viz., Co, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Mo were determined for termite mounds and their adjoining surface soils unaffected by termites. A biogeochemical parameter called “Biological Absorption Co-efficient” (BAC) of these mounds is computed which helps in the evaluation of the mounds in the geochemical orientation surveys and in mineral exploration. The maximum BAC value 19,090 for Cr element in termite mounds is attributed to the influence of chromite mineral zone in the study area. Since the BAC values of Cr element in all termite mounds are classified as “positive” reflecting the enrichment of the chromium element in the termite mound with reference to the surface soil. The concentration of ore element Cr in termite soils is from 1400 to 4500 ppm, and that of soils it is from 220 to 960 ppm reflecting the element Cr in the termite soils in the study area. These studies reveal that the mounds exhibit indicator characteristics especially for Cr element and also for other associated elements viz., Co, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Mo. Hence termite mound may be considered as a tool in mineral exploration.


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