2, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States
4, Cameroon Christian University, Bali, North West Region, Cameroon
3, NXP Semiconductors, Chandler, Arizona, United States
5, University of Buea, Buea, , Cameroon
Quartzitic bodies have been mapped in southwestern Cameroon but the textures and the purities of the quartz varieties in these veins are not known. Typically, the quartz is homogeneous and anhedral with mineral inclusions disseminated within the quartz matrix. The quartz contains medium to coarse sized grains, and varies in type from transparent to milky quartz. Euhedral mineral inclusions of mica flakes, dark radiating tourmaline and rutile needles are present in clusters within the vein. Electron microprobe analysis (EMPA), particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and Laser-ablation inductively coupled-plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) analysis were performed on the quartz. These methods revealed strong Si and O signatures typically associated with the materials being >99.89 % SiO2. In this study we use cathodoluminescence spectroscopy (CLS) integrated with backscattered electron (BSE) imaging, secondary electron imaging (SEI), and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) to reveal complex growth textures and fracture histories of the quartz. CLS textures indicates very low trace-element concentrations that are also mapped by electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) of the quartz and higher concentrations in some mineral inclusions. These mineral inclusions can be easily sorted out after mining, and before the beneficiation process. Consequently, the quality and potential quantity of HPQ veins in this area indicate a potential for HPQ exploration in the region. This discovery, together with a better knowledge of the processes leading to the formation of HPQ in quartzitic bodies, could enhance development of the mineral sector in Cameroon. This will also be useful for the exploration of HPQ in Sub-Saharan Africa, to help provide raw materials for high-tech industries such as the manufacturing of solar panels (the use of which are currently on the rise).