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General geology of Zambia

General geology of Zambia


Zambia's diverse mineral endowment is entirely a function of the variety of geological terrains and the multiplicity of thermal and tectonic events that have overprinted and shaped these terrains.

The resulting geological domain search have specific metallogenic characteristics in terms of known mineral occurrences that can be successfully utilized to direct further exploration. Equally important, the understanding of the processes that formed these domains has reached a level at which lateral thinking and conceptual modeling can be used to generate important new exploration targets.

See Geological Map of Zambia

Geology of Zambia

The complex geology and multiplicity of techno-thermal events reflects Zambia's somewhat unique position effectively sandwiched between the Kasai, Zimbabwe - Kaapvall and Tanzania cratons. Differential movements between these stable blocks, together with their buttressing effects, have played an important role in the geological evolution of the country and hence in the genesis of the country's mineral and energy resources.


The oldest succession of rocks in the country, the basement supergroup, consists mostly of granitic gneissis and migmatites which are evident throughout eastern, central and southern Zambia, in places in-folded with meta-carbonate, meta-quartzite and meta-pelite units. The super group rocks are mostly younger than 2050 ma but the Lutembwe River granulite near Chipata has been dated at c.3000 Ma. Granite, granite gneiss, migmatites and amphoblolites, believed to belong mostly to the basement supergroup, also outcrop in the structurally elevated Kafue Anticline and Domes of the Copperbelt and north-western Zambia.

The overlying meta-sedimentary Muva Supergroup generally exhibits a tectonized contact with the basement sequences. In central and eastern Zambia the sequence of meta-pelites and meta-quartzites is commonly infolded and even imbricated with the basement rocks, the two sequences being later folded to form the core of the Irumide Belt extending north-eastwards from Kabwe to Mpika, also forming a major component of the Zambezi Belt south and east of Lusaka. Within the Bangweulu Block of northern Zambia the sedimentary sequences is very different, comprising a lower 5000m thick succession of continental sediments (rudites, arenites, quartzites and argillites) - the Mporokoso Group, overlain by quartzites, hematitic sandstones, mudstones and minor conglomerates of the Kasama Formation which ranges in thickness from from c.100m over the Bangweulu Block to 3500m southwards into the Irumide Belt.


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