Preliminary Economic Evaluation of Nickel-Copper Potential in Wadi Al Khadra Prospect, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

SGS-OF-2014-2 Osama Al Shaikh, Khalid O. Kattan, Abdulrahman, A. Al Hawi, Mohammed M. Al Dabbagh, Omar M. Al Baik, Abdullah M. Al Qahtani, and Mohammed A. Al Madani
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In 2009, the Saudi Geological Survey Metallic Mineral Department carried out a reconnaissance exploration work at the Wadi al Khadrah prospect situated in the Wadi Bidah district at lat 20°09’27”N., long 41°27’10”E., and about 15 km to the north of Al Baha. It included sketch geological mapping, surface geochemical sampling, geophysical survey, core drilling, resource calculations, and economic evaluation of the Ni-Cu deposit.  Mineralization occurs as discreet disseminations of syngenetic Ni and Cu within layered horizons in volcanic lava fl ows of the Jof formation of the Baish group. Surface samples gave up to 0.7 percent Ni. However, the high-potential mineral resource is found along a fault shear zone with azimuth of 298° and mainly comprising hematite, goethite, and traces of limonite. The 0.8- to 1.2-m orebody dips 85° to the NE. At depth, primary mineralization such as pyrite, chalcopyrite, pentlandite, and niccolite typical minerals associated with this type of rocks and mineralization is expected. Preliminary resource estimate is about 68,000 tons, containing 8,052,000 lb of cu and 365,332 lb of Ni is insuffi cient to start a mine. A follow-up program is recommended.

Al Shaikh, O.A., Kattan, K.O., Al Hawi, A.A., Al Dabbagh, M.M. Al Baik, O.M., Al Qahtani, A.M., and Al Madani, M.A., 2014, Preliminary economic evaluation of nickel-copper potential in Wadi al Khadra prospect, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Saudi Geological Survey Open-File Report SGS-OF-2014-2, 17 p, 10 figs., 8 tables, 1 app.