EGU23-5478, updated on 10 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

How to create the highest manganese ore grade in the world? A geodynamic story in the Atlas of Morocco.

Augustin Dekoninck1,2, Jocelyn Barbarand3, Gilles Ruffet4, Yves Missenard3, Nadine Mattielli1, Rémi Leprêtre5, Abdellah Mouttaqi6, Omar Saddiqi7, Michèle Verhaert2, and Johan Yans2
Augustin Dekoninck et al.
  • 1Laboratoire G-Time, Department of Geosciences, Environment and Society (DGES) Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), 50, Av. FD Roosevelt, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
  • 2Département de géologie, Institute of Life, Earth and Environment (ILEE), Université de Namur, 61 rue de Bruxelles, 5000 Namur, Belgium
  • 3CNRS (CNRS/INSU), UMR 6118 Géosciences Rennes, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France
  • 4UMR GEOPS, Université Paris Saclay, CNRS, rue du Belvédère, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
  • 5Cergy Paris Université, Département Géosciences et Environnement (GEC), 1 rue Descartes, 95000 Neuville, Oise Cedex, Franceremi
  • 6Office National des Mines et des Hydrocarbures (ONHYM), 5 Charia My Hassan, BP99, Rabat, Morocco
  • 7Laboratoire Géosciences, Université Hassan II, BP 5366, Maârif, 20100 Casablanca, Morocco

The Imini mining district (Morocco) hosts the largest manganese (Mn) ore deposits of North Africa (~120.000 T in 2016). The area is world recognized for hosting several epigenetic karst-type high-grade manganese deposits in a 10-15 meters thick Cenomanian-Turonian dolostone unit. These unconventional Mn oxide deposits occur along a belt of ~25-30 km in the southern foreland of the intraplate Atlasic belt of Morocco. This is due to two laterally extensive ore bodies of nearly pure pyrolusite-rich manganese ores (72-88 wt.% MnO2) and a third discontinuous medium-grade coronadite-rich Mn ore (40–48 wt.% MnO2)(Dekoninck et al., 2016a, b; Gutzmer et al., 2006). Our recent works allowed precise dating and geodynamic reconstructions of the ore deposit genesis. The ore depositions occurred during (i) late Cretaceous to late Paleocene (~ 92 Ma, ~ 78–82 Ma, ~ 65–67 Ma and ~58 Ma), (ii) late Eocene (c. 36 Ma), and (iii) early Burdigalian to early Serravalian probably in two pulses at c. 19–20 Ma and c. 13 Ma (Dekoninck et al., 2021, 2023). This multistage deposition coincides with three geodynamic events linked to the uplift of the Atlas. The late Cretaceous uplift of the Atlas created the required hydraulic head to sustain (1) fluid-rock interactions between O2-poor acidic ground waters and the Triassic series source, (2) migration of the metal-rich low-temperature hydrothermal fluid from the rock source and (3) overpressure fluid in the Imini depositional site. The vanishing of Triassic series above the Imini anticline forced these hydrothermal fluids to mix with oxygenated ground and alkaline waters resident in the karst system and precipitated the Mn oxides. The N70°-oriented Atlasic tectonic structure controls the orientation of these epigenetic karst-hosted Mn deposits. The late Eocene – Early/Middle Miocene uplifts generated additional supplies and/or in-situ remobilizations of the primary late Cretaceous medium-grade ore to form the high-grade pyrolusite-rich ore.


Dekoninck et al. 2023 (accepted). Mineralium Deposita. Dekoninck et al. 2016. Mineralium Deposita 51, 13-23. Dekoninck et al. 2016. in: Mineral Deposits of North Africa. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 575–594. Dekoninck et al. 2021. Mineralium Deposita 59, 935–956. Gutzmer et al. 2006. Economic Geology 101, 385–405.

How to cite: Dekoninck, A., Barbarand, J., Ruffet, G., Missenard, Y., Mattielli, N., Leprêtre, R., Mouttaqi, A., Saddiqi, O., Verhaert, M., and Yans, J.: How to create the highest manganese ore grade in the world? A geodynamic story in the Atlas of Morocco., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-5478,, 2023.

Corresponding supplementary materials formerly uploaded have been withdrawn.