oa South African Journal of Geology - The petrography and the regional setting of the Tantalite Valley Complex, South West Africa

Volume 78 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1012-0750
  • E-ISSN: 1996-8590



Metasedimentary sequences in the Tantalite Valley area of the Namaqualand Gneiss Complex have experienced a complex metamorphic and tectonic history. Rocks to the north of a major tectonic lineament (the Tantalite Valley Lineament) have been affected by upper-amphibolite facies metamorphism, while those to the south show mineral associations consistent with lower grades. There is evidence that right-lateral strike-slip movement has taken place along the Tantalite Valley Lineament which , in this area, is expressed as a wide zone (2-8 km) of highly deformed rocks containing mylonites and faults characterised by brittle fracture (i.e. a "shear zone").

The Tantalite Valley Complex is a poorly mineralised (Cu and Ni sulphides) body of approximately concentric periodotite-gabbroid intrusions which has been partly affected by the metamorphism and deformation within the Tantalite Valley "shear zone". It has some similarities with the zoned, or concentric, complexes found in orogenic belts elsewhere in the world. The distribution of economic, mineralised pegmatites in the area is related to the presence of the Tantalite Valley Complex during deformation in the "shear zone".

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