Exploitation of minerals in the taita taveta ranches
Kanoti, Japhet Rugendo
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Throughout the world, prospecting for gemstone deposits is largely a primitive operation that does not involves scientific or systematic methods. In Taita Taveta district, most gemstones deposits are still found either by luck, or by direct visual inspection of outcrops or of the soil surface. However a wide range of methods are available to the prospector. Prospecting methods include geological mapping, systematic eluvial test pitting, geophysical and geochemical prospecting. Remote sensing can also be used. It is important to understand perfectly the geological characteristics of gemstone deposits in order to be able to select the most efficient methods. In Taita Taveta, the combination of direct mapping, spectroradiometry, and soil geochemistry enables to delineate lithologies favourable to some gemstone deposits. On a local scale, computerised treatment of data obtained from systematic test pitting can assist in identifying possible secondary deposits, and to locate primary deposits.