Phosphates are regarded as one of the most important fertilizer minerals used by man. In Sonrai basin of Lalitpur the phosphorites are found to occur as lenticular and detached bodies throughout the Formation of the Bijawar Group. Individual bodies range from a few meters to about 4 km in length, and width varies from thin bands to about 125 meter with P2O5 concentration ranging from 10 to 20%. The Paleoproterozoic Bijawar Group are overlain by the Archaean Bundelkhand Basement Complex and underlain by Vindhyan Supergroup. The occurrence of phosphorites is confined to the Sonrai Formation which consists of massive to brecciated phosphorite within the lower reddish shales, with at least three bands identified. Megascopic study reveals that the brecciated phosphorite is reddish brown in color and fine to medium grained with angular fragments of chert and quartz embedded in a groundmass of iron oxides and secondary silica intercalated with minor veins of chert and iron oxides. The phosphorite horizon in the Lalitpur area is associated with pink to white brecciated massive quartzite, shale, dolomite and limestone of the basal unit. The concentration trends of certain major oxides indicate that the phosphorites are more enriched in CaO, P2O5 and SiO2 than Al2O3, Fe2O3, TiO2, Na2O and K2O. The concentration trends of trace elements reveal that the phosphorites are moderately enriched in Co, Zn, Zr, Pb, U than in Sc, Ba, V, Cr, Ni, , Rb, Sr, Y and Th. The dispersion patter, correlation coefficient and mutual relationship of significant major oxides represented by plotted diagrams, indicate that SiO2, CaO, MgO are antipathetically related with P2O5. The relationship suggests a gradual replacement among these oxides during diagenesis. High values of P2O5 and CaO in the phosphorites indicate more concentration of apatite constituent. The difference in geochemical behavior of CaO and MgO may be due to ionic substitution of Ca+2 by MgO+2 in the apatite crystal lattice during alkaline environment of the basin. The strong negative relationship between P2O5 with Fe2O3 in phosphorites may be due to leaching and/mild weathering of iron from the ores and reprecipitation along with P2O5 in the pore spaces, cavities/voids, veins, etc in highly oxidizing marine environment of the basin. The minimum evidence of organic matter, absence of sulphide minerals and lower concentration of V, Ni, and Cu suggest that the phosphorites were deposited in an oxidizing environment with slightly anaerobic to highly aerobic facies.
Part of the book: Applied Studies of Coastal and Marine Environments