Graphite bodies of economic importance occur in the Eastern Ghats migmatite complex of Orissa, India, which consists of sillimanite-rich gneiss (khondalite), calc-silicate granulite, basic (pyroxene) granulite and acidic gneiss palaeosomes and a variety of quartzofeldspathic neosomes and pegmatite veins. There is more graphite in migmatised khondalite and calc-silicate granulite than in their unmigmatised counterparts and it is common at pegmatite-country rock margins. Lodes of graphite are structurally controlled by fold hinge zones, necks of boudins and along the dominant foliation in rocks that show the effects of polyphase deformation. Faults, fractures and joints also act as structural controls. The richest lodes are located where there is the coincidence of several lithological and structural features.
The graphite occurs in graphite-rich schists and gneisses, as veins and as disseminated flakes along grain boundaries and in microfractures and cleavages. It is present in all rock types except pegmatites emplaced after the D4 deformational phase, and is localised in structures developed during the D1, D2, D3 and D4 phases. Most of the bodies of graphite are lenticular and show pinch and swell characters. Fourteen textural and microstructural habits have been recognised and are described with many of the features of fabric, such as intergrowths, inclusions and kinks being particularly well shown under reflected light.
Methanation of carbonate minerals is considered the most likely initial stage in the formation of the carbon with subsequent pyrolysis of the methane being the process of graphitisation. While the possibility of the carbon being either of sedimentary derivation orfrom igneous-derived CO2 cannot be ruled out, there is no convincing evidence for such sources. Remobilisation of graphite following its formation by pyrolysis of methane in structurally controlled low pressure zones is the dominant mechanism of concentration. Thefabric features point to the graphite having moved as a solid phase along open spaces inthe gangue minerals while still maintaining its crystallinity, and having been deformed in the process. The effects of remobilisation apparently have obliterated evidence relating to other methods of concentration.