Proving the value of rutile as a guide to identifying mineral deposits
Researchers at Curtin University’s John de Laeter Centre have developed techniques using the mineral rutile to point the way to hidden ore deposits
Led by Professors Neal McNaughton and Brent McInnes, the research team has developed procedures to prepare, analyse and date individual crystals of rutile (TiO2) from a range of rock types commonly encountered in Western Australian mineral exploration.
As a robust and chemically resistant mineral phase, rutile is often preserved even when its original host rock has been altered. This can make it useful in assessing the original chemistry of deeply weathered rocks – a valuable trait in mineral exploration across much of Western Australia.
This study highlighted a clear distinction between rutile associated with richly endowed gold ore systems and rutile from un-mineralised rocks.
This insight could help develop more effective mineral exploration workflows, de-risking investment targeting the next generation of gold ore bodies in under-explored areas of WA.
Read MRIWA report 448 summarising the findings of this research.
Download the media release.
Page was last reviewed 29 July 2021