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Project Overview

Project Number
M0446
Total Grant Value
$341,650
MRIWA Contribution
$175,000
Project Theme
Mineral Systems
Project Period
2016 - 2019

The Challenge

Understanding of many important Western Australian mineral systems has been limited by inability to directly date the relevant ore minerals.

The use of common datable minerals such as zircon to indirectly frame mineralisation timing can leave the sequence of events leading to economic ore system development uncertain.

Direct dating of key sulfide ore minerals would support the development of more effective mineral exploration models.

Key Findings

This research validated the use of isotopes of the elements Rhenium (Re) and Osmium (Os) to directly date common sulfide ore minerals.

This direct dating delivered improved understanding of the evolution of two types of sulfide-hosted ore systems that comprise important components of Western Australia’s mineral endowment, constraining the evolution and accumulation of ore minerals more firmly in the context of known geological events.

Benefit to WA

This study helps define the geological events responsible for major ore systems in Western Australia.

The new Re-Os method for sulfide dating could support mineral exploration by defining regions that have experienced known mineralisation episodes.

These insights will improve exploration efficiency and encourage investment targeting the next generation of ore bodies in WA.


Keywords: geochronology; Re-Os; ore; sulfide

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Page was last reviewed 16 June 2021

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