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Project Overview

Project Number
Total Grant Value
MRIWA Contribution
Project Theme
Mineral Systems
Project Period
2019 - 2022

The Challenge

With models of mineral sand deposit genesis remaining largely unchanged for decades a lack of new globally significant discoveries, and decline in economic return from mineral sands in Australia in recent years, a different approach is required for defining new exploration spaces.

The Solution

Application of new and integrated single-grain geochemical fingerprinting approaches to illuminate previously enigmatic aspects of detrital grain histories (e.g. zircon, rutile, apatite) and draw out the importance of shared traits among world-class mineral sand deposits and thus decipher controls of heavy mineral sands systems more broadly.

Combined with this is a new technique based on the utilisation of rapid, low-cost grain shape analysis to resolve the ultimate sources of component heavy minerals (via specific chemistry/ temperature conditions) as well as their transport histories.

Proposed Benefit to WA

  • Development of new WA-based techniques and expertise for the mineral sand industry.
  • Facilitation of cheaper, faster and highly diagnostic mineral provenance and grain transport history reconstruction which can be used to explore for new deposits.

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Page was last reviewed 29 December 2022

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