Mapping the chemical architecture of gold camps
Total Grant Value
Some parts of Western Australia have produced fewer gold discoveries than statistically expected from their underlying Archean geology, suggesting the possible existence of undiscovered gold resources.
Conventional exploration techniques have failed to detect these resources, pointing to a deficiency in our understanding.
Hydrothermal gold deposition in the major Archean mineralisation events recognised in Western Australia produced distinctive alteration patterns around fluid pathways and ore deposits.
This chemical alteration extends much further than the gold mineralisation itself, affecting domains on the order of several cubic kilometres.
These alteration zones could provide a means to identify other areas where ancient ore fluids passed through the bedrock, and to identify prospective areas where local conditions drove mineralisation.
Benefit to WA
The insights delivered by this research provide a cost-effective method for mapping gold systems and targeting high grade resources in the Archean rocks of Western Australia.
This understanding will reduce the risk in targeting ore bodies that conventional exploration has failed to identify, encouraging investment in under-explored areas of the state.
Keywords: geochemical mapping, gold camps, exploration, Yilgarn
Page was last reviewed 2 December 2020